10 things you need to know today: August 13, 2018

Counterprotesters outnumber white supremacists at D.C. rally, North and South Korea agree to a third leader summit, and more

Counterprotesters at a Unite the Right rally in Washington
(Image credit: ZACH GIBSON/AFP/Getty Images)

1. Counterprotesters outnumber white supremacists at D.C. rally

A brief white nationalist rally near the White House in Washington, D.C., on Sunday drew only about two dozen participants, demanding "white civil rights." A brief speech by organizer Jason Kessler was drowned out by thousands of counterprotesters chanting "Go home, Nazis!" "No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA!" and "Black lives matter!" The event was held to mark the one-year anniversary of the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which provoked violence that left one counterprotester dead. This time, a large police contingent kept the two sides apart, and transported the "Unite the Right 2" participants to a Metro station so they could board a train out of the area.

The Washington Post

2. North and South Korea negotiators strike deal for leaders' 3rd summit

Negotiators for North and South Korea emerged Monday from two hours of meetings in the border village Panmunjom with news that their countries' leaders would meet for a third summit in September. North Korea's Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met in April and May, paving the way for Kim's June summit with President Trump. North Korean reunification official Ri Son Gwon and South Korean Reunification Minister Cho Myoung-Gyon released a three-sentence statement that contained almost no details, including whether a date has been set for the summit. Monday's meeting took place amid increasing concerns that the U.S. and North Korea are once again heading toward confrontation over Pyongyang's nuclear stockpile.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Reuters The Associated Press

3. Giuliani says Trump never asked Comey to drop Flynn investigation

Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's lead personal lawyer, said Sunday that if Trump is interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's prosecutors, he will deny telling then-FBI Director James Comey to drop the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. "There was no conversation about Michael Flynn," Giuliani said on CNN's State of the Union. Comey has said that in February 2017 Trump asked for his loyalty and brought up the Flynn investigation, saying, "He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go." Giuliani said last month that Trump did ask Comey to give Flynn a break, but that he was not ordering Comey to drop the matter. Flynn resigned in February 2017 after misleading administration officials about his communications with Russia's ambassador during Trump's campaign.

New York Post

4. Ranch Fire becomes California's largest fire in history

The Ranch Fire, one of two blazes making up the Mendocino Complex fire, had burned 282,479 acres by Sunday, making it the largest wildfire in California history, Cal Fire said. The Mendocino Complex fire, a combination of the Ranch and River fires in Northern California, last week surpassed the previous record holder, December's Thomas Fire. The Ranch Fire expanded over the weekend, burning another 6,173 acres, to surpass the Thomas Fire on its own. It is now at least 62 percent contained. The River Fire "had no movement," Cal Fire said. It has burned 48,920 acres and is 93 percent contained. No one has died in the fires, but they have injured two of the more than 3,000 firefighters working on them, and destroyed more than 200 structures.

The Modesto Bee

5. Trump tweets support for boycotting Harley-Davidson

President Trump on Sunday tweeted that it would be "great" if customers boycotted Harley-Davidson. Trump has criticized the iconic American motorcycle maker since it announced in June that it was moving production of motorcycles to be sold in Europe to factories outside the U.S. Harley-Davidson said the move was necessary to avoid European tariffs imposed to retaliate against Trump's tariffs on steel, aluminum, and other products. Trump tweeted that "many" Harley-Davidson owners intended to boycott the company if it went ahead with the production shift. On Saturday, Trump met at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf course with about 180 bikers who are part of a "Bikers for Trump" fan group. Harley-Davidson, which said it expected new tariffs to cost it $100 million a year, declined to comment.

The Associated Press

6. Russia responds to U.S. move but stops short of retaliatory sanctions

Russia will further reduce its holdings of U.S. securities in a response to the Trump administration's new sanctions against Moscow, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Sunday on state TV, according to the RIA news agency. Siluanov said Moscow had no plans to shut down U.S. companies in Russia. Two days earlier, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Russia viewed U.S. policies targeting Russian banks as a "declaration of economic war," although the Kremlin has not yet ordered retaliatory sanctions. The Trump administration last week announced that the sanctions, which could restrict purchases of Russian government bonds, would take effect by late August to punish Russia for allegedly using a nerve agent against a former Russian agent and his daughter in Britain. The news of the sanctions sent Russia's currency, the ruble, to a two-year low.


7. Brooks Koepka holds off Tiger Woods to win PGA Championship

Brooks Koepka won the PGA Championship with a final round of 66, holding off a challenge by Tiger Woods. Koepka, the winner of the past two U.S. Opens, wrapped up the tournament at 16 under par. Woods made a run for the lead and finished with a 64 to put him two strokes back at 14 under par for the tournament, good for second place. Koepka became one of just four players who have won the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship in the same season. Woods, who has had a run of strong tournaments in his ongoing comeback bid, is one of the others to pull off the feat, along with Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, and Gene Sarazen.

The Wall Street Journal MarketWatch

8. Alaska's North Slope hit by its strongest earthquake ever

A 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck Alaska's North Slope on Sunday. The Alaska Earthquake Center said there were no reports of damage. The quake, which hit 343 miles northeast of Fairbanks, was the strongest ever recorded in the region. The most powerful earthquake in the North Slope before this one was a 5.2-magnitude temblor in 1995. The increase in strength was significant, because the strength of earthquakes jumps exponentially as they rise in magnitude. A 6.4 quake is 63 times stronger than a 5.2 quake. "That's why at 6.4 this changes how we think about the region," said state seismologist Mike West. "It's a little early to say how, but it's safe to say this earthquake will cause a re-evaluation of the seismic potential of that area."

The Associated Press

9. Omarosa releases recording of her firing by John Kelly

Former Apprentice star and White House aide Omarosa Manigault-Newman shared a recording of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly which she says she surreptitiously made while she was being fired. She interpreted Kelly's words as a threat to force her to leave quietly if she wanted her reputation to remain intact, she said on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday. Manigault-Newman also described her past self as a frog in a boiling pot, too long unaware of how Trump was using her for his own gain. "I was complicit with this White House deceiving this nation," she said. "They continue to deceive this nation with how mentally declined [Trump] is, how difficult it is for him to process complex information."

The Hill

10. The Meg tops box office with stronger-than-expected $44.5 million debut

The Meg led the weekend box office with a $44.5 million debut, nearly doubling forecasts by some analysts. The shark thriller, an American-Chinese co-production between Warner Bros. and China's Gravity Pictures, also did well internationally, taking in a total of $96.8 million. It made $50.3 million in China alone. "This was a fun, dumb popcorn movie that just looked interesting to the public everywhere around the world," Jeff Goldstein, distribution chief for Warner Bros., said. Mission: Impossible — Fallout dropped to No. 2 after two weeks on top, and Spike Lee's critically acclaimed BlacKkKlansman opened with a strong $10.8 million, Lee's best debut in a decade.

The Associated Press

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

Harold Maass

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.