Kim Jong Un reaffirms denuclearization push

South Korea's President says North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is still committed to complete denuclearization and wants to meet with President Trump.

Posted: May. 29, 2018 6:29 PM
Updated: May. 29, 2018 6:29 PM

Welcome to the unofficial start of the week, and the unofficial start of summer! Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. North Korea summit

It's a "will they or won't they" worthy of a soap opera: Will President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meet for a planned summit next month? Or ... not? Up until recently, the June 12 meeting in Singapore was a go (there was even a commemorative coin), but last week Trump canceled the talks after North Korea insulted Vice President Mike Pence and threatened a nuclear showdown. Now Trump is talking like the meeting is back on, and over the weekend Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met in a surprise summit. On Monday, reports from the White House indicated Trump was keen on moving forward with the North Korea meeting, which would be seen by many as a diplomatic victory. Another sign things may be back on track? A team of US delegates was dispatched Monday to Singapore to make sure the meeting goes according to plan -- if it does in fact happen at all.

2. Extreme weather

Heavy rain is causing destruction and heartache up and down the East Coast. Ellicott City, Maryland, was inundated with floodwaters, and it's the second time in two years the town has had to deal with such devastation. At least one person is missing among the sinkholes, rapidly flowing water and collapsing buildings. Farther south, two journalists were killed Monday evening in North Carolina while covering hazardous weather on the fringes of Subtropical Storm Alberto (which has since been downgraded to a depression). The anchor and photojournalist, both from a South Carolina TV station, were killed when a tree fell on their car.

3. Starbucks

If you rely on Starbucks for an afternoon coffee fix, you may need to look elsewhere today. The chain is closing 8,000 stores for a few hours this afternoon for what they are calling anti-bias training. In April, two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia location after a store manager called the police because the men hadn't ordered anything. It turns out that they were waiting for a friend. The incident sparked national outrage, and the anti-bias training is part of Starbucks' response. During the training, employees will talk about their own experiences and learn about understanding both racial bias and the history of racial discrimination in public spaces in the United States.

4. Immigration

Increasing outrage is mounting over the Trump administration's treatment of immigrants. Earlier this month, the administration decided to refer every person caught crossing the border illegally for federal prosecution. This means families will be effectively separated, because children accompany adults who are apprehended in such a way. That news has caused people to revisit an April announcement that the Department of Health and Human Services has not accounted for about 1,500 children who crossed the border alone and were placed with sponsors. Over the weekend, the President criticized the policy that separates families, laying the blame at the feet of "the Democrats" -- despite the fact his administration enacted the policy.

Italian politics

By the way, did you know Italy has been effectively without a government since an election in March resulted in a hung parliament? Now, the country is facing a constitutional crisis after President Sergio Mattarella rejected Prime Minister-designate Giuseppe Conte's appointed finance minister, Paolo Savona. The President is pro-European Union, while the rejected finance minister is a populist EU skeptic. To deal with the crisis, Mattarella has nominated Carlo Cottarelli, a former official at the International Monetary Fund, to form an interim government since Conte has given up on the task.

TODAY'S QUOTE

"I didn't think about it, I climbed up and God helped me."

Mamoudou Gassama, a Malian migrant in Paris who scaled an apartment building to save a child dangling from a balcony. His stunning rescue effort has earned him praise, a job offer and even French citizenship.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

People are talking about these. Read up. Join in.

Teacher receives letter from Trump, returns it with grammar corrections.
And now we're all experiencing painful middle school flashbacks.

Europe is proposing a ban on plastic cutlery, straws and more.
It's part of a long game to help reduce waste and increase cleanup efforts.

The NBA finals are set and it's ... the Golden State Warriors vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers -- for the fourth year in a row.
Maybe basketball is just showing a bunch of reruns and no one's noticed.

Man attacks "Ivan the Terrible" painting in Moscow museum.
This may come as a shock, but the man reportedly was drunk.

A junior ROTC member paid his respects to POW-MIAs, and a baseball fan followed suit.
We're loving this powerful Memorial Day image from Monday.

TODAY'S NUMBER

44

The number of House Republicans who are retiring, resigning or have announced plans to run for another office ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. Will that be a problem for the GOP come November? It's too early to tell. 

AND FINALLY

It's time to cleanse your soul 

Having a Monday kind of morning even though it's a Tuesday? Let this balancing budgie bring you peace. (Click to view.)

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Tracking a mostly pleasant Memorial Day weekend.
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