In the news wrap Thursday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said that Kim Jong Un is open to ridding Korea of all nuclear weapons without insisting U.S. troops withdraw first. Also, the U.S. State Department charged it has "credible information" that Russia is working to "sanitize" the suspected chemical attack in Syria.
There's word that North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, may be willing to drop a key condition for giving up his nuclear program. South Korea's President Moon Jae-in said today that the North wants to all nuclear weapons out of Korea, but is no longer insisting that U.S. troops withdraw first.
In Geneva, though, the U.S. ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament, Robert Wood, said the North must turn words into actions.
It takes two to tango, and the North has to be willing to take steps that the North itself has said in the past it was willing to take. So, we will have to see what happens. These are high-stakes discussions, assuming they take place.
Last night, President Trump said he'd walk away from a planned summit with Kim if it's not fruitful. CIA Director Mike Pompeo met secretly with the North Korean leader over Easter.
And, today, Pompeo's nomination for secretary of state got a boost. Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp said that she will vote for him. That could be just enough to ensure he's confirmed.
The U.S. State Department charged today that it has credible information that Russia is working to — quote — "sanitize" the site of a suspected chemical attack in Syria. A spokeswoman gave no details, but said that efforts are clearly under way to remove incriminating evidence.
The police commissioner of Philadelphia had apologized to two black men arrested at a Starbucks last week. They'd been waiting for a business meeting, when the store called police. The incident sparked protests over racial profiling.
Commissioner Richard Ross initially defended the action. But, today, he said he failed miserably in handling the situation.
I shouldn't at all be the person that is a party to making anything worse relative to race relations. Shame on me if in any way that I have done that.
The men who were arrested said today there were moments that they wondered if they would survive the incident.
No criminal charges will filed in the overdose death of the musician Prince in April 2016. A Minnesota prosecutor announced today that there's no clear evidence of how Prince obtained the pill that killed him. There is evidence that he thought he was taking the painkiller Vicodin. Instead, the pill contained fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that's 50 times more powerful than heroin.
In Poland, church bells sounded and sirens wailed today, marking 75 years since the Warsaw ghetto uprising. In April 1943, Jewish fighters held out for a month against Nazi troops, before being crushed. Today, Poland's president visited the grave of the uprising's commander and paid tribute to the thousands kill,.
He also defended a new ban on saying Poland was complicit in the Holocaust.
Andrzej Duda (through translator):
I am sure that whenever anyone talks about the responsibility or the co-responsibility of the Polish state for the Holocaust, that person hurts the feelings of Poles and also hurts the feelings of Jews who are Polish citizens.
More than three million of the 3.2 million Jews in pre-war Poland died in the Holocaust.
California Governor Jerry Brown says he's reached a deal to deploy more National Guard units to the Mexican border. Last night, he announced federal funding will pay for 400 troops to fight gangs and drug smuggling, not for immigration enforcement.
President Trump disputed the claim today. He tweeted, "The federal government will not be paying for Governor Brown's charade. We need border security and action, not words."
NASA's new planet-hunting spacecraft is shooting toward the stars, on a search for worlds that might support life. It's named TESS, for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite. The satellite blasted off last night from Cape Canaveral, riding a SpaceX rocket. It will spend two years identifying planets around nearby stars with potentially livable temperatures.
The U.S. Senate has narrowly confirmed a new administrator of NASA today. Republican Congressman Jim Bridenstine won on a party-line vote of 50-49. Democrats had challenged his non-space background and questioning of climate science.
And in a historic first, Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth, in a wheelchair, held her newborn daughter as she voted no. Senate rules changed last night to permit babies on the floor.
In economic news, the New York Times reports that Wells Fargo will likely be find $1 billion for a series of infractions. They include making customers buy auto insurance policies that they didn't need.
And on Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average tumbled 83 points to close below 24665. The Nasdaq fell 57 points, and the S&P 500 dropped 15.
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