In our news wrap Thursday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson insisted that a potential response to North Korea is still on the table, despite President Trump’s Chief Strategist Steve Bannon’s comments to The American Prospect that there is no military solution to the problem. Also, in Hong Kong, a court sentenced three activists up to eight months for leading pro-democracy protests in 2014.
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In the day’s other news: Wall Street plunged on news of the Barcelona attack and worries about President Trump’s agenda. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 274 points to close at 21750. The Nasdaq fell 123 points and the S&P 500 slid 38.
The top U.S. diplomat insisted today that a potential U.S. military response to North Korea is still on the table, that after the president’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, had said there is no military solution to the problem.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson responded after he and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis met with their Japanese counterparts in Washington.
REX TILLERSON, U.S. Secretary of State:
A threat of proportions that none of us like to contemplate has to be backed by strong military consequences if North Korea chooses wrongly. And I think that is the message that the president has wanted to send to the leadership of North Korea.
Meanwhile, the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, said it would be unimaginable to let North Korea have nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles.
In Hong Kong, three young activists were sent to prison for leading pro-democracy protests in 2014. A court sentenced Joshua Wong, Nathan Law, and Alex Chow up to eight months. They helped start the so-called umbrella movement against Chinese curbs on elections. The three appeared outside the court before the sentencing and rallied supporters with a show of defiance.
JOSHUA WONG, Activist:
Even though Nathan, Alex and I will be the ones who may get sent to prison immediately for half to one year, but what we believe is people united will never be defeated. Our courage and determination to fight for free elections and democracy will continue in this long-term battle.
The activists originally received much lighter sentences, but the court overturned those and imposed harsher penalties.
New warnings today about the refugee crisis in South Sudan. The U.N. says one million people have fled to Uganda, with 1,800 more arriving every day to escape civil war. Video from the charity World Vision shows the largest refugee camp in the world, and officials say Uganda is struggling to meet their needs.
And back in this country, drug maker Mylan will pay $465 million to settle federal allegations of price-gouging for the EpiPen. The device can stop allergic reactions in emergencies. The Justice Department says Mylan overbilled Medicaid by more than a billion dollars over a decade.