In our news wrap Thursday, President Trump says everything is set for his summit next week with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. He said the summit will be "more than a photo op" -- but that he doesn't think he needs to prepare very much. Also, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced a week-long cease-fire with the Taliban.
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President Trump says everything is set for his summit next week with North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-Un. The president met today with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He said the summit with Kim will be more than a photo-op, but added that doesn't mean he will spend hours studying for it.
President Donald Trump:
I don't think I have to prepare very much. It's about attitude. It's about willingness to get things done. But I think I have been preparing for the summit for a long time, as has the other side.
They have been preparing for a long time also. So, this is not a question of preparation. It's a question of whether or not people want it to happen.
The president also said he will walk away if the summit in Singapore doesn't go well. But if it does, he said, he would certainly invite Kim to visit the United States. Today's meeting came before the U.S., Japan and other Group of Seven nations gather in Quebec, Canada, this weekend. We will have a preview of that meeting after the news summary.
In Afghanistan, President Ashraf Ghani announced a week-long cease-fire with the Taliban. It coincides with the holiday marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. It also follows a string of attacks by Taliban and Islamic State militants. The cease-fire applies only to the Taliban.
In Iraq's capital, Baghdad, at least 18 people died overnight, when a weapons depot exploded inside a Shiite mosque. The blast also wounded 38 people. Iraqi officials launched an investigation into illegal stockpiling of weapons by Shiite militias.
Meanwhile, Iraqi officials launched a recount in last month's election amid complaints of rampant fraud.
NATO defense ministers rolled out new military plans today to deter Russian aggression. Defense ministers from the alliance met in Brussels and agreed to a system of rapid-fire reinforcements across Europe. It's to be ready by 2020.
Meanwhile, during a call-in show in Moscow, Russia's President Vladimir Putin argued that his country is no threat to the West.
Vladimir Putin (through translator):
We must defend our interests and do it consequently, not in a rude manner, but still defend our interests in economy and security. We did it, and we will continue doing it. But we always look for a compromise. We aim at having a compromise.
Putin said the U.S. and its allies must come to realize that sanctions on Russia are ineffective and harmful to all.
The U.S. Commerce Department is lifting a ban on letting Chinese telecom giant ZTE buy American parts. The ban was imposed for violating sanctions on Iran and North Korea, and it threatened to put the company out of business. Instead, ZTE will have to pay a $1 billion fine and hire U.S. compliance officers.
There's word that suicide rates rose in nearly every state in the nation between 1999 and 2016. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 25 states saw increases of more than 30 percent. As a group, middle-aged adults had the largest percentage increase. Suicide is the nation's 10th leading cause of death, with nearly 45,000 in 2016.
Nearly 200 congressional Democrats asked a federal judge today to hear their lawsuit against President Trump. They say he's violating the Constitution's Emoluments Clause when his businesses accept payments and benefits from foreign nations. At issue today was whether they have the legal standing to file the suit.
And Wall Street had an up-and-down day. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 95 points to close at 25241. But the Nasdaq fell 54 points, and the S&P 500 slipped two.
Still to come on the "NewsHour," ahead of the G7 summit, the U.S. faces harsh criticism from its allies over trade; former President Bill Clinton speaks candidly about Monica Lewinsky; one on one with the former CIA Director John Brennan; and much more.