MAY I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE
North Korea spent its weekend trying to get the US's attention.
Did it succeed?
Yes. Reminder: since last year, the US and North Korea have been trying to hammer out a deal. The gist: that North Korea would end its nuclear weapons program in exchange for sanctions relief. But talks have stalled in recent weeks. And with North Korea's economy struggling, leader Kim Jong Un wants sanctions over with. Enter: the threats.
Last week, North Korea warned the US of a potential "Christmas gift" if it doesn't see progress on negotiations. Then, over the weekend North Korea's UN ambassador said 'new thing': denuclearization is now off the table. Oh, and the country confirmed it had carried out a test.
What kind of a test?
It's not clear. But it happened at a missile site North Korea promised it would dismantle. Some analysts think it could've been a rocket engine test. Whatever it is, experts think it could pave the way for North Korea to launch a satellite or intercontinental ballistic missile within weeks.
I can't imagine Trump is happy...
Doesn't look like it. He's warning Kim not to throw away what they have. Reminder: while the two started out calling each other names, they've ultimately built the foundation for what they call a "special relationship." Now, Trump says one wrong move from Kim could unravel all of that.
Trump has been eager to preserve the idea that simply speaking with North Korea counts as a foreign policy win. But while that arrangement seemed to work for Kim at first, last year's historic photo-op only took him so far. Now, with little sacrificed, Kim's able to go back to doing what he does: threatening the US. Square, meet one.
What people are thinking about…
Florida. Last week, a gunman opened fire at a naval base in Pensacola, killing three sailors and injuring eight others in the second deadly attack on a US Navy base within a week. The shooter – who was later killed by a sheriff's deputy – was an aviation student who'd been serving on the Royal Saudi Air Force. He was in the US as part of a foreign military training program. Now, the FBI is investigating the shooting as an act of terrorism.
Reexamining: The attack is raising questions about US-Saudi relations. King Salman said the shooter "in no way shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people." And the kingdom said it's cooperating with the FBI's investigation. But President Trump said he would review the policies on foreign military training in the US.
What's not competing for a while…
Russia. Today, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned the country from major international competitions for doping offenses. The ban is for four years and will keep Russia from next summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo and the Qatar 2022 World Cup. Russia has 21 days to appeal the decision.
Where you've been seeing protest signs…
France. Last week, it experienced one of the largest protests in years over changes to the country's pension system. The government still said it will move forward with the planned pension reforms but that changes would happen slowly. Meanwhile, as protests continue, France's transportation system has been brought to a standstill.
Hong Kong. Yesterday, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to hold one of the largest peaceful marches in weeks. Reminder: Pro-democracy protesters have been demonstrating since June in part over the territory's relationship with China. Now, this latest protest shows enthusiasm hasn't gone away, weeks after many took their concerns to the voting booths.
Who people are remembering...
Caroll Spinney. Yesterday, the man known for bringing Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch to life on "Sesame Street" passed away at age 85. Before his death, Spinney had been living with dystonia, which causes involuntary muscle contractions. He'd retired from puppeteering last year but still voiced the two characters. As Sesame Workshop put it, Spinney and his characters "gave something truly special to the world." RIP.
Juice WRLD. Yesterday, "Lucid Dreams" rapper Jarad Anthony Higgins passed away after suffering a medical emergency. The rapper had celebrated his 21st birthday last week and was named Top New Artist at the Billboard Music Awards earlier this year. His record label said he "made a profound impact on the world in such a short period of time." RIP.
When you're not feeling this whole workout thing...
Have a drink instead.