(CNN)Another day, another...nuclear test? That's how you know North Korea is in the news. Here's what 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.)
5 things for Thursday, April 13: North Korea, Syria, Trump
We might be looking at yet another nuclear test from North Korea soon. North Korean monitoring service 38 North says the country's Punggye-ri nuclear site is "primed and ready" for a sixth test. Add that to the fact Japan recently said North Korea may be capable of delivering missiles with sarin gas (the same gas believed to be used in that horrible attack in Syria last), and it's a recipe for problems.
While we're talking about North Korea, the naval battle group the US has sent to the Korean Peninsula and President Trump's strong rhetoric against the country have actually fueled the North Korean propaganda machine. It looks like each side is bracing for an act of aggression from the other.
Speaking of sarin gas, the US now has more evidence as to who was responsible for the sarin attack in Idlib last week that killed at least 70 people. According to a senior US official, the US military and intelligence community has intercepted communications featuring Syrian military and chemical experts talking about preparations for the attack.
Now, that doesn't mean the US knew about the attack beforehand, and it also doesn't point to Russia being complicit in it, which is another major point of contention here. US officials have said there's "no doubt" the Syrian government was behind the attack, but since sarin is so controversial and illegal, confirming the whole thing is a delicate matter.
With North Korea, Syria and consequently Russia high in the political narrative, President Trump appears to be re-negotiating his stance on, well, a lot of it. His administration appeared to accept the reality that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may stay in power, but then Trump called him a "butcher." He has needled China over doing something about North Korea, but also praised the country's president Xi Jinping saying he was sure Xi would be up to the task. Trump has seemed to cool on his views of a better relationship with Russia. He now says they're at an "all-time low." Most notably, NATO, he believes, is "no longer obsolete." What's the reason for the about-faces? "Circumstances change," Press Secretary Sean Spicer said.
Unrest in Venezuela reached a fever pitch at a parade meant to celebrate the country's independence. Violent protests disrupted the festivities, where President Nicolas Maduro was in attendance. Maduro, who has weathered threats of impeachment and calls for his resignation, is only part of the woes plaguing the Venezuelan people. The country is also experiencing an economic crisis, which has led to to a food and medicine shortage. At least four people have been killed and hundreds injured in the wave of violent protests that have rocked the country since the beginning of the month.
Sheila Abdus-Salaam, the first African-American woman appointed to the New York Court of Appeals, was found dead in the Hudson River yesterday. The incident is under investigation and the cause of death is not yet known. Her passing sparked mourning among politicians in New York and beyond. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called her a "trailblazing jurist and a force for good." Abdus-Salaam's death came the same week a prominent Chicago judge was killed outside his home Monday. A suspect in that case has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Judge Raymond Myles.
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Here's what's happening later today
Attorneys and family for David Dao, the man forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight, will hold a news conference in Chicago at 11 a.m. ET.
No, you're not seeing things
Combine paint and some talent, and you've got a fairly lifelike ladybug. (Click to view)