It’s Friday, and here are five things to know for your New Day.
Thousands of people gathered for a candlelit vigil at the University of Virginia, as Charlottesville – and the nation – try to understand the chaos and tragic deaths tied to a white nationalist rally. It came as President Trump remained defiant following his comments that “both sides” – white nationalists and their opponents – are to blame for heightened tensions at the rally and elsewhere.
And fallout from Trump’s remarks is still reverberating. A few more CEOs left the President’s business councils before he shut them down. A former CIA chief called Trump’s comments “dangerous,” and top White House aide Steve Bannon, a self-described economic nationalist, reportedly called white nationalists “clowns”; meantime, another top aide, first daughter Ivanka Trump, hasn’t commented on what her dad said. In a rare move, top military commanders spoke out about Charlottesville, condemning white nationalists but steering clear of the commander in chief. And now there’s growing concern that Trump’s comments may be making him so radioactive – outside of his base – that it’d be almost impossible for him to govern.
America’s longest war will go on a little longer, but President Trump, in a prime-time address to the nation, didn’t say how much longer that will be. Nor did the President say how many more troops will be sent to Afghanistan, where the US has been fighting for 16 years, sacrificing the lives of thousands of American men and women and spending more than $800 billion. What Trump did say is that the US will “fight to win,” focus on beating back the Taliban and other terrorists groups and not engage in nation-building. Trump campaigned on getting the US out of Afghanistan, but now he’s taking his generals’ advice.
2. Tax reform
South Korea’s President says there’s not going to be war on the Korean peninsula – ever again – if he can help it. Moon Jae-in made his no-war promise during a news conference marking his first 100 days in office. Moon said President Trump promised he’d consult with the South before taking any military action against North Korea. Moon also talked of his own “red line” with the North, saying the North Koreans would cross it if they completed an ICBM and weaponized it with a nuke.
3. Sanctuary cities
There may be a vital new clue in the mystery of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. Newly discovered satellite photos, shot just weeks after the plane disappeared in 2014, show 70 objects drifting in the Indian Ocean near what’s thought to be the crash zone. A report from Australia’s Transport Safety Bureau says some of the objects are “probably man-made,” but it’s hard to tell if they’re plane debris.
It’s not clear what will be done with this discovery, since the official search for MH370 ended in January (though relatives of some of the 239 people on board say they’re planning a private search). Debris confirmed to be from the plane has washed up along the eastern coast of Africa for the past couple of years.
4. Russia investigation
Five crewmen are missing after an Army chopper crashed in Hawaii. The UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter went down during a training exercise a couple of miles off the coast of the island of Oahu. The search is on for the missing crewmen; a debris field was spotted in the water a little more than an hour after communications with the helicopter were lost. The same kind of aircraft crashed in April on a Maryland golf course, killing one one crew member.
5. Frankfurt evacuation
A court has locked up three high-profile activists after they helped organize protests in 2014 that grew into the largest pro-democracy demonstrations the city’s ever seen. Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow were sentenced to about six months in prison. The move comes as a surprise because the men had already completed community service, but the government said that wasn’t enough. The 2014 protests spawned new political parties, including some that are still calling for self-determination or full independence from China.
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Cruising for a bruising
Ethan Hunt can tumble from tall buildings without a scratch in the “Mission: Impossible” movies, but Tom Cruise can’t get by unscathed during filming.
Game of leaks
An unaired episode of “Game of Thrones” got leaked again, but it wasn’t the work of some “dark web” hacker. This time HBO did it, so somebody is so fired.
Here we go, again
Get ready for months of King James drama, as rumors swirl that LeBron James has already decided to leave the Cavs after the end of next season.
Politics are in style in 2017, as the “pussyhats” and the refugee flag were nominated for a major design award.
NUMBERS OF THE DAY
The latest death toll after mudslides devastated parts of Sierra Leone
The number of years NASA’s Voyager probes have been exploring space
AND FINALLY …
You’re a kid, and you want to watch TV at night after everyone’s in bed, but the security camera keeps busting you. So, you do what you gotta do. (Click to view)