02:00 - Source: CNN
North Korean official reportedly heading to US
CNN —  

Here’s what you need to know to Start Your Week Smart.

1. Mueller

After days of waiting, it’s here. Devastating winds and rain from Florence hit the Carolinas today. The Category 2 hurricane now has maximum sustained winds of 110 mph and is about 200 miles southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina. At this point, it looks like Florence’s center will be somewhere over the Carolina coasts late tonight or tomorrow. And as it moves inland, people in Georgia, Virginia and Maryland need to stay alert. The big concern remains that Florence will stall, pounding the region with nonstop rain, catastrophic winds and potentially deadly flooding for days. One of five huge threats is storm surge, possibly as high as 13 feet. And there are six nuclear power plants in Florence’s projected path – but not everyone thinks they can withstand it.

2. North Korea

05:01 - Source: CNN
Kim Jong Un reaffirms denuclearization push

The escalating clergy sex abuse scandal that’s raging within the church prompts Pope Francis to call an unprecedented meeting. The Pope will meet the presidents of the Catholic bishops conferences from around the world in February at the Vatican. Francis has come under withering criticism for his handling of the crisis (and his poll numbers have nosedived). A meeting between the Pope and leaders of the US church on the crisis is set for today.

3. Europe heat wave

01:38 - Source: WSPA
2 journalists killed while covering Alberto

President Trump signed an executive order that intends to punish foreign entities for meddling in US elections. The order lets the director of national intelligence identify groups responsible for election interference and direct the Treasury Department to apply sanctions. This order aims to hit more than just the Russians. But Democrats and Republicans criticized it as insufficient and want to see mandatory sanctions instead.

4. Border Patrol

01:16 - Source: CNN
Why is Starbucks training only U.S. workers on bias?
03:06 - Source: CNN
Trump officials defend separating families at the border

Italian politics

By the way, did you know Italy has been effectively without a government since an election in March resulted in a hung parliament? Now, the country is facing a constitutional crisis after President Sergio Mattarella rejected Prime Minister-designate Giuseppe Conte’s appointed finance minister, Paolo Savona. The President is pro-European Union, while the rejected finance minister is a populist EU skeptic. To deal with the crisis, Mattarella has nominated Carlo Cottarelli, a former official at the International Monetary Fund, to form an interim government since Conte has given up on the task.  

TODAY’S QUOTE

01:52 - Source: CNN
Mattarella sparks outrage with PM nomination

Mamoudou Gassama, a Malian migrant in Paris who scaled an apartment building to save a child dangling from a balcony. His stunning rescue effort has earned him praise, a job offer and even French citizenship.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

01:48 - Source: CNN
Man scales building to save dangling child

People are talking about these. Read up. Join in.

Teacher receives letter from Trump, returns it with grammar corrections.
And now we’re all experiencing painful middle school flashbacks.

Europe is proposing a ban on plastic cutlery, straws and more.
It’s part of a long game to help reduce waste and increase cleanup efforts.

The NBA finals are set and it’s … the Golden State Warriors vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers – for the fourth year in a row.
Maybe basketball is just showing a bunch of reruns and no one’s noticed.

Man attacks “Ivan the Terrible” painting in Moscow museum.
This may come as a shock, but the man reportedly was drunk.

A junior ROTC member paid his respects to POW-MIAs, and a baseball fan followed suit.
We’re loving this powerful Memorial Day image from Monday.

Atlanta Braves/Twitter

TODAY’S NUMBER

20,000

The number of House Republicans who are retiring, resigning or have announced plans to run for another office ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. Will that be a problem for the GOP come November? It’s too early to tell. 

AND FINALLY

It’s time to cleanse your soul 

Having a Monday kind of morning even though it’s a Tuesday? Let this balancing budgie bring you peace. (Click to view.