(Moscow-AP) – Russia is confirming that five members of its state nuclear agency, Rosatom, died during an accident at a military site on Thursday.
The agency says three others were seriously burned while supporting testing of a isotope power source for a rocket engine. Administrators in a nearby city reported a short spike in radiation, which they say returned to normal after less than an hour.
Reuters reports some U.S.-based nuclear experts think Russia was testing a nuclear-powered cruise missile.
(Vladivostok, Russia-AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says the future of peace on the Korean Peninsula depends on the attitude of the U.S.
North Korean state media reports that during his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kim blamed the U.S. for acting in “bad faith” at the failed second summit between Kim and President Trump. Kim described the situation on the Korean Peninsula as being at a standstill since the February meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The North Korean leader also looked forward to meeting with Putin again and invited him to visit North Korea.
(Washington, DC-AP) — President Trump is reported to have taken steps to keep his meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin secret even from his own administration.
The Washington Post reported over the weekend that Trump took the notes from his translator after a 2017 meeting in Germany and told the linguist not to inform members of the government or other U.S. officials what they talked about. Other government officials learned of that after they asked the linguist for information on the meeting. Details of presidential meetings with other heads of state are usually shared across the government to coordinate policy and message.
Officials told the Post that there are no such records of the five face-to-face meetings Trump has had with Putin during the past two years.
(AP) – Time magazine is set to unveil its Person of the Year tomorrow morning. Today, the magazine released its shortlist of top ten contenders for the annual honor. Among them is President Trump, who was the Person of the Year in 2016. Several of the other top candidates are linked to Trump, including Special Counsel Robert Mueller. He’s investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election and any links between Russia and the Trump campaign. He was a top contender for Person of the Year last year. Time is also considering honoring the illegal immigrant families who were separated as part of a “zero tolerance” immigration policy.
Christine Blasey Ford is also on the list for coming forward with sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court confirmation process. Also in the running is murdered Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi the March for Our Lives gun control activists, Black Panther director Ryan Coogler, Russian President Vladimir Putin, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Meghan Markle.
(New York, NY) – Protesters took to Times Square in what they’re calling a campaign to “confront corruption.” Organizers say the rally highlighted the “corruption of the American government by the President, his associates and many in his party.” People in Times Square were holding signs including “Traitor Trump” and “Dump Trump.”
The rally came after President Trump held a press conference with Russian President Vladamir Putin. Trump appeared to side with Putin’s claim that Russia didn’t try to influence the election. But he’s since walked back his remarks, saying he believes the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia is responsible.
(Turnberry, UK) – Protesters are joining President Trump on the golf course. About a dozen protesters gathered outside Trump’s Scottish golf resort in Turnberry where the President and First lady are spending the weekend. Trump seemed unfazed as demonstrators on the beach booed while he golfed. More protests took place across Scotland Saturday, including one in Edinburgh featuring the Trump Baby balloon that drew nearly ten-thousand people. Meanwhile, Scottish Police say they are investigating how a paraglider was able to fly close to the resort yesterday with a banner that read, “Trump: Well below par.”
Trump arrived in Scotland Friday after meeting Queen Elizabeth and British Prime Minister Theresa May. He’ll head to Finland to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday.
(Washington, DC) – A dozen Russian intelligence agents are being charged for attempting to influence the 2016 presidential election. Today, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said the Russians hacked the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Despite the indictments, the White House insists that there was no collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Administrators are pointing to the indictment as further proof that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow. White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said there’s no evidence that any votes were changed because of the activities. She also said there’s nothing in the indictments suggesting collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. Russian agents allegedly hacked Democratic officials in an effort to influence the election.
U.S. Senator John McCain spoke out saying, “These revelations add to a body of evidence confirming an extensive plot by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government to attack the 2016 election.” McCain is urging the President to confront Putin. Trump claimed during a press conference in London that he planned on ‘asking’ Putin about the charge but said he doubts the Russian leader will admit to anything.
(Pyongyang) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is planning a trip to Pyongyang to meet with North Korean lead Kim Jong Un. North Korean state media Sunday reported the planned meeting, which comes after Assad received the credentials of the North Korean ambassador to Syria.
The U.N. has accused North Korea of working with Syria on chemical weapons, something both nations deny. Depending on when the meeting takes place, it could be the first time Kim publicly meets with a foreign head of state in Pyongyang since taking power in 2011. A planned summit between Kim and President Trump is set for June 12th in Singapore.
In related news, the White House is in the early stages of organizing a summit between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. “The Wall Street Journal” reported that the effort aims at resolving differences about nuclear weapons, Syria and Ukraine.
U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman has reportedly been working for months to make the meeting happen. The two leaders have met twice before during other international gatherings.
(Ukraine) – A Russian journalist showed up at a news conference today in Ukraine the day after he was reportedly assassinated. It appears to be all part of a plot on the part of the Ukrainian security service.
Arkady Babchenko, along with the police agency, faked his own death in an effort to catch the people who were making death threats against him. Police reported yesterday that the Kremlin critic and veteran Russian war correspondent had been shot three times and died on his way to the hospital.
The plot had reportedly been in the works for nearly two months and even Babchenko’s family didn’t know about it. Police did make one arrest in connection with the covert operation.
(Washington, DC) – Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. is warning that there will be consequences for the U.S.-led military strikes on Syria. Ambassador Anatoly Antonov called the strikes an insult to Russian president Vladimir Putin, and said insulting the president of Russia is unacceptable and inadmissible. Antonov said Friday that the U.S. has the biggest arsenal of chemical weapons and has no moral right to blame other countries. He said Russia is being threatened by the strikes, and that “such actions will not be left without consequences.”
On Saturday, Russian lawmaker Vladimir Dzhabarov said Russia was likely to call for a meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss U.S., British and French air strikes on Syria. The lawmaker told Russian news, “the situation is being analyzed right now.”