Apr 17, 2017

Kremlin TV on Trump, then and now

Andrew Harnik / AP

The shift from reasonable Trump to dangerous Trump is well underway in the Russian media, as demonstrated nicely by this pair of comments from Russian journalist Dmitry Kiselev, who heads the Kremlin-backed Rossiya Segodnya (which isn't the same thing as RT):

  • September 2016: "Trump's leading in the race. His ability to state things as they are, and his intention to end the recent extreme Russian-American tensions — all this puts him in a very risky situation. Now they may just kill him."
  • April 2017: "The world is a hair's breadth from nuclear war... War can break out as a result of confrontation between two personalities; Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un. Both are dangerous, but who is more dangerous? Trump is."

Why it matters: This is a good, albeit imperfect, way to see what Putin is thinking. As a Kremlin spokesman said of Kiselev, "His position is close, but not every time."

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Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 75,465 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

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SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.