Skyline of Seoul, from a helicopter carrying Joint Chiefs Chairman Dunford. Photo: Andrew Harnik / AP

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon that there are military options for North Korea that don't put Seoul, South Korea's capital, at risk, NBC News' Hans Nichols reports. Mattis added he would "not go into details" but that there are "many military options in concert with our allies."

North Korea has artillery aimed at Seoul, just 35 miles away, meaning an attack on North Korea is likely to put the city of 10+ million people under threat of imminent military attack. It's hard to imagine a plan that completely removes that threat, but that seems to be what Mattis is suggesting.

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Supreme Court won't block Rhode Island's eased absentee voting rules

Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

The Supreme Court said Thursday that it will not block Rhode Island's move to ease its requirements for absentee voting during November's election.

Why it matters: The decision is a loss for Republicans, who had requested an emergency order as the state is expected to begin mailing out its ballots.

Breaking down Uber and Lyft's threat to suspend services in California

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Uber and Lyft are ratcheting up the fight with California’s state government over the classification of drivers with a move that would deprive Californians of their ride-hailing services (and halt driver income).

Driving the news: On Wednesday, both companies said that if a court doesn’t overturn or further pause a new ruling forcing them to reclassify California drivers as employees, they’ll suspend their services in the state until November’s election, when voters could potentially exempt them by passing a ballot measure.

Trump announces normalization of ties between Israel and UAE

Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu, Trump and UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto; Samuel Corum; Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump announced a "historic" deal Thursday which will see Israel and the UAE open full diplomatic relations and Israel suspend its annexation plans in the West Bank.

Why it matters: This is a major breakthrough for Israel, which lacks diplomatic recognition in many Middle Eastern countries but has been steadily improving relations in the Gulf, largely due to mutual antipathy toward Iran.