Apr 25, 2019

Report: North Korea billed U.S. $2 million before returning Otto Warmbier

Otto Warmbier in Pyongyang on Feb. 29, 2016. Photo: Xinhua/Lu Rui via Getty Images

North Korea issued the U.S. a $2 million hospital bill before releasing then-comatose American student Otto Warmbier, according to 2 anonymous sources familiar with the situation who spoke to the Washington Post's Anna Fifield.

The bottom line: President Trump reportedly ordered a U.S. envoy tasked with retrieving Warmbier to sign an agreement to pay the medical bill, but it remains unclear if the administration actually paid it, or if it was a matter of discussion during the 2 summits between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The bill reportedly remained with the Treasury Department through 2017.

The backdrop: Warmbier was detained in North Korea for 17 months and died in 2017 shortly after being flown back to the U.S. in a comatose state. North Korea attributed Warmbier's poor health and subsequent death to botulism, but doctors found no evidence to corroborate those claims. A federal judge ordered North Korea to pay Warmbier's family $501 million in a wrongful death lawsuit last year.

  • The Warmbiers have said they hold Kim responsible for the death of their son, but earlier this year, Trump said he takes the North Korean leader "at his word" when asked about incident.
  • The White House declined to comment on this story, per the Post.

Go deeper: Otto Warmbier dies after detainment in North Korea

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Mass shooting in Milwaukee: What we know

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2012. Photo: John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images

Six people died in a shooting at the Molson Coors Brewing Company in Milwaukee on Wednesday, including the gunman, Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters at a Wednesday evening press conference with local police.

Details: All of the victims worked at the brewery complex, as did the shooter who died of "an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound," police confirmed in a statement late Wednesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus updates: South Korea case count tops 2,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

33 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus, and health officials are monitoring 8,400 people who have recently returned from "points of concern," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,850 people and infected over 83,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Syria's darkest chapter

Family room without a family, in Idlib. Photo: Muhammed Said/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The worst humanitarian crisis of Syria’s brutal civil war is colliding today with what could be the war’s most dangerous geopolitical showdown, after at least 29 Turkish troops were killed in an airstrike.

The big picture: The fighting is taking place in Idlib in northwest Syria, where a ferocious Syrian and Russian offensive has displaced 1 million civilians and infuriated Turkey, which borders the region.

Go deeperArrow4 hours ago - World