Jun 3, 2018

Report: Syria's Assad plans to visit North Korea's Kim Jong-un

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Photo: Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad plans to make a state visit to Pyongyang, reports Reuters, citing a Sunday report by the North Korea's state news agency. The report didn't offer a timeline when he will do so.

Why it matters: It would be the first time North Korean leader Kim Jong-un would host a head of state since he assumed power in 2011, and comes amid several other meetings with world leaders.

The backdrop: Kim has now met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on a few different occasions, and secretly met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in March. And his widely anticipated summit with President Trump in Singapore on June 12 is back on.

“The Syrian government will as ever fully support all policies and measures of the DPRK leadership and invariably strengthen and develop the friendly ties with the DPRK.”
— Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on May 30, according to North Korea’s KCNA news agency

Flashback: In February, United Nations monitors accused North Korea of shipping supplies to Syria that could be used for chemical weapons production.

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Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers as South Korean cases surge

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's

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.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,100 people and infected over 75,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 114 new deaths since Wednesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health

Massive MGM data breach: Guests' personal details posted on hacking site

The MGM Grand hotel in Las Vegas. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

An MGM Resorts security breach last summer resulted in the personal details of 10.6 million guests published on a hacking forum this week, ZDNet first reported Wednesday.

Why it matters: Federal government employees and high-profile guests were affected by the breach, according to analysis by data breach monitoring service Under the Bridge and ZDNet — including officials from the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Microsoft staffers and singer Justin Bieber.

George Zimmerman sues Buttigieg and Warren for $265M

George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, in November 2013. Photo: Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images

George Zimmerman filed a lawsuit in Polk County, Fla., seeking $265 million in damages from Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren, accusing them of defaming him to "garner votes in the black community."

Context: Neither the Massachusetts senator nor the former Southbend mayor tweeted his name in the Feb. 5 posts on what would've been the 25th birthday of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teen Zimmerman fatally shot in 2012. But Zimmerman alleges they "acted with actual malice" to defame him.