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Trump admin's new strategy for dealing with North Korea

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

An emergency funding request of $4 billion dollars sent to Congress last week shows a new interest from the Trump administration in dealing with the North Korean nuclear threat; it wants to stop nuclear weapons from flying before they even really get started, the NYT reports. This would interfere with control systems in the North or shoot them down just after liftoff.

Why it matters: Other methods of intercepting North Korean missiles only work about half the time — and that's only in test situations.

The challenge: Even if we develop this kind of defense, the risk is that the phase is so short (about a minute or so), that the U.S. probably wouldn't be able to reach the missile in time, and if we falsely detect a nuclear launch — but it's actually just a test — we risk provoking North Korean retaliation.

Go deeper: How the U.S. is prepared to handle the North.

Mike Allen 21 mins ago
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Why Trump added a streetfighter to his legal team

Screenshot via Fox News

A new addition to President Trump's legal team — Joe diGenova, a former U.S. attorney who is well-known in Washington and has argued for the president on Fox News — reflects three White House realities.

The state of play: (1) The White House is digging in for a fight that looks to be longer and messier than officials had expected. (2) This is another example of the president responding to televised cues. Trump has spent most of his adult life in litigation, and obsesses about legal positioning in the same way that he is consumed by his press coverage. (3) It's another pugilistic voice at the table, and suggests that this weekend's attacks on Mueller won't be the last.

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Facebook reaches a tipping point

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios 

Of all the news crises Facebook has faced during the past year, the Cambridge Analytica scandal is playing out to be the worst and most damaging.

Why it matters: It's not that the reports reveal anything particularly new about how Facebook's back end works — developers have understood the vulnerabilities of Facebook's interface for years. But stakeholders crucial to the company's success — as well as the public seem less willing to listen to its side of the story this time around.