Jun 20, 2017

Trump: China's effort "has not worked out" on North Korea

Several White House officials, including Sean Spicer, stated the Trump administration will continue to put pressure on China in an effort to retaliate against Kim Jong-Un's regime following the death of Otto Warmbier. But the president seemed to dismiss those notions on Twitter Tuesday, writing that their efforts haven't worked out:

Why it matters: The Trump administration has looked to China in recent months to ramp up its aggression toward North Korea. But Trump's latest tweet suggests the WH may be switching gears now, and planning to deal with North Korea more directly.

A word of caution: Axios' Jonathan Swan writes that it's possible, even likely, that rather than abandoning his previous approach, Trump is publicly shaming Xi for his lack of success in changing North Korea's behavior and giving him one last chance to fix the situation.

Timing: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis are set to meet with their Chinese counterparts later this week.

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South Korea and Italy step up measures as coronavirus cases spike

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.

The novel coronavirus has spread to more nations as South Korea and Italy in particular scramble to deal with spikes in their countries.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed at least 2,446 people and infected almost 79,000 others, mostly in mainland China. South Korean President Moon Jae-said country would increase its infectious disease alert to red, the highest level possible, the New York Times reports, as the number of cases in the country soared to 556 and the death toll to five. Italy's government announced emergency measures Sunday after infections rose to 79.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 10 mins ago - Health

Bernie Sanders wins Nevada caucus

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders waves to supporters at a campaign rally on Friday in Las Vegas. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders is projected to handily win the Nevada Democratic primary caucus, becoming the clear frontrunner among 2020 Democratic presidential primary election candidates.

Why it matters: Nevada is the first state with a diverse population to hold a nominating contest, highlighting candidates' abilities to connect with voters of color — particularly Latino voters.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 36 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Heat wave melts 20% of snow cover from Antarctic island in days

The effects of February's record heat wave on Eagle Island in Antarctica. Photo: NASA

Antarctica's Eagle Island now has a side that's almost ice-free following this month's searing heat wave in the region, images released by NASA show.

Why it maters: "The warm spell caused widespread melting on nearby glaciers," NASA said in its report. It's the third major melt event of the 2019-2020 Southern Hemisphere summer, following warm spells in January and last November, according to the United Nation's World Meteorological Organization (WMO).