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Photo: Xinhua/Lu Rui via Getty Images

President Trump said early Thursday North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un "felt very badly" about the death of Otto Warmbier and only learned of what happened to the U.S. student afterward.

Details: Trump said after his summit with Kim he took him "at his word" when asked about Warmbier, who was allegedly tortured by North Korean officials while in prison for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster. Warmbier died after he was returned to the U.S. in 2017 in a vegetative state.

  • “I don't believe that he would have allowed that to happen," Trump said of Kim. "I don’t believe he knew about it. He felt very badly about it, I did speak to him, he knew about it, but he knew about it after ... Big country, a lot of people in those prisons and the camps, there are some bad people."

The big picture: Commentators likened Trump's remarks to previous expressions of admiration for political strongmen including Russia's President Vladimir Putin, Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Go deeper

Instagram's boss faces Congress' questions on harm to teens

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for WIRED

The head of Instagram will find himself in Congress' crosshairs for the first time Wednesday in the one area lawmakers have shown they are willing to pass tech regulations — protecting youngsters online.

Why it matters: Republicans and Democrats have found common ground in grilling tech companies on how their products harm children, especially after revelations in The Wall Street Journal about Instagram's potential harm to the mental health of teen girls.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
1 hour ago - Health

Experts fear a bad flu season on top of COVID

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Public health officials are warning that the U.S. may be on the verge of a dangerous double whammy: COVID and flu, spreading simultaneously.

The big picture: The Delta variant is still circulating across the U.S., and the Omicron variant isn't far behind. On top of that, experts see potential warning signs of a bad flu season, which could leave millions of Americans vulnerable and strain health care resources.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Australia joins U.S. in diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Photo: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Australia is joining the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games in protest of human rights abuses committed by China's government, Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed Wednesday.

Driving the news: After the Biden administration's announcement that U.S. officials won't attend the Games due to the ongoing genocide of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region of China, Morrison said at a Sydney briefing that Australia would follow suit as "it's the right thing to do."