Aug 11, 2017

Trump's North Korea struggle: figuring out his role

Evan Vucci / AP

The L.A. Times' David Lauter writes about Trump's North Korea struggle "as chief executive and the role he often seems to prefer as the country's highest-profile TV and Internet commentator."

  • "Despite Trump's blustery warning of 'fire and fury,' which he amplified further in comments to reporters [yesterday: 'If anything, maybe that statement wasn't tough enough'], warships are not known to be moving toward the Korean peninsula."
  • "The U.S. has not reinforced troop levels in South Korea ... U.S. dependents have not been ordered out."
  • "Instead, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Americans should 'sleep well at night' ... Defense Secretary James N. Mattis emphasized diplomacy."
  • Why it matters: "On major issues — healthcare, trade, taxes — as well as on more specific questions such as whether transgender Americans may serve in the military, Trump has made declarations that the rest of the administration and Congress have often ignored or sidetracked."

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Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

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. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 75,465 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 6 hours ago - Health

SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.