May 18, 2018

U.S. scrapped plans for B-52 bomber exercise following North Korea threat

B-52 bomber aircraft in flight over southern England. Photo: myLoupe/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Following North Korea's stark objection to joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises earlier this week, CNN is reporting that the U.S., South Korea and Japan all agreed to change a scheduled flight of "at least two nuclear-capable B-52 bombers so they would not fly over the Korean Peninsula," citing to two U.S. defense officials.

Why it matters: The move, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, follows numerous statements from the U.S. military and Trump administration that the U.S. is maintaining military pressure in the region until denuclearization is achieved. The change is reportedly an effort to ease tensions between the U.S. and North Korea after Kim Jong-un threatened to cancel the summit with Trump planned for next month, and effectively canceled talks with South Korea scheduled for this past Wednesday.

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Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

7 hours ago - World

The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.

New York Times says Tom Cotton op-ed did not meet standards

Photo: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A New York Times spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the paper will be changing its editorial board processes after a Wednesday op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), which called for President Trump to "send in the troops" in order to quell violent protests, failed to meet its standards.

Why it matters: The shift comes after Times employees began a coordinated movement on social media on Wednesday and Thursday that argued that publishing the op-ed put black staff in danger. Cotton wrote that Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the U.S. military against rioters that have overwhelmed police forces in cities across the country.