New York Times

North Korea, Gaza, Gina Haspel: Your Tuesday Evening Briefing

North Korea, Gaza, Gina Haspel: Your Tuesday Evening Briefing

By Karen Zraick and Virginia Lozano

(Want to get this briefing by email? Here’s the sign-up.)

Good evening. Here’s the latest.

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CreditPool photo by Korea Summit Press

1. In a sudden move, North Korea pulled out of high-level talks with South Korea — and warned that Kim Jong-un’s meeting with President Trump next month could be in jeopardy.

The North was protesting a joint South Korean-U.S. Air Force drill, and informed the South of the decision in a phone call shortly after midnight local time. The news injected sudden tension and uncertainty into what had been months of warming relations on the Korean Peninsula. Above, Mr. Kim, left, with President Moon Jae-in of South Korea last month.

The State Department said the U.S. had no information about the postponement and would move forward with its planning for the historic meeting. Check back for updates on this developing story.

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CreditTom Brenner/The New York Times

2. The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, announced that he would support President Trump’s nominee to lead the C.I.A., Gina Haspel, above.

In a letter to Mr. Warner, Ms. Haspel wrote that the agency should not have undertaken its “enhanced interrogation” program, widely considered torture, after the Sept. 11 attacks. (She avoided making such a statement at her confirmation hearing.) Ms. Haspel is likely to be confirmed by the full Senate this week.

Separately, we learned the identity of the suspect in the biggest data breach in the C.I.A.’s history. A trove of documents about the agency’s hacking tools was given to WikiLeaks, which released them last year. The suspect is Joshua Schulte, a 29-year-old former C.I.A. software engineer. But he hasn’t been charged in the hacking; instead, he’s being held on child pornography charges.

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CreditSpencer Platt/Getty Images

3. Gazans faced a grim agenda on Tuesday: funerals for protesters killed along the fence bordering Israel, and frenzied work treating the thousands of wounded. The protests resumed, but on a smaller scale, and were met with tear gas, above.

Our video journalists rode with paramedics rescuing protesters shot by Israeli troops. They saw “a constant stream of stretchers.”

A Hamas commander, Muhammad Haniya, said the protests would continue. And he warned that the group could return to violence if Israel did not ease its 11-year blockade of the territory.

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CreditRuth Fremson/The New York Times

4. Voters in Idaho, Nebraska, Oregon and Pennsylvania went to the polls for primary elections. We’ll have live results as they come in.

Above, signs for candidates in Eagle, Idaho. When we visited Boise recently, political analysts pointed to some local positions that were competitive for the first time in recent history. Read what the residents had to say here.

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CreditStephen Lam/Reuters

5. For the first time, Facebook has disclosed data on what type of content it removes and why. Above, its chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg.

The company said that it had increased its efforts to flag inappropriate posts, and that it deleted more than 800 million posts in the first quarter of 2018. The vast majority were spam, and others were related to nudity, graphic violence, hate speech and terrorism, it said.

Elsewhere in the tech world, Uber said it was eliminating forced arbitration agreements for employees, riders and drivers who make sexual misconduct claims against the ride-hailing company. Customers can take those claims to court.

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CreditAnne-Christine Poujoulat/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

6. The Cannes Film Festival — the world’s most prestigious — is reckoning with the fallout from the #MeToo movement.

This year there is a sexual harassment hotline, fliers warning against misconduct, and a predominantly female jury. On Saturday, top actresses and directors rallied on the red carpet, above.

But not everything can change overnight. The festival is still a sexually charged atmosphere. And of the 21 films vying for the top prize, the Palme d’Or, programmers picked only three directed by women.

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CreditRyan Christopher Jones for The New York Times

7. So-called biohackers across the country are taking gene editing into their own hands.

As the equipment becomes cheaper and the expertise more widely shared, citizen-scientists are trying to re-engineer DNA in surprising ways. Until now, the work has amounted to little more than D.I.Y. misfires. But that could change all too quickly.

After a virus was created from mail-order DNA, scientists are sounding the alarm about the genetic tinkering in garages and living rooms. The most pressing worry is that someone might use the spreading technology to create a biological weapon.

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CreditMatt Dunham/Associated Press

8. For months, the British tabloids have been treating the family of Meghan Markle, the American actress who is to marry Prince Harry on Saturday, like the stars of a reality show: The Real Dysfunctional Families of America.

This week, the focus is on her 73-year-old father, a retiree who lives by himself in Mexico. There are many reports, at times conflicting and generally unverified: He staged photos of himself that circulated online this week. He is too embarrassed to attend the ceremony. He wants to go, but is having chest pain.

If he does not attend, Ms. Markle’s mother, who has studiously avoided the media, may end up walking her down the aisle. (Here’s our guide to the royal wedding.)

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CreditRobert Caplin for The New York Times

9. Tom Wolfe, the innovative journalist and author of “The Right Stuff” and “Bonfire of the Vanities,” has died at 88.

He had a pitiless eye and a penchant for spotting trends and then giving them names, some of which — like “Radical Chic” and “the Me Decade” — became American idioms. And he was a pioneer of an influential hybrid of novelistic technique with nonfiction reporting that became known as the New Journalism.

He was known for his attire, too: bright suits, silk shirts and a handkerchief peeking from his pocket. Once asked to describe his get-up, Mr. Wolfe replied brightly, “Neo-pretentious.”

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CreditJohannes Eisele/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

10. Finally, Stephen Colbert found himself stunned by a tweet from President Trump over the weekend.

Mr. Trump had announced that he would help get the Chinese tech company ZTE back in business. He said that too many jobs had been lost in China, which was striking since he had previously accused China of “jobs theft.” (Above, the company’s logo on a building in Shanghai.)

“I can’t wait for his next tweet,” Mr. Colbert said. “‘Have you heard about all the problems in Mexico? We’ve got to let these good people into our country. Build the ramp!’”

Have a great night.

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