Today, the big news is that the U.S. May Launch a Strike If North Korea Reaches For Nuclear Trigger. William M. Arkin, Cynthia McFadden, Courtney Kube, and Kenzi Abou-Sabe all worked on that piece in the New York Times.
Yesterday, the US dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan, and CNN’s Barbara Starr, Ryan J. Browne wrote about it.
There’s also video of the blast right here.
For an account of what a falling bomb is like for the attacked party, Sune Rasmussen at The Guardian writes: 'It felt like the heavens were falling': Afghans reel from MOAB's impact. Stephanie Kirchgaessner adds, “My relatives thought the end of the world had come.”
On the other end of the spectrum, Fox News seemingly loved it. As Matt Gertz tweeted: “Fox host: Dropping MOAB is ‘what freedom looks like, that's the red, white, and blue.’ Geraldo: It's one of my favorite things to watch.”
Elsewhere, Helene Cooper reports at the New York Times that 18 Syrian Fighters Allied With U.S. Are Killed in Coalition Airstrike.
So last president
Binyamin Appelbaum made a "little timeline of Trump's statements on China and currency manipulation.” He adds, “what happened yesterday is just amazing.”
Trump’s got a new favorite Steve, Josh Dawsey and Eliana Johnson tell us in Politico. From their article: “Stephen Miller has managed to endear himself to the man emerging as the president’s most indispensable adviser: son-in-law Jared Kushner.”
Ok but If Trump Fired Bannon, Would He Seek Revenge? - a poignant question, also from Politico.
BuzzFeed says Trump’s Lawyer Can’t Account For $350,000 He Was Accused Of Mishandling. David Mack writes, “Why Trump’s Lawyer Was Sued Over $350,000 He Says He Doesn’t Remember Cashing.” Mark Schoofs correctly used the eyes emoji.
Bradd Jaffy at NBC points out, “Trump has now visited one of his golf clubs on 20% of his days as president so far (17 golf course trips in 84 days).” Charlie Sykes replied: “Being upset over golf outings was so last president.”
In another instance of the president changing his mind about something (or what some might perhaps call “flip-flopping”), Rebecca Ballhaus tweeted: “Trump was opposed to Ex-Im Bank—until the Boeing CEO explained to him what it was. He now says the bank's important.”
There might an explanation though: For Trump, a Steep Learning Curve Leads to Policy Reversals, writes Peter Baker in the New York Times. Michael Schuman asked, “Is Trump reversing course, or did he just make stuff up during the campaign to get elected?” Ron Fournier simply called it a “Flip flop tick tock."
The Guardian reports that British spies were the first to spot Trump team's links with Russia. That from Luke Harding, Stephanie Kirchgaessner, and Nick Hopkins there. Asaf Ronel pointed out, “So this is the source for @realDonaldTrump accusations Obama used British spies against him…”
And at the New York Times, Jeremy Peters found out Trump’s Supporters Are Unfazed by His Reversals because they’re so focused On His Successes. Peters explained: “Trump's popularity doesn't suffer when he contradicts himself. People expect that. It's when he looks incompetent.” Michael Tackett tweeted this quote from the story: "The undented confidence that many Trump supporters have in the president…” Ron Fournier added, “Trumpism has never been about policies. It's been about the hunger for change v the risk of change.”
News around the world
- Chechnya has reportedly detained 100 gay men in a prison camp. And in The Guardian, Shaun Walker writes: Chechens tell of prison beatings and electric shocks in anti-gay purge: ‘They called us animals.’ Walker called it, the “darkest story I've written for some time.”
- A manhunt suspect named Joseph Jakubowski was “nabbed” in Wisconsin.
- There was a sustained gunfight at the Manus Island detention center in Australia.
- At the Chicago Tribune, Stacy St. Clair and Jeff Coen write about a Chicago cop's rocky record that includes being “sued, found unfit, and had a friend mysteriously shot.” Coen called it, “A Chicago story of heartbreak woven from many allegations against a single troubled cop.” Charles Johnson explained, “A troubled Chicago cop said his friend tried to commit suicide with his service weapon. The friend says ‘impossible.’"
- From the New York Times, Elizabeth A. Harris writes Sexual Abuse at Choate Went on for Decades, School Acknowledges. For reference, Choate Rosemary Hall is an elite boarding school in Wallingford, Connecticut. A report says the abuse on the part of teachers toward their students started as early as the 1960s and went into the 2010s. Jesse Singal tweeted, “Sounds about right, unfortunately.”
- At another institution of learning, we hear Free speech is not violated at Wellesley. Jeffrey Goldberg said it’s “One of the more frightening editorials I've ever read (from the Wellesley student newspaper).” Adam Mazmanian tweeted, “Thank goodness!”
See Mark Hamill’s tweet about Carrie Fischer’s daughter Billie Lourd: “So much like her mother in so many ways- it was almost as if we were cuddling our Princess again!”
And read 5 questions for a Washington Post reporter whose eyebrows became a meme, courtesy of Abigail Ohlheiser. Carlos Lozada liked this quote from the piece: "I still don’t really fully understand the difference between a GIF and a meme."