President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have arrived in Singapore, ahead of Tuesday’s summit, slated to be the first-ever meeting between an American president and a North Korean leader. The summit will be held at the Capella Resort on Sentosa Island. Trump is slated to meet for two hours alone with Kim, along with two translators. Hours ago, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held a news conference in which he said Trump is prepared to offer North Korea unprecedented security assurances, although he did not specify what these guarantees would be. The official North Korean news agency said Sunday Kim is prepared to talk about “denuclearization” and a “durable peace.” Meanwhile, President Trump told reporters Saturday he would know “within the first minute” of their meeting whether Kim is serious about making peace.
President Donald Trump: “It’s a good question: How long will it take? I think within the first minute I’ll know.”
President Donald Trump: “Just my touch, my feel. That’s what—that’s what I do. How long will it take to figure out whether or not they’re serious? I said maybe in the first minute. You know, the way they say that you know if you’re going to like somebody in the first five seconds? You ever hear that one? Well, I think that very quickly I’ll know whether or not something good is going to happen.”
That was President Trump, speaking to reporters Saturday at a news conference at the G7 summit in Quebec. He was speaking shortly before leaving the summit early, avoiding a meeting with other world leaders about climate change. Trump was isolated throughout the 2-day summit, a position captured in a now-viral photo of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, flanked by other world leaders, standing over Trump, who stares back at her with national security adviser John Bolton by his side. After Trump departed the G7 summit early, he attacked Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a series of tweets in which he called Trudeau “meek and mild” and “dishonest and weak.” On Sunday, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro further attacked Trudeau over his resistance to U.S. tariffs. This is Navarro speaking to Chris Wallace on Fox News.
Peter Navarro: “Chris, there’s a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad-faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door. And that’s what 'bad-faith Justin Trudeau' did with that stunt press conference. That’s what weak, dishonest Justin Trudeau did. And that comes right from Air Force One. And I’ll tell you this: To my friends in Canada, that was one of the worst political miscalculations of a Canadian leader in modern Canadian history.”
In Gaza, Israeli soldiers killed four Palestinians and wounded 600 more during the Palestinians’ nonviolent protests Friday along the separation fence with Israel. Among those killed was a 15-year-old boy named Haitham al-Jamal. Photos also went viral of another Palestinian protester being shot in the face with a tear gas canister. He remains in critical condition. The Israeli military has killed at least 124 Palestinians and wounded 14,000 more since the Palestinians’ nonviolent Great March of Return protests began on March 30.
The Pentagon says U.S. Special Operations soldier Alexander Conrad of Chandler, Arizona, was killed in southwestern Somalia on Friday. The Pentagon says he and fellow troops were attacked by the militant group al-Shabab. Four other U.S. soldiers were wounded. There are reportedly about 500 U.S. troops stationed in Somalia.
The United Nations is warning of escalated fighting in the Syrian province of Idlib, where 2.5 million civilians are trapped. The Idlib Media Center says 44 civilians were killed by Russian airstrikes on the village of Zardana Thursday. The White Helmets say at least 16 more people were killed by Syrian government airstrikes over the weekend.
The Red Cross has evacuated 71 staff members from Yemen amid rising threats and security risks to its aid workers. Hundreds more Red Cross workers remain inside Yemen. The Wall Street Journal reported last week the United States is weighing expanding its role in the ongoing war in Yemen, which has killed 15,000 civilians, sparked the world’s worst cholera epidemic and pushed the country to the brink of famine.
Back in the United States, media reports have revealed that a Honduran asylum seeker who was separated from his wife and 3-year-old child after crossing the border died by suicide in mid-May, after strangling himself in a jail in Starr County, Texas. A Border Patrol agent told The Washington Post that Marco Antonio Muñoz “lost it” after agents told him he’d be separated from his child, and that the agents then “use[d] physical force to take the child out of his hands.” When Muñoz continued to protest the physical removal of his son, the agency transferred him to a nearby jail, where a guard found him dead in his cell the following morning.
The news of Muñoz’s death comes as resistance is mounting to the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents at the border. Washington Congressmember Pramila Jayapal blasted the administration after visiting women asylum seekers detained at the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac, near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal: “Half or more of these women had children that were forcibly separated from them. They were never given a chance to say goodbye to their children. The vast majority of these mothers do not even know where their children are. … What I saw was absolutely horrific, what I saw and heard. And we have always had problems with the criminalization of immigrants, but this is a new low, to take folks who are asylum seekers and throw them into a facility, not provide them with any access to basic human rights and, worst of all, to separate mothers from their children.”
And in more immigration news, a federal judge in Manhattan has temporarily halted the deportation of Pablo Villavicencio, a delivery worker who was arrested by ICE last week after dropping off a pizza at the Fort Hamilton Army base. His deportation to Ecuador has been stayed until July 20.
Pope Francis appealed directly to top oil company executives to help avert the global catastrophe of climate change, during a 2-day conference at the Vatican.
Pope Francis: “I encourage you, having demonstrated your aptitude for innovation and for improving the lives of many people by your creativeness and professional expertise, to use those skills in the service of two great needs in today’s world: the care of the poor and care for the environment. I invite you to be the core of a group of leaders who envision the global energy transition in a way that will take into account all the peoples of the Earth, as well as future generations and all species and all ecosystems.”
Among those in attendance were the heads of BP, ExxonMobil and the Italian energy giant Eni.
In more environmental news, the Indian government has vowed to eliminate single-use plastic items by 2022, making it the latest of at least 60 countries that have introduced bans or fines aimed at reducing plastics pollution. The company IKEA also announced Thursday it would eliminate single-use plastic items by 2020.
Thousands of women in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales poured into the streets Sunday to celebrate the suffragette movement. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the British 1918 “Representation of the People Act,” which granted property-owning British women over age 30 the right to vote.
In the Philippines, press freedom groups are condemning the murder of journalist Dennis Denora, who was shot dead Thursday in the southern region of Mindanao. He was the editor and publisher of the weekly community newspaper Trends and Times. The Philippines is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists.
And award-winning actor Robert De Niro slammed President Trump during the Tony Awards Sunday night.
Robert De Niro: “I’m going to say one thing: F*ck Trump. It’s no longer 'Down with Trump,' it’s 'F*ck Trump.' Now I’ll get to this introduction.”
Students who survived the Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School also performed during the Tony Awards, singing “Seasons of Love” from the hit Broadway musical “Rent.”