5 things for September 6: Trump op-ed, Kavanaugh, India, North Korea, Florence

Posted at 3:58 AM, Sep 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-06 05:58:56-04

Ever get a hankering for a burger on the back nine? Then, this drone is for you. Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get “5 Things You Need to Know Today” delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. White House

Whodunit? Or rather, who wrote it? It’s the only question that matters this morning, as Washington tries to solve a stunning political mystery: Who is the “senior official” in the Trump administration who wrote an anonymous New York Times editorial that slams Donald Trump’s “amorality” and decision-making and claims to be part of an internal “resistance” force dedicated to thwarting his worst impulses? The bombshell op-ed, landing the same week as excerpts from Bob Woodward’s new book, has reportedly heightened the already sky-high level of paranoia at the White House.

After the op-ed went out, Trump came out swinging. He bashed it and its writer as “gutless” and blasted the Times for publishing it anonymously. Later, he took his displeasure to Twitter — “TREASON?” he wondered — and demanded that the Times must “turn him/her over” to the government. CNN’s Stephen Collinson says no matter what happens, Trump’s presidency will never be the same. And Chris Cillizza says these 13 people could be the mystery author.

2. Supreme Court confirmation hearing

We heard more from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh during the second day of his confirmation hearings, but we didn’t necessarily learn more about his views during a raucous (read: more protesters) 12-hour session. He rebuffed Democratic senators’ attempts to get him to stray into political areas, so he wouldn’t say if a sitting president must respond to a subpoena or if a president could pardon himself or herself. On abortion, he did say that Roe v. Wade is settled precedent. The hearing resumes this morning.

3. India

India’s top court struck down a colonial-era law criminalizing consensual gay sex. The law, imposed during the days of British rule, penalized sex that was considered “against the order of nature.” After the verdict was announced, crowds gathered outside the court erupted in jubilant cheers. It’s a huge victory for the country’s LGBT community because, although the law was rarely enforced, lawyers said it helped bolster a culture of repression and fear.

4. North Korea

North Korea wants to denuke the Korean Peninsula before President Trump leaves office. This timeline, of sorts, is what South Korean officials say North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is pushing for. They just returned from meetings in the North, finalizing plans for another summit later this month between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Kim has “unwavering trust” in Trump, the South Koreans report, and he’s willing to take more steps toward denuclearization if they’re met with matching steps from the US. Talks between the North and the US stalled in recent weeks, with both sides calling on the other to make further concessions before moving forward.

5. Weather

It had been a pretty quiet Atlantic hurricane season (with all the action in the Pacific), but that’s changing. Tropical Storm Gordon has come and gone, and Hurricane Florence is more than ready to make some noise. Florence, the year’s first major Atlantic hurricane, is way out there right now, but the storm — a Category 3 — could threaten the US East coast by the end of next week. Meanwhile, Japan is not only still suffering with Typhoon Jebi but also dealing with a major earthquake that’s killed at least seven people and buried homes under landslides.


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