N. Korea: CIA Is Plotting to Assassinate Kim

North Korean state media has accused the CIA of hatching a “vicious plot" with South Korea to assassinate Kim Jong Un via “biochemical substances." Pyongyang officials said the two have a plan to kill off the young leader during a public ceremony. “We will ferret out and mercilessly destroy to the last one the terrorists of the U.S. CIA and the puppet IS [intelligence service] of South Korea," a statement said. The plot is essentially a “declaration of a war," it said. “The heinous crime, which was recently uncovered and smashed in the DPRK, is a kind of terrorism against not only the DPRK but the justice and conscience of humankind and an act of mangling the future of humankind." State media reported that the two countries had “corrupted" and “bribed" a North Korean citizen who had the surname Kim. The statement did not give any further information about how the alleged plot was foiled or what became of the alleged spy.

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The Daily Beast CHEAT SHEET
AM
EDITION
5
May
 
1. BLACK OPS
N. Korea: CIA Plot to Kill Kim Jong Un
North Korean state media has accused the CIA of hatching a “vicious plot" with South Korea to assassinate Kim Jong Un via “biochemical substances." Pyongyang officials said the two have a plan to kill off the young leader during a public ceremony. “We will ferret out and mercilessly destroy to the last one the terrorists of the U.S. CIA and the puppet IS [intelligence service] of South Korea," a statement said. The plot is essentially a “declaration of a war," it said. “The heinous crime, which was recently uncovered and smashed in the DPRK, is a kind of terrorism against not only the DPRK but the justice and conscience of humankind and an act of mangling the future of humankind." State media reported that the two countries had “corrupted" and “bribed" a North Korean citizen who had the surname Kim. The statement did not give any further information about how the alleged plot was foiled or what became of the alleged spy.
READ IT AT The Guardian  
 
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2. GET OUT
Russia Bans U.S. From Syrian No-Fly Zone
A new agreement among Russia, Turkey, and Iran in Syria will establish “de-escalation zones" closed to military aircraft from the U.S.-led coalition, said Alexander Lavrentyev, a special envoy for Russian President Vladimir Putin. The latest effort to reduce violence in the civil-war-torn country was signed Thursday, and full details have not been released. A statement from the United Nations said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “welcomes the commitments to ceasing the use of all weapons, particularly aerial assets." Lavrentyev said “the operation of aviation in the de-escalation zones, especially of the forces of the international coalition, is absolutely not envisaged, either with notification or without. This question is closed."
READ IT AT AP  
 
 
 
 
 
 
3. UNRAVEL
Uber Probed Over Evading Authorities
Uber is facing a criminal investigation over its use of a software tool, called Greyball, to evade cops and local transportation regulators, Reuters reports. The ride-hailing company previously acknowledged that it used Greyball to avoid official sting operations in areas like Portland, Oregon, where the service had not yet been approved. Lawyers for Uber, in documents newly released by Portland officials, have said the software was used “exceedingly sparingly" before the company was formally approved in the city in 2015. The investigation is still in its early stages, and it’s not yet clear if officials have determined any potential criminal violation.
READ IT AT Reuters  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
4. OVER-SOLD
Analysts Cast Doubt on Claims About MOAB
New analysis has raised questions about the U.S. military’s use of its “mother of all bombs" in Afghanistan last month, in what was billed as a “very clear message to ISIS." The Afghan government claimed, after the April 13 bombing in Nangarhar province, that the weapon killed 94 ISIS militants and that it harmed no civilians. Now, an independent study by Alcis, an institute for geographic analysis, has raised questions about the amount of damage originally reported. Alcis studied images and ground footage of the site. It reportedly found 38 buildings and 69 trees destroyed within a 160-yard radius, contradicting various statements from local officials who had said the bomb damaged homes as far as two miles away. What’s more, the institute remained skeptical of the number of militants allegedly killed. “I’m staggered by that," said Managing Director Richard Brittan. “I simply don’t understand where they can get that number from."
READ IT AT The Guardian  
 
 
 
 
 
 
5. HAMSTRUNG
El Chapo Still Has No Attorney
International drug-cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo" Guzman has auditioned at least 16 private attorneys over the last three months from Manhattan’s federal jail, and he still has not found a lawyer. The notorious drug kingpin is being represented by court-appointed public defenders, and he faces a string of complex charges that carry a mandatory minimum life sentence in prison. A judge ruled days ago that Guzman can message with his wife about how to hire a legal team—and pay them. Manhattan lawyer Richard Levitt was one of the many respected attorneys who have been interviewed by the famed prison escapee. “The government may be taking the position that any money paid for a lawyer is tainted," Levitt said, noting that Guzman faces a tough road finding a lawyer. Guzman will reportedly have to provide evidence that any money he uses for legal fees did not emanate from a criminal enterprise, even if the money comes from a benefactor. “It would take an immense amount of resources to represent this guy," said another attorney, Steven Brounstein. Guzman’s charges span over two decades, various countries, and rely on cooperating witnesses with often competing agendas.
READ IT AT NBC News  
 
 
 
 
 
 
6. TASTE THE RAINBOW
Cafe: Starbucks Stole Our Unicorn Drink
A Brooklyn cafe that invented the “Unicorn Latte" months before Starbucks’ “Unicorn Frappuccino" came into the world is claiming that the coffee giant ripped off their idea. The colorful Starbucks drink garnered an incredible amount of social-media attention last month when the drink was introduced for a limited run. According to court documents, The End began selling the Unicorn Latte in December and has had a pending trademark on the name since January. Neither of the drinks contain coffee, but The End’s product is made from natural ingredients like algae, ginger root, and dates. By contrast, the Starbucks drink is made from artificial sweeteners and milk. The cafe has asked for a public apology and an unspecified amount of compensation. Starbucks has said the lawsuit is bogus and claims it is without merit.
READ IT AT Bloomberg News  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
7. MENDING FENCES
Trump Lauds ‘Fantastic’ Australia Ties
In his first encounter with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull since a high-profile phone spat in February, U.S. President Donald Trump had nothing but praise for the Australian leader Thursday. “We get along great. We have a fantastic relationship, I love Australia, I always have," Trump said after meeting with Turnbull in New York. His comments suggested a major turnaround from his stance in February, when he called an agreement for the U.S. to accept refugees from an Australian detention camp a “dumb deal" and reportedly hung up on Turnbull during a heated phone call. That incident triggered a feud between the two leaders, though Trump said Thursday that the refugee deal had since “been worked out." “We got a little testy, but that’s OK," he said. He also praised Australia’s health-care system and derided America’s—on the very same day the House of Representatives approved a GOP plan to replace Obamacare. “We have a failing health care—I shouldn’t say this to our great gentleman and my friend from Australia, because you have better health care than we do," Trump told Turnbull, according to The Washington Post.
READ IT AT BBC News  
 
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8. DAMAGE CONTROL
Delta Sorry for Kicking Family Off Plane
Delta Air Lines on Thursday issued an apology for an incident last month in which an entire family was kicked off a flight, the latest customer-service fiasco to hit the airline industry. Brian and Brittany Schear were flying from Maui to Los Angeles on April 23 when they say airline employees told them they had to give up a seat occupied by their 2-year-old to another passenger. In the video, airline employees can be heard providing a range of reasons for the move, first saying it was a violation of rules to have their toddler sit in the seat rather than the teenage son they’d purchased the ticket for. Schear had explained that his teenage son caught a different flight and the family had already paid for the ticket, so decided to let their toddler have the seat. A Delta employee then provided another argument, telling him he had to give up the seat because FAA rules prohibit a toddler from sitting in the seat during the flight, even if in a car seat.  When Schear again refused, an employee threatened jail time. “So, then, it’s going to be a federal offense and you and your wife will be in jail and your kids will be…" the employee can be heard telling Schear, before he cut her off. The entire family was eventually ejected from the plane and told that they were “on their own," despite Schear’s offer to cooperate. “I have two infants and nowhere to stay. There’s no more flights. What are we supposed to do—sleep in the airport?" he asked. After the video went viral this week, Delta issued a statement Thursday apologizing for the family’s “travel issues." “We are sorry for the unfortunate experience our customers had with Delta and we’ve reached out to them to refund their travel and provide additional compensation," the company said.
READ IT AT The Washington Post  
 
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9. GLOBAL TERROR
Brazil Jails 8 for Rio Olympic Plot
Eight Brazilian nationals accused of promoting the Islamic State terror group were sentenced to lengthy prison terms Thursday for plotting attacks during last year’s Rio Olympics. The men were arrested just before the Games after the FBI tipped off Brazilian authorities, saying the men were trying to get weapons and had been sharing bomb-making videos online. The man described as the group’s ringleader, Leonid El Kadre de Melo, was sentenced to 15 years behind bars, while the other members were jailed for between five and six years. Brazilian authorities said that while the men were not ISIS members, they had tried to get in touch with the terrorist group and pledged allegiance to it online. All of the men have promised to appeal the charges.
READ IT AT BBC News  
 
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Murder At The Olympics
BY Nico Hines
 
 
 
 
 
 
10. HAVE WE LEARNED NOTHING?
State Dept Promotes Ivanka Trump’s Book
Having apparently learned nothing from previous Trump White House ethical controversies regarding the promotion of Ivanka Trump’s businesses, a State Department office this week retweeted promotional materials for the first daughter’s new book—possibly violating federal rules against using public office for private gain. HuffPost reported Thursday that the U.S. State Department’s Office of Global Women’s Issues on Wednesday retweeted the Trump daughter’s personal message promoting her book, Women Who Work—a book for which she has canceled a tour out of ethical concerns. “Out of an abundance of caution and to avoid the appearance of using my official role to promote the book, I will not publicize the book through a promotional tour or media appearances," Trump had said on Facebook.
READ IT AT HuffPost  
 
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