Happening Today: North Korea, JetBlue, Zika, Powers Boothe, Barry Manilow

What to Know

  • A New Jersey family says JetBlue Airways kicked them off an airplane for storing a birthday cake in an overhead bin
  • Police in three California counties are testing what amounts to a breathalyzer for drug users
  • Powers Boothe, the character actor known for his villain roles in TV and in the movies, has died at 68, his publicist says

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New Long-Range Missile Can Carry Heavy Nuke, North Korea Says

North Korea boasted of a successful weekend launch of a new type of "medium long-range" ballistic rocket that can carry a heavy nuclear warhead. Outsiders also saw a significant technological jump, with the test-fire apparently flying higher and for a longer time period than any other such previous missile. Amid condemnation in Seoul, Tokyo and Washington, a jubilant North Korean leader Kim Jong Un promised more nuclear and missile tests and warned that his country's weapons could strike the U.S. mainland and Pacific holdings. North Korean propaganda must be considered with wariness — Pyongyang has threatened for decades to reduce Seoul to a "sea of fire," for instance — but the claim, if confirmed, would mark another big advance toward the North's goal of fielding a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland. Some experts, including officials in Tokyo, estimate that the launch successfully tested a new type of missile, potentially the longest in Pyongyang's arsenal.

Family Says JetBlue Kicked Them Off Plane Over Carry-On Cake

A New Jersey family says their plans to celebrate a birthday in Nevada were crushed when JetBlue Airways kicked them off the plane for storing a birthday cake in an overhead bin. Cameron Burke tells the Daily News they were flying out of Kennedy Airport May 3 when he was asked to remove the cake, which he did. He said another attendant berated him, telling them to leave the plane after he questioned whether the attendant had been drinking. JetBlue said they stowed their cake and other items in a bin reserved for safety and emergency equipment and refused multiple requests to remove them. The airline said they cursed and yelled at the crew. Police were called and the captain determined they would not be allowed to fly.

U.S. Government “Under Assault” by Trump After Comey Firing, Clapper Says

American democracy is "under assault" on separate fronts from President Trump and Russia, the U.S.'s former intelligence chief warned, expressing dismay over the abrupt firing of FBI director James Comey amid a probe into Moscow's meddling in the 2016 U.S. election as well as possible ties with the Trump campaign. As Trump works to fast-track Comey's successor, lawmakers from both parties urged him to steer clear of any politicians for the job and say he must "clean up the mess that he mostly created." "I think, in many ways, our institutions are under assault, both externally — and that's the big news here, is the Russian interference in our election system," said James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence. "I think as well our institutions are under assault internally." Clapper spoke following Trump's sudden firing of Comey last week, which drew sharp criticism because it came amid the FBI's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election. Clapper said America's founding fathers had created three co-equal branches of government with checks and balances, but with Trump as president, that was now "eroding."

Brazil Declares End to Zika Emergency After Fall in Cases

Brazil declared an end to its public health emergency over the Zika virus, 18 months after a surge in cases drew headlines around the world. The mosquito-borne virus wasn't considered a major health threat until the 2015 outbreak revealed that Zika can lead to severe birth defects. One of those defects, microcephaly, causes babies to be born with skulls much smaller than expected. Photos of babies with the defect spread panic around the Western Hemisphere and around the globe, as the virus was reported in dozens of countries. Many would-be travelers canceled their trips to Zika-infected places. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others recommended that women who were pregnant shouldn't travel to affected areas. The concern spread even more widely when health officials said it could also be transmitted through sexual contact with an infected person. The health scare came just as Brazil, the epicenter of the outbreak, was preparing to host the 2016 Olympics, fueling concerns the Games could help spread the virus. One athlete, a Spanish wind surfer, said she got Zika while training in Brazil ahead of the Games.

Buzz Kill: Police Work to Detect Drugged Drivers

Police in three California counties are testing what amounts to a breathalyzer for drug users — a device that some authorities and lawmakers said is desperately needed now that voters have legalized recreational marijuana in the state. When legalization takes full effect next year, California will become the world's largest market for pot. Yet California is among the states with legalized marijuana that are struggling to find a reliable test and gauge for marijuana impairment that can stand up in court and lead to convictions. Law enforcement and academic experts say settling on such a test is complicated because drugs affect everyone differently and there is wide variation in the potency of pot and other drugs and the way they are consumed. As a result, there is no consensus on what level amounts to impairment.

“Deadwood” Actor Powers Boothe Dies at 68, His Publicist Says

Powers Boothe, the character actor known for his villain roles in TV's "Deadwood," and in the movies "Tombstone," ''Sin City" and "The Avengers," has died. He was 68. Boothe's publicist says he died of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles. Beau Bridges tweeted the news and called him "a dear friend, great actor, devoted father and husband." The veteran actor won an Emmy award in 1980 for playing cult leader Jim Jones in the TV movie "Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones." He also had memorable roles playing the ruthless saloon owner Cy Tolliver in "Deadwood," the gunman Curly Bill Brocius in "Tombstone" and the corrupt senator in "Sin City." A private service will be held in Texas where he was from.

Barry Manilow Cancels Shows “on Doctor’s Orders”

Singer Barry Manilow has canceled two concerts in Los Angeles and Chicago due to sprained vocal chords, NBC News reported. The 73-year-old singer was due to play at The Forum in Los Angeles and Allstate Arena in Chicago this week but was forced to cancel both shows "on doctor's orders." A statement posted to Manilow’s Facebook page confirmed that the concerts would be rescheduled and that tickets issued for the original dates would be honored. "We're terribly sorry for any inconvenience" the statement read, "but we look forward to seeing you very soon!"

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