Donald Trump

Happening Today: Nuclear Button, Mormon Church, Korea, Spotify, Coachella

What to Know

  • President Donald Trump later boasted that his "nuclear button" is bigger and more powerful than Kim Jong Un's
  • Nearly half of the largest U.S. public universities do not track suicides among their students, despite making investments in prevention
  • A major music publisher wants Spotify to pay more than $1.6 billion, alleging it is streaming millions of unlicensed songs

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“My Button Works”: Trump Fires Back at Kim Over Nukes

President Trump sounded open to the possibility of an inter-Korean dialogue after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made a rare overture toward South Korea in a New Year's address. But Trump's ambassador to the United Nations insisted talks would not be meaningful unless the North was getting rid of its nuclear weapons, and Trump later boasted that his "nuclear button" is bigger and more powerful than Kim's. In a morning tweet, Trump said the U.S.-led campaign of sanctions and other pressure were beginning to have a "big impact" on North Korea. He referred to the recent, dramatic escape of at least two North Korean soldiers across the heavily militarized border into South Korea. He also alluded to Kim's comments that he was willing to send a delegation to the Winter Olympics, which will be hosted by South Korea next month. In response to Kim's overture, South Korea offered high-level talks on Jan. 9 at the shared border village of Panmunjom to discuss Olympic cooperation and how to improve overall ties. The U.S. administration, however, voiced suspicions that Kim was seeking to drive a wedge between Seoul and Washington.

Mormon Church President Thomas S. Monson Dies at 90

Thomas S. Monson, 16th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who led the nearly 16 million-member faith for nine years as the church's "prophet, seer and revelator," has died at the age of 90. President Monson, who served as president of the Church since February 2008, died from causes incident to age. Two years ago, the Utah-based faith announced Monson was "feeling the effects of advancing age." Since then, he had scaled back his conference speeches. Most recently, he had been hospitalized in April 2017, although church officials had declined to offer any specifics on the nature of Monson's treatments in the hospital. Still, even in his final years, Monson continued his decades-long legacy of ministering quietly to thousands of individuals in homes, hospitals and care centers. During his nearly 10-year tenure, Church membership grew from 13 million to more than 16 million members worldwide, and dozens of new temples were announced and dedicated throughout the world.

North Korea Reopens Cross-Border Communications With South Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reopened a key cross-border communication channel with South Korea for the first time in nearly two years as the rivals explored the possibility of sitting down and talking after months of acrimony and fears of war. The sudden signs of easing animosity, however, came as President Trump threatened Kim with nuclear war in response to his threat earlier this week. In his New Year's address, Kim said he was willing to send a delegation to next month's Winter Olympics in South Korea. But he also said he has a "nuclear button" on his desk and that all U.S. territory is within striking distance of his nuclear weapons, comments Trump latched onto when he boasted of a bigger and more powerful "nuclear button" than Kim's. The two leaders exchanged crude insults last year, as the North received new U.N. sanctions over its The recent softening of contact between the rival Koreas may show a shared interest in improved ties, but there's no guarantee tensions will ease.

At Least 48 Dead After Bus Plunges Onto Rocky Beach in Peru

At least 48 people died when a bus tumbled down a cliff onto a rocky beach along a narrow stretch of highway known as the "Devil's Curve," Peruvian police and fire officials said. The bus carrying 57 people was headed to Peru's capital when it was struck by a tractor trailer shortly before noon and plunged down the slope, an official said. The blue bus came to rest upside down on a strip of shore next to the Pacific, the lifeless bodies of passengers strewn among the rocks. Rescuers had to struggle to rescue survivors and recover the dead from the hard-to-reach area in Pasamayo, about 43 miles north of Lima. No road leads directly to the beach, complicating rescue efforts, according to the official. Police and firefighters used helicopters to transport six survivors with serious injuries to nearby hospitals. At least three were still missing.

Few Colleges Track Suicides, Despite Prevention Investments

Nearly half of the largest U.S. public universities do not track suicides among their students, despite making investments in prevention at a time of surging demand for mental health services. Tabulating student suicides comes with its own set of challenges and problems. But without that data, prevention advocates say, schools have no way to measure their success and can overlook trends that could offer insight to help them save lives. The Associated Press asked the 100 largest U.S. public universities for annual suicide statistics and found that 43 currently track suicides, including 27 that have consistently done so since 2007. Most others said they don't track suicides or could provide police reports for only a few cases known among campus administrators.

Spotify Sued for $1.6 Billion for Allegedly Ignoring Songwriters’ Rights

A major music publisher wants Spotify to pay more than $1.6 billion, alleging it is streaming millions of unlicensed songs in what it calls "massive, systemic copyright infringement." Wixen Music Publishing Inc., which represents the rights of songwriters and publishers, accuses Spotify USA Inc. of prioritizing record labels at the expense of songwriters and publishers. While Spotify has worked to track down the rights to the sound recordings of the songs it streams, it has never adequately secured the equivalent rights for the songs themselves as published works, according to the suit. The suit includes a 265-page list of thousands of its songs that Wixen says Spotify is streaming without proper licensing and compensation, including some of the biggest hits of acts like the Beach Boys, Rage Against the Machine and the Black Keys. A spokesman for Spotify USA, the U.S. subsidiary of Spotify AB of Sweden had no comment.

Full Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival Lineup Released

The full lineup for the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival has been released, with The Weeknd, Beyonce and Eminem confirmed to headline the 19th annual festival in Indio. The festival is slated for the weekends of April 13-15 and April 20-22 at its usual venue, the Empire Polo Grounds. Three-day general admission passes go on sale Friday at noon. The main acts will each be making their first headlining appearance at Coachella. The lineup marks the first time in the festival's history that a rock band will not be among the headlining performers.

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