What to Know
- North Korea agreed to send a delegation to next month's Winter Olympics in South Korea, Seoul officials said
- Health officials say people who went to a West Jordan, Utah, 7-Eleven within the past two weeks might have been exposed to hepatitis A
- Bring it on, the White House said, welcoming a would-be battle against Oprah Winfrey for the presidency in 2020, NBC News reported
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North Korea to Send Delegation to Olympics in South
North Korea agreed to send a delegation to next month's Winter Olympics in South Korea, Seoul officials said, as the bitter rivals sat for rare talks at the border to discuss how to cooperate in the Olympics and improve their long-strained ties. The Koreas' first talks in two years were arranged after North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un recently made an abrupt push for improved ties with South Korea after a year of elevated tensions with the outside world over his expanding nuclear and missile programs. Critics say Kim may be trying to divide Seoul and Washington in a bid to weaken international pressure and sanctions on the North. During the talks, the North Korean delegation said it would send an Olympic delegation, which includes officials, athletes, cheerleaders, journalists and others, South Korea's Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung told reporters, according to media footage from the border village of Panmunjom, the venue for the talks. The South Korean delegation, for its part, proposed North Korea send a big delegation and conduct a joint march during the Feb. 9-25 Game's opening and closing ceremonies, Chun, one of the five South Korean negotiators, said.
Mueller Conveys Interest in Questioning Trump, Source Says
Special counsel Robert Mueller's team of investigators has expressed interest in speaking with President Trump as part of a probe into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign, a person familiar with the matter said. The prospect of an interview with the president has come up in recent discussions between Mueller's team and Trump lawyers, but no details have been worked out, including the scope of questions that the president would agree to answer if an interview were to actually take place, according to the person. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation. When or even if an interview would occur was not immediately clear, nor were the terms for the interview or whether Trump's lawyers would seek to narrow the range of questions or topics that prosecutors would cover. Trump's lawyers have previously stated their determination to cooperate with Mueller's requests. It's not surprising that investigators would ultimately seek to interview the president given his role in several episodes under scrutiny by Mueller. Any interview of Trump would be a likely indication that the investigation was in its final stages — investigators typically look to interview main subjects in their inquiries near the end of a probe.
“What Do I Do?” Salvadorans in U.S. Face Uncertain Future
The announcement that the U.S. plans to end temporary protections for Salvadorans residing in the U.S. filled many Savladoran families with anxiety, raising the possibility they will be forced to abandon their roots in the country and return to a homeland they haven’t known for years, even decades. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen gave Salvadorans with temporary protected status until Sept. 9, 2019, to leave the United States or face deportation. The decision, while not surprising, was a severe blow to Salvadorans in New York, Houston, Washington and other major cities that have welcomed them since at least the 1980s. In September 2016, the Obama administration extended protections for 18 months, saying El Salvador suffered lingering harm from the 2001 earthquakes that killed more than 1,000 people and would be unable to absorb such a large wave of people returning. But Nielsen said earthquake damage didn’t justify another temporary extension and that El Salvador has received enough international aid to have mostly rebuilt its infrastructure.
Up to 2,000 People Possibly Exposed to Hepatitis A at 7-Eleven
Health officials say people who went to a West Jordan, Utah, 7-Eleven within the past two weeks might have been exposed to hepatitis A. Officials say an employee worked at the store between Dec. 26 and Jan. 3 while ill and potentially handled certain items in the store. Officials estimate up to 2,000 customers could be affected. Anyone who used the store's restrooms is asked to contact the health department immediately for information on receiving a vaccine. Officials also ask customers who consumed the store's fresh fruit, fountain drinks or other self-serve items to contact the department. Officials said 7-Eleven is cooperating with the health department's investigation and has sanitized the store.
Usage Remains Low for Pill That Can Prevent HIV Infection
From gritty neighborhoods in New York and Los Angeles to clinics in Kenya and Brazil, health workers are trying to popularize a pill that has proven highly effective in preventing HIV but which — in their view — remains woefully underused. Marketed in the United States as Truvada, and sometimes available abroad in generic versions, the pill has been shown to reduce the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90 percent if taken daily. Yet worldwide, only about a dozen countries have aggressive, government-backed programs to promote the pill. In the U.S., there are problems related to Truvada's high cost, lingering skepticism among some doctors and low usage rates among black gays and bisexuals who have the highest rates of HIV infection.
White House Would “Welcome” 2020 Oprah Challenge
Bring it on, the White House said, welcoming a would-be battle against Oprah Winfrey for the presidency in 2020, NBC News reported. "We welcome the challenge, whether it be Oprah Winfrey or anybody else,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley told reporters aboard Air Force One in response to buzz about Winfrey's possible future foray into politics. It's unclear if President Trump watched Winfrey's powerful remarks at the Golden Globes. The speech ignited chatter that Winfrey could throw her hat in the ring for 2020, exciting a Democratic Party that lacks an obvious standard bearer in the wake of Hillary Clinton's 2016 loss. Though Winfrey has previously denied that she would run for office, longtime partner Stedman Graham seemed to leave it open as a possibility.
Pink to Sing “Star-Spangled Banner” at Super Bowl
Pop star Pink is set to perform the national anthem at Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis, the NFL and NBC announced. It'll be Pink's Super Bowl debut. She's sold over 50 million album equivalents and had four No. 1 singles in the Billboard Hot 100 chart, NBC and NFL noted in their announcement. Justin Timberlake has already been announced as the halftime performer for the Feb. 4 game. Pink is set to be the latest famous singer to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at football's biggest game, including Whitney Houston, Beyonce and Billy Joel. Luke Bryan, Lady Gaga and Idina Menzel are the last three singers to perform the anthem.