What to Know
- The Trump administration is considering banning travel to North Korea, officials said, as outrage grew over the death of Otto Warmbier
- Tick numbers are on the rise across New England, raising the prospect of an increase in Lyme and other diseases associated with them
- Daniel Day-Lewis, one of the most widely respected actors of his generation and a three-time Oscar-winner, says he's retiring from acting
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After Warmbier's Death, U.S. Weighs Travel Ban on North Korea
The Trump administration is considering banning travel by U.S. citizens to North Korea, officials said, as outrage grew over the death of American student Otto Warmbier and President Trump declared it a "total disgrace." Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who has the authority to cut off travel to North Korea with the stroke of the pen, has been weighing such a move since late April, when American teacher Tony Kim was detained in Pyongyang, a senior State Department official said. No ban is imminent, but deliberations gained new urgency after Warmbier's death, said the official, who requested anonymity to discuss internal diplomatic discussions. Even as Warmbier's family prepared to mourn him at a public funeral service in Ohio, the circumstances behind his death remained unclear. The coroner's office in Hamilton County, Ohio, said it had accepted Warmbier's case but had only performed an external examination on his body because the family had objected to an autopsy. Warmbier, 22, was released last week by North Korea in a coma, but died days later, his family said. The former University of Virginia student had been visiting North Korea on a tour group when he was detained, sentenced to 15 years hard labor for subversion, and held for more than 17 months.
Senate Steers Toward Showdown Vote on Health Bill
Senate Republicans steered toward a potential showdown vote on their long-awaited health care bill next week, despite indications that they've yet to solidify the 50 GOP votes they'll need to avert an embarrassing defeat. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he expected to have a draft of the bill ready. The measure would peel away much of President Obama's health care overhaul and leave government with a more limited role in providing coverage and helping people afford it. "We have to act, and we are," McConnell said on the Senate floor. But later, he simply chortled when asked if he was confident the measure would pass, a victory that would elude him if just three of the 52 GOP senators voted no. McConnell's ability to assess and line up votes is considered masterful, and he's eager to pass legislation fulfilling a keystone campaign promise of President Donald Trump and countless GOP congressional candidates. But underscoring the uncertainty he faces, senators from both ends of his party's spectrum were grumbling about the bill's expected contents and the clandestine way it's being crafted.
Family of Eric Garner to Meet With Justice Department
The family of a New York City man killed by a police chokehold is set to meet with Department of Justice officials with the outcome of the high-profile federal investigation of the case still unknown, the department confirmed. Eric Garner's family said in a statement that the closed-door meeting would take place at a Brooklyn hotel. The family and civil right advocates have been demanding that federal authorities bring a federal case against Officer Daniel Pantaleo since a state probe ended without charges against him. But the Justice Department indicated that no decision has been reached. A grand jury in Brooklyn has been hearing evidence in the civil rights investigation of Pantaleo, who put Garner in a chokehold while arresting him on suspicion of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes on Staten Island in 2014.
They're Back! Numbers of Ticks are High Across New England
Tick numbers are on the rise across New England, raising the prospect of an increase in Lyme and other diseases associated with the blood suckers. Much of the region got a respite last year as the drought took a toll on ticks, whose numbers drop as the humidity falls below 85 percent. But the drought is largely gone from the region and ticks are taking advantage. Residents in Maine are complaining they are finding as many as 30 ticks at a time on their clothes, and public health officials in Vermont are reporting an above-average rate of emergency room visits for tick bites in the last three weeks. A tick expert with the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension said the high numbers he has seen in New Hampshire are in line with what was expected, considering the high moisture levels and short dry periods.
No-Meat, No-Lust Advice for Pregnant Women Ridiculed
India's government is advising pregnant women to avoid all meat, eggs and lusty thoughts, but doctors say the advice is preposterous, and even dangerous, considering India's already-poor record with maternal health. Women are often the last to eat or receive health care in traditionally patriarchal Indian households. Malnutrition and anemia, or iron deficiency, are key factors behind India's having one of the world's highest rates of maternal mortality, with 174 of every 100,000 pregnancies resulting in the mother's death in 2015. That's better than five years earlier, when the maternal mortality rate was 205 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, but still far worse than China's 27 per 100,000 or the United States' 14 per 100,000, according to UNICEF. The government booklet, titled "Mother and Child Care," smacks of religious dogma and ignores widely accepted medical evidence that pregnant women benefit from eating protein-rich meats and can safely engage in sex, doctors said. It says pregnant women should also shun "impure thoughts" and look at pictures of beautiful babies to benefit the fetus.
Daniel Day-Lewis Says He's Retiring From Acting
Daniel Day-Lewis, one of the most widely respected actors of his generation and a three-time Oscar-winner, says he's retiring from acting. The 60-year-old actor announced he has shot his last film and performed in his last play. That makes Paul Thomas Anderson's already filmed "Phantom Thread," due out in December, his final film. "Daniel Day-Lewis will no longer be working as an actor," his representative Leslee Dart said in a statement. "He is immensely grateful to all of his collaborators and audiences over the many years. This is a private decision and neither he nor his representatives will make any further comment on this subject." The announcement sent shockwaves through Hollywood, where Day-Lewis is revered as possibly the finest actor of his time. But Day-Lewis has also long been an exceptionally deliberate performer who often spends years preparing for a role, crafting his characters with an uncommon, methodical completeness.
Adele Visits London Firefighters After Deadly High-Rise Blaze
London's fire department has posted photos of Adele meeting with firefighters to offer support following a devastating fire in the borough that is believed to have killed 79 people. It posted the pictures on Twitter, showing the singer posing with firefighters in front of their engine at the Chelsea fire station. Adele had a cup of tea with the firefighters and thanked them for their efforts in battling the fire at the 24-story Grenfell Tower. The London Fire Brigade tweeted: "We are so humbled by everyone's support." London has rallied behind firefighters with a mixture of awe and support after the blaze.