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Happening Today: Kim Jong Un, Fertility Clinic Failure, Sean Penn, Heineken

What to Know

  • North Korea and China used a surprise summit this week to show that despite recent tensions, Pyongyang still has a powerful backer
  • The number of frozen eggs and embryos a fertility center says were lost in a tank failure has doubled since the incident was first reported
  • Sean Penn showed up to "The Late Show" a little more relaxed than usual

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Kim, Xi Portray Strong Ties After N. Korean Leader's Visit

With smiles and firm handshakes, North Korea and China used a surprise summit this week to show that despite recent tensions, Pyongyang still has a powerful backer and Beijing will not be sidelined in discussions about the fate of its unpredictable neighbor. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's secretive talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing appear aimed at improving both countries' positions ahead of Kim's anticipated meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump in the coming weeks. A key objective for Beijing is to reassert its relevance to the upcoming talks, from which it has been excluded. China has appeared increasingly shut out as its relations with the North deteriorated and Pyongyang reached out to Seoul and Washington. Official reports from both countries on Wednesday depicted in effusive terms warm ties between the two leaders in an effort to downplay recent tensions over Kim's development of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.

Emotions Run High in Sacramento as Protesters Block Kings' Arena

Stephon Clark’s brother, Stevante Clark, marched into a Sacramento city council meeting, chanted his brother’s name and jumped on the dais in front of Mayor Darrell Steinberg. Later, protesters again blocked fans from entering the Golden1 Center for an NBA game downtown between the Sacramento Kings and Dallas Mavericks. The crowds had gathered for the second time since the March 18 fatal police shooting of 22-year-old Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man, in his grandmother's backyard. City officials and community leaders had called for calm as they announced the California attorney general's involvement in the investigation. Two Sacramento police officers responding to a report of someone breaking car windows fatally shot Clark in his grandmother's backyard March 18. Police say they thought Clark was holding a gun, but he was found with only a cellphone. The decision of whether to bring criminal charges against the officers involved remains with District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert.

No Charges for Baton Rouge Officers in Fatal Shooting of Alton Sterling

Louisiana's attorney general ruled out criminal charges against two white Baton Rouge police officers in the shooting of a black man whose death led to widespread protests nearly two years ago. Attorney General Jeff Landry's decision came nearly 11 months after the Justice Department ruled out federal criminal charges in Alton Sterling's July 2016 death. Officer Blane Salamoni shot and killed Sterling during a struggle outside a convenience store where the 37-year-old black man was selling homemade CDs. Officer Howie Lake II helped wrestle Sterling to the ground, but Lake didn't fire his gun. Two cellphone videos of the shooting quickly spread on social media, prompting large protests. Landry made the announcement of no charges at a news conference after meeting with family members of Sterling. They angrily denounced the decision. Quinyetta McMillon, the mother of one of Sterling's children, Cameron, said the officers killed Sterling "in cold blood."

University Hospital's Fertility Clinic Failure Affects More Patients Than Thought

The number of frozen eggs and embryos a Cleveland fertility center says were lost in a tank failure has doubled since the incident was first reported earlier this month, NBC News reported. The hospital is now blaming human error for the loss of 4,000 eggs and embryos, and it told nearly 1,000 patients that it is unlikely any egg or embryo is viable. NBC News has also uncovered a history of malfunctions from the manufacturer, Custom Biogenic Systems, which declined to comment. British regulators issued a warning about the company's freezers in 2003 after Custom Biogenic Systems reported knowing about 21 incidents. The alert was later withdrawn as upgrades were made, but at least one problem was reported subsequent to the alert, in Florida.

Heineken Pulls Light Beer Commercial After Racism Complaints

Heineken has removed a commercial for its light beer after some complaints that it was racist. The ad featured a bartender sliding a bottle of Heineken light. The bottle passes several black people before it arrives to a lighter-skinned woman. The tag line: Sometimes lighter is better. Hip-hop star Chance the Rapper tweeted the commercial was "terribly racist." He said he thought some companies were purposely "putting out noticeably racist ads so they can get more views." In a statement, Heineken says while the ad was referencing Heineken Light, "we missed the mark." Heineken drew praise last year for its "Open Your World" commercials, which featured people of different backgrounds discussing their viewpoints.

Sedated Sean Penn Chain Smokes in Bizarre TV Appearance

Sean Penn showed up to "The Late Show" a little more relaxed than usual. During his guest appearance, the 57-year-old actor admitted he was still experiencing the effects of a sedative he took after a recent flight. "You've inherited a little of the Ambien I had to take to get to sleep after a red-eye last night," the "Mystic River" star said. "So, in other words, you're still a little bit on the Ambien train right now?" host Stephen Colbert asked him. "A little bit," he replied. Penn then proceeded to light up a cigarette right in the middle of the interview. "I thought you might," Colbert said, whipping out an ashtray. At one point, Colbert actually asked the actor to stop smoking. The actor put out his cigarette but eventually lit up another.

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