What to Know
- President Donald Trump has agreed to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jung Un to negotiate an end to Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program
- State health officials say the number of confirmed influenza cases across New York has decreased for the second consecutive week
- "Star Wars" actor Harrison Ford and creator George Lucas helped present Mark Hamill with the 2,630th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
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Trump Says He'll Meet With North Korea's Kim Jong Un
After months of trading insults and threats of nuclear annihilation, President Trump agreed to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jung Un to negotiate an end to Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program, South Korean and U.S. officials said. No American president has ever met with a North Korea leader. The South Korean national security director, Chung Eui-yong told reporters outside the White House of the planned summit, after briefing Trump and other top U.S. officials about a rare meeting with Kim in the North Korean capital. The meeting would be unprecedented during seven decades of animosity between the U.S. and North Korea. The countries do not even have formal diplomatic relations. They remain in a state of war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice and not a peace treaty.
‘Pharma Bro' Faces Years in Prison at Sentencing in Fraud Case
Martin "Pharma Bro" Shkreli will learn his fate Friday at a sentencing hearing where he faces the possibility of a decade and a half behind bars. In August, Shkreli was convicted of securities fraud, and he's currently in jail awaiting his sentencing. A judge revoked his bail in September after he publicly offered $5,000 for a lock of Hillary Clinton's hair. Prosecutors say Shkreli deserves at least 15 years in prison for pilfering funds behind his investors' backs to start the drug company and cover up his fraud. The defense wants the judge to give him a sentence of 18 months or less because, in the end, his investors in two failed hedge funds got all of their money back and more from stock he gave them in a successful drug company. Earlier this week, the U.S. government became an accidental rap mogul, winning an order to seize two rare albums from Shkreli. In 2015, the brash pharmaceutical executive bought the only known copy of the Wu-Tang Clan's "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" for $2 million. Sentencing will be held around 11 a.m. in Brooklyn Federal Court.
Number of Flu Cases in NY Drops for Second Consecutive Week
State health officials say the number of confirmed influenza cases across New York has decreased for the second consecutive week. Gov. Cuomo announced about 6,400 laboratory-confirmed cases of the flu were reported to the state Department of Health last week, about half the number reported the previous week. He says the number of flu-stricken people requiring hospitalization dropped for the fourth straight week to just around 1,070. Since the flu was declared prevalent in New York state in December, nearly 108,000 confirmed cases of the flu have been reported, with more than 19,300 hospitalizations. Although the number of confirmed flu cases is declining, health officials say New Yorkers should still take appropriate steps to stop the spread of the virus.
Crowd Welcomes “Star Wars” Actor to Hollywood Walk of Fame
Hollywood Boulevard was full of star power when "Star Wars" actor Harrison Ford and creator George Lucas helped present Mark Hamill with the 2,630th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Screaming fans cheered almost throughout the ceremony in front of the El Capitan Theatre. Some had lined up hours ahead of the event, which included two Stormtroopers who appeared to be guarding the star before it was unveiled in front of the historic theater. The 66-year-old Hamill, best known for his role as Luke Skywalker expressed his appreciation. Hamill, a prolific voice-over artists who lends his voice to the villainous Joker in animated "Batman" and "Justice League" shows, punctuated his comments with a cackling Joker laugh. While accepting the honor, Hamill told the crowd, "Words truly fail me. It's hard to convey my gratitude, my joy, the exhilaration of being recognized this way."
Obama in Discussions to Produce Shows for Netflix, Report Says
Barack Obama and Netflix reportedly are negotiating a deal for the former president and his wife, Michelle, to produce shows exclusively for the streaming service. The proposed deal was reported by The New York Times, which cited people familiar with the discussions who were not identified. Netflix did not immediately respond for a request for comment. Obama spokeswoman Katie Hill declined comment on the report. Obama senior advisor Eric Schultz, in a statement provided to The Associated Press, said the Obamas believe in the power of storytelling to inspire. Schultz said the couple continues to explore new ways to help others share their stories. The New York Times reported Obama doesn't intend to use his Netflix shows to respond directly to President Donald Trump or conservative critics.