North and South Korea Leaders Work Towards Peace; Brazilian Surfer Rides 80-Foot Wave, Breaks World Record; Maine Suspect Who Killed Deputy is Arrested; Journalists Targeted in Suicide Bombings in Kabul, Afghanistan; Seahawks Draft Player with One Hand; T-Mobile and Sprint Announce $26 Billion Merger; “Caravan” of Migrants Reach Tijuana Border as U.S. Authorities Say They are At Capacity
North and South Korea Leaders Work Towards Peace
The biggest news of the weekend, and maybe of the year, is the handshake between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the demilitarized zone (DMZ). That border has been divided, but now there’s a handshake.
This scene couldn’t have been imagined a few months ago — in December there was that shooting when a North Korean soldier defected to the South across the DMZ.
Now it is a picture of peace, as the two sides work towards a deal to possibly end the Korean War.
North Korea said they would give up their nuclear weapons in exchange for a security guarantee from the U.S.
Kim Jong Un said he would adjust North Korea’s time zone to match with South Korea — there is currently a 30-minute difference, which has been a symbol their division, but this will be changed.
South Korean President Jae-in, after being elected in September, has been steadfast about building diplomatic relations with the North. His parents are refugees who escaped from North Korea during the war.
Now, what is next after this? There is a planned summit with President Trump and the two Korean leaders in May or June. That is probably when they will work out the details of how North Korea will give up their nuclear weapons and how the U.S. will give security guarantees, that they will never invade the North. That summit is when they’ll discuss this.
Kim Jong Un also said he would invite experts and journalists to observe the nuclear sites and their shutdown.
President Trump said during a speech on Saturday night that the meeting may be in the next three to four weeks. He said he was not sure what would happen, but that they were not playing games.
People in the audience chanted, “Nobel,” to say he should win the Nobel Peace Prize.
Today South Korean President Jae-in said President Trump deserves to win a Nobel Peace Prize. He said this after someone suggested he win the prize, deflecting the award to Trump.
There has been many tensions in Korea, but they largely ratcheted down during the Winter Olympics, when the two Koreas were united as one team under the Korean flag.
During Easter weekend, Mike Pomepo, currently Sec. of State after being CIA Director, had a secret meeting with Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang. So these are the events leading up to the handshake.
All this seems very positive, but there are many who have warned that this might be a lie from North Korea — that they are only looking to remove economic sanctions and would continue to have nuclear weapons hidden elsewhere. They warn that there have been attempts at peace in the past that fell apart.
We’ll see how things work out in the next few weeks and months. The world is watching.
Brazilian Surfer Rides 80-Foot Wave, Breaks World Record
Brazilian surfer Rodrigo Koxa has broken a record for the biggest wave ever surfed — a 80 foot high wave in Nazare, Portugal in November.
For this, he received a “Big Wave Award” and a Guinness World Record .
Koxa said he was so happy, that it was the best day of his life. He almost died surfing in the same area in 2014 and had to fight through fears and self-doubt to successfully surf again. Now he has the record.
Nazare, Portugal is known for its huge waves, they are formed by a canyon underwater that causes waves to become bigger.
Congratulations to him for breaking the record.
Maine Suspect Who Killed Deputy is Arrested
On Saturday, police in Maine caught John D. Williams, who they say shot and killed a deputy, Gene Cole, Wednesday morning.
Over 200 officers searched for Williams for four days and found him middle of a forested area.
Maine state police released this image of him on the ground, handcuffed with his head and hair pulled up. Police said they needed to do this because he refused to present himself for the photo.
The handcuffs used in the arrest belonged to Cole, who died. The sheriff said he thought it was fitting that the killer be brought to justice with his handcuffs.
Journalists Targeted in Suicide Bombings in Kabul, Afghanistan
In Kabul, Afghanistan — at least 31 people died from two suicide bombings, including nine journalists. ISIS claimed responsibility.
After the first bombing, journalists arrived at the scene. There was a suicide bomber disguised as a TV cameraman waiting for them before detonating and killing them.
Another journalist, a BBC reporter, was shot and killed by an unknown person in Khost, about 150 miles away.
There was another suicide bombing in another province that killed 11 students at a religious school and injured Romanian soldiers.
The violence has been constant in Afghanistan. Last Sunday there were two different suicide bombings that killed at least 70 people, including children. Very sad.
Seahawks Draft Player with One Hand
The Seattle Seahawks NFL team has drafted a player with one hand, Shaquem Griffin from the University of Central Florida. He is the first player since 1945 to have one hand. He is a linebacker.
Griffin has a condition called “amniotic band syndrome.” When he was a baby in utero, he had his hand wrapped by by amniotic bands, preventing its normal growth. After he was born, his left hand was amputated when he was 4.
He has a twin brother, who is also a Seahawks player.
Griffin, after being drafted, tweeted a GIF of his family and friends cheering his selection with the hashtag #AgainstAllOdds.
The other player I mentioned in 1945 is Ellis Jones, who had one arm. He played for the now-defunct NFL team, the Boston Yanks.
T-Mobile and Sprint Announce $26 Billion Merger
T-Mobile and Sprint announced a $26 billion deal that would merge the two companies.
They are now waiting for approval from antitrust regulators. The two companies are the third and fourth largest mobile carriers. First is Verizon, and second is AT&T.
If the merger is approved, they would call the new company T-Mobile. It would be valued at $146 billion and be the second-biggest wireless carrier.
Both companies have been in talks for years and in 2014 they attempted a similar deal but it was blocked by the FCC over concerns that it would impact competition and make prices for customers go up.
Just last year they were close to a deal but it fell apart because they couldn’t agree who would control the new company.
A giant technology company SoftBank from Japan controls 83% of Sprint. A German company named Deutsche Telekom owns 62% of T-Mobile.
The companies came to a deal partly because they were under pressure due to 5G wireless technology, which is coming very soon. 5G is the next generation of the cellular network, which would vastly improve coverage and data speeds.
Verizon and AT&T are more prepared to invest in building new towers to support a 5G network. By merging, T-Mobile and Sprint will become a serious competitor.
T-Mobile and Sprint will have to convince the US Justice Department (DOJ) that the merger will not have a negative impact on competition. They said the new company would create 80,000 jobs in the U.S.
Opponents of the deal say that only having three companies means that there will be less incentive for competition and consumer prices will ultimately go up.
The US government has blocked these types of deals multiple times since 2011, but the current head of the FCC Ajit Pai has not said he would block this deal. Ajit Pai used to be a lawyer for Verizon for a few years.
T-Mobile and Sprint are operating independently of each other until the deal is approved, but they are working together to allow Sprint customers to use T-Mobile’s network where there is no coverage. If this deal is approved, Sprint customers will be migrated to T-Mobile’s networks over three years. Both CEOs have said prices will not be raised.
“Caravan” of Migrants Reach Tijuana Border as U.S. Authorities Say They are At Capacity
The “caravan” of migrants who have captured media attention as they make their way from Central America into Mexico, has arrived at the Mexican-U.S. border in Tijuana. Pictures show some of them right at the border fence. There were protesters supporting the migrants who also attended the scene, on both sides, rallying for the migrants. There were people climbing on the top of the fence waving flags.
Many of the migrants are from Central American countries. Some of them say they love their countries, but there is too much crime and are trying to survive.
President Trump has previously talked about this caravan, criticizing the group. Last week he tweeted that he has ordered the Department of Homeland Security to not let them in. He said it was a disgrace and said we needed a wall.
Now this group of migrants will decide for themselves if they want to go to a U.S. port of entry and request asylum to stay here, to seek safety because of violence.
U.S. Border officials say they are filled to capacity and that people without documents will have to wait in Mexico until there are more space and resources.
Department of Homeland Secretary Nielsen said the DHS is monitoring their travel and doing everything to secure the borders and enforce the law. She said they should look for protection in the first safe country they enter, including Mexico. Her statement had a lot of warnings against illegal activity.
There are almost 20 lawyers who are working with organizations to try and give people in the caravan advice and warnings on the tough process of getting asylum.
A lot of media attention is on this.