What We’re Following
Escalating Tension: President Trump reiterated his threats against North Korea this afternoon, stating his promise of “fire and fury” may not have been “tough enough.” Earlier, North Korea had outlined a detailed plan for how it could strike Guam “to signal a crucial warning to the U.S.,” escalating the vaguer threat it made against the island territory earlier this week. In Guam, residents are trying to remain calm—though some are frustrated not only with North Korea, but also with the U.S. for putting them in the rogue nation’s crosshairs.
Emergency Measures: Trump announced that he intends to follow the recommendation of his presidential commission in declaring the opioid crisis a national emergency, contradicting a statement his administration made earlier this week. When the declaration becomes official, it will make federal disaster funds available to help manage the crisis. Trump hasn’t described what specific emergency actions will be taken, but the previous announcement promised a focus on “law and order”—an approach that hasn’t worked well in the past.
Climate Climax: The five biggest findings of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s new report on 2016 weather paint a worrying picture of the state of the climate: Last year was the hottest on record, seas continued to rise, and countries around the world suffered severe drought. Al Gore’s new documentary, An Inconvenient Sequel, uses the tactics of TV shows to drive home the severity of this situation, but risks undermining some of its own calls to action. California has what might be a more effective solution in its own international climate pact, formed with several Canadian provinces—and soon, perhaps, with other U.S. states.