Russia, Venezuela, Malala: Your Thursday Evening Briefing
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Good evening. Here’s the latest.
1. The clash between Russia and the West is intensifying.
Russia will expel 150 diplomats, including 60 Americans, in retaliation for Western measures designed to punish Moscow for its alleged role in a nerve-agent attack on a former spy in Britain. Russia denies any involvement.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, above, summoned the American ambassador, Jon Huntsman, to his office to give him the news. The Americans were given until April 5 to leave the country.
The daughter of the spy, who was also poisoned, is showing improvement as she recovers in a British hospital.
2. The Trump administration is expected to launch an effort to weaken standards for greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy for automobiles. That would be a major victory for car manufacturers, giving them ammunition to potentially roll back industry standards worldwide.
Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, is expected to frame the initiative as eliminating a regulatory burden on automakers that will result in more affordable vehicles for buyers.
An E.P.A. spokeswoman confirmed that Mr. Pruitt had sent a draft plan to the White House for approval. Above, an emissions test.
Earlier in the day, he took to Twitter to rail against Amazon, accusing the company of not paying enough taxes and abusing the post office. We fact-checked his claims.
And on Wednesday night, he placed a personal call to a political supporter with a huge megaphone. That would be Roseanne Barr, who got huge ratings for the premiere of her series reboot on Tuesday.
4. North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, and President Moon Jae-in of South Korea agreed to meet for the first time on April 27.
They’ll get together at the so-called truce village of Panmunjom, near their shared border. Above, South Korean negotiators there on Thursday.
Mr. Kim would be the first leader from the North to set foot in the South since the Korean War. He is also supposed to meet with President Trump in May, but no date has been set.
5. We examined the record of John Bolton, President Trump’s new national security adviser, who will surely be a key figure in the North Korea talks. He has a reputation as a “kiss-up, kick-down sort of guy.” Hear more on “The Daily.” Above, Mr. Bolton, left, with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
And we published an Op-Ed essay by David Shulkin, who was replaced yesterday as secretary of veterans affairs.
“In recent months, the environment in Washington has turned so toxic, chaotic, disrespectful and subversive that it became impossible for me to accomplish the important work that our veterans need and deserve,” he wrote.
Having trouble keeping track of all the turnover in the Trump administration? You’re not alone. Here’s our running tally.
6. “I never wanted to leave my country.”
Malala Yousafzai, the world’s youngest Nobel laureate, returned to Pakistan for the first time since she was gravely wounded there by a Taliban attack in 2012.
Ms. Yousafzai, now 20 and studying at Oxford, is expected to stay mostly in Islamabad, the capital, during her four-day visit. Above, a meeting with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
7. In Venezuela, at least 68 people died after a fire broke out during a prison riot in the northern city of Valencia.
Enraging Venezuelans and rights advocates, the police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at grieving relatives who gathered outside the jail overnight demanding information. Above, a victim was buried.
With Venezuela in an economic collapse, inmates throughout the country are going hungry. Gangs, weapons and bribery are common — and protests are on the rise.
8. The Fox News host Laura Ingraham, above, apologized for taunting a survivor of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., as at least four companies confirmed they would pull ads from her show.
The dispute began when Ms. Ingraham shared an article about the student, David Hogg, 17, getting rejected from some colleges — and accused him of whining about it.
“On reflection, in the spirit of Holy Week, I apologize for any upset or hurt my tweet caused him or any of the brave victims of Parkland,” she said.
9. It was opening day for Major League Baseball. Rain in Cincinnati, above, and Detroit ended a plan to have all 30 teams play. But the other 26 were still on deck, and ESPN has a national quadruple header. Here’s the lineup.
10. The comedian Dana Carvey impersonated John Bolton, President Trump’s incoming national security adviser, in an interview with Stephen Colbert on “The Late Show.”
It was a bit reminiscent of Carvey’s famous impression of the first President George Bush — but a few notches more ludicrous.
By the end, his face was covered in an overgrown mustache, and he was attempting to breast-feed a golden retriever puppy.
11. Finally, John Legend will play the title role in a live concert version of “Jesus Christ Superstar” airing Sunday night on NBC. We talked to the lead performers about their roles.
And we were remiss yesterday not to include Passover recipes in our final item. Our Cooking team, of course, has many, including a 13th-century haroseth recipe from Provence and a simple but satisfying matzo ball soup. Browse the full collection here.
Have a great night.
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