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February 22, 2019

President Trump might be the only person in the White House looking forward to his meeting with Kim Jong Un.

When Trump scheduled a second meeting with the North Korean leader for next week, the news apparently wasn't well-received by his advisers. They're not just worried that a second meetup with produce not-so-historic results, but also that Trump may mess up a denuclearization deal completely, Politico reports.

Trump and Kim met last June in Singapore, signing what the White House called a "historic" commitment to denuclearization and what others called a "nothingburger." Trump has since gone on about the "beautiful letters" Kim has sent him, and said this second conference in Vietnam will help make North Korea an "economic powerhouse." His advisers reportedly don't agree.

Among the "skeptics" is, surprisingly, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Politico says. He's continued to meet with Kim and other North Korean officials, but thinks those same people will steamroll Trump completely, one source says. And even if Trump does hold his own, "Pompeo believes the North Koreans are just playing for time" and won't hand over "anything of substance on denuclearization," foreign policy expert Ian Bremmer tells Politico. National Security Adviser John Bolton, meanwhile, hasn't even pretended he's onboard.

The State Department declined to comment, and Bolton's spokesman did not respond to a request for comment. Read more at Politico. Kathryn Krawczyk

2:06 a.m.

Peter Tabichi already knows what he's going to do with the $1 million he received upon being awarded the 2019 Global Teacher Prize.

The 36-year-old science teacher from rural Kenya will donate some of it to his school, Keriko Mixed Day Secondary School in Pwani Village, Nakuru, with the rest going to feed the poor. Tabichi, a Franciscan friar, already gives away 80 percent of his salary to students who otherwise couldn't afford uniforms or books. "Africa's young people will no longer be held back by low expectations," he told BBC News. "Africa will produce scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs whose names will be one day famous in every corner of the world. And girls will be a huge part of this story."

His school doesn't have a library, is overcrowded, and lacks resources, but that hasn't stopped Tabichi from providing his students with an excellent education; several have gone on to compete in international science competitions, and the Global Teacher Prize judges said because of his hard work, Tabichi has "dramatically improved his pupils' achievement."

Tabichi received the prize Sunday in Dubai, beating out more than 10,000 nominees from 179 countries. He told BBC News he wants to keep showing his students that "science is the way to go," and will never stop encouraging them to go to college. "It's morning in Africa," he said. "The skies are clear. The day is young and there is a blank page waiting to be written. This is Africa's time." Catherine Garcia

1:48 a.m.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's final report is in, and "all I know is I haven't been this confused about an ending since the series finale of Lost," Jimmy Kimmel said on Monday's Kimmel Live. "It's kind of funny, though: Half of America is upset that our president didn't collude with Russia. Seems like we should probably be happy about that, shouldn't we? And deep down, didn't we know Trump probably didn't collude with Russia, because he could never pull that off, and even if he did collude, it probably would have been by accident? [Russian President Vladimir] Putin wanted him in there and did what he had to do. Basically, Trump got in the White House the same way Lori Loughlin got her kid into USC."

"So far, as a result of this investigation, 37 people and entities have been charged with a total of 199 criminal counts and five people have been sentenced to prison, but for the president, who cares?" Kimmel said. "He was off to the golf course to play golf with his favorite kid, that being Kid Rock." And "make no mistake, this was a bigly victory for the president and there was much celebration in the Trump camp last night," he added. "And as if Trump didn't have enough to celebrate today, Michael Avenatti, the former lawyer for Stormy Daniels, was arrested and charged with multiple crimes today. ... Here's my hope on this whole thing: I hope he hires Rudy Giuliani to represent him. Wouldn't that be fun?" Peter Weber

1:30 a.m.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller apparently found insufficient evidence that President Trump and his campaign colluded with Russia, and "I'm not going to lie, it's a little disappointing," Trevor Noah said on Monday's Daily Show. "A lot of us were expecting something different. It's a little bit like coming down the stairs on Christmas morning, you were hoping for a brand new BMX, but instead you find Santa's dead body — burned, because your parents forgot to turn off the fire."

Amid his celebrating, "Trump said Mueller's report 'totally exonerated' him, but that's not totally true," Noah said. In fact, Mueller punted on half his mandate. "Robert Mueller spends two years investigating obstruction of justice, and his conclusion is, 'I don't know, what do you guys think?'" he groused. "That's not an answer, Robert Mueller! That is the question we gave you."

"But right now the nuances of the report don't matter to Trump supporters — in fact, they don't care about reading the rest, they've already started their victory parade," Noah said. Honestly, though, "I think this was really a win for everyone. I mean, this is great for Democrats, because they can move on from collusion now and campaign on the issues that more people care about. It's a win for America, because you know that your president isn't a traitor. I mean, how many countries can say that? I mean, all of them, but you know what I mean. ... And for all those taxpayers out there complaining, 'This investigation was a waste of money' — good news, you're also winning. Because Robert Mueller may have spent $25 million on this, but because of him, [Paul] Manafort had to pay the United States over $40 million. Which I guess is another reason the Mueller investigation was such a big win for Trump — this is the first time he's been involved in something that actually turned a profit." Watch below. Peter Weber

12:52 a.m.

Capt. Wendy Rexon and her daughter, First Officer Kelly Rexon, are having a great time flying the friendly skies together.

Upon boarding a recent Delta flight from Los Angeles to Atlanta, Dr. John R. Watret, the chancellor of Embry-Riddle Worldwide Aeronautical University, learned that the plane's pilot and first officer were a mother and daughter team. Watret was thrilled, as he feels there "has to be more diversification in the industry," he said in a news release. "It's crucial and one of the key factors we focus on. When there are more opportunities, everyone wins." Watret and a few other passengers chatted with the Rexons before the plane took off, and he found out that flying runs in the family — Kelly's sister is a pilot, too.

As of 2017, just 7 percent of Federal Aviation Administration certified pilots were women, and Watret said the industry will grow stronger as more women join the workforce. "The first officer had a great role model for becoming a pilot — her mother," he said. "It's good for aviation and inspiring for us all." Catherine Garcia

12:41 a.m.

Monday's Late Show started off with a wistful farewell to Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

"This weekend, we received some troubling news: Our president is not a Russian asset," Stephen Colbert said. "Now I say troubling news because if Trump is not working with the Russians, then what the hell is wrong with him? If they don't have anything on him then why does he keep saying nice things about Vladimir Putin?"

After two years, Mueller turned in his final report, and according to Attorney General Robert Barr's summary, there's insufficient evidence to charge Trump with Russian collusion. "This is, shall we say, anticlimactic," Colbert said. "It's worse than the finale of Lost. I mean, what about the smoke monster — was it real or not? And if not, why have so many members of Trump's campaign pleaded guilty to lying about meeting with the smoke monster? I don't understand. Why couldn't this have been like the ending of Seinfeld? Still disappointing, but at least they're all in jail."

"So there it is: Mueller is an honorable man," Colbert said, and even if he left open the possibility of obstruction of justice, "he has said that Donald Trump is not a foreign asset — which is good news. But even if Trump was falsely accused, he only has himself to blame. Because he lies so much, you just don't know what to believe. ... The rest of Trump's presidency is going to be like a big bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough: He's going to promise you it's the finest chocolate chips in the world. But I promise you, if you swallow that, you're going to be eating some rat poop — which technically may not be a crime, but it's going to leave a bad taste in your mouth." Still, he said, "fair is fair," so he crossed "collusion" off his "list of reasons Trump is unfit to be president," and Mueller off the list of active Trump investigations, and, well, you can see what's left on those lists below. Peter Weber

March 25, 2019

President Trump has asked top advisers for ways he can limit federal spending from going to Puerto Rico, saying it is "ridiculous" how much money is going to food stamp recipients on the island, senior administration officials told The Washington Post.

Trump first asked how to keep money from going to Puerto Rico during a Feb. 22 meeting in the Oval Office, the officials said. He argued the money should stay on the mainland, and doesn't think any amount will fix the issues facing Puerto Rico. "He doesn't want another single dollar going to the island," a senior administration official told the Post.

After Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in September 2017, the federal government gave extra food stamp aid to the island. Because Puerto Rico is not a state, it funds programs like food stamps and Medicaid through block grants that have to be renewed by the government often. Congress missed its deadline this month to reauthorize food stamp aid, and about 1.3 million already-struggling people in Puerto Rico saw a reduction in their benefits.

House Democrats in January approved giving an additional $600 million in food stamp funding to Puerto Rico, but that stalled in the Senate, and the Trump administration released a letter calling this aid "excessive and unnecessary," the Post reports. It's not excessive to people like Myrna Izquierdo, who runs the nonprofit Casa Ismael clinic in Toa Baja. The clinic, which serves HIV-positive men and is still damaged from Hurricane Maria, relies on food stamp money from patients, and because of the cuts, Izquierdo says they have to find ways to save money — including not being able to change diapers that have been soiled. "We just don't have the money right now," she told the Post. "It's very hard. It's so unfair. That cut is going to kill us." To read more about how the cuts are affecting Puerto Rico, visit The Washington Post. Catherine Garcia

March 25, 2019

British lawmakers voted on Monday night to take control of the parliamentary timetable on Wednesday, giving them the opportunity to vote on alternatives to Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal.

The amendment, put forward by a member of May's Conservative Party, passed 329 to 302, and three ministers resigned from May's government in order to support it. Alternatives to May's plan include leaving the European Union without a deal, extending the country's departure, and revoking Article 50 to remain in the EU, and Parliament will vote on a range of proposals Wednesday. A spokesman for the Department of Exiting the European Union told Reuters the government will "continue to call for realism — any options considered must be deliverable in negotiations with the EU."

The United Kingdom was supposed to leave the bloc on March 29; last week, the EU agreed to postpone Brexit until May 22 if British lawmakers agree to May's withdrawal deal, which has already been rejected twice. Otherwise, the EU will extend the delay to April 12. Earlier Monday, May, who promised a clean break with the EU, said she did not have enough support to hold a third vote. For her deal to pass, at least 75 members of Parliament who voted against her on March 12 must join her side. Catherine Garcia

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