Trump Tweets An Invitation To North Korea’s Kim — Meet In the DMZ?

President Donald Trump at the G-20 economic conference in Osaka, Japan, Friday. He tweeted an invitation for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to meet him after the summit in the demilitarized zone between the Koreas.

Susan Walsh/AP

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Susan Walsh/AP

President Trump is wrapping up his economic meetings at the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, and thinking about his upcoming visit to Seoul, South Korea. While he’s there, why not meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un?

So Trump tweeted an invitation to meet in the demilitarized zone between the Koreas.

After some very important meetings, including my meeting with President Xi of China, I will be leaving Japan for South Korea (with President Moon). While there, if Chairman Kim of North Korea sees this, I would meet him at the Border/DMZ just to shake his hand and say Hello(?)!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 28, 2019

Trump and Kim met in February in Hanoi, Vietnam, to talk about denuclearization. It ended abruptly with no deal.

But since then they’ve said nice things about each other in public. Last week, Kim said he’d received a letter with “excellent content” from Trump. A couple of weeks earlier Trump said Kim had sent him a “beautiful” letter for the president’s 73rd birthday.

This story will be updated.

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Disney Heiress Calls For Wealth Tax: ‘We Have To Draw A Line’

Honoree Abigail Disney speaks during the 2018 Women’s Media Awards at Capitale on Nov. 1, 2018 in New York City.

Mike Coppola/Getty Images

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Mike Coppola/Getty Images

It may come as no surprise that a strong majority of Americans support a wealth tax — a higher tax rate for a small number of millionaires and billionaires.

But what might be a surprise is that some of those millionaires and billionaires are calling for a wealth tax themselves.

Abigail Disney is one of those people.

Her grandfather was Roy Disney, co-founder of the multi-billion-dollar entertainment conglomerate that bears her family name — though she currently has no formal role with the company.

The activist and filmmaker has been speaking out on the issue of income inequality — and specifically, at Disney. She was one of 18 people in the top one-tenth of the wealthiest 1% who first signed a recent letter to the 2020 presidential candidates supporting a tax for households with $50 million or more in assets.

“Nothing in history ever moved forward just because people advocated for their own interests,” Disney tells All Things Considered. “Things really change when people are traitors to their class, and my class needs some really good traitors these days.”

Interview Highlights

On why she signed the letter

We’re not in a democracy all assigned with the task of advocating for ourselves. We’re assigned with the task of trying to create the best and strongest and fairest country we can create. And what I’ve watched over the last 30 years is rich people going from terribly rich to awfully rich to obscenely and insanely rich. And we have to draw a line.

On why she prefers a wealth tax over philanthropic spending

Here’s the world I want to live in. I want to live in a world that doesn’t need philanthropy. And if [Amazon CEO] Jeff Bezos earned less and paid his people more, and didn’t have $37 billion to put into a philanthropy and figure out what to do with [it], there really wouldn’t be that much philanthropy that was needed. I would rather not to be needed as a philanthropist, and I will never stop feeding the hungry and housing the homeless and all the other things that I want to do.

But I would so much prefer that public schools function, that roads don’t break your axle, that people have health care — which they have a right to have — that low-income people who work full time at minimum wage don’t need food stamps to get through their days. That’s the world I want to live in.

On the crux of why she’s speaking out against Disney

I know that company pretty well. … When you’re in what is setting up to be the largest media and entertainment conglomerate on the planet in the history of the world … and when you have record profits, when your stocks are at record highs, and you’re going home with obscene amounts of money — and I have no objection to obscene amounts of money in and of themselves — my objection is you have $15 an hour workers who cannot buy enough food to eat. They are rationing their insulin, they are sleeping in their cars.

How do you jibe one thing with the other? When you’re running such an enormous conglomerate, can you not break from orthodoxy? What if you made less money and everybody else made some more? You don’t have to create a foundation to go feed those hungry people because you’ve paid them fairly.

I have literally sat in a room with the people [at Disney] who pour your soda, and the people who clean your room and scrape gum off the sidewalks, who have told me, “I have to ration my insulin.” I have sat with them, and I have felt a kind of rage that I don’t even know how to describe to you.

Those were the people that I was taught to revere. So I’m not really, in fact, in the business of just attacking Disney because I can attack Disney. I know that if I say something about Disney, people pay more attention. I could say something about IBM. I could say something about Walmart. I could say something about a lot of things. Nobody would care. And the fact is, Disney is kind of the last shame-able company in a lot of ways.

On why the critique of Disney has a different kind of power

It’s a different kind of brand. This is a brand people feel actual love for. I use the word love very mindfully here. Love. And when somebody loves something, they expect more of it than just the minimum allowable legal thing.

And so when you say to somebody about the Disney brand, the people pouring your soda cannot afford their insulin, and the man in charge of them is coming home with a nine-figure paycheck, they do feel an outrage that is very visceral. And I think that given that there are so few companies that can be shamed anymore, this is a really important place to start a bigger, broader conversation about all of these companies.

The thing is, [Disney chairman and CEO] Bob Iger is kind of a nice guy … and everybody around him are nice people. What has become thought of as normal — and the kind of thing nice people do — isn’t nice, and somebody has to say the emperor’s wearing no clothes. Somebody just has to say it.

I’ve traveled everywhere in the world, and everywhere you go, you find a hands-drawn painting of Mickey Mouse on the side of a children’s school. … He has jumped out of the celluloid, and he exists, and he is a citizen of the world, and everybody understands what he means and what he’s for. This is not true of any other brand that I can think of.

And so we have a special responsibility and that’s why I feel the weight of this. When I went last year and met with the workers at Disneyland, I could not shed the weight I was carrying once I went home from there, I couldn’t say nothing.

On how her story would be told in a Disney film about the granddaughter of the co-founder turning against the empire

I’m turning against the empire itself. It’s like the empire went off in its own direction. It’s almost unrecognizable to me now. And we have no family engagement on the company anymore. There’s nobody from the family on the board. It’s still my name. I still use my credit card and I still feel all that comes with that and the expectations, and people still say to me, “You must have had such a happy childhood,” “Oh, how wonderful the gifts your grandfather and uncle gave to the world.” Those are very lovely feelings.

And if I am welcoming to those kinds of perceptions, I also have an obligation to attend to the rest of the ways in which it’s not engaging with the world in a good way, and it’s actively promoting something that’s really deleterious — not just to the low-income people, they’re destroying the middle class and they’re having a go at democracy itself.

The Walt Disney Company has responded to Abigail Disney’s criticisms. In a statement to NPR, the company says:

Disney is at the forefront of providing workforce education, which is widely recognized as the best way to create economic opportunity for employees and empower upward mobility. Our Disney Aspire initiative is the most comprehensive employee education program in the country, covering 100% of all tuition costs, books and fees so our hourly workers can pursue higher education free of charge, and graduate free of debt. Under Bob Iger’s leadership, Disney has made an initial commitment of $150 million to fund this program in the first five years, and will continue to make significant investments to make Disney Aspire available to as many employees as possible. Disney also provides flexible schedules and subsidized childcare to make it easier for employees to take advantage of this opportunity. American workers need meaningful change; they deserve smart policies and practical programs, like Disney Aspire, that empower them to achieve their goals and ensure they are part of the most competitive workforce in the world.

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Watch Out For Wasps: Massive Yellow Jacket Nests Spotted In Alabama

A “super nest” was located outside an Alabama home earlier this month. Experts recommend hiring a professional to help remove these dangerous colonies.

Charles Ray

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Charles Ray

Similar to humans, yellow jackets often live in areas that disturb the natural environment. This means the two species are bound to cross paths.

Scientists are warning Alabama residents to be on the lookout for “super nests” which provide shelter to at least 4,000 yellow jackets. Early sightings of these nests suggests that the state may see a large number of wasp colonies popping up this year.

An average yellow jacket nest does not exceed the size of a volleyball, Charles Ray, an entomologist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and a research fellow at Auburn University told NPR. If they choose to build in a wall void or hole, their “super nest” may not even be noticeable until it suddenly appears, extremely large, seemingly out of nowhere. Ray said although yellow jackets are not good excavators or diggers they still manage to expand the nest.

“They tend to increase the size by either going out or inward. But eventually they might start finding their way into the home,” Ray said.

Most years Ray witnesses zero to two observations of large nests. The last time Alabama had a huge outbreak of “super nests” was in 2006 with more than 90 sightings — the first was reported during mid-June.

  • Perennial nest located inside a '57 Chevy in Elmore County, Alabama in June 2006.

    Perennial nest located inside a ’57 Chevy in Elmore County, Alabama in June 2006.

    Charles Ray

  • Perennial nest located in Chilton Country, Alabama in July 2006.

    Perennial nest located in Chilton Country, Alabama in July 2006.

    Charles Ray

  • Perennial nest located in Talladega County, Alabama in June 2006.

    Perennial nest located in Talladega County, Alabama in June 2006.

    Charles Ray

  • Perennial nest located in Butler County, Alabama in June 2006.

    Perennial nest located in Butler County, Alabama in June 2006.

    Charles Ray

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This year, the yellow jackets seem to be in a hurry. Ray said his email is flooding with potential sightings of “super nests.” By mid-May he confirmed two in person, and since, at least 10 others through pictures.

Ray encourages homeowners to leave the nest alone and call a professional for help. If people choose to have the nests removed, Ray recommends contacting a licensed pest control operator, warning that some commercial operators will not tackle the job.

The southeast has a large population of yellow jackets.

Ray said the best way to measure whether a nest is perennial — one that has survived more than a year — is by counting the number of queens inside. A queen is darker colored and much larger than a worker. Some perennial nests can include up to a quarter-million yellow jackets.

In an average year, almost no nests survive the winter, according to Ray.

Every spring a queen wasp will set out to search for a place to construct a nest. Queens usually claim territory in any kind of cavity such as a wall void, or most commonly in a vacant rodent hole in the ground. Once the queen has found an ideal spot, she begins building.

“She starts the colony from scratch,” Ray said. “She’s doing all the work herself, she’s a single mom.”

After creating a nest, the queen lays a few eggs and sets off to forage for food such as spiders or other insects to bring home. She produces female workers who then assume responsibility for expanding the nest, feeding the young and protecting the colony. The nest will grow from one queen to thousands of workers. The nest is considered mature and at its largest by August. During the late summer, colonies consist of males which help produce more queens.

For example, a nest with 4,000 workers will usually produce 4,000 queens to prepare for the following season.

During winter the colony slowly fades away and the workers die from cold temperatures or starvation because their food supply disappears. The queen however lives and leaves the nest.

“The queens are the only ones who have [a] antifreeze-like compound in their blood so the queens can survive freezing,” Ray said.

The queen finds a place under the bark of a dead tree or a log in the ground.

“They don’t hardly move all winter, and so anything that finds them, any animal even fungi, could consume them,” Ray said. “That’s why they put out 4,000 queens. If one of them makes it through that winter in an average year, that’s a successful colony.”

Ray is in the process of confirming more perennial nest reports in person but said he expects the total to mirror 2006 numbers.

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U.S. Wins Again At Women’s World Cup, Defeating Host France

American player Megan Rapinoe, right, celebrates after scoring her team’s first goal during the Women’s World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between France and the United States Friday.

Alessandra Tarantino/AP

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Alessandra Tarantino/AP

Pick your superlative and chances are someone, somewhere used it to describe this game at some point. Epic. Intense. Pressure-packed. Match of the tournament. Regardless of the term, the Women’s World Cup quarterfinal game lived up to the hype. One versus four. Defending champion against the host country favorite. The U.S. was crisp and powerful from the first whistle until the final one. It beat France 2-1.

The U.S. got the scoring started early. After Alex Morgan was fouled just outside the France penalty area, Megan Rapinoe lined up to take the free kick. The shot was a laser. The ball sliced through a sea of U.S. and French players, untouched, and found the back of the net in the 5th minute. It was the first time France had trailed in this Women’s World Cup.

WOW. US fans go wild as @mPinoe draws first blood, launching free kick into the goal in the 5th minute. #USA 1 – #FRA 0

— melissa block (@NPRmelissablock) June 28, 2019

The U.S. was on the attack all half long with runs deep into the French backfield. It was a physical contest as both teams battled the heat and each other at Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. The Americans were buoyed by their defense which stifled the French, closing down countless scoring opportunities. Crystal Dunn, Julie Ertz and Kelley O’Hara suffocated the French scorers shutting them out in the first half.

The second half started just like the first. A strong U.S. attack right from the get-go The U.S. launched two shots on goal in the seconds after the opening whistle. Corner kicks, powerful strikes and fortunate bounces all were in the Americans’ favor. France had more success after their halftime adjustments with several scoring chances but also several unforced errors.

The United States still found a way to dissect the French defense in the second half and it came courtesy of Megan Rapinoe again. She powered home a blistering shot in the 65th minute after a Tobin Heath assist skittered in front of the French goal. Rapinoe also scored both goals in the last game against Spain.

France finally found the back of the net in the 81st minute with a sparkling header by Wendie Renard. The 6-foot-2-inch defender is the tallest player in the Women’s World Cup. The score energized the French crowd (and the French team) which had been relatively quiet since the early goal from Megan Rapinoe. But the U.S. found a way to withstand a furious French attack.

It was the 10th straight World Cup win for the U.S. (tying Norway). The United States is seeking to become just the second nation to win successive World Cups (Germany 2003 & 2007). After this emotional win against France, the road doesn’t get any easier for the Americans. The U.S. takes on England in the semifinals on Tuesday.

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