×
Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: May 6, 2016

Image
Harold Maass
Paul Ryan refuses to support Donald Trump
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File
Our '10 things you need to
know' newsletter
Your free email newsletter subscription is confirmed. Thank you for subscribing!

1.

Ryan and Romney distance themselves from Trump

House Speaker Paul Ryan, the GOP's 2012 vice presidential nominee, said Thursday that he was "just not ready" to endorse presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Mitt Romney, the party's 2012 presidential nominee, reportedly plans to skip the GOP's July convention — an unusual one-two snub for a new party standard bearer. Trump responded by saying he was "not ready to support Speaker Ryan's agenda," but hoped he and Ryan could work together on "what is best for the American people." [CNN, Politico]

2.

Rare party congress opens in North Korea

North Korea opened its first party congress in 36 years on Friday. Foreign analysts expect the isolated communist nation's leader, Kim Jong Un, to use the rare gathering to cement his authority and reemphasize his so-called byungjin strategy of enhancing the nation's nuclear arsenal and fixing its devastated economy. The state-run Korean Central News Agency on Friday said a "powerful nuclear deterrent" would "boost the revolutionary will of the people" to rebuild the economy. [The New York Times]

3.

28 killed in strikes on Syrian refugee camp

Airstrikes killed 28 people in a camp housing Syrian war refugees near the Turkish border on Thursday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based monitoring group. An activist from a nearby town said two strikes hit the camp, where people had taken refuge after fleeing fighting in Aleppo and Palmyra. Syrian or Russian forces are suspected to have launched the strikes. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said there was "no justification" for targeting the camp. The United Nations called the attack a possible war crime. [Reuters, BBC News]

4.

Canada airlifts 8,000 fire evacuees from temporary shelter camps

Canadian authorities on Thursday began airlifting 8,000 people from oil-sands work camps, where they had sought refuge after fleeing a massive wildfire that forced the evacuation of the entire city of Fort McMurray, some 80,000 people. Government officials hope that a highway to the south will become safe on Friday so they can move another 17,000 people in danger of becoming trapped by the flames. The blaze now covers more than 300 square miles. It has disrupted Canada's oil production and is expected to be the costliest disaster in the nation's history. [BBC News, Bloomberg]

5.

Turkish prime minister resigns under pressure from president

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced Thursday that he would step down. Reports of tensions between Davutoglu and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had been circulating for weeks. Davutoglu has remained publicly loyal to Erdogan, but he reportedly has been pushing back privately against Erdogan's recent moves to expand his power, such as jailing journalists and crushing anti-government protests. After being forced out by Erdogan, Davutoglu said, "My loyalty to him will last until the end." [The New York Times]

6.

North Carolina officials defy Justice Department on bathroom law

North Carolina lawmakers on Thursday said they would not meet a Monday deadline to "remedy" a bathroom law the Justice Department has deemed to be in violation of the Civil Rights Act. The law requires people to use public restrooms corresponding to the gender on their birth certificate. Federal authorities say that amounts to discrimination against transgender people. "We're not going to get bullied by the Obama administration to take action prior to Monday's date," House Speaker Tim Moore said. [Los Angeles Times]

7.

FDA to regulate e-cigarettes and ban sales to children

The Food and Drug Administration will start regulating electronic cigarettes, premium hand-rolled cigars, hookahs, and pipe tobacco just as it does tobacco products, the Obama administration announced Thursday. The new rules, which take effect in 90 days, will prohibit teens under the age of 18 from buying e-cigarettes. Manufacturers will have to submit currently unregulated tobacco products for approval if they were introduced after February 2007, when the now $3 billion e-cigarette industry was virtually non-existent. [Time, USA Today]

8.

Obama commutes sentences of 58 prisoners

President Obama has commuted the sentences of 58 federal prisoners, the White House announced Thursday. Eighteen of the 58 were serving life sentences, mostly for nonviolent drug-related charges. The majority of the prisoners are set to be freed Sept. 2, though some will be released early next year. It was Obama's second round of commutations this year. He cut short the sentences of 61 inmates in March, and his total now stands at 306, more than double the total commutations of the last six presidents combined. [The Washington Post, The Washington Examiner]

9.

Court paper says Joe Paterno knew of Sandusky sex abuse in 1976

A court document made public Thursday said late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno was told about sexual abuse allegations against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky as far back as 1976. Sandusky was sentenced in 2012 to 30 to 60 years in prison. Previously the abuse was thought to have occurred between 1994 and 2008. The latest allegation — which Paterno's family calls an unsubstantiated "smear" — surfaced in a lawsuit the university filed to get an insurer to pay its $60 million share of settlements with 26 men who say Sandusky sexually abused them. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, NBC News]

10.

SpaceX makes second successful rocket landing on floating pad

SpaceX landed a Falcon 9 rocket at sea on Friday after it put a satellite in orbit. It was the second landing on a floating pad for entrepreneur Elon Musk's private space company. It made the first successful landing on a floating pad in April after four failed attempts. SpaceX is trying to re-use its rockets so it can cut the costs of its launch services. "Woohoo!!" Musk tweeted after the latest landing. "May need to increase size of rocket storage hangar." [Reuters]