The U.S. at a glance ...
Fred and Cindy Warmbier
Trying to cool off
Carter reacts to the verdict.
Scalise’s doctor briefs press.
Warmbier dies: The Trump administration was weighing this week whether to ban Americans from traveling to North Korea, after an American college student imprisoned in the Hermit Kingdom for 17 months died shortly after returning home in a coma. Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old University of Virginia student, traveled to North Korea in December 2015 for a brief tourist visit. He was arrested as he tried to leave the country and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster. Warmbier’s parents had no news about their son during his detention, and U.S. officials were only told this month that he was in a coma. He was medically evacuated last week and died days later at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Doctors could not pinpoint the cause of Warmbier’s condition, but said he had suffered extensive loss of brain tissue after being comatose for more than a year.
California, Nevada, and Arizona
Extreme heat: More than 40 flights were grounded at the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport this week, as a recordbreaking heat wave across the Southwest made it too hot for some planes to fly. Temperatures hit 119 degrees in Phoenix on Tuesday, the city’s fourth-hottest day on record, with temperatures in the 110s forecast through the week. The extreme conditions forced American Airlines to cancel some flights using the Bombardier CRJ aircraft, which has a maximum operating temp of 118 degrees. Las Vegas hit 117 degrees, tying a record temperature recorded only three other times in the city’s history. “That’s deadly heat no matter how you slice it,” said meteorologist Chris Breckenridge. Southern California also wilted, with temperatures hitting 122 degrees in Palm Springs, 124 in San Diego County and 127 in Death Valley.
Cosby mistrial: Prosecutors vowed to retry Bill Cosby on sexual assault charges, after the comedian’s case ended in a mistrial last week following six days of jury deliberations. Cosby, 79, faced three counts of aggravated indecent assault for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting former Temple University athletics employee Andrea Constand in 2004. Jurors deliberated for 52 hours—longer than the defense and prosecution had spent presenting their cases, but Judge Steven O’Neill declared a mistrial when it became clear the jurors were hopelessly deadlocked. Constand, 44, reacted coolly to the judge’s decision, hugging supporters in the courtroom, including several other women who have accused Cosby of assault, one of whom openly wept as the news came down. Cosby’s lawyer declared the entertainer vindicated, saying, “Mr. Cosby began this trial presumed innocent, and he leaves it that way.”
Trump’s fortune: Revenues have risen sharply at President Trump’s private Mara- Lago resort since he took office, according to the president’s latest financial disclosure, released last week by the Office of Government Ethics. Trump reported $37.2 million in revenue from the Palm Beach property in the 16-month period that ended April 15, up from $30 million reported in May 2016 and $16 million two years ago. Earlier this year, the club doubled its initiation fee to $200,000. The newly opened Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., brought in nearly $20 million in revenue. The 98-page document, which Trump filed voluntarily, showed that the president made at least $38 million from assets with foreign ties, including income from resorts and golf courses. Trump reported at least $1.4 billion in assets and income of at least $596.3 million. He also has debts of at least $310 million, including at least $130 million owed to Deutsche Bank.
Texting suicide: A young woman who urged her boyfriend to kill himself through texts and phone calls was convicted of involuntary manslaughter last week, in a closely watched case that legal experts say could have far-reaching implications for online communications. Michelle Carter, 20, faces up to 20 years in prison after a judge ruled that she was responsible for the death of 18-year-old Conrad Roy III, because she encouraged him to get back into a truck that was filling with deadly carbon monoxide. In one text, Carter told Roy, “You’re finally going to be happy in heaven. No more pain. It’s okay to be scared and it’s normal.” The judge’s ruling hinged on a phone call Carter later described to a friend, in which she told Roy to get back into his truck after he got scared. Legal experts were troubled by the ruling, saying it implies mere words can kill. “This puts all the things that you say in the mix of criminal responsibility,” said Harvard Law School professor Nancy Gertner.
Scalise recovering: House Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s condition was upgraded from critical to fair this week, after the Republican lawmaker underwent multiple surgeries to treat the gunshot wound he suffered last week during a GOP baseball practice. Scalise lost significant amounts of blood after he was shot in the hip by James Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old former Bernie Sanders campaign volunteer, with the bullet traveling across his pelvis—fracturing bones, injuring internal organs, and causing severe internal bleeding. FBI investigators said Hodgkinson kept a local storage locker with more than 200 rounds of ammunition, and was carrying a list of Republican legislators’ names. The FBI continued to probe Hodgkinson’s background, saying he had a history of anger management issues, and was taking prescription medications. “He was struggling in all kinds of different ways,” an FBI official said.
Maddie McGarvey/The Washington Post, Newscom (2), AP ■