It’s Friday, May 10, 2019. Let’s start here.
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1. ‘Escalation in provocation’
Nuclear talks have stalled between the U.S. and North Korea, but tensions are rising after Pyongyang’s latest provocations.
The U.S. seized a North Korean cargo vessel off the coast of Indonesia from a fleet of so-called ghost ships, which illegally and secretly transport shipments of coal in violation of international sanctions, prosecutors said.
U.S. officials announced the seizure just hours after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un launched two short-range ballistic missiles, the second such test in less than a week.
“I think the second launch of missiles in five days is a cause for a little bit of alarm,” ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz says on “Start Here.” “Not sending up the danger signals, but this is an escalation in provocation.”
2. Full-court press
Earlier this week, Georgia became the latest state to pass “heartbeat bill” legislation, joining Ohio, Mississippi and Kentucky in passing laws that declare once a fetal heartbeat can be detected — as early as six weeks — abortion is illegal.
Lawmakers in Alabama on Thursday delayed a vote on a proposed abortion ban amid anger from some legislators that exceptions were taken out of the bill for victims of rape and incest. President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast Staci Fox told ABC News the ban is “blatantly unconstitutional and lawmakers know it — they just don’t care.”
It’s part of a new strategy among conservatives to have the abortion bans challenged in court with the hope of eventually overturning Roe v. Wade, according to ABC News Legal Contributor Kate Shaw.
“There’s no way that these laws are constitutional under Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey,” Shaw tells us, “but of course the Supreme Court is the court that can always revisit its own precedent, and I think that is the huge question.”
3. Facebook status
“It’s time to break up Facebook,” says Chris Hughes, the co-founder who helped Mark Zuckerberg build the social media platform in his Harvard dorm room.
In an op-ed on Thursday for The New York Times, Hughes calls on the government to hold Zuckerberg accountable for the “unchecked power” the CEO has over Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, and criticized Zuckerberg for his handling of Facebook’s privacy scandal, which Hughes said sacrificed “security and civility for clicks.”
Laurie Segall, who once embedded with Facebook and runs a start-up devoted to ethics and technology, tells “Start Here” that Facebook has been “resilient” throughout various scandals, but “Zuckerberg should be worried” about “politicians and early founders calling for this company to be broken up.”
In a statement to ABC News, Facebook Vice President of Global Affairs and Communications Nick Clegg said the company “accepts that with success comes accountability. But you don’t enforce accountability by calling for the breakup of a successful American company.”
4. Papal bull
Pope Francis has issued a new church law requiring all priests and nuns to report sexual abuse and cover-ups to church authorities.
It’s the latest effort by the Catholic Church to combat its sexual abuse crisis, but critics and abuse victims say the law should go a step further and require clergy members to report allegations to police. The Vatican has argued there are difficulties in establishing a universal reporting law, and in parts of the world where Catholics are a persecuted minority, church officials say lives could be put at risk by reporting sexual abuse to civil authorities.
“This requires [clergy] to report it up the food chain,” says ABC News’ David Wright, “but the church has shown over the past two decades they haven’t done a very good job of policing themselves.”
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‘I’m so sorry’: A knife-wielding 17-year-old girl apologizes to police after she approaches an officer and is shot three times.
‘I just couldn’t take it anymore’: A 28-year-old teacher’s resignation letter goes viral.
‘Heightened versions of themselves’: A “90210” reboot is on the way.
‘I don’t care’: Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran collaborate on a new single.
From our friends at FiveThirtyEight:
Dallas Keuchel needs a job. Here’s who should hire him.: Keuchel’s current offers may be affected by the fact that any team signing him would have to send a compensatory draft pick to his former club, the Houston Astros.
Doff your cap:
Today we doff our caps to Valerie Plame, who isn’t letting a small thing like being outed as a spy by her own government stop her from continuing to help her fellow Americans.
“My career in the CIA was cut short by partisan politics, but I’m not done serving our country,” Plame said in a statement announcing her candidacy.
Plame, a Democrat, is running in New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District. Her identity was leaked in 2003 by highly placed officials in George W. Bush’s White House after her then-husband, former U.S. Ambassador Joe Wilson, criticized the administration’s decision to invade Iraq in a New York Times op-ed, writing, “I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq’s nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat.”
“We need more people in Congress with the courage to stand up for what’s right,” Plame said. “It’s why I couldn’t be prouder than to have the chance to represent my friends and neighbors of Northern New Mexico. I will work as hard defending my fellow New Mexicans in Washington as I did defending our country from nuclear threats.”