Friday morning news: May 11, 2018

Date and location announced for Trump-Kim meeting » President Trump will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12th in Singapore. 

The president made that announcement on Thursday, adding “We will both try to make it a very special moment for world peace!”

The president also said he favored meeting in the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, but his advisers pushed for Singapore.

Prisoners released by North Korea return home » 

AUDIO: Jet sound

He made the announcement a short time after welcoming home 3 American detainees just freed by North Korea. Speaking to reporters, the president alluded to the upcoming meeting from the tarmac at Andrews Air Force Base.

TRUMP:  The fact that we were able to get them home so soon was really a tribute to a lot of things, including a certain process that is taking place right now, and that process is very important. So we will see what happens.

AUDIO: Detainees deplane

The State Department jet carrying the three men landed just outside Washington after 2 a.m. Thursday morning. The president and First Lady Melania briefly boarded the plane to greet the men privately and minutes later, escorted them off the plane.

AUDIO: Detainees deplane

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said hours earlier she was in Pyongyang with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as the three men boarded the jet for the trip home and she described it as “the most incredible thing.”  

NAUERT: We had the opportunity to shake their hands. We looked them straight in the eye, and they said to us, verbatim, God bless America. We are so proud to be Americans. We all teared up, the secretary a little bit emotional too and very, very proud as we saw them get on the plane and head back to freedom. 

After departing North Korea, the State Department jet made a refueling stop in Alaska where Vice President Mike Pence said one of the men asked to step off the plane.

PENCE: Because he hadn’t seen daylight in a very long time.

One of the released prisoners, Kim Dong Chul, began a 10-year sentence with hard labor just over two years ago. North Korean officials detained the other two men, Kim Hak Song and Tony Kim, last year on anti-state charges.

Israel strikes Iranian targets in Syria » The Israeli military on Thursday hit an unprecedented number of Iranian targets in neighboring Syrian. Those strikes came hours after Iran’s elite Quds force fired 20 rockets at Israeli positions in the Golan Heights. Israeli Defense Forces spokesman Lt. Colonel Jonathan Conricus said Israel hit back hard.

CONRICUS: The IDF responded with a large scale attack on various Iranian facilities, military targets inside Syria, all of them related to the Quds force and all of them part of the Iranian establishment inside Syria. 

Israel targeted Iran’s weapons storage, logistic sites, and intelligence centers in Syria in its most extensive attack since the 1973 war with Syria.

Conricus said Israel does not want to escalate the situation but will remain on “very high alert,” adding, “Should there be another Iranian attack, we will be ready for it.” Israel has increasingly stepped up its military response amid fears that Iran, backed by Lebanon’s Hezbollah, will increasingly use Syria as a foothold against Israel.

ISIS leaders captured » The “Five most wanted leaders of ISIS just captured!” Those were President Trump’s words on Twitter Thursday.

Iraqi forces working with U.S.-backed Syrian militias captured the terrorist leaders. A U.S. Army spokesman called it a “significant blow” to the terror group.

Officials have not released any details about the raid or the militants’ identities. ISIS fighters maintain a thin but significant strip of territory inside Syria, along Iraq’s border.

E. Coli outbreak spreads » The food poisoning outbreak linked to romaine lettuce has spread to four more states. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin has more.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced this week that Florida, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Texas are the latest states affected by the outbreak. That makes a total of 29 states in recent weeks.

About 150 people have gotten sick with E. coli from romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona, which provides most of the country’s romaine during the winter. The latest cases might not be new ones because of a lag in reporting, but the CDC is still advising consumers to avoid buying or eating romaine lettuce unless they can confirm it was not grown in Yuma.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.

I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: Culture Friday with John Stonestreet. And later, Marvin Olasky with Ask the Editor. This is The World and Everything in It.

(AP Photo/Matthew Lee, Pool) U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo exits his plane on arrival in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Wednesday, May 9, 2018. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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