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The most bizarre moments from the Kim-Trump summit

Amid carefully orchestrated pageantry of meeting there were several strange elements

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Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “The most bizarre moments from the Kim-Trump summit” was written by Benjamin Haas in Singapore, for The Guardian on Tuesday 12th June 2018 07.53 UTC

Here are the oddities that stood out from Tuesday’s historic meeting between the US and North Korean leaders:

1. Welcome to the matrix

Even Kim recognised how bizarre a meeting it was; a meeting of equals between the leader of an impoverished rogue nation and the president of the most powerful country in the world.

“Many people in the world will think of this as a … form of fantasy … from a science-fiction movie,” Kim said, through an interpreter. Just months ago the two were trading threats of nuclear war and calling each other “fat” and a “dotard”.

2. Raw emotion

The former basketball star Dennis Rodman, the American who has spent the most time with Kim, was interviewed by CNN about the summit and broke down in tears. In a rambling interview, he claimed credit for the summit taking place and described how he had received death threats when he first met Kim. “But I took all those bullets, I took all at that … but I’m still standing. Today is a great day for everybody: Singapore, Tokyo, China, everybody … it’s a great day. I’m here to see it. I’m so happy.”

3. Inside ‘the Beast’

During a brief walk, Trump guided Kim over to his custom Cadillac limousine and gave him a peek inside. The car, nicknamed “the Beast”, is armour-plated and has its own oxygen supply in case of a chemical attack. Given Kim’s reported fear of being assassinated, he may want to buy one for himself if relations warm.

Donald Trump shows Kim Jong-un his car.

4. Custom pen

Trump and Kim signed three documents with a black pen emblazoned in gold with the US president’s signature. Photographs of the document emerged online, showing that Kim committed to “complete denuclearisation” and Trump to providing “security guarantees”. It was the icing on the cake of a day that was largely about photo ops and symbolism, and light on substance in dealing with North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme.

A North Korean aide places the pen ready for the signing.
A North Korean aide places the pen ready for the signing.
Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

5. ‘Nice and handsome and thin’

Trump joked with press photographers before he sat down to lunch with Kim, asking them to ensure their pictures made the two leaders look “nice and handsome and thin”. Kim’s blank reaction has been mocked online, although he may not have understood the president’s remark because it was not translated in full by Trump’s Korean interpreter.

• This article was amended on 13 June 2018 because an earlier version referred to a translator, when an interpreter was meant.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

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Billionaire Financier David Koch Dead At Age 79 From Prostate Cancer

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(NTS) — Billionaire tycoon and controversial political activist David Koch, one of the wealthiest people in the world and a significant contributor to libertarian and conservative movements, has died after a decades-long struggle with cancer, his brother states. He was 79 years old.

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of my brother David,” Koch Industries CEO Charles Koch said in a statement on Friday morning. “Anyone who worked with David surely experienced his giant personality and passion for life.”

David was diagnosed with prostate cancer approximately three decades ago, and he retreated from Koch Industries in June 2018, when his brother said David’s well-being had “continued to deteriorate” since being hospitalized in the summer of 2016. David held the title director emeritus.

“Twenty-seven years ago, David was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer and given a grim prognosis of a few years to live,” Charles said. “David liked to say that a combination of brilliant doctors, state-of-the-art medications and his stubbornness kept the cancer at bay. We can all be grateful that it did, because he was able to touch so many more lives as a result.”

David Koch and his elder brother, Charles, have been an instrumental force in conservative American campaignings since the early 1980s. Their influence fundamentally originates from a fortune which centered around Koch Industries, which was established by their father Fred Koch in 1940.

Over the years, the Koch brothers have donated large quantities of money in assistance of organizations to assemble voters and to promote conservative and libertarian politicians. In 1980, David was the Libertarian Party’s vice-presidential candidate, but Republican candidate Ronald Reagan defeated he and his running mate Ed Clark.

The Koch brothers were disparaging of President Donald Trump and started a multi-million dollar campaign against his tariffs, which led to a tweet from the president last summer. “The globalist Koch Brothers, who have become a total joke in real Republican circles, are against Strong Borders and Powerful Trade. I never sought their support because I don’t need their money or bad ideas,” Trump tweeted.

Two years earlier, just months before the 2016 presidential election, Trump took another swipe at the Koch brothers. “I turned down a meeting with Charles and David Koch. Much better for them to meet with the puppets of politics, they will do much better!”, Trump tweeted.

At the time of David’s death, his net worth was assessed to be $42.4 billion, according to Forbes magazine, making him the 11th richest person in the world. In 2015, the magazine ranked him as the 29th most powerful person in the world.

In addition to being a political donor, David was also a long-time philanthropist. He and his foundation bestowed hundreds of millions to cancer research and medical centers, and he served as a board member of the Prostate Cancer Foundation. He also contributed $100 million to the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center, $65 million to renovate the plaza at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and $1 million to support education programs for visitors to the September 11 Memorial & Museum.

His wife Julia and their three children survive.

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Cardinal George Pell’s Appeal Denied; Convictions On Sex Abuse Will Stand

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MELBOURNE, Australia — An Australian court has confirmed convictions against the most superior Catholic to be found condemned of child sex abuse.


The Victoria state Court of Appeal by a 2-1 majority ruling published Wednesday denied Cardinal George Pell’s appeal of the unanimous verdicts a jury issued in December finding Pope Francis’ former finance minister condemned of molesting two 13-year-old choirboys in Melbourne’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral in 1996 and 1997.

At the time, Pell had just become archbishop of Australia’s second-largest city and had established an international-first reimbursement method for victims of clergical sexual abuse.

His lawyers are predicted to appeal the decision in the High Court, Australia’s final arbitrator.

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Attorney Cites Trump’s Rhetoric In National Anthem Attack On Montana Teenager

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Curt James Brockway, 39, is charged with felony assault on a minor.(Montana Department of Corrections)

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — The attorney for a Montana man accused of throwing a 13-year-old boy to the ground at a rodeo because the teenager didn’t remove his hat during the national anthem says his client believes he was acting on an order from President Trump.


Attorney Lance Jasper told the Missoulian newspaper that the president’s “rhetoric” contributed to 39-year-old Curt Brockway’s disposition when he grabbed the boy by the throat and slammed him to the ground, fracturing his skull at the Mineral County Fairgrounds on Saturday.

Jasper said Brockway is an Army veteran who believes he was acting on an order by his commander in chief. He adds that Brockway’s decision-making has been affected by a brain injury he suffered in a vehicle crash.

Brockway is charged with felony assault on a minor.

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