Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
1. ‘IT’S JUST THE OPTICS’
The Oval Office has emerged as such a sought-after destination that Ukraine’s new president was hell-bent on getting there and the White House unafraid to dangle it as leverage.
2. MASSACRE ILLUMINATES MEXICAN DRUG WAR VIOLENCE
The slaughter of three U.S. women and six of their children wasn’t the first or only time Mexico’s drug war claimed foreigners, women or children.
3. US, CHINA TEAM UP IN OPIOIDS FIGHT
A Chinese court sentences nine fentanyl traffickers in a multinational crack down on global networks that manufacture and distribute lethal synthetic opioids.
4. ‘END OF HISTORY’: MAYBE NOT 30 YEARS AFTER FALL OF BERLIN WALL
The world is more splintered and perhaps dangerous decades after the end of the Cold War when political scientist Francis Fukuyama made his famous declaration in 1989.
5. CALIFORNIA’S WILDFIRE TRANSFORMS CITY THAT DIDN’T BURN
Chico has been struggling with unprecedented growth — and strain on its infrastructure and resources — a year after blazes nearly wiped out the neighboring town of Paradise.
6. PACIFIC BIRD SANCTUARY RAVAGED BY PLASTIC, DEATH
Hawaii’s Midway Atoll, where debris accumulates at an alarming rate, is littered with bird skeletons that have brightly colored plastic protruding from their decomposing bellies.
7. JEFF SESSIONS TO ANNOUNCE SENATE BID
Trump’s former attorney general will announce that he is entering the race for his old congressional seat in Alabama, AP learns.
8. WHO MADE ELECTION GAINS ACROSS US
Female candidates — most of them Democrats and many of them women of color — a troubling signal for Trump ahead of his reelection bid.
8. HOW SUPREME COURT JUSTICE FEELS ABOUT NDAs
A new book on Ruth Bader Ginsburg explores her thoughts on the #MeToo movement and her hope that non-disclosure agreements “will not be enforced by the courts.”
10. FREEDOM AND FOOTBALL
Jermaine Birdow, released last November after serving a long prison sentence, will get to see his son, Air Force senior fullback Taven Birdow, play in person for the first time.