Sam Nunberg, a former Trump campaign aide, said, Monday, that he would defy the Justice Department special counsel by refusing to appear in front of a grand jury to be questioned regarding the investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election. Nunberg was subpoenaed, but is refusing to attend the hearing, saying ‘Let them arrest me.’
China’s government announced plans to increase defense spending by 8.1%, the biggest boost in three years, but insists there is no threat to other countries. The budget alteration comes as China’s President Xi Jinping attempts to turn China’s military into a ‘world-class force.’ China has the world’s second-largest defense budget after the US.
Republicans expressed concerns, with House Speaker Paul Ryan saying he’s ‘extremely worried’ about trade war, after President Trump announced plans to raise tariffs on aluminum and steel imports. Trump responded to concerns saying ‘No, we’re not backing down.’ Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called Trump to register his ‘serious concern,’ as well.
North Korea announced, Tuesday, that leader Kim Jong-un and visitors from South Korea had an ‘openhearted talk’ which resulted in a ‘satisfactory agreement’ to hold a summit meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. During the meeting, Kim told South Korean officials he wants to ‘write a new history of national reunification.’
For the first time since the Vietnam War, a US Navy aircraft is visiting a Vietnamese port, indicating the growing strategic relationship as China increases its military buildup. Daniel Kritenbrink, US ambassador to Vietnam, said ‘…we have gone from former enemies to close partners’ and the visit ‘demonstrates our commitment to the US- Vietnam partnership.’
A 46-truck convoy carrying humanitarian aid entered Eastern Ghouta through a government-controlled checkpoint for the first time in a month on Monday, but the convoy cut the visit short amid continued fighting and some critical supplies were confiscated by the Syrian military. The convoy was arranged by the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.