It was a violent morning on the streets of Kabul. Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. You can also get “5 Things You Need to Know Today” delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.
1. Afghanistan bombing
A massive explosion rocked parts of Kabul this morning, in a bombing that killed at least 80 people and injured hundreds of others. The suspected car bomb went off near foreign embassies during rush hour. The neighborhood where the bombing occurred, in Kabul’s so-called “green zone,” also has government institutions and residences of high-ranking officials and their families.So far there’s no claim of responsibility for the violence. As the security situation in the country deteriorates, the US military is considering sending more soldiers there. Right now there are about 8,400 US troops in Afghanistan.
2. Russia investigation
Michael Flynn’s going to start cooperating. The ex-national security adviser will start providing documents the Senate intelligence committee asked for by June 6. Flynn had originally refused to hand over the subpoenaed docs, raising a contempt of Congress threat from the committee’s chairman. Flynn’s been at the center of the Russia saga from pretty much the beginning. And it’s easy to see why. He reportedly didn’t disclose payments from Russia’s state-run TV network on his security clearance form, didn’t register as a foreign agent while he did some indirect lobbying work for Turkey and never disclosed he had talks with Russia’s ambassador.
President Trump’s taking aim at one of President Obama’s biggest feats during his term — better relations with Cuba. Trump is expected as early as June to roll back parts of Obama-era policies softening relations with Cuba. The President is expected to stop US companies from making deals with the Cuban military (which runs the country’s tourism industry) and demand the extradition of US fugitives in Cuba. Trump’s also considering tightening the travel restrictions to the island that Obama had eased. And we’re sorry, Cuban cigar and rum lovers. The President may reenact the ban on bringing those goodies back as well. But none of this is really a surprise. Trump promised conservative Cuban-American voters and anti-Castro congressional members he’d take a tougher stand on Cuba.
4. Portland train stabbing
Jeremy Joseph Christian, who’s accused of stabbing two men to death on a Portland commuter train, started screaming the second he walked into court for his arraignment. “You call it terrorism, I call it patriotism. You hear me? Die.” He was arraigned on several charges, including two counts of aggravated murder. Police say Christian stabbed the men to death after they stood up for a 16-year-old and her Muslim friend. Christian was reportedly taunting the women with racial epithets.
We have a fuller picture of the shocking violence that took place on that train last week, thanks to an affidavit from the deputy district attorney in the case. In addition to details gleaned from videos by train security and passenger cell phones, it includes statements Christian made to police after he was arrested, such as his hope that everyone that he stabbed died.
5. Missile test
The Pentagon just passed a big test. It successfully shot down an intercontinental ballistic missile with a long-range interceptor missile during a test over the Pacific Ocean. That’s important because the US wants the ability to shoot down missiles launched by North Korea if the regime does indeed develop one capable of hitting the US. Experts tell us to temper the celebration over this successful test though. This missile defense system, which so far has cost about $40 billion, has a long way to go before it’s ready. North Korea’s latest missile test was just a couple of days ago.
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Ariana Grande’s headed back to Manchester after the terror attack at her concert. And she’s bringing Coldplay and Miley Cyrus with her.
Three’s a crowd
Fearless Girl and the Charging Bull were (briefly) joined on Wall Street by a third statue — of a peeing dog.
In the movies, driving a DeLorean at 88 mph lets you travel through time. In the real world, it only gets you a ticket.
Think it’s a beautiful day for a swim in the family pool? So did this gator.
Things got really real in a history dust-up between Ukraine and Russia when the Ukrainians resorted to using a GIF from “The Simpsons.”
Number of the day
That’s how much Bernards Township, New Jersey, will pay after settling two federal lawsuits with an Islamic society that wanted to build a mosque there.
And finally …
Keep it down fellas
A man and his friend throw one hell of a party when the odometer on his truck spins up to 500,000 miles. (Click to view)