What to Know
Kim Jong Un said he hopes to extend high-stakes nuclear summitry with Trump into 2019 but also warned Washington not to test his patience [hhmc]
An American man will likely be monitored at Nebraska Medicine after possibly being exposed to Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo[hhmc]
A judge has denied Kevin Spacey's request to skip his appearance in court on accusations that he groped a young man[hhmc]
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Kim Ready to Talk More With Trump But Says Not to Test North
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he hopes to extend his high-stakes nuclear summitry with President Trump into 2019, but also warned Washington not to test North Koreans' patience with sanctions and pressure. During his televised New Year's speech, Kim said he's ready to meet with Trump at any time to produce an outcome "welcomed by the international community." However, he said the North will be forced to take a different path if the United States "continues to break its promises and misjudges the patience of our people by unilaterally demanding certain things and pushes ahead with sanctions and pressure." Kim also said the United States should continue to halt its joint military exercises with ally South Korea and not deploy strategic military assets to the South. He also made a nationalistic call urging for stronger inter-Korean cooperation and said the North is ready to resume operations at a jointly run factory park in the North Korean border town of Kaesong and restart South Korean tours to the North's Diamond Mountain resort. Neither of those is possible for South Korea unless sanctions are removed. Some analysts say North Korea has been trying to drive a wedge between Washington and Seoul while putting the larger burden of action on the United States.
Hello, 2019: Revelry, Reflection as World Greets New Year
Rain drops fell along with confetti as revelers rang in 2019 in New York's Times Square, capping a soggy New Year's celebration that included singer-songwriter Bebe Rexha's stirring rendition of John Lennon's "Imagine" just before midnight. Crews used squeegees to sweep puddles from the performance stages, but Monday night's wet weather was still evident as boy band New Kids On The Block splashed up puddles while performing their hit "Step by Step" on a giant set of steps. At midnight, as fireworks erupted over Times Square, couples kissed, families hugged and "Auld Lang Syne" played over loud speakers. "It was like a true state of pure bliss and unity and love, and it felt like there was no hate in the world," said Brie Dunn, 22, of New York. "That's what I hope for in 2019 and all the years to come."
American Possibly Exposed to Ebola to Be Monitored
An American man will likely be monitored at Nebraska Medicine in Omaha after possibly being exposed to Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo, officials said. The unidentified man, who was providing medical assistance in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has shown no symptoms of Ebola, but will be closely monitored at the medical center. “This person may have been exposed to the virus but is not ill and is not contagious,” said Dr. Ted Cieslak, an infectious diseases specialist with Nebraska Medicine, in a statement. Doctors will work with federal, state and county public health officials to monitor the man and secure the area so no members of the public or other patients are exposed.
Judge Denies Kevin Spacey's Request to Skip Court Appearance
A judge has denied Kevin Spacey's request to skip his appearance in court on accusations that he groped a young man. The decision by Nantucket District Court Judge Thomas Barrett means Spacey will have to attend his Jan. 7 arraignment. Spacey had argued he should be excused from appearing because his presence would "amplify the negative publicity already generated in connection with this case." He's pleading not guilty. The 59-year-old Oscar-winning actor is accused of groping the 18-year-old man in a Nantucket restaurant in 2016. He is charged with felony indecent assault and battery. Spacey's lawyer, Juliane Balliro, said in the documents that his presence in court would only "heighten prejudicial media interest in the case" and increase the risk of contaminating the jury pool.
Ricky Martin and Husband Welcome Baby Girl
Ricky Martin is starting the new year with a new bundle of joy. The Grammy-nominated singer announced the arrival of his daughter with an Instagram post showing off the infant's tiny hands. Martin says the girl is named Lucia. Martin's post didn't include any additional details, other than that the baby girl is healthy. Martin's post says his family, which includes husband Jwan Yosef and 10-year-old twin sons, have "fallen in love with Lucia." The "Living La Vida Loca" singer garnered an Emmy nomination earlier this year for his supporting role in the FX series "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story."