Take a look at the stories from around our area and world that are making news today.
‘Pure madness’: Dark days inside the White House as Trump shocks and rages: Philip Rucker, Ashley Parker and Josh Dawsey of the Washington Post write: Inside the White House, aides over the past week have described an air of anxiety and volatility — with an uncontrollable commander in chief at its center. These are the darkest days in at least half a year, they say, and they worry just how much farther President Trump and his administration may plunge into unrest and malaise before they start to recover. As one official put it: “We haven’t bottomed out.” Trump is now a president in transition, at times angry and increasingly isolated. He fumes in private that just about every time he looks up at a television screen, the cable news headlines are trumpeting yet another scandal. He voices frustration that son-in-law Jared Kushner has few on-air defenders. He revives old grudges. And he confides to friends that he is uncertain about whom to trust. Read more.
Student took his father’s gun, killed both parents in Central Michigan dorm, police say: Alex Horton of the Washington Post writes: Central Michigan University police called Diva Jeneen Davis on Thursday with a message of concern about the behavior of her son, James Davis Jr., saying that perhaps it would be best if she and her husband came to pick him up. The police said 19-year-old Davis Jr. was “not really making a lot of sense” when he reported that a man with a gun had threatened to kill him. He was taken to a hospital because authorities were worried about potential drug use. Diva Davis, 47, and James Eric Davis Sr., 48, drove about four hours from the Chicago area to pick up their son from the hospital, just in time for spring break. On Friday morning, the parents were shot and killed in a residence hall. Davis Jr. shot them with his father’s gun, authorities told reporters on Saturday, leading to a 16-hour manhunt that ended with his capture along train tracks in the freezing Michigan air early Saturday. Read more.
Trump pokes fun — and makes North Korea news — at Gridiron: Brent D. Griffiths of Politico writes: President Donald Trump said late Saturday that “we will be meeting” with North Korea during a speech at the annual Gridiron Dinner in Washington, indicating that negotiations about a potential dialogue between the two countries continue to advance. "I won't rule out direct talks with Kim Jong Un, I just won't. As far as the risk of dealing with a madman is concerned, that’s his problem not mine," Trump told the more than 600 attendees during his 35-minute address at the Renaissance Washington Hotel on Saturday. "By the way a couple days ago they said we would like to talk, and I said, so would we, but you have to de-nuke, you have to de-nuke. So let’s see what happens ... Maybe positive things are happening, I hope that’s true … We will be meeting and we’ll see if anything positive happens." The White House did not immediately respond to a query as to whether the president was joking or not. The president has repeatedly indicated he’s willing to negotiate with North Korea, though Vice President Mike Pence pulled out of a secret meeting with representatives of the regime at last month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea. Read more.
As Italy Votes, Europe Fears Populist, Euroskeptic Gains: Nicole Winfield of the Associated Press writes: Italians were voting Sunday in one of the most uncertain elections in years and one that could determine if Italy succumbs to the populist, euroskeptic and far-right sentiment that has swept through Europe. Many waited in line for more than an hour to vote, only to then be baffled by confusing ballots and the process to cast them — which for the first time required an anti-fraud check by polling authorities. "You feel as if you have gone there prepared but it's not that clear," complained Sister Vincenza as she cast her ballot on Rome's Aventine hill before heading to Mass. Read more.
Mueller’s Focus on Adviser to U.A.E. Indicates Broader Inquiry: Mark Mazzetti, David D. Kirkpatrick and Maggie Haberman write of the New York Times write: George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman, has hovered on the fringes of international diplomacy for three decades. He was a back-channel negotiator with Syria during the Clinton administration, reinvented himself as an adviser to the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates, and last year was a frequent visitor to President Trump’s White House. Mr. Nader is now a focus of the investigation by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel. In recent weeks, Mr. Mueller’s investigators have questioned Mr. Nader and have pressed witnesses for information about any possible attempts by the Emiratis to buy political influence by directing money to support Mr. Trump during the presidential campaign, according to people with knowledge of the discussions. Read more.