5 things for May 9: North Korea, Iran, Russia probe, US primaries, ebola

1. North Korea

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Pyongyang today, working out the details for President Trump’s planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. But hopes are high he’ll leave with something more valuable than plans: Word is he’ll bring three detained Americans back home with him. A South Korean government official told reporters in Tokyo he expects Pompeo to leave North Korea with Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak-song and Kim Sang Duk. They’ve been detained in the country for months. The date and place of Trump’s summit with Kim could also be announced when Pompeo returns.

2. Iran nuclear deal

Now that President Trump has pulled the US out of the Iran nuclear deal, what happens?
— The price of gas will undoubtedly go up. Oil prices were already rising but may do so faster now that Iranian oil will be pulled from the market soon.
— Iran could resume uranium enrichment — and at a higher level than it could before the nuclear deal. So, it’s possible Iran could build a bomb within a year.
— The US will restart economic sanctions on Iran, so the many Western businesses that hopped into the country to capitalize on its young, educated population and growing middle class will have to wind down their operations.

3. Russia investigation

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators have questioned a Russian oligarch about hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments his company’s US affiliate made to President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, after the election, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Viktor Vekselberg, chairman of asset manager Renova Group, is an oligarch close to Vladimir Putin, and last month the Trump administration placed him on a list of sanctioned Russians for activities including election interference. The purpose of the payments, which predate the sanctions, and the nature of the business relationship between Vekselberg and Cohen is unclear. The scrutiny of the payments could add to the legal troubles for Cohen.

4. Primaries

Republican leaders are breathing a sigh of relief this morning, as the US Senate candidacy of former coal baron Don Blankenship crashed and burned in West Virginia. Blankenship served time in prison after a deadly mine explosion, traded in conspiracy theories on the campaign trail and even insulted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The GOP had worried Blankenship winning the primary would imperil its chances of defeating vulnerable Democrat Joe Manchin in November. That wasn’t the only good news for them. The primaries produced Senate nominees in Indiana and Ohio that party leaders believe are well positioned to win this fall.
Ebola is back, this time popping up in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The government declared an outbreak after the confirmation of two cases of the disease in a northwest province, the World Health Organization reported. Over the past five weeks, there have been 21 suspected cases, including 17 deaths. It’s the country’s ninth Ebola outbreak since the disease was discovered there in 1976. A major Ebola outbreak from 2014 to 2016 killed thousands of people in West Africa.

THIS JUST IN …

Watch the skies
After the earthquakes and lava, Hawaii residents on the Big Island face a new threat: acid rain, which could start falling Thursday. If you want to help the Hawaii volcano victims, here’s how.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Grab the tissues
Watch this soldier, delayed at an airport, watch his daughter’s birth on FaceTime. We dare you not to cry.
Waffle House shooting hero James Shaw Jr. keeps up the good works with his GoFundMe campaign, which has now raised $231,000 for victims’ families.
Got exact change?
If you’re in Venezuela, don’t even bother with the country’s currency. The virtual gold from “World of Warcraft” is worth more than Venezuela’s bolivar.
Dream team
We’ve been promised flying cars for years, only to be disappointed. But take heart, NASA and Uber are teaming up to make that dream a reality.
Real retro
You can soon relive air travel’s glory days when the TWA hotel — yes, that TWA — opens near JFK airport.

HAPPENING LATER

Haspel hearing
The confirmation hearing for Gina Haspel, President Trump’s pick to lead the CIA, starts today with the Senate Intelligence Committee.

TODAY’S NUMBERS

6.6 million
The number of job openings in the US at the end of March. The Labor Department says that’s a record.
That’s the attendance bump last quarter at SeaWorld. Business had been slow at the theme park since the “Blackfish” documentary aired in 2013.

AND FINALLY

Simply marvelous
Marvel Movies are magical and magnificent … and look a lot different without all the special effects. (Click to view.)