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The 10-Point: My Guide to the Day's Top News

The Wall Street Journal
Good morning,
Meeting of the Minds
President Trump has accepted an invitation to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a meeting that would mark the first time a serving U.S. president has sat down with the isolated country’s leadership. U.S. officials said the meeting would take place within the next “couple of months” at a location yet to be determined. South Korea’s national security adviser Thursday conveyed Mr. Kim’s invitation to meet, noting that the North had promised to suspend nuclear and missile tests while it engages in denuclearization talks. By all accounts, the obstacles to an agreement are formidable. After nearly a quarter of a century of the U.S. resorting to a combination of carrots and sticks to deter the North from developing a nuclear bomb—to no avail—the effort to turn back the clock on its weapons program is entering a new, unpredictable period. A critical question in any high-level discussions will be what North Korea and the U.S. mean when they talk about denuclearization. The North might define it as a long-term goal that would be achieved only after the U.S. withdraws troops from the South and effectively ends the U.S.-South Korean military alliance. For South Korean leader Moon Jae-in, the planned meeting marked the biggest coup of his 10-month presidency.

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Tariffs Spare Allies
Kicking his “America First” trade policy into high gear, President Trump signed orders implementing global tariffs on steel and aluminum while signaling more aggressive pressure on trading partners to come, especially the largest—China. However, the metal-industry protections the president unveiled are considerably softer than opponents had feared a week ago. Mr. Trump and aides had originally said no countries would be exempt from the 25% tariff on steel or the 10% aluminum tariff but Thursday suggested that a large number of countries could ultimately be spared. China and Europe lashed out against the measures, while officials and executives from several U.S. allies caught in the crossfire reacted more cautiously, embracing the promise of some flexibility in their implementation. Small manufacturers in the U.S. that fashion metal into parts for makers of cars, appliances and other products fear they could be the hardest hit by the tariffs. The president also outlined his broader trade agenda, including rewriting existing U.S. pacts and a continuing sweeping investigation of Chinese trade practices—issuing a veiled threat that even bigger penalties against Beijing are looming. We report the Trump administration is asking Beijing for a plan to cut the annual U.S. trade deficit with China by $100 billion. The Journal’s Gerald F. Seib writes that Republicans are facing a moment of truth on economic policy, forcing the party to choose between its core business supporters and populist voters.
Cost of a Crisis
The addiction crisis killing tens of thousands of Americans each year is also creating a financial crisis for many families, compounding the anguish caused by a loved one’s destructive illness. Families are burning through savings and amassing huge debt paying for rehab that often doesn’t work. The predicament reflects both the difficulty of treating addiction and the haphazard rehab and insurance system many patients face. The rehab field is highly fragmented, with thousands of small providers offering treatment that often isn’t grounded in science. Yet rehab services often cost big money, which insurers don’t always cover. Parents and other family members are finding themselves shelling out again and again through rounds of recovery and relapse, desperate to keep their loved ones from overdosing. Addiction experts say the system is too ineffective to cope with the growing health crisis; for some families who are already dealing with stress and grief, bankruptcy is the outcome.
The Invincible Keith Richards
WSJ. Magazine’s March Men’s Style issue, on newsstands this weekend, features a candid interview with Keith Richards, who discusses his style (the secret? stealing from his wife Patti Hansen’s closet), taking time off from songwriting (he doesn’t) and his relationship with bandmate Mick Jagger (still a bit stormy). The 74-year-old Mr. Richards and his wife admit to being in “grandma and grandpa mode” these days, but with a Rolling Stones tour set to kick off in May and a new album to finish, the music hasn’t stopped yet. Also in the issue: how Thom Browne’s uncompromising style won over the fashion industry; inside the elegantly edited home of minimalist tastemakers Fabien Baron and Ludivine Poiblanc; a journey to the vast expanse of Mongolia’s steppes; and why Nordstrom is betting big on brick-and-mortar and opening a new store in New York City. Plus, the broad appeal of artist Adam Pendleton, a day with streetwear mogul Ronnie Fieg, a $355 chocolate bar, what’s on Cleveland Cavaliers center Kevin Love’s phone and the biggest men’s style trends for spring—the new normal, slim suits and classic watches.
TODAY'S VIDEO
Why a 16-Year-Old Russian Has Joined His Country’s Election Protests
That Was Painless
Vitaliy Smitienko, a high-school student, joined the Russia opposition movement last year. Despite being detained, he hasn’t given up supporting anticorruption campaigner Alexei Navalny and the fight for freedom of expression.
TOP STORIES
U.S.

Ex-Trump Campaign Chairman Manafort Pleads Not Guilty to Tax, Bank Fraud Charges

Opioid Crisis Gets Washington’s Attention
WORLD

Russian Trolls Tried to Torpedo Mitt Romney’s Shot at Secretary of State

Turkey Flexes Muscles as Soft Power Melts Away
BUSINESS

Wynn Resorts to Pay Universal Entertainment to Settle Litigation

Toys ‘R’ Us Considers Closing All of Its U.S. Stores
MARKETS

U.S. Household Net Worth Pushes Further Into Record Territory

After Nine Years, How Long Can This Bull Live?
NUMBER OF THE DAY
52%
The portion of votes cast by shareholders at Walt Disney’s annual meeting that expressed displeasure with CEO Robert Iger’s new pay package. It was the first time a majority of votes were cast against such a proposal at the company—a rare rebuke of Disney’s leadership.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
This is yet more evidence that the law would not come close to paying for itself.
Jason Furman, a Harvard University economist, on the recent changes to the U.S. tax law. According to a study by Mr. Furman and fellow Harvard economist Robert Barro—each from a different side of the political spectrum—the net cost to the Treasury, after accounting for economic growth, would be $1.2 trillion over a decade.
TODAY'S QUESTION
Going back to our story above, what are your thoughts on the planned meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un? Send your comments, which we may edit before publication, to 10point@wsj.com. Please include your name and location.
—Compiled by Phil Nobile
READER RESPONSE
Responding to yesterday’s question on Republican lawmakers’ attempts to persuade President Trump to change his mind on tariffs, Anthony Perrone of Florida said: “While I think the president is often not well served by some of his aides, I think much of the administration’s policy on trade is sound. The so-called free traders forget that it’s America that promotes free trade. The rest of the world does not play by our rules and imposes barriers to our goods. It’s about time we protected our vital interests. If we ever go to war with China, do you still think they will sell us steel?” Kathleen Kerr of Texas wrote: “I do not think that lawmakers will be able to convince President Trump to drop his tariff plan. Why? Mr. Trump is a madman and increasingly isolated as his aides and advisers resign. Everyone will suffer financially if there is a trade war. I hope I am wrong, but Mr. Trump’s friend Carl Icahn’s sale of his steel-related stocks before the announcement makes me think I’m right.” And Dan Martin of Florida responded: “I do not believe Mr. Trump will be swayed by the House Republicans. He seems to be totally focused on meeting campaign pledges about tariffs, so it is not a soft position of his. Personally, I despise tariffs and no good will come from them except maybe temporary relief in areas where those jobs were lost and the industry can still rekindle. Mr. Trump is trying to position for his next run by citing his willingness to take on all comers over his campaign promises—essentially what got him elected in the first place…for better or for worse.”

This daily briefing is named “The 10-Point” after the nickname conferred by the editors of The Wall Street Journal on the lead column of the legendary “What’s News” digest of top stories. Technically, “10-point” referred to the size of the typeface. The type is smaller now but the name lives on.

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