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It’s a particularly exciting primary night in Texas; North Korea shows a new willingness to give up its nuclear weapons.
Time for some Texas primaries
- Tuesday is the night of the Texas primaries, the first midterm primaries of the 2018 midterm cycle. [Politico / Steven Shepard and Elena Schneider]
- But before you get too excited ... there’s a big likelihood that nearly every major race is going to go to a runoff, which happens if no candidate gets at least 50 percent of the vote. And then we’ll have to do this all over again in May. [Texas Secretary of State]
- Jokes aside, it actually is shaping up to be a very big year for Democrats in Texas. The party is more competitive in the deep-red state than they’ve been in years, and they’re fielding candidates in all of Texas’s 36 congressional districts for the first time in 25 years. [KUT / Ashley Lopez]
- Democrats won’t be competitive in every district, but they have their sights set on three that Hillary Clinton won in 2016 — the Seventh Congressional District in Houston, the 23rd District outside San Antonio, and the 32nd District in Dallas. [Vox / Ella Nilsen]
- There are huge fields of candidates in each race, including seven candidates in two of these important races and five in another. A few years ago, Democrats couldn’t even find a single person to run. [NPR / Jessica Taylor]
- The two big reasons Democrats are suddenly competitive in Texas: The state’s demographics are changing rapidly, and Trump’s approval rating is low, hovering around 39 percent. [Vox / Ella Nilsen]
- One race that is sure to get attention is TX-7, where the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released a memo of opposition research against Democratic candidate Laura Moser — someone who has a good shot of getting into the runoff and whom the DCCC sees as supremely unqualified. [Vox / Ella Nilsen]
North Korea wants to sit down for nuclear talks with the US
- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un might be willing to give up his beloved nuclear missiles, South Korean officials reported Tuesday. But don’t put too much stock in it: the North still hasn’t confirmed South Korea’s version of events and has reneged on similar promises in the past. [Vox / Alex Ward]
- But if the North actually follows through, the US has a potentially peaceful road of negotiations with North Korea to look forward to. The regime has promised to halt missile or nuclear weapon tests during the talks. [Washington Post / Anna Fifield]
- Longterm, North Korea says it’s willing to give up its nuclear weapons altogether so long as the country’s safety is guaranteed. “The North clearly affirmed its commitment to denuclearization in the Korean Peninsula and said it would have no reason to possess nuclear weapons if the safety of its regime [is] guaranteed and [the] military threat against North Korea no longer exists,” said South Korean presidential national security director Chung Eui-yong. [ABC News / Hakyung Kate Lee]
- So who is North Korea trying to protect itself from? None other than the United States. The country has long said it wants a strong nuclear program to defend against a possible US invasion. [NPR / Scott Neuman]
- The US, meanwhile, has said it will only enter into formal talks with North Korea if Pyongyang is ready to give up its nuclear weapons. After the news from the South Korean officials was made public, President Donald Trump tweeted: “May be false hope, but the U.S. is ready to go hard in either direction!” [BBC]
- Self-driving technology is already being put into practice on the highways of Arizona, but don’t sell your vehicle just yet. [NYT / Daisuke Wakabayashi]
- Will wars of the future be won with laptops rather than tanks? A new book argues yes. [Foreign Policy / Sasha Polakow-Suransky]
- The first era of the great American scam artist began in the mid-19th century. One man is trying to make this the second. [Atlantic / Rachel Monroe]
- What happens when 26,000 stinkbugs invade your home? Families around the country might be about to find out. [New Yorker / Kathryn Schulz]
“If you rent a U-haul to leave San Francisco and move to Vegas it’s $2000 one way. If you rent the U-haul in Las Vegas to move to San Francisco it’s $200 one way.” [People are moving away from San Francisco and tweeting about how it’s just as expensive to leave as it is to live there / Jeff Harper]
Listen to this: Today, Explained
On Today, Explained, Vox’s Matthew Yglesias explains the impact of Trump’s steel tariffs and the chances that they could spark a trade war with our allies. He also hums a little ditty about steel. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Art19.