Trump's North Korea visit, El Paso border station & Taylor Swift: The Morning Rundown

President Donald Trump became the first U.S. president to step into North Korea on Sunday.
Image: White House Senior Advisors Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, walk in the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea
White House senior advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner walk in the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea on Sunday. Susan Walsh / AP

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By Petra Cahill

Good morning, NBC News readers.

The conditions at one Texas border are so grim that border agents are afraid of potential unrest, according to a government watchdog report. President Donald Trump stepped inside North Korea this weekend. Can it lead to a real breakthrough with the Hermit Kingdom? And Justin Bieber takes Taylor Swift to task after she criticizes his longtime manager for "manipulative bullying."

Here's what we're watching today.


Sleepless nights, lice, scabies: Life at an El Paso border station

Only four showers for 756 immigrants; 155 men in a cell meant for a maximum of 35; outbreaks of lice and scabies: Those are just some of the conditions at an El Paso, Texas, border station, according to a report by the government's own internal watchdog.

Inspectors noted that conditions were so bad that border agents were arming themselves against possible riots, according to the report prepared by the Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General obtained by NBC News.

The details counter Friday’s assertion by a top Trump administration official that reports of poor conditions for migrants were “unsubstantiated."


'He understands me': Trump-Kim agree to restart nuke talks

Taking an unprecedented step onto North Korean soil, Trump announced Sunday that Washington and Pyongyang will relaunch stalled nuclear talks "within weeks."

The statement came during an extraordinary last-minute meeting with Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader. It was their third meeting since Trump took office, but none have yet yielded a nuclear deal.

Veteran nuclear negotiators and North Korea experts have questioned whether Trump, by staging a high-profile photo-op absent nuclear concessions, was bestowing legitimacy on Kim and undermining global pressure to force the North to accept a denuclearization deal.

"We can only call it historic if it leads to something," said Victor Cha, a former Asia director at the White House and an NBC News contributor.

A former high-ranking North Korean diplomat who defected told NBC News that there is "zero" chance that Kim would willingly give up nuclear weapons because they help to keep him in power.


Hong Kong protesters clash with police on anniversary of Chinese rule

Scuffles between demonstrators and police erupted outside a flag-raising ceremony marking 22 years since the former British colony was returned to Beijing.

The historic transfer of power in 1997 was done on the understanding that Hong Kong would have more relaxed administrative and economic laws than the Chinese mainland.

In the wake of huge demonstrations last month over a controversial extradition bill, many people in the city fear those freedoms are under attack.

Protesters attempt to break a window at the government headquarters in Hong Kong on July 1, 2019 on the 22nd anniversary of the city's handover from Britain to China.Anthony Wallace / AFP - Getty Images

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Plus


THINK about it

New York City's Pride parade has become a corporate party, Ann Northrop, organizer of the Queer Liberation March, writes in an opinion piece. She argues it's time to take the streets back.


Science + Tech = MACH

A strange, wavy jet stream blasted Europe with extreme heat over the weekend. Scientists say this could be the "new normal."


One fun thing

A former sports attorney dreamed of turning graffiti chips from Detroit's city walls into jewelry.

She polished her idea and started Rebel Nell, a nonprofit support system for homeless and formerly homeless women in the Detroit area.

Now women like Nechelle Thompson are making jewelry and finding their way out of the cycle of poverty.

“I never had a group of people so proud of me ya know, outside of my family," Thompson said. "This is my family."


Thanks for reading the Morning Rundown.

If you have any comments — likes, dislikes — drop me an email at: petra@nbcuni.com

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Thanks, Petra