Trump says he thought being president would be easier

Good morning, Maine. Here’s your morning briefing.

Weather

Expect an overcast and partly-cloudy skies today. Temperatures will be in the mid-50s and mid-60s today. Check your local forecast here.

National and international headlines

Trump says he thought being president would be easier

He misses driving, feels as if he is in a cocoon and is surprised how hard his new job is.

President Donald Trump on Thursday reflected on his first 100 days in office with a wistful look at his life before the White House.

“I loved my previous life. I had so many things going,” Trump told Reuters in an interview. “This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.”

A wealthy businessman from New York, Trump assumed public office for the first time when he entered the White House on Jan. 20 after he defeated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in an upset.

Arkansas carries out fourth execution in eight days, concluding frantic lethal injection schedule

Arkansas executed a death-row inmate late Thursday night in the state’s fourth lethal injection in eight days, concluding a frantic execution schedule officials said was needed to carry out death sentences before one of their deadly drugs expired.

The aggressive timetable drew international scrutiny and criticism, pushing Arkansas into the epicenter of American capital punishment as it attempted to carry out an unprecedented wave of executions. Court orders ultimately blocked half of the scheduled lethal injections, including a second that had also been scheduled for Thursday night, even as the state was able to resume executions for the first time in more than a decade.

‘I was all set to terminate’: Inside Trump’s sudden shift on NAFTA

President Donald Trump was set to announce Saturday, on the 100th day of his presidency, that he was withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement – the sort of disruptive proclamation that would upend both global and domestic politics and signal to his base that he was keeping his campaign promise to terminate what he once called “a total disaster” and “one of the worst deals ever.”

“I was all set to terminate,” Trump said in an Oval Office interview Thursday night. “I looked forward to terminating. I was going to do it.”

There was just one problem: Trump’s team – like on so many issues – was deeply divided.

 

Trump says ‘major, major’ conflict with North Korea possible, but seeks diplomacy

U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday a major conflict with North Korea is possible in the standoff over its nuclear and missile programs, but he would prefer a diplomatic outcome to the dispute.

“There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely,” Trump told Reuters in an Oval Office interview ahead of his 100th day in office Saturday.

Nonetheless, Trump said he wanted to peacefully resolve a crisis that has bedeviled multiple U.S. presidents, a path that he and his administration are emphasizing by preparing a variety of new economic sanctions while not taking the military option off the table.

“We’d love to solve things diplomatically but it’s very difficult,” he said.

‘Green cards for cash’ face questionable future

The original plan was to attract foreign investment to blighted neighborhoods. But instead, the controversial EB-5 investor visa enabled affluent Chinese to park their cash in high-end real estate in Beverly Hills and Manhattan – benefiting developers such as Donald Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Now the visas criticized as “green cards for cash” face a questionable future, with some members of Congress refusing to reauthorize the program, which expires Friday, unless there is significant reform.

Proponents of the program argue that the investor visas provide capital for economic development. Critics say it encourages a two-tier immigration system favoring the rich over those fleeing wars, persecution and poverty.

Local headlines

Maine House supports time zone switch, dumping daylight saving time

A bill that received preliminary approval Thursday in the Maine House of Representatives could put Maine an hour ahead of East Coast states for part of the year, though there is a growing movement among neighboring New England states to do the same.

Under provisions of the bill that advanced as a result of preliminary votes Thursday in the House of Representatives, Maine would do away with daylight saving time and shift to the Atlantic Standard Time Zone year-round without a statewide referendum. As a result of procedural House votes on Thursday, the move would not require approval via statewide referendum.

Tick researchers found Powassan virus in these Maine towns
Powassan was first recognized in the town of Powassan, Ontario, in 1958. The virus can cause fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion and seizures, and may also lead to meningitis and brain swelling, a devastating complication that kills 10 percent of those who develop it, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
About half of those who survive the infection suffer permanent neurological symptoms such as memory problems, facial tics and blurred vision. There is no vaccine or treatment other than keeping patients comfortable and hydrated during hospitalization.
Many patients, on the other hand, experience no symptoms at all, according to the CDC.
What makes Powassan particularly troubling — in addition to the potentially debilitating symptoms — is the speed of its transmission. While a tick must be attached for 36 to 48 hours to transmit Lyme disease (according to the official word, but debate rages on that point), Powassan has been shown to spread from tick to human in under an hour, according to the study.
Powassan occurs in two strains, depending on the tick that carries it. Sometimes known as “deer tick virus” when it’s spread by that type, Powassan also is carried by the groundhog or woodchuck tick. Researchers found some evidence that both strains are circulating in Maine, which would be a first for New England.
Drought plaguing Maine since last summer finally over

Maine’s long drought is officially over.

All 16 counties are no longer identified as being in drought conditions, ending a dry spell that dried up 426 wells throughout the state since last summer, according to Susan Faloon, a spokesperson for the Maine Emergency Management Agency.

“It’s really good news,” Faloon said. “We’re going into summer in much better shape than last summer because of the amount of snow we got this winter.”

Linda Bean won’t sell her businesses as she readies for retirement

Linda Bean, 76, granddaughter of retail giant founder L.L. Bean and a major player in the Maine lobster industry, does not plan to sell her businesses in the wake of her retirement.

Bean began stepping back last year from managing her myriad businesses and properties that spread across the state.

“The problem is I’m no longer young. I keep looking up the road to when I am no longer here.”

“I have businesses and properties in several Maine counties, and it is not my intention to sell any,” she wrote in an email this week.

A wealthy businesswoman, philanthropist and political activist, Bean’s success in the lobstering and tourism industry came late in life — only in the last 10 years. But her commercial Maine brand has not always meshed with locals, despite her trying to promote the Maine way of doing things.

Living and events

5 Things To Do This Weekend, April 28-30: A little madness in the spring

Emily Burnham’s weekly round up of things to do around Maine.

Two mild winters should pay off for Maine’s turkey hunters

Each year, in addition to conducting actual research on many of the state’s bird species, biologist Brad Allen pays close attention to the bird activity around his house. Those anecdotal observations, he finds, can sometimes help explain what certain birds — such as wild turkeys — are up to.

Allen, the bird group leader for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, has some good news for turkey hunters, who will start heading afield on Saturday.

“By my own observations of the birds around my house, I’m seeing the lone hens crossing the road, doing their nesting thing,” Allen said. “I’m seeing the gobblers running the whole length of my field, looking for girls and gobbling every 20 yards. They look lonely.”

And when male turkeys are lonely, hunters benefit.

“All that’s going to translate into a real receptive, good hunting interaction,” Allen said.

This mind and body practice helps seniors ‘show up for life’

More and more 21st century seniors are turning to a fifth century practice to ease the aches and pains of aging and create more emotional balance in their lives.

Yoga, the Indian-based discipline of specific stretching and breathing exercises, is not just for those who can twist themselves into a shape reminiscent of a double-helix molecule.

“Yoga is very gentle and holistic,” Sandy Cyrus, owner of Full Circle Yoga in Orono, said. “It’s like taking your car in for a tuneup, but yoga is a tuneup for the whole body.”

Most people have a sense of the physical nature of yoga, Cyrus said, but there’s more to it than that.

“We also work with controlled breathing and being in the moment,” she said. “When combined with the physical motions, it helps with circulation, lung capacity and improving brain function because the students are taking time to pause, focus and concentrate.”