Biden heads to South Korea, Japan on first presidential trip to Asia
After months of focusing on the biggest conflict in Europe since WWII, President Joe Biden embarks Thursday on a five-day trip to Asia, turning his attention to the region of the world he had previously hoped to prioritize. The trip, to South Korea and Japan, will be another opportunity for Biden to showcase the global solidarity he’s helped build against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and to repeat his often-argued case for democracy over authoritarianism. That message will be aimed at China, whose growing economic and military prowess makes it – in the view of the administration – the only country capable of seriously disrupting the international system. Biden will meet with the South Korean and Japanese leaders as well as the heads of state from Australia and India. In addition to reassuring Indo-Pacific allies that his attention has not strayed, Biden will try to strengthen an economic alliance with the region.
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Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary could face a recount as Oz, McCormick still neck and neck
The decision to hold a recount election in Pennsylvania's GOP Senate primary had yet to be announced Thursday, as heart surgeon-turned-TV celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz and former hedge fund CEO David McCormick were separated by a slim margin. The race between Oz, backed by former President Donald Trump, and McCormick for the nomination was still too early to call following Tuesday's primary. Oz led McCormick by 1,723 votes Wednesday, out of more than 1.3 million votes counted. There were tens of thousands of votes left to be counted and counties also must still count provisional, overseas and military absentee ballots before they certify their results to the state by next Tuesday's deadline. The race was close enough to trigger Pennsylvania’s automatic recount law, with the separation between the candidates inside the law's 0.5% margin. The winner faces Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who won the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat in the Keystone State after he suffered a stroke just a few days prior.
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Biden to host leaders of Sweden, Finland amid NATO bids
Before departing for Asia on Thursday, President Joe Biden will host leaders of Sweden and Finland at the White House as the two nations seek to join NATO in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The requests by the long-neutral nations to join the world’s biggest military alliance have been widely praised as a rebuke of Russia after its war with its neighbor, but Turkey — which has NATO’s second largest army — has expressed concerns about the two countries' bid to join, citing "security concerns." Turkey’s approval is crucial because the military alliance makes its decisions by consensus. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday, though, that the administration is "very confident" that an agreement would be reached for the two countries to join the alliance.
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Golfing greats descend on Oklahoma as 2022 PGA Championship tees off
The 104th PGA Championship is set to begin Thursday and will go through Sunday, with the world's biggest stars in golf competing for the Wanamaker Trophy at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This is the first time the course is hosting a PGA Championship since 2007 when Tiger Woods edged Woody Austin by 2 strokes to win it. Masters champion Scottie Scheffler comes into this week as the betting favorite (+1000) to win his second major, but he's followed closely by Jon Rahm and a host of others, including Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth. Scheffler is currently the No. 1 player in the world with Rahm, Collin Morikawa, Cameron Smith and Patrick Cantlay rounding out the top 5 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here's how and when you can watch.
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Sports Illustrated's 59th Swimsuit issue hits newsstands
Kim Kardashian, 74-year-old Maye Musk, Ciara and plus size model Yumi Nu will appear on the cover of 2022 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, which hits newsstands Thursday. Kardashian told the outlet that she "never thought in a million years" she'd be featured, especially at her age. But if anyone is proving that age doesn't matter in beauty, it's Musk. At 74, she rocked the cover in a ruffled Maygel Coronel suit shot by Yu Tsai in Belize. The youngest of the stars, 25-year-old Nu, made the cover after first debuting in the issue last year. The recording artist and plus-size model was photographed in Montenegro by James Macari. The magazine also features the 2021 Swimsuit issue's Rookie of the Year Katrina Scott, photographed for this issue when she was six-and-a-half months pregnant and model Kelly Hughes, who showed off and celebrated her C-section scar in her photos.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Biden visits Asia, Pennsylvania GOP Senate race, PGA: 5 things to know Thursday