5 things for Friday, April 21: Paris terror attack, Tennessee teacher, Arkansas execution

Good Friday morning to you. We’ve almost put another challenging week behind us. Here are the 5 things you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get “5 Things You Need to Know Today” delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. Paris terror attack

A police officer was killed and two others badly injured in a terror attack along Paris’ Champs-Elysees. The attack halted France’s presidential election campaign in its tracks, just days before voting begins. In the attack, a car stopped in front of a police van, a man got out and opened fire on the van with an automatic weapon. Police returned fire and killed him. ISIS claimed this attack was carried out by one of their fighters. Police arrested three family members of a known terror suspect. A second man possibly linked to the shooting surrendered in Belgium. France has suffered through a number of terror attacks the past couple of years, and the country’s presidential election just might be decided on which candidate voters think will keep them safe.

2. Arkansas execution

Arkansas executed its first inmate in more than a decade. Ledell Lee was put to death by lethal injection. The state had originally planned to kill eight inmates over 10 days, saying its stockpile of lethal injection drugs would expire at the end of the month. But four of the men have received stays of execution, with their lawyers arguing that one of the drugs used in executions doesn’t prevent a painful death. Two more inmates are scheduled to be executed next week. In case you were wondering what these men did to get a death sentence in the first place, here’s a quick primer.

3. China

If something crazy goes down in North Korea, it looks like the Chinese will be ready. US officials say China is putting bombers on high alert, so that it can react quickly to any potential situation in the North. The rhetoric has gone from heated to boiling on the Korean Peninsula, with North Korean state media warning the US and South Korea that the countries would be “completely destroyed in an instant” by a pre-emptive strike from the North. That’s a situation China most definitely wants to avoid, because a major crisis in North Korea could potentially mean an influx of refugees pouring into the country.

4. Teacher-student found

The Tennessee teacher accused of kidnapping his 15-year-old student has been arrested. And the student is on her way home. Tad Cummins was nabbed outside of a cabin in mountainous Northern California — more than 2,000 miles from home. The student, Elizabeth Thomas, was found safe in the cabin. The cabin’s caretaker told police they were there and helped them come up with a plan to draw Cummins out. What did he tell the cops after he was arrested? “I’m glad this is over.”

5. Health care bill

Is the GOP health care bill about to rise from the dead? President Trump says Republican leaders are this close to striking a deal that might appease the conservative House Freedom Caucus and bring in about 20 new “yes” votes. If you remember, it was the Freedom Caucus’ lack of support that doomed the bill a few weeks ago. Still, there’s no guarantee that would bring enough votes to pass the thing in the House. And CNN’s Chris Cillizza notes the rest of the GOP House members don’t even know yet what this new deal might look like, so we’ll all just have to wait and see what they’ve come up with.


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Pot party

Thursday was 4/20 Day, but it wasn’t just potheads taking part in the festivities. The cops joined in too, just not in the way you think.

They’re playing his song

When your senator won’t hold a town hall meeting, you come to him. And you bring a six-piece mariachi band, just to make sure you get his attention.

One woman against the world

Just like Tiananmen Square’s Tank Man almost 30 years ago, this protester in Venezuela bravely rages against the machine.

Woman of our times

Jeanette Vizguerra is an undocumented mom hiding out in a Denver church. She’s also one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.

Life follows art

Remember those moisture “vaporators” from the original “Star Wars” movie? Well, looks like that bit of science fiction is about to become science fact.


Buddy’s blues

Like the rest of us, Buddy the beagle probably had a challenging week, so he lets off some steam by tickling the ivories. (Click to view)

Paris shooting casts shadow over final day of election campaign
2 Seattle police officers shot; one suspect dead

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