10 things you need to know today: April 17, 2017

Pence warns North Korea not to test U.S. resolve, Turkey's president claims victory in vote giving him sweeping new powers, and more

Vice President Mike Pence visits the DMZ
(Image credit: JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)

1. Pence warns North Korea not to test Trump's 'strength and resolve'

Vice President Mike Pence started a 10-day Asia trip in South Korea shortly after Pyongyang marked a key national holiday with a failed missile test, warning that the latest "provocation" demonstrated how dangerous the isolated communist nation had become. Pence warned Pyongyang on Monday not to test President Trump, saying the U.S. leader showed his "strength and resolve" recently by bombing Syria, and the Islamic State in Afghanistan. Tensions had risen on speculation that North Korea was planning its sixth nuclear test to mark the holiday, but the White House said it saw no need to respond to an unsuccessful missile launch. "If it had been a nuclear test, then other actions would have been taken from the U.S.," an adviser told reporters on Pence's plane. President Trump said Sunday that his administration was working with China on addressing "the North Korea problem."

The Washington Post The Associated Press

2. Turkey's president claims victory in vote giving him sweeping new powers

Turkish voters narrowly approved expanded powers for their president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on Sunday. About 51 percent backed Erdogan, while just under 49 percent voted no. Supporters said the change, which also could let Erdogan stay in office until 2029, will modernize the country by replacing its parliamentary system with an executive presidency giving the chief executive sweeping powers. The country's two main opposition parties challenged the referendum's legitimacy. The Republican People's Party called for a recount of 60 percent of the ballots, saying that unstamped ballot papers were improperly accepted as valid. Erdogan supporters poured into the streets to celebrate his win, while opponents gathered in Istanbul, expressing their unhappiness with the result by banging pots and pans.

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BBC News

3. Ousted South Korean president formally charged in corruption case

South Korea's ex-president, Park Geun-hye, was formally charged Monday in the corruption scandal that led to her impeachment. The 65-year-old ousted leader faces numerous charges, including bribery, coercion, abuse of power, and leaking state secrets. A conviction for bribery could result in a sentence of 10 years to life in prison. Park is accused of letting her close friend and confidante, Choi Soon-sil, extort money from companies with promises of lucrative government favors. Both women deny they committed any crimes.

The New York Times

4. Death toll rises in bombing of Syria evacuee buses

The death toll from an apparent suicide car bombing targeting Syrians evacuated from war-torn towns rose to 126 on Sunday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The bomber attacked a convoy of buses carrying people being transported to safety from pro-government Shia villages. At least 109 of those killed were refugees, while the others were aid workers and rebels assigned to guard the buses, according to the monitoring group. At least 68 children were killed in the attack.


5. Ohio police search for suspect in murder livestreamed on Facebook

Ohio police conducted a manhunt on Sunday for a suspect in a killing that was streamed live on Facebook. Law enforcement officers searched the Cleveland area for Steve Stephens, who allegedly walked up to Robert Goodwin Sr., 74, and fatally shot him. Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson called on Stephens to surrender to police, and not "do any more harm to anybody." In the video, Stephens said he was acting because of a woman, and that he had killed more than a dozen people.

The Associated Press

6. United says it will stop removing passengers to make room for employees

United Airlines will stop letting employees bump ticketed passengers off of overbooked flights, a spokeswoman for the carrier said Sunday. The company's leaders promised to revamp their policies for dealing with full planes after the outcry over video showing a bloodied passenger, Dr. David Dao of Kentucky, being dragged off a plane in Chicago by aviation police. "We issued an updated policy to make sure crews traveling on our aircraft are booked at least 60 minutes prior to departure," the spokeswoman, Maggie Schmerin, wrote in an email. "This is one of our initial steps in a review of our policies." She said the change was intended to help ensure that such incidents "never happen again."

The New York Times

7. Pro-Trump group launches ads to help friendly House Republicans

Leaders of America First Policies, a nonprofit that supports President Trump, told The Washington Post on Sunday that their group is launching a $3 million ad campaign to support a dozen Republican House members who backed the Republican health-care plan. The proposal failed last month when GOP leaders could not line up enough votes to pass it, and Trump's backers kept an informal tally of how Republican lawmakers had planned to vote. The "advocacy campaign" will include broadcast, digital, and social components, and is intended to shore up support for Trump's agenda as the president struggles in polls.

The Washington Post

8. Fugitive former Mexican governor captured in Guatemala

Javier Duarte, the fugitive former governor of Mexico's Veracruz state, has been arrested in Guatemala after a six-month international manhunt, Mexican authorities said Sunday. Duarte was captured in Panajachel, a resort town on Lake Atitlan in the Guatemalan highlands. He faces extradition to Mexico to face charges of graft and organized crime related to the suspected theft of millions of dollars. Duarte denies the charges. He once was considered a rising star of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, but the corruption case made him an embarrassment. His capture could give the party of President Enrique Pena Nieto a boost as it prepares for a tough fight to keep the presidency in next year's elections.

The New York Times

9. Trumps host their first Easter Egg Roll after deadline crunch

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump host their first annual White House Easter Egg Roll on Monday, continuing a 150-year Washington tradition. The White House has invited 21,000 people to participate in the event on the White House South Lawn. The crowd will be smaller than last year's, which drew 30,000 people. Planning for this year's roll started later than usual, raising questions about whether it would be held at all. Wells Wood Turning, the Maine-based manufacturer of the traditional wooden eggs passed out at the celebration, resorted to tweeting a message that its Easter deadlines were approaching, and urging the White House to "please reach out."

ABC News

10. Fate of the Furious sets overseas box office record

The Fate of the Furious, the eighth film in Universal's car-based action series, took in $100.2 million domestically and an estimated $432.3 million internationally in its first weekend, setting a record for the biggest global debut ever. Its estimated $532.5 million total narrowly beat the previous record of $529 million set by Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The Fate of the Furious' North American haul marked a slowdown, however, falling 32 percent short of the $147 million earned by its predecessor, Furious 7, in its 2015 debut. The ensemble film, starring Vin Diesel, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Ludacris, Charlize Theron, and others, set a record overseas, however, showing growth for the franchise in 30 countries, and crushing the previous record of $316.7 million set by Jurassic World.

EW.com The New York Times

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Harold Maass

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.