Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: April 24, 2018

A Senate panel recommends confirming Mike Pompeo, 10 pedestrians are killed in a Toronto van crash, and more


Senate committee recommends confirming Mike Pompeo

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee narrowly backed CIA Director Mike Pompeo as the next secretary of state on Monday. Pompeo had been in danger of becoming the first nominee for the top U.S. diplomatic position to get a negative vote from the committee, although the full Senate is expected to confirm him mostly along party lines. President Trump personally intervened to win over committee member Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who had said he would vote against recommending Pompeo's confirmation, but changed his mind at the last minute, saying he had received assurances that Pompeo, like Trump, believes "the Iraq War was a mistake, and that it is time to leave Afghanistan." At least three Democrats have said they would back Pompeo in the full Senate's vote, virtually assuring his confirmation.


10 killed, 15 injured when van hits pedestrians in Toronto

A white van plowed through pedestrians on a Toronto sidewalk on Monday, killing 10 people and injuring 15 others. Police took a suspect, identified as 25-year-old Alex Minassian, into custody. Toronto Police Deputy Chief Peter Yuen said there were many witnesses and surveillance cameras to help investigators determine what happened. Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said the driver's actions "definitely look deliberate." Investigators have not ruled out terrorism, although they found no immediate ties to any organized group. Witnesses said the victims included a man who was crossing the street and several who were on the sidewalk. "So many people [were] shouting, 'Stop the car,' but he didn't," a woman told BBC News. "He just [kept] moving."


Nashville shooting suspect arrested after manhunt

Nashville police on Monday arrested Travis Reinking, the 29-year-old man suspected of opening fire in a local Waffle House over the weekend. Police say he is refusing to answer questions. Reinking, of Illinois, fled after allegedly killing four people and injuring four others early Sunday in the restaurant. He fled the scene nude after being disarmed by Waffle House patron James Shaw Jr., and had been the subject of an intense manhunt. Reinking was arrested last July by the Secret Service on charges that he was in a restricted area outside the White House, and had four of his guns seized, including the AR-15 rifle police said he used in Sunday's shooting.


Macron to press Trump to stick with Iran nuclear deal during state visit

President Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron started the first official state visit of Trump's presidency on Monday night with a private dinner at Mount Vernon, George Washington's house. On Tuesday, the two leaders are scheduled to meet to discuss security, trade, and the Iran nuclear deal. "This is a great honor and I think a very important state visit given the moment of our current environment," Macron said as he arrived in the U.S. for the three-day visit. Trump has threatened to ditch the Iran nuclear deal, and Macron is expected to use his strong bond with Trump to press him to stick with it as European leaders work on tightening restrictions on Tehran. German Chancellor Angela Merkel will reinforce the message when she visits the U.S. on Friday.


Prince's relatives sue hospital that treated singer before fatal overdose

Relatives of music legend Prince filed a lawsuit against the hospital that treated him for an opioid overdose a week before he died, saying the facility gave him improper medical care. The family members filed the suit days after Carver County, Minnesota, prosecutors said they could not determine where Prince got the drugs that killed him, and that they would not file criminal charges in connection with the singer's death. Prince, 57, took a fatal dose of what he apparently believed was a prescription opioid like Vicodin before he was admitted to the hospital. Six days later, he is believed to have taken a counterfeit drug again, and that dose killed him.


Armenian prime minister resigns after facing protests

Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan abruptly resigned on Monday in a bid to calm huge anti-government protests. "The movement on the streets is against my rule," said Sargsyan, who served as president from 2008 until term limits forced him out of office in March. "I'm complying with their demands." Critics, many of whom feared Sargsyan was trying to seize power for life, poured into the streets of the capital, Yerevan, following the news of the controversial leader's unexpected departure after 10 days of demonstrations against his selection as prime minister as part of a new governmental system reducing presidential powers and increasing those of the prime minister.


Peruvian judge orders 2 arrested over Canadian's lynching

A Peruvian judge on Monday ordered authorities to arrest two men for the lynching of Sebastian Woodroffe, a 41-year-old Canadian killed after villagers in a remote Amazonian village accused him of murdering an indigenous medicine woman. The revered shaman, 81-year-old Olivia Arevalo, was fatally shot near her home on Thursday. Peruvian officials said a "mob" grabbed Woodroffe because Arevalo's family believed he shot her because she refused to conduct a ritual using a hallucinogenic Amazonian plant for healing and spiritual growth. Woodroffe had raised money through crowdfunding to travel to Peru to learn about traditional healing from Arevalo.


Facebook publishes censorship guidelines after transparency calls

Facebook on Tuesday published its 27-page guidelines for its content moderators to clarify what posts it decides to take down. The move came after Facebook critics called for more transparency from the social network after the revelation that data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica, which did work for the Trump campaign, improperly accessed information on tens of millions of Facebook users. Facebook's community standards guidelines tell its thousands of human censors how to handle topics such as hate speech, violent imagery, misrepresentation, terrorist propaganda, and disinformation. "We want people to know our standards and we want to give people clarity," said Monika Bickert, Facebook's head of global policy management. "We are trying to strike the line between safety and giving people the ability to really express themselves."


George H.W. Bush hospitalized for infection

Former President George H.W. Bush, 93, has been hospitalized for treatment of an infection that spread to his blood, his spokesman said Monday. The senior Bush, father of former President George W. Bush, was admitted shortly after the Saturday funeral of his wife of 73 years, Barbara Bush, who died last week at 92. Bush is "responding to treatments and appears to be recovering," spokesman Jim McGrath said. The former president checked into Houston Methodist Hospital after the infection spread to his blood. Bush has used a wheelchair or electric scooter to get around since being diagnosed with a form of Parkinson's disease. He has been hospitalized several times in recent years for respiratory problems.


Kate Middleton gives birth to third child

Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to a baby boy Monday morning. The baby, the third child of the duchess and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, will be fifth in line to the British throne. The new prince's older siblings, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, visited the hospital before their parents emerged with the baby to greet crowds of well-wishers. The family later drove home to Kensington Palace. When asked if the couple had decided on a name, Prince William said, "You'll find out soon enough." Bookmakers expect a traditional name like Arthur, Albert, or Philip. "You want a name that resonates, a name that's got family links, and is popular," royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told the BBC.


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