Live Coverage

Today's News: March 18, 2017

Possible terrorist attack in Paris, Chuck Berry dies, and more from the United States and around the world.

Christian Hartmann / Reuters

—Security officers at the Paris Orly Airport shot and killed a man who had tried to take a soldier’s gun, and the incident is now being investigated as a possible act of terrorism. More here

—Chuck Berry, one of the most influential rock and roll musicians, died. He was 90. More here

—We’re tracking the news stories of the day below. All updates are in Eastern Standard Time (GMT -5).


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Remembering Chuck Berry

James A. Finley / AP

Chuck Berry, one of the most influential rock and roll musicians, died Saturday. He was 90. Berry, a musical pioneer, authored 1950s classics like “Johnny B. Goode,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” and “Rock and Roll Music.” Born in St. Louis in 1926, Berry made of name for himself in the mid-1950s performing with blues legends Muddy Waters and T-Bone Walker. In 1955, he released the song “Ida Red,” which sold one million records. In 1986, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. According to a statement from St. Louis police Friday, “The family requests privacy during this time of bereavement."

G20 Drops Anti-Protectionist Language After Pressure from the Trump Administration

Kai Pfaffenbach / Reuters

Finance ministers and central bank chiefs from the world’s top 20 economies have dropped a commitment to embrace free trade and resist protectionism after pushback back from the Trump administration. At a meeting Saturday in Germany, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin steered the Group of 20, or “G20,” to drop a central phrase from their joint mission statement that pledged to “avoid all forms of protectionism.” Instead, they issued a more watered-down statement, saying only that they would work to “strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies.” Endorsing the previous language had become an almost rote affair, but it now represents a significant shift in attitude, and a big win for the Trump administration, which is fighting to renegotiate the existing standards of free trade. It was left to Germany and China Saturday to argue for keeping the vow. Trump has constantly repeated how the U.S. gets a bad deal from trade agreements, which he believes incentivize companies to leave the U.S. He has already pulled the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and has promised to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. Just the day before, in a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Trump said the U.S. “has been treated very unfairly over the years, and that’s going to stop.”

Powerful Rains in Peru Kill Dozens and Leave 70,000 Homeless

Guadalupe Pardo / Reuters

A powerful storm caused by warmer-than-usual waters off the coast of Peru has caused downpours and mudslides that have killed at least 62 people, flooded rivers, highways, and left 70,000 people homeless. It is one of the worst storms in decades for the country, caused by this year’s unusually strong El Niño, which has delivered more than 10 times as much rainfall as usual. Half of Peru has been declared in a state of emergency, with power outages rampant. In the country’s capital, Lima, water has been restricted as treatment plants clogged with debris. Those affected most by the storm have been the country’s poor, especially those who built makeshift houses in floodplains that have quickly turned into swollen rivers after the storm. The storm has also destroyed about 100 bridges and caused the country to question how prepared it is for climate change, when warmer oceans will create storms in the region like this more frequently.

China Asks the U.S. to Stay 'Coolheaded' About North Korea


Chinese officials on Saturday urged the U.S. to remain “coolheaded” about North Korea, just a day after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said diplomacy had failed to persuade Pyongyang to drop its nuclear program. Tillerson is currently in Beijing, the last stop on his trip through Asia, a tour that has been dominated by news of North Korea’s latest ballistic missile tests. Just a day before, Tillerson said all options were on the table concerning North Korea, and he warned that the tension had reached “dangerous levels.” But Saturday he seemed to take a more diplomatic stance as he spoke at a joint news conference with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who said, “No matter what happens, we have to stay committed to diplomatic means as a way to seek peaceful settlement.” China has remained one of North Korea’s few allies, but recently it has pressured the country to stop its nuclear tests, and in February China suspended coal imports from Pyongyang.  Wang also said China would maintain United Nations sanctions on North Korea, but that these needed “clear provisions for efforts to resume talks to de-escalate the tension and to safeguard stability on the peninsula.”

A Paris Airport Attack Is Being Investigated as Terrorism

Benoit Tessier / Reuters

Updated at 6:08 p.m.

Security officers at the Paris Orly Airport shot and killed a man on Saturday who tried to steal a soldier’s gun, and the attack is now being investigated as a possible act of terrorism. The man was identified by authorities as France-born Ziyed Ben Belgacem, a 39 year old with a long criminal history and who was reportedly on a watchlist for possible extremists. Earlier that morning, the man is believed to have fired an air gun loaded with birdshot at a police officer, then stolen a car in a neighborhood about eight miles north of the airport. The attack at the airport shut down several terminals and stopped flights. The man’s father and brother have been taken into custody for questioning. The moment comes just as France is in the middle of presidential elections, and it will undoubtedly raise the topic of security again. Since 2015, the country has been in a state of emergency because of repeated terrorist attacks, although earlier this week the French justice minister had suggested it could be possible to lift the order.