Live Coverage

Today's News: April 23, 2017

France holds its first round of presidential elections today, North Korea threatens a missile strike on U.S. vessel, American Airlines suspends an employee after an altercation over a baby stroller.

Zoubeir Souissi / Reuters

—France holds its first round of presidential elections in what will be another test for the spread of populist nationalism sweeping Europe.

—North Korea threatened to a missile strike on a U.S. Navy vessel,  and it detains a U.S. citizen who was teaching at university in Pyongyang.

—American Airlines apologized and suspended an employee who got in an argument with a mother about her baby stroller.

—We’re tracking the news stories of the day below. All updates are in Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -4).


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American Airlines Suspends Employee Over Baby Stroller Altercation

Alan Diaz / Reueters

American Airlines suspended a flight attendant after a video showed him arguing with a passenger, nearly exchanging punches. The altercation reportedly started after the employee yanked a baby stroller away from a mother who was boarding the flight with her two children, nearly hitting one of them in the head. “The actions of our team member captured here do not appear to reflect patience or empathy, two values necessary for customer care,” American Airlines said in a statement. “In short, we are disappointed by these actions.” The video circulated on social media catches only part of the confrontation on the plane, which was headed from San Francisco to Texas. The clip captures the mother holding her baby and crying, while a passenger stands up to defend her, asking for the name of the flight attendant. Then the employee walks back onto the plane and he and the passenger yell at one another. The flight attendant jabs his finger toward the man’s face and they then stand chest to chest. This video comes just shortly after a United Airlines passenger was dragged off a plane because the company overbooked seats. In that instance, United seemed to blame the passenger for not complying, but changed its position after overwhelming criticism on social media.

North Korea Threatens a Missile Attack on U.S. Aircraft Carrier


North Korea on Sunday threatened a U.S. aircraft carrier with a missile strike as the American vessel joined two Japanese navy ships for group exercises. President Donald Trump sent the USS Carl Vinson to the Korean Peninsula to make a show of force after Pyongyang conducted several missile tests earlier this month, and its presence has dramatically escalated tensions in the area. In a newspaper column, North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party wrote, "Our revolutionary forces are combat-ready to sink a U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier with a single strike." On the same day, the country detained a U.S. citizen, now the third being held by Pyongyang. The man, Tony Kim, was a teacher Pyongyang University of Science and Technology who’d spent a month in the country. The school is the only privately run university in North Korea, with many foreign teachers. It is an evangelical Christian school, and often caters to the children of North Korea’s elite. Kim was detained as he tried to leave the country, although the cause of the arrest is unknown.  

France Goes to the Polls

Zoubeir Souissi / Reuters

Updated on April 22 at 3:40 p.m. ET

Emmanuel Macron, of the En Marche! party, and National Front leader Marine Le Pen both advanced to the May 7 runoff. It was the first time in history neither candidate to win was from a major party. You can read more about the early poll results here. If you need to read up on each of the candidates, my colleague Yasmeen Serhan wrote a fantastic explainer: French Election 2017: A Guide to the Candidates.

Trump called the election “very interesting” on Sunday, and that’s likely because Marine Le Pen espouses similar ideas of how to make a nation great. If she wins, it could reshape Europe, as she’s promised to pull France out of the European Union, to tighten the country’s borders, and to expel migrants. Some of the measures are seen as a direct reaction to the recent increase in terrorism attacks in France, one of which came just two days ago. Some worry it could have had a last-minute impact on the election, as my colleague Krishnadev Calamur wrote.

Here are more stories to catch up on what’s at stake, and to understand how France got here:

How Populism Took Root in France

How Marine Le Pen Relies on Dividing French Jews and Muslims

Can a French Political Upstart Ride Obama's Strategy to Victory?

Be sure to check back for updates.