(Michael Conroy / AP)

What We’re Following Today

It’s Friday, April 26.

‣ The Russian agent Maria Butina was sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to attempting to infiltrate conservative political circles and promote Russian interests during the 2016 election cycle.

‣ The U.S. economy grew by 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2019, exceeding economists’ expectations.

Here’s what else we’re watching:

(Jonathan Bachman / Reuters)

Both Sides: President Donald Trump defended his response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, when he said that there were “very fine people” on both sides of the conflict. “If you look at what I said you will see that that question was answered perfectly,” Trump told reporters outside the White House on Friday. “I was talking about people that went because they felt very strongly about the monument to Robert E. Lee, a great general.”

+ During his hour-long speech at the National Rifle Association’s national convention in Indianapolis, Trump demonstrated his loyalty to the organization, said he would revoke support for an Obama-era global arms treaty, and seemed to thoroughly enjoy himself: “Other than his own rallies,” writes Elaina Plott, “there are few places where Trump gets the enthusiastic welcome he feels he deserves.”

Outbreak: Measles was declared eliminated in the United States two decades ago, but this week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that new outbreaks have led to the highest number of cases reported in the country since 2000: In the first three months of the year, the U.S. saw a 300 percent increase from the same period a year ago.

Meet Annie: Annie helps resettle refugees in cities where they are most likely to be welcomed and find success. But Annie’s not a person; she’s a software program. And if she’s effective, reports Krishnadev Calamur, she could usher in a new era of refugee resettlement worldwide.

- Elaine Godfrey


Snapshot

A South Korean soldier and a U.S. Army soldier patrol during a rehearsal to mark the first anniversary of a summit between South Korean President Moon Jae In and the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on April 27, at the border village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas in Paju, South Korea. (Ahn Young-joon / AP)


Ideas From The Atlantic

Democrats Are Answering the Wrong Questions (David Litt)
“It was highly unlikely, to say the least, that Dukakis would find himself avenging his wife’s death. He wasn’t running for mayor of Gotham City. But by focusing on a hypothetical problem affecting one person rather than a real issue affecting the entire country—the immorality of capital punishment—the question put the governor in a bind.” → Read on.

Sean Hannity Plays T-Ball With President Trump (Conor Friedersdorf)
“Last night, I expected Sean Hannity would fail the American public similarly in his interview with President Donald Trump. But it wouldn’t be fair to beer-guzzling amateurs playing recreational slow-pitch to compare what I saw to softball.” → Read on.

The Three-Letter Word That Triggered a Revolution (Todd S. Purdum
“Because of sex. Over the past 55 years, that single three-letter word has had momentous legal and social consequences for American life that the man who inserted it into the 1964 Civil Rights Act on a wintry Saturday morning could never have imagined.” → Read on.

When Making Things Better Only Makes Them Worse (Erik Larson)
“When Germanwings Flight 9525 flew directly into the side of a mountain in the French Alps, killing all on board, investigators discovered that one cause was the safety system itself, put in place in aircraft after the 9/11 attacks.” → Read on.


What Else We’re Reading

The Health Care Industry Is Betting on Joe Biden in Its War Against Medicare-for-All (Dylan Scott, Vox)
Women Did Everything Right. Then Work Got ‘Greedy.’ (Claire Cain Miller, The New York Times)  (🔒 Paywall)
Farm-Equipment Purchases Plummet as Trade War Hits Rural America (Mike Dorning, Bloomberg)

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