Right-wing Le Pen claims victory alongside centrist Macron for French presidential runoff, with E.U. future at stake

Centrist Emmanuel Macron placed first and far-right leader Marine Le Pen placed second in initial exit polls in the first round of France’s presidential election, advancing them to a head-to-head showdown in the runoff on May 7. It was poised to be a historic wipeout for the two political parties that have traded power in post-World War II France, with neither the Socialists nor the center-right descendants of Charles de Gaulle having a shot at the presidency.

Source: Right-wing Le Pen claims victory alongside centrist Macron for French presidential runoff, with E.U. future at stake

French citizens vote in an uncertain race that could determine Europe’s future

In a year of populist drama, the closely watched election offered citizens sharply differing choices about France’s role in the world. The front-runners ranged from an ex-Trotskyist campaigner who wants to impose a maximum income to a hard-edged, anti-immigrant firebrand who wants to split from the European Union and reorient toward Russia.

Source: French citizens vote in an uncertain race that could determine Europe’s future

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy is removed by Trump administration, replaced by deputy for now – The Washington Post

Murthy, a holdover from the Obama administration, was asked to resign, according to a statement released Friday night by the Department of Health and Human Services. The statement said that “after assisting in a smooth transition into the new Trump administration,” Murthy “has been relieved of his duties.” Trent-Adams, a 24-year veteran of the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and a former chief nurse officer of the Public Health Service, will fill the role for now, the statement said.

Source: Surgeon general is removed by Trump administration, replaced by deputy for now – The Washington Post

WikiLeaks publishes more of the CIA’s secret tools after the US threatens criminal charges against the organization – Business Insider

Things are about to get messy.

WikiLeaks released another trove of information on the Central Intelligence Agency’s secrets Friday afternoon, after the Justice Department said it was considering criminal chargesagainst the organization and its founder, Julian Assange.

Source: WikiLeaks publishes more of the CIA’s secret tools after the US threatens criminal charges against the organization – Business Insider

Syria still has chemical weapons says U.S. defense secretary

Jim Mattis added that Syria was also dispersing its planes around the country after a U.S. cruise missile strike.

The Syrian government has retained an unspecified amount of chemical weapons and dispersed its aircraft following a U.S. cruise missile attack earlier this month, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said Friday.

Source: Syria still has chemical weapons says U.S. defense secretary

UC Berkeley Changes Course And Offers To Host Ann Coulter Speech : The Two-Way : NPR

UC Berkeley, the home of the Free Speech Movement, is embroiled in another controversy testing that campus’ legacy. It invited, then disinvited, then reinvited a conservative pundit.

The university had previously announced Wednesday that it was canceling Coulter’s appearance following several political protests in Berkeley that turned violent.

Source: UC Berkeley Changes Course And Offers To Host Ann Coulter Speech : The Two-Way : NPR

Donald Trump signs extension of veterans’ choice health care bill – Washington Times

After campaigning on the issue of improving substandard care for veterans that dogged President Obama, Mr. Trump signed a reauthorization of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act and announced that he would devote a press conference to veterans issues next week.

Source: Donald Trump signs extension of veterans’ choice health care bill – Washington Times

Berkeley cancels conservative firebrand Ann Coulter’s speech over fears of more violent protests

After riots and violent protests in and around their campus during the past three months, officials at the University of California at Berkeley said Wednesday that the school is canceling a planned speech by conservative firebrand Ann Coulter because of safety concerns.

Source: Berkeley cancels conservative firebrand Ann Coulter’s speech over fears of more violent protests

Miami lawmaker apologizes on Senate floor for using racial slur | Miami Herald

Miami Republican Sen. Frank Artiles was stripped of his committee chairmanship. The legislative black caucus is expected to ask for his resignation.

“I extend a heartfelt apology to my colleagues and to all those I have offended,” Artiles began.

He offered a direct apology to Sen. Audrey Gibson, a Jacksonville Democrat he had called a “bitch.”

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article145445989.html#storylink=cpy

Source: Miami lawmaker apologizes on Senate floor for using racial slur | Miami Herald

Tillerson: Iran complying with nuclear deal, but still sponsoring terrorism – CNNPolitics.com

Secretary of State said the Trump administration was reviewing the lifting of sanctions against Iran, arguing that the country remains a sponsor of terrorism.

Story highlights

  • Secretary of State Tillerson: sanction policy under review
  • “Iran remains a leading state sponsor of terror,” Tillerson says

Source: Tillerson: Iran complying with nuclear deal, but still sponsoring terrorism – CNNPolitics.com

Trump’s First 100 Days: Trump to sign ‘Hire American,’ ‘Buy American’ order

Trump will sign an executive order directing the government to review guest-worker programs and federal procurement policy.

On Tuesday, he will sign an executive order in pursuit of that goal — although it’s unclear how much the administration can actually do without Congress’s approval.

Source: Trump’s First 100 Days: Trump to sign ‘Hire American,’ ‘Buy American’ order