National News

5 things for April 24: Toronto, George H.W. Bush, White House, Nashville, Armenia

Posted April 17, 2018 6:18 a.m. EDT

— A somber moment of silence became a moment of unity as the Toronto Maple Leafs paused last night before their NHL playoff game to honor those lost in yesterday's van attack. We have more on that, plus everything else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. Toronto attack

Canadian investigators are piecing together what they know about the man accused of driving a van into pedestrians at a busy Toronto intersection, killing 10 and injuring 15. The suspected driver, 25-year-old Alek Minassian of Ontario, is in custody and due in court today at 10 a.m. ET. Investigators are still trying to suss out a motive but say a Facebook page allegedly belonging to Minassian contains what they assume is a glowing reference to Elliot Rodger, the man who killed six and injured 14 in a 2014 drive-by shooting and vehicle ramming attack in California.

Officials are not calling Monday's event a terror attack, though they do say the act appeared to be "deliberate." Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called it a "tragic and senseless attack." Vice President Mike Pence said the White House is closely monitoring the attack. "The American people stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our neighbors in Canada," he tweeted. 

2. George H.W. Bush

Less than a week after former first lady Barbara Bush passed away, George H.W. Bush has been admitted to intensive care. The former President, 93, was admitted Sunday morning to Houston Methodist Hospital after contracting an infection that spread to his blood, a family spokesman said. Another source close to Bush said the infection was sepsis, which can be life-threatening. His hospitalization came one day after his wife of 73 years was laid to rest. 

3. White House

President Trump is saying bonjour to Emmanuel Macron. The first family is hosting the French President and his wife as its first state dinner guests. But there's more than dinner on the docket. While he is here, Macron will try to convince Trump to stick with the Iran nuclear deal. He'll get a little help when German Chancellor Angela Merkel comes to town Friday. The leaders will also probably talk trade, alliances and Syria. 

In less genteel White House news, members of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee are raising concerns about allegations involving Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, Trump's nominee to lead the department of Veterans Affairs. The claims are related to improper conduct at various stages in Jackson's career. No one is detailing them publicly, and committee members may delay tomorrow's confirmation hearing as they try to figure this all out. 

4. Nashville shooting

The gunman accused of killing four people at a Nashville-area Waffle House on Sunday is now in custody. Travis Reinking, 29, asked for a lawyer as he was arrested after a two-day manhunt that took police through homes and woods near the shooting site. Someone spotted Reinking emerging from the woods yesterday afternoon and phoned 911. He's due in court tomorrow to face four counts of criminal homicide. It's not clear what he was doing while on the run or what his motive for the shooting might be. However, it appears Reinking had his guns taken away at least twice before the attack. 

5. Armenia

The Prime Minister of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan, stepped down yesterday following days of mass demonstrations in the capital over what was seen as an unconstitutional power grab. Sargsyan had served as President of the former Soviet Republic for 10 years, starting in 2008. He said he would not try to become Prime Minister after his last term but was elected to the office anyway a week ago by the parliament. Under constitutional changes he promoted, the office of prime minister had become more powerful than that of president. The Armenian public was furious.


What, oh what, will his NAME be?

Duchess Catherine and Prince William are the proud parents of a new baby boy, born yesterday at 11:01 a.m. London time. Everyone's doing well, so now, we wait for the name. The bookmakers like Arthur, Albert and James. Whatever it is, we are dying to know! 


Dwayne Johnson just became a dad for the third time, too!

Guess you could say, The Rock's got a new Pebble.

Princess Charlotte just made royal history 

Speaking of babies, Will and Kate's 2-year-old is the first British princess who won't be overtaken by her little bro in the line of succession. Now THAT'S how it's done, Disney.

A re-gifted kidney has given two people a chance at life

Yes, this story will give you a nice, healthy morning cry.

A woman was fined $500 for taking an apple off a plane

Because air travel isn't expensive and confusing enough as it is. 

Boy, 12, flies to Bali after stealing his mom's credit card

Definitely grounded for life, or at least until he gets a movie deal.


8+ million

The number of videos YouTube has taken down in the last three months in an effort to clean up its platform after several controversies


"There aren't enough of us, and we've tried to do some recruiting, but again, when you look at the farm team, whether it is women in the statehouse or city council or women mayors across the nation, many of them have to be talked into it, as opposed to just feeling like they have something to offer."

Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R - Kansas), on why it's difficult to cultivate female leaders in the GOP


Well, this is a first 

Have you ever seen a pet crab eating a cracker? Have you ever seen a crab eat anything? That's about to change. (Click here to view.)