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Paris, Donald Trump, General Motors: Your Friday Briefing

Need to get up to speed before Sunday’s vote? One of our reporters in Paris explains what’s at stake, and we selected seven of our best reads on the French election.

• Execution in Arkansas.

Dismissing criticism that it was trying to rush prisoners to their deaths, the state carried out its first execution in more than a decade on Thursday night.

Arkansas plans three more by the end of the month. The difficulties it has faced illustrate the troubled state of the death penalty, our Supreme Court reporter writes.

• Consumer revolt led to O’Reilly’s ouster.

For advertisers who fled Bill O’Reilly’s show, lost revenue was one consideration, but the risk of a tarnished reputation was another.

The Fox News host will receive a payout of up to $25 million after being forced out over sexual harassment allegations.

Is it a new era at Fox? Women aren’t so sure, our senior correspondent on gender writes.

• Egypt releases American.

The Trump administration secured the freedom of Aya Hijazi, an Egyptian-American aid worker, on Thursday night.

She had been held for three years on charges of child abuse and human trafficking and had become an international symbol of authoritarianism in Egypt.

• “The Daily,” your audio news report.

On today’s show, a Times reporter based in Paris discusses Thursday’s attack and the coming presidential election.

Listen on a computer, an iOS device or an Android device.

Business

• Regarding trade, the White House has ordered an investigation of steel imports and took a jab at Canada for protecting its dairy farmers.

One of President Trump’s major targets is China’s vast steel industry, but our Shanghai bureau chief says it may be difficult to contain.

• General Motors is the latest company to pull out of Venezuela, where violent protests, crime, shortages and government asset seizures are constant threats.

• Child care enriches more than children. Government spending on high-quality day care in the early years delivers an economic boon that lasts three generations, research finds.

• U.S. stocks were up on Thursday. Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

Smarter Living

• Cutting out added sweeteners for 30 days can permanently and pleasantly improve eating habits.

Which is better: high-intensity exercise or moderate endurance exercise? We have the answers.

Recipe of the day: Whip up fettuccine with asparagus and smoked salmon in 35 minutes, and enjoy spring’s longer days.

Noteworthy

• Partisan writing you shouldn’t miss.

Read about how the other side thinks: A debate on the right about economic protectionism; why the left should stop watching “The West Wing”; and how late-night TV has intensified partisanship.

• Berkeley reinvites Coulter.

The University of California, Berkeley, said on Thursday that the conservative author Ann Coulter could speak on campus next month, a day after it had canceled an appearance, citing security threats. She vowed to speak next week, as originally scheduled.

• Ready for the weekend.

Bette Midler is back on Broadway, providing a dazzling lesson in star power in a revival of “Hello, Dolly!”, our theater critic writes. We also review “The Little Foxes,” starring Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon.

Our film critics discuss some of this week’s releases, including “Unforgettable” and “The Promise,” in a video review.

And in their weekly roundup, our book critics recommend 10 new titles.

• Scientists on the march.

On Saturday, demonstrators in more than 500 cities will march in support of scientific research, which they say is under attack. But what they do after that is just as important.

Voyages of the heart.

In our Travel section’s Love issue, four authors recall times when love and travel intersected.

Best of late-night TV.

Thursday was April 20, the unofficial holiday for marijuana smokers. What does that have to do with a missing aircraft carrier? Trevor Noah had an idea.

• Four hours at the White House.

Sarah Palin, Ted Nugent and Kid Rock visited on Wednesday with President Trump, who treated them to dinner and a tour of the executive residence.

Photo

Kid Rock, left, Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent posed in front of Hillary Clinton’s official portrait at the White House.

Credit
Via Sarah Palin on Facebook

Back Story

In his adopted state of California, it is decreed by law: “The governor annually shall proclaim April 21 to be ‘John Muir Day.’ ”

Born in Scotland on this day in 1838, Mr. Muir is perhaps best known for his writing as a naturalist and for founding the Sierra Club, the largest environmental organization in the United States.

Photo

John Muir, conservationist and founder of the Sierra Club, pictured around the 1860s.

Credit
Wisconsin Historical Society, via Associated Press

His efforts helped preserve wildernesses including Yosemite National Park and the Grand Canyon.

In 1901, Mr. Muir published “Our National Parks,” a collection of essays that described areas of the American West and called for their preservation. It gained the attention of Theodore Roosevelt, who visited Mr. Muir in Yosemite for a three-night camping trip in 1903, during which they laid the groundwork for the president’s conservation programs. The National Park Service was created in 1916, two years after Mr. Muir’s death.

Named the Greatest Californian by the California Historical Society in 1976, Mr. Muir is also the namesake of more places in the state than any other person. The entry fee at Muir Woods National Monument, the redwood forest north of San Francisco, will be waived this weekend for National Park Week.

Inyoung Kang contributed reporting.

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Your Morning Briefing is published weekdays at 6 a.m. Eastern and updated on the web all morning.

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