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The 10-Point: My Guide to the Day's Top News

The Wall Street Journal
Good morning,
The French Connection
Centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right politician Marine Le Pen led the first round of voting in France’s presidential election. Mr. Macron won with 23.9% of the vote, according to an official tally of 96% of votes. The result marks a stunning rebuke of France’s mainstream political forces. For more than four decades, a duopoly of conservative and socialist presidents has alternated in the Élysée Palace, squeezing out fringe parties and mavericks seeking to end the country’s political and economic sclerosis. Investors are now grappling with the implications of a possible victory for Ms. Le Pen. She has vowed to take France out of the euro and bring back the franc, which could cause the country to default on its debt. However, the results on Sunday offered encouragement for the European Union with a strong probability that the fiercely pro-EU Mr. Macron will win the second, decisive round of voting on May 7. European stocks and the euro jumped today as investor concern about the future of the eurozone eased.

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Borders and Budgets
Less than a week before the federal government could run out of money, White House officials said President Donald Trump wants any spending deal to include some funding for a border wall. Congressional Republicans have displayed little appetite for risking a partial shutdown over the issue. Lawmakers are returning after a recess with little time to reach an agreement to keep the government operating after its current funding expires at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday—the 100th day of Mr. Trump’s presidency. Complicating the negotiations, top White House officials are also urging House Republicans to move swiftly to revive a partisan health-care bill that stalled last month. Amid the uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act, states are moving to bolster their own insurance markets. Mr. Trump also said he would release a proposal for overhauling the tax code on Wednesday.
Smoky Rooms
Far fewer Americans are smoking, and yet U.S. tobacco revenue is soaring. Two decades ago, such a boom didn’t seem possible. Nevertheless, the industry’s biggest players have withstood an avalanche of legal settlements and regulatory requirements, and cigarette makers have more than made up for falling volumes with higher prices. The number of cigarettes sold in the U.S. fell by 37% from 2001 to 2016, according to Euromonitor. Over the same period, companies raised prices, boosting cigarette revenue by 32%, to an estimated $93.4 billion last year. However, a U.S. law passed in 2009 leaves open the possibility that the Food and Drug Administration could one day ban menthol cigarettes. Tobacco executives know today’s boom won’t last forever, and are investing heavily to develop products they say are safer.
A Mascot Mess
When it comes to rebellious and cantankerous behavior, Vermonters go back a ways. They didn’t join the original 13 colonies in the Union until 1791, four years after the Constitution was signed. So in 1961, when education leaders in South Burlington decided that a newly built high school should be nicknamed the Rebels, nobody batted an eyelash. However, when the Board of School Directors decided the Rebels moniker had offensive connotations and needed to go, those Vermonters who didn’t agree reacted like, well, Vermonters. To protest the decision, opponents have twice helped vote down the nearly $50 million school district budget. The controversy heated up in 2015 when the Burlington Free Press newspaper dug up photos of cheerleaders and sports teams posing alongside Confederate flags. The school board has convened a new 40-member “South Burlington School District Mascot Selection Oversight Committee” to study the matter.
TODAY'S VIDEO
A Reunion in Mexico
That Was Painless
Indiana restaurant owner Roberto Beristain was deported to Mexico earlier this month after living in the U.S. for 20 years. His American family members visited him for the first time over Easter weekend.
TOP STORIES
U.S.

After United Clash, Airport Police Brass Warn Officers to Avoid Such Feuds

Cheaper Mortgages Could Spur Housing Market
WORLD

Head of Germany’s Upstart Anti-Immigrant Party Pushed Aside

Duterte’s War on Drugs Stumbles in Rehabilitation Effort
BUSINESS

Becton Dickinson to Acquire C.R. Bard for $24 Billion

First Class Vs. Last Class? Airlines Bolster Premium Cabin, Skimp on Economy
MARKETS

Malaysia’s 1MDB, Abu Dhabi State Investment Fund Reach Repayment Agreement

Wells Fargo Directors Face Uncertain Prospects
NUMBER OF THE DAY
294
The number of tech startups that raised at least $50 million apiece in 2014 and 2015. Almost three-quarters of those companies—216—have neither raised money nor been acquired since the end of 2015. Startups tend to raise funding every 12 to 18 months.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
I’m not going to be marching against Trump. I’m going to be marching for science. I hope that comes through.
Anna Parker, a master’s student in zoology, on the March for Science rally in Laramie, Wyo., one of the more than 500 rallies on Saturday attended by tens of thousands world-wide. The demonstrations are part of a movement among researchers toward increased public activism.
TODAY'S QUESTION
Going back to our story above, what are your thoughts on President Trump’s demand that the spending deal include funding for a border wall? Send your comments, which we may edit before publication, to 10point@wsj.com. Please include your name and location.
—Compiled by Charity L. Scott
READER RESPONSE
Responding to Friday’s question on investors reverting to wagers on anemic growth, Sam Rinella of Illinois commented: “Where is the anemic growth? Our area is strained to the top. Personally, my college-grad grandchildren all have good jobs, from Denver to Chicago to New York. Not true in the last eight years. Retail is down mostly because of e-trade. Cities decry the loss of sales tax. Our economy is flying by our stagnant government!” Drew Kelley of Nevada shared: “Is someone sending a message to the Fed that those rate hikes may be good for the Fed’s bottom line, but aren’t especially good for the economy-at-large?” And Roy Farrow of Nevada wrote: “In a word, Congress. The phrase, ‘herding kittens’ is apt, and since we’ve made their jobs so attractive, their sole goal is reelection.”

This daily briefing is named "The 10-Point" after the nickname conferred by the editors of The Wall Street Journal on the lead column of the legendary "What's News" digest of top stories. Technically, "10-point" referred to the size of the typeface. The type is smaller now but the name lives on.

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