To remove an element by its index, use the slice syntax:

examples/lists/remove_first_element.py
from __future__ import print_function

names = ['foo', 'bar', 'baz', 'moo']

# like 'shift' in perl
first = names[0]
names[0:1] = []
print(first)    # foo
print(names)    # ['bar', 'baz', 'moo']