A lot’s at stake in the Great Lake State. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders debated yesterday in Flint, discussing the city’s water contamination crisis and auto industry. Clinton joined Sanders’ months-old call for Gov. Rick Snyder to resign before criticizing the Vermont senator for not supporting the 2009 auto bailout. And Sanders blamed the former secretary of state for advocating trade deals that cost Michiganders jobs while aggressively wooing Black voters. No blood was drawn, says OZY’s Nick Fouriezos, who believes, despite Sanders’ win in Maine, that the race remains Clinton’s to lose.
The Presidential Daily Brief
Can they close the door? Turkish and EU leaders are holding emergency talks on the Continent’s refugee problem today in Brussels, where European officials hope to convince Turkey to take back economic migrants. They’ll be offering Ankara $3.3 billion to sweeten the deal as they look to halt the flow and declare the northern Balkan route closed. Later, they’ll be joined by British Prime Minister David Cameron as EU states — long at odds over the best way forward — try to hash out a common approach to the crisis.
It was a pre-emptive strike. That’s the message from the Pentagon, which says the training camp they hit over the weekend was in the process of planning a large scale terrorist attack when a U.S. drone took out more than 150 militants in Somalia. The terrorist group, which is an al-Qaida affiliate, was banished from Mogadishu five years ago but has continued to sow havoc, staging attacks in the region — and apparently nearing the operational phase of a new plot when this weekend’s hit depleted their ranks.
To them, the answer was apparent. The Alabama Supreme Court had ruled that a woman who adopted the three children she raised with her lesbian partner, from whom she’s now separated, had no legal parental rights. V.L. and E.L., as they’re called in court documents, established residency in Georgia for the adoption — and now Alabama’s highest legal authority doesn’t want to recognize Georgia’s decision. The Supreme Court will hear the case, but meanwhile they’ve overturned the order, in what many are taking as good news for gay parents all over the U.S.
She always put “dear Ronnie” first. The actress-turned-political wife, who died yesterday of congestive heart failure, was one of America’s most influential first ladies, advising her husband and even taking on rivals like his chief of staff. Born Anne Frances Robbins in New York City, she appeared in films and TV shows as Nancy Davis before becoming Ronald Reagan’s second wife. Later, she cared for her Alzheimer’s-stricken spouse while crusading for a cure, and she will long be remembered for her elegance and devotion.
It’s a minus. So says the Bank of International Settlements, which just issued an advisory against the unconventional monetary policy of negative interest rates being practiced by central banks in Europe and Japan. The warning comes ahead of the European Central Bank’s expected March 10 push to lower rates further, to minus 0.4 percent. Some central banks are betting on red to keep deflation at bay, but BIS experts say that’s risky because it’s difficult to predict how investors or institutions will react if rates fall even further.
Michael Bloomberg decides against 2016 run (Politico)
Business dispute leads to deadly rampage in Sydney. (SMH)
North Korea threatens South Korea and U.S. with nukes — again. (BBC)
Suicide attack in Pakistan kills 17, including two children. (CNN)
Iranian billionaire Babak Zanjani sentenced to death in corruption trial. (CNN)
She’s ready to move on. The sports broadcaster and “Dancing With the Stars” co-host thanked the Nashville court for its verdict, which split guilt between convicted stalker Michael David Barrett and the Marriott at Vanderbilt hotel where his video was shot. The 37-year-old said she still suffers from depression after the 2008 incident in which Barrett secretly filmed nude video through a wall and posted the footage online. Barrett is currently serving a 2.5-year sentence and was ordered to pay $28 million in damages while the hotel operator is responsible for $26 million.
Her lawyer says it was “an honest mistake.” The tennis star, 28, has revealed that she tested positive at January’s Australian Open for meldonium, a drug recently added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances. The five-time Grand Slam winner had been prescribed the drug since 2006 but didn’t notice that it had been added to WADA’s prohibited list, emailed to her in December. Nike has already suspended Sharapova’s endorsement contract, but she’s accepting responsibility and hoping to be “given another chance to play this game.”
They want to make an impact. Many believe the Chicxulub crater off Mexico’s coast is where a six-mile-wide meteor struck around 66 million years ago, killing the dinosaurs. But what else did the collision do? Scientists plan to drill 800 meters down into the 110-mile-wide undersea crater to investigate the impact’s effects on the oceans. Researchers from the International Ocean Discovery Program, who launch their $10 million mission this spring, hope to learn how life made a comeback and what it could mean for Earth’s future.
Will they ever pack up these tents? The Dadaab camp in eastern Kenya was set up in 1992 to house Somalis fleeing civil war, but it has become a veritable city. The 140,000-strong camp has developed police stations and bus stops, but inhabitants suffer malnutrition and poor health care. East Africa is home to three million migrants — three times the number that poured into Europe last year. And while the U.N.’s trying to repatriate some of the refugees, many remain stuck in Kenya, forbidden from working or integrating.
Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match … or at least help me have some fun. Hookup-culture heavyweight Tinder is adding a button that allows friends to play matchmaker — and more easily share and mock profiles with their contacts — by generating temporary profile links that can then be used to swipe right or left. Meanwhile, dating app Bumble has announced a new BFF mode that will let users look for platonic relationships, rather than just casual sex, and is reportedly planning to roll out friendship-specific profiles.
Now it really is a thing of the past. After six highly acclaimed seasons, the post-Edwardian drama’s finale aired last night in America. Creator Julian Fellowes said he hoped fans felt a “sense of warmth” as they bid farewell to the Crawleys and the staff that kept the British aristocrats warm and fed. The Emmy-winning series was PBS’s most-viewed drama, so the 45-year-old network may be even more upset than fans, and it now hopes to keep some converts tuned in with period drama Mercy Street.
Sometimes worst beats first. Cellar-dwelling L.A., with the NBA’s second-worst record, brought back that Showtime feel for one day, with a stunning 112-95 romp over reigning champs Golden State. It’s only the sixth loss for Stephen Curry’s crew — a detour on their dominant drive to break the single-season win record. The Splash Brothers struggled, going just 1-18 from 3-point range and leading coach Steve Kerr to declare, “We got what we deserved.” Next they’ll host the Magic at home, where they’re undefeated this year.