Once the apprentice, now the master. The real estate mogul scored big and diverse victories Tuesday, clinching Michigan, Mississippi and Hawaii, but losing to Ted Cruz in Idaho. The front-runner encouraged Republicans to quit fighting his candidacy and save their money for November. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton won Mississippi and retained her delegate lead, but Bernie Sanders took Michigan in a big upset. OZY’s Nick Fouriezos says this could give Sanders a blueprint for winning Florida next week — and some much-needed momentum in tonight’s Miami debate.
The Presidential Daily Brief
He wants the job … but not enough to risk a Trump presidency. The former New York City mayor says he’ll forego a third-party bid because he doesn’t want to inadvertently launch a Republican into the Oval Office. OZY’s Nick Fouriezos points to speculation that a three-way race could siphon off support for Hillary Clinton, boosting the Donald’s chances. Meanwhile, all eyes are on Michigan today, where Ted Cruz is asking voters to stop Trump in his tracks, and where Bernie Sanders hopes to mount a comeback.
They disappeared without a trace. Two years after Malaysia Airlines flight 370 vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 aboard, loved ones still don’t have closure. Investigators released a report today, noting that they remain “hopeful” the plane will be found. They’re searching a 46,000 square mile area, but so far the $133 million effort has netted just a single confirmed piece of debris. Many families want the search to continue until they have answers, but the painstaking effort will likely be suspended in June.
They’re flexing their muscles. Despite a landmark deal meant to contain Iran’s potential to become a nuclear power, the nation test launched some new ballistic missiles today. They say it’s to show they’re ready to confront any threats against the Republic, but the U.S. says it may violate a U.N. resolution meant to keep Iran from working on missiles that could potentially carry a nuclear warhead. Iran’s Foreign Minister says there’s no danger — his country doesn’t have any warheads — but others worry this is a reversal of Iran’s recently increased goodwill.
Will this solve the migrant crisis? European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is hopeful, noting that he and European colleagues have reached a “breakthrough” with Turkey to take back irregular refugees who arrive in Greece. The plan also includes the resettlement of one Syrian from Turkey to the EU for every Syrian taken back into Turkey from the Greek islands. This, Juncker says, will “break the business model of smugglers exploiting human misery,” and make it clear that legal migration is the only viable path to life on the Continent.
This sends a negative message. China’s exports suffered their biggest drop in seven years, plunging more than 20 percent in February compared to a year earlier. This, combined with import figures falling for the 16th straight month, reflects how the world’s biggest goods trader is suffering in major global markets. Beijing is enduring its slowest rate of growth in 25 years. Investors are growing increasingly wary of the slowdown, which is adding further jitters to already nervous world markets, commodities and international currencies.
NATO ships expand into Greek, Turkish waters to combat human trafficking. (DW)
U.S. claims Somali strike killed 150 al-Shabab fighters. (NYT)
ILO says working women have seen little improvement in 20 years. (BBC)
California commuter train derails, injuring at least 10. (USA Today)
Ex-missionary gets 40 years for sexually abusing youths at Kenyan orphanage. (BBC)
High court: Police officer must testify in Freddie Gray case. (ABC)
Sexual transmission of Zika far more common than previously suspected. (AP)
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.”
Pop the butterbeer! In a message posted on the Pottermore website, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling announced the debut of a new story, “History of Magic in North America,” which will detail the previously unexplored world of witches and wizards on the west side of the Atlantic — and their newly revealed wizarding school, Ilvermorny. The four-part series is live on Pottermore this week and will help set the stage for the upcoming New York-based Potter spinoff, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, due to arrive in cinemas this November.
Politics isn’t skin deep. A new study of voters’ attitudes has found a flaw in the GOP’s plan — formulated after their defeat in 2012 — to cultivate more Black leaders and reshape the party in the minds of minority voters. It turns out that the Black electorate is more likely to go for Black candidates … so long as they’re not Republicans. Don Scoggins, president of Republicans for Black Empowerment, says conservatives will have to change more than figureheads to make a real play for the Black vote.
The weight is over. A Swedish study of 18-year-old military recruits shows that those with low aerobic fitness and muscle strength were three times more likely to develop Type-2 diabetes in later life, even if they weren’t overweight. The study tracked the health of 1.5 million individuals from age 18 to 62, discovering a measurable link between the disease and those who demonstrated low aerobic fitness and muscle strength as teens. Researchers hope the results will tip the scales to build support for youth fitness programs.
They see potential. The auto giant has just announced Project BLAID, a lightweight interactive gadget designed to help the visually impaired navigate indoor spaces. It looks like a wiry travel pillow that sits on one’s shoulders, and its built-in cameras help users move around in places like shopping malls by communicating the location of stairs, restrooms and doors via speakers and vibrations. Toyota says BLAID may one day even include facial and object recognition software, but it hasn’t said when we’ll see the device hit the market.
She collaborated with him on early hits like “Since U Been Gone.” But the Grammy winner says she was “blackmailed” by her label into working with the producer, who’s been accused of rape and abuse by Kesha — charges he denies. While acknowledging that “he’s a talented dude,” Clarkson says he’s “just not a good guy to me.” She’s the latest star to come forward, joining the likes of Lady Gaga, who’s said it’s been “devastating to witness” her friend Kesha go through this court battle in the public eye.