It was up to one man. Rather than relying on a grand jury decision, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman had the final decision on whether to charge Officers Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze over the November 15 death of the 24-year-old unarmed black man — and chose not to press charges. He explained that the two officers reported Clark saying “I’m ready to die” and grabbing Ringgenberg’s gun before he was shot. Now the city braces for the public’s reaction in a case that’s already seen demonstrators clash with cops.
The Presidential Daily Brief
Identity crisis, averted. France’s president today has changed his tune and dropped a constitutional-changing proposal to strip convicted terrorists with dual-nationality of their French citizenship. Both houses of parliament — including his own deeply divided Socialist Party — thwarted Hollande’s effort by refusing to say “oui” to the idea, seen by some as a knee-jerk reaction to the attacks that killed 130 in the capital last November. “A compromise appears out of reach,” Hollande announced regretfully, while vowing to secure the safety of all French citizens.
So much for that pledge. During a town hall in Wisconsin last night, the Texas senator, perhaps still seething after the Donald publicly insulted his wife last week, hedged on supporting the billionaire if he’s nominated. John Kasich is also unsure. But the real estate mogul — whose campaign manager was charged yesterday with simple battery — publicly backtracked on previous assurances, saying “No, we’ll see who it is.” OZY’s Nick Fouriezos says a Trump third-party run is more likely now if he doesn’t win the Republican nomination.
Decades of military rule have ended. The Southeast Asian country has sworn in Aung San Suu Kyi’s close aide as president, with the 69-year-old vowing to be “faithful” to his people. The Nobel Laureate and leader of the National League for Democracy is expected to rule by proxy, and she and other ministers were also sworn in today. But some worry that the NLD’s plans for constitutional changes — which require more than 75 percent of parliamentary votes — will test its rapport with the army, which still controls a quarter of the legislature.
They just smacked Dilma Rousseff upside the head. The PMDB, Brazil’s largest political party, has voted to immediately exit its coalition with the president’s Workers’ Party, opting instead to join the opposition. This puts Rousseff, plagued by allegations linking her to the multibillion-dollar Petrobas corruption scandal — which she denies — at greater risk of falling to an expected impeachment vote next month. The PMDB’s move is being dubbed the “last nail in the coffin,” and smaller parties may follow its lead in abandoning Rousseff’s government.
Don’t rock the boat. That’s the message from the Federal Reserve chair, who says global economic uncertainty still poses a threat to an otherwise “resilient” U.S. economy. She stressed that while the Fed still plans to eventually raise interest rates, any such move will be done slowly and deliberately. Experts interpreted the comments as a sign that no increase will be proposed when the group meets next month. U.S. stocks responded positively to Yellen’s remarks, the dollar slid and investors are now hedging more on the likelihood of a September increase.
Former Canadian MP, family die in private plane crash. (CBC)
Egyptian hijacker appears in Cyprus court. (BBC)
President Obama commutes sentences of 61 drug offenders. (USA Today)
Families of U.S. troops, officials must leave southern Turkey. (Al Jazeera)
Apple wants to know how FBI broke into iPhone. (NYT)
Obama declares war … on opioid and heroin use. (CNN)
Can they dance their way into parliament? South Korea’s right-wing Saenuri Party and rival liberals in the Minjoo Party are facing off with toe-tapping pop songs. Saenuri chose two — the infectious “Ddwi Ddwi Bbang Bbang,” and the aptly titled “Pick Me” — to blast from loudspeaker trucks rolling through Seoul, while Minjoo has chosen the classic-sounding “Deo Deo Deo.” But the cheery tunes have done little to distract voters from what has become a caustic campaign of in-fighting and defections ahead of the April 13 vote.
Everyone and their cousin will be sad to hear this. The icon who won viewers’ hearts starring as look-alike cousins with vastly different personalities in The Patty Duke Show died yesterday in Idaho following complications from a ruptured intestine. Duke first won acclaim, and an Academy Award, for her teenage performance as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker. The New York native, mother of three and mental health advocate is being remembered by colleagues like Ed Asner as both “a great star and a great person.”
They don’t mess around. Fueled by western consumerism and rising awareness that many of us are reaching for too much, too often — thanks to Amazon, QVC and that garage sale across the street — declutterers are on the rise to replace mayhem with order. They organize everything from photos to pantries and even tackle crime and suicide scenes. Groups like the National Association of Professional Organizers train and accredit the pros, but the job requires no formal education, making it perfect for the gig economy that’s increasingly cleaning up in today’s job market.
Money talks. Cambodia is floating the idea of a new privately run prison that allows wealthy inmates to rent cushy rooms for the duration of their sentences. “They are used to living in good conditions,” one official said of the cashed-up criminals. The proposal has triggered outcry in the Southeast Asian kingdom, where inmates who reportedly can’t afford bribes live in squalid conditions with limited access to water and daylight. But the government is still looking for a suitable location for it in the capital, Phnom Penh.
This has a familiar ring. Pushing back against competitors like Comcast and AT&T, the search giant plans to offer home phone services with its fiber Internet packages. The $10 monthly service called “Fiber Phone” will assign a single number that can be reached via virtually any device with Internet access, providing unlimited nationwide texts and calls. Skeptics struggle to understand why customers would want to update their landlines this way, but some think it may appeal to subscribers who already have Google broadband and TV but pay another firm for a household line.
They believe they can qualify! The U.S. men’s national soccer team torched Guatemala, 4-0, when a loss would’ve imperiled its chances of making the 2018 World Cup. After last Friday’s dispiriting defeat in Guatemala City, Coach Jürgen Klinsmann felt the heat yesterday — most visibly when a plane flew over the match in Columbus, Ohio, with a banner calling for his firing. Now Clint Dempsey and company will almost certainly join the “hexagonal” series beginning in November, when North and Central America’s top six teams battle for three World Cup slots.