It’s going to be YUGE. Thirteen states and American Samoa will caucus or hold primaries tomorrow, with 1,460 delegates up for grabs. Marco Rubio’s jumping time zones from Georgia to Oklahoma, while Ted Cruz hunkers down in his home state of Texas. Enthusiasm remains high for Donald Trump, says OZY’s Nick Fouriezos, who saw the front-runner gather an estimated 10,000 fans at an Alabama football field yesterday. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders heads to Minnesota, reeling from his South Carolina drubbing, as Hillary Clinton barnstorms southern states like Virginia.
The Presidential Daily Brief
A window of opportunity has been flung open. With hopes that Saturday’s brokered ceasefire will continue to be observed — despite some complaints of breaches — the United Nations is rolling in today with the first deliveries of supplies they hope will reach 1.7 million Syrians by the end of March. The opposition reports that things are much better now, thanks to the truce, and international aid workers plan to take advantage of the lull, delivering food, water and medicine to besieged towns where civilians are reportedly starving to death.
It’s coming down. Police fired tear gas at refugees today as the residents of France’s enormous refugee camp next to the English channel protested against its destruction. Two dozen workmen under heavy guard began tearing down structures as part of official efforts to relocate as many as a thousand refugees — and save France face after widespread criticism of its handling of the crisis. The Jungle is a haven for many trying to cross the channel to the U.K. France says it will rehouse everyone displaced, but humanitarian groups worry there won’t be enough space.
They’re fighting to take them offline. Defense Secretary Ash Carter admitted today that the U.S. military is using cyberattacks to battle terrorism, the first acknowledgment that such an online war is actually taking place. They say the goal is to overload the networks ISIS uses or make them insecure enough that the group no longer feels confident, which may push terrorists to use older, less efficient technology to plan attacks, move money around and garner new recruits. Though its impact isn’t yet known, Carter made clear that the U.S. would be accelerating the cyberbattle.
“I’ve made the worst mistake of my life.” So says Otto Warmbier, a University of Virginia student detained in North Korea who “confessed” today to trying to steal a political banner. Warmbier, 21, cried and begged to be saved in a press conference at the People’s Palace of Culture. He stands accused of a “hostile act” that the Hermit Kingdom claims was “manipulated by the U.S. government.” There’s no word yet on charges, and some who’ve read similar statements in the past have later said they were coerced.
They’ve been trying to convince folks the economy is under control, and that their strategy doesn’t require weakening the yuan’s exchange rate. But after Beijing’s central bank guided the currency to its lowest level in weeks, shares plummeted today. The Shanghai Composite Index and Shenzhen Composite dropped 2.9 and 5.4 percent respectively, and the ChiNext benchmark fell nearly 7 percent. Experts believe investors are pulling money from stocks in favor of China’s housing market, but the turbulence is impacting global markets, and the Stoxx Europe 600 was down 0.8 percent in early trading.
Migrants use battering ram to bust through Greek-Macedonian border. (BBC)
Pakistan hangs assassin of governor who tried to reform blasphemy laws. (Al Jazeera)
Reformists make big gains in Iran elections. (France24)
Army sergeant arrested in rookie police officer’s death. (New York Post)
Auschwitz medic is accused of being accessory to thousands of murders. (DW)
Three injured in reported Ohio school shooting. (AP)
Luckily they don’t nominate hosts. Chris Rock wasted no time addressing #OscarsSoWhite at last night’s “White People’s Choice Awards.” The event, which saw viewership drop to an 8-year low, focused heavily on causes, from investigative drama Spotlight winning best picture, to Leonardo DiCaprio’s ship finally coming in for The Revenant: His speech decried climate change. Brie Larson won best actress for sex-abuse saga Room, while Alejandro Iñárritu secured his second straight best director statue. And though Rock drew plenty of laughs, he repeatedly reminded everyone that a lack of diversity is no joke.
Joanna Francis is old-fashioned. The wartime obsessive has turned her home in Scunthorpe, England, into a mid-century replica, complete with chamber pots and an outside toilet, but no television or computer. She cooks World War II rations, sleeps in an air-raid shelter and does laundry with soap flakes in a tub. While admitting that most men aren’t interested in a retro lifestyle, Francis aims to become a traditional housewife — ironing included — and is looking for a husband who’s willing to live in the past.
Butt seriously, folks, “gluteal augmentation” could become as common as braces. A new report finds that cosmetic surgery has increased a whopping 115 percent in the U.S. over the last 15 years, and certain body parts seem to be targets for the extra attention. Bum implants and lifts are the fastest-growing procedures, with one performed on average every 30 minutes. And a whole new demographic is going under the knife: Last year 40 percent of breast reduction surgeries were performed on men, and that number is expected to grow.
They’re not thinking about retirement … which probably makes sense for a generation that faces ballooning student debt and tends to marry and buy homes later than its predecessors. And some companies are catching on. Tools like FlexScore and LearnVest help young people manage their money by focusing on emergency funds and down payment savings, rather than just retirement. The financial planning market is fragmenting, and while some insiders say robo-investors may be the future, even these mechanized tools are branching out to better meet individual needs.
Have they hit a wall? LeBron James’ team is struggling just weeks after firing coach David Blatt. They’ve lost three of the last four games, and guard J.R. Smith says he’s “extremely” concerned following yesterday’s 113-99 loss to the Wizards. New coach Tyronn Lue says his main players haven’t given enough “effort” recently. They’re now just 1.5 games above second-place Toronto, and with giants like Golden State out west, Cleveland will need to step up their game if they hope to make a run at their first NBA title.