It’s come to this. The day after police had to break up fistfights at a Donald Trump rally in Chicago, the president on Saturday urged candidates to focus on “how we can make it even better — not insults and schoolyard taunts.” Meanwhile, police in Dayton, Ohio, arrested a man who rushed security barriers at another Trump event. This time, the Donald was onstage, and wasted no time in boasting, “I was ready for him.” He also blamed supporters for “Bernie (Sanders), our communist,” for fomenting Friday’s violence and urged the Vermont senator to discourage such behavior.
The Presidential Daily Brief
It’s springtime for AfD. The anti-immigration party appears to have won significant numbers of seats in three more state legislatures today. With Alternative für Deutschland in half of 16 regional governments, it spells trouble for Cancellor Angela Merkel, the world’s most powerful woman. She ran the country virtually uncontested until eight months ago, then welcomed the first waves of more than a million illegal immigrants. That helped boost support for AfD, which is gradually siphoning support from Merkel’s conservative party. German journalist Dirk Kurbjuweit argues that we’re witnessing history: the birth of a new German republic.
They said “yes” in Michigan. The Vermont senator scored what some called a historic upset last week, but Hillary Clinton maintains a substantial lead heading into Tuesday, when five substantial states will distribute 792 delegates based on voting proportions. OZY’s Nick Fouriezos, reporting from Miami, says the Great Lake State’s lasting value could be providing Sanders with the road map to avoid defeat in biggest prize: Florida. To do that, he’ll need to further dominate the white vote, not surrender Southern Black voters to Clinton again and hope for an edge among Latinos.
No one’s safe. Duke, the reigning national champs, were quickly knocked out of their regional conference tournament Thursday and need to regroup before mounting what could be a pitifully brief NCAA title defense. March Madness also poses challenges for U.S. employers, who need to keep staffers focused on work — not on potentially network-crashing sites that fuel their obsessions and inform their wagers. This year’s contest should be as wild as ever, with the NCAA warning fans to expect more upsets after the Big Dance gets underway on Tuesday.
World-class art, high fashion and an ancient culture — but very few tourists. That’s Iran, for the moment, as the nation prepares for a post-sanctions world in which travel between it and the West could suddenly take off. While there are still hard-liners who consider the West an enemy, some interpret “Death to America” chants as a rejection of foreign control, rather than a literal threat. As plenty of Iranians look forward to a more open future, some travel fans, eager to visit Persia, worry it’ll be “ruined” by tourism.
Bombing of busy square in Turkish capital kills at least 34. (CNN)
Tests: Germanwings pilot had antidepressants in system. (AP)
Gunmen kill 16, including foreigners, at Ivory Coast beach resort. (NBC)
Republicans reject Trump in Washington, DC, and Wyoming. (Washington Post)
Widespread flooding hits Louisiana and Mississippi. (CBS)
Did the Brothers Grimm slut-shame Rapunzel? The 19th-century duo edited many of Western culture’s most enduring stories, but academics suspect they deleted female perspectives and sexuality — from 17th-century flirting to premarital sex — while retaining plenty of gory violence. Hansel’s first words to his sister are “Quiet, Gretel,” and female characters were silenced in later Disney films like Aladdin, where Jasmine only speaks a tenth of the lines. In response, feminist writers are crafting a subversive spin on the fairy-tale genre, featuring princesses who hunt wolves rather than wait for frog princes.
Don’t let the abaya fool ya. While many traditional Arab women wear this robe-like cloak, “we’re just like all women around the world,” says young Qatari designer Bekita Ahmed. She’s referring to their love of fashion and trends, and the abaya itself is becoming a high fashion ticket. It’s also a favorite starting point for new designers, part of a newly educated generation of women in the Persian Gulf who are transforming style and launching entrepreneurial ventures that are already capturing the imagination of the world’s fashion elite.
Trump, Clinton and Sanders see eye to eye … on the “carried-interest loophole.” This esoteric bit of tax code allows investment managers’ profits — fees, not return on investment — to be taxed at the 15 percent capital gains rate, rather than the higher 35 percent income rate. Forcing them to pay the top rate could inject $40 billion a year into federal coffers. But loophole opponents must first contend with influential proponent and private equity billionaire David Rubenstein, who saved the Washington Monument and has dined with many a president.
They’re going, going … gone! MLB homers hit a 20-year low in 2014, due largely to expanded strike zones and tighter rules on performance-enhancing drugs. But last year they were outta the park, with 723 more home runs for a 17.3 percent jump — the odds for which were pegged at precisely zero by a sophisticated math program. Players have lots of theories, ranging from global warming and shortened fences to livelier balls and new maple bats. But it could be that batters are simply recovering from a really big slump.
You know what they say about idle hands. New research suggests radical jihadists are far more likely than others to have some measure of higher education — particularly in engineering — and it’s especially true in countries with stagnant economies where frustrated graduates struggle to find work. As experts analyze newly leaked data on 22,000 ISIS recruits — including applicants — we may get a lesson in how overproducing graduates and letting them strive for an elusive place in society can lead to a career trying to destroy it.