It’s down to three. Reporting from the scene, OZY’s Nick Fouriezos says Marco Rubio’s faithful booed as the networks called Florida for bitter rival Donald Trump. The Sunshine State senator managed a hopeful tone in his concession speech, but was interrupted by a heckler shouting “Trump for President.” Now John Kasich, with a big victory in his home state of Ohio, becomes the last hope for establishment Republicans, as Trump secured several more wins. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton dominated, knocking back Bernie Sanders in Ohio and making his underdog effort even harder.
The Presidential Daily Brief
They’ve achieved their objectives. Or so claims Vladimir Putin, who says he’s coordinated with Bashar Assad to withdraw most of Russia’s armed forces from Syria’s civil war. The world’s left scratching its collective head, wondering whether this move signals that the Kremlin feels Assad is now secure enough to stand alone, or that he needs incentive to compromise in peace talks that are finally underway. Putin’s office denies there’s any rift with Assad — Russia will continue its air strikes in Syria despite the pullout — and Western leaders are cautiously welcoming the move.
They’re trying to keep the peace. But four police officers were injured and one suspect killed during a gunfight today when Belgian security forces and French police raided a suburban house outside of the nation’s capital, in what was reportedly a counter-terrorism operation. The raid was reportedly connected to the ongoing operation in Belgium to rout out militants who helped plan or carry out the terror attacks in Paris last November. Authorities have now launched an investigation to find two suspects who reportedly fled the scene.
They’re serious about democracy. Htin Kyaw, a childhood friend and advisor to Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, was elected to the Myanmar presidency today by parliament. He and Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy won by a landslide last autumn, but the human rights campaigner — famously under house arrest for 15 years — is constitutionally barred from being president. She says she’ll remain in charge, and there’s speculation she’ll be named prime minister. Kyaw, meanwhile, assumes his new role on April 1.
No amount of sugar will help. According to pharmacy group Express Scripts the average price of brand-name U.S. prescription drugs has nearly doubled, increasing 98 percent since 2011 and 16 percent last year alone. Express Scripts says the skyrocketing prices come thanks to a class of specialty medications for complex conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and cancer. The news is likely to ignite debate on the campaign trail: Hillary Clinton has vowed to halt “predatory pricing,” while Donald Trump says Americans should be allowed to import meds from cheaper countries.
Brazil’s ex-president Lula may take cabinet position in immunity bid. (Reuters)
Kim Jong Un: North Korea will soon test nuclear warheads. (BBC)
Norwegian killer Anders Behring Breivik makes Nazi salute in court. (NYT)
Pope Francis: Mother Teresa to be made a saint on September 4. (BBC)
Todd Palin in intensive care following snow machine crash. (CNN)
White House eases rules on travel to Cuba. (NYT)
Car bomb in Berlin spawns police probe. (Washington Post)
Washington, D.C., Metro has 24-hour shutdown for “emergency inspection.” (NBC)
Half a job is better than none … and may beat having a whole one. Some people struggling to juggle work and family are finding an elegant solution: a job-sharing arrangement where two part-time workers split a salary, advance their careers in tandem and share one role. It’s currently more popular in Europe than in the U.S., where only 20 percent of companies allow such schemes. But some who think America’s 24/7 work culture is keeping them from having it all hope it’ll soon catch on stateside.
Rise above the ashes. New research finds that while many people try to give up smoking gradually, reasoning that it’s easier to wean themselves off of nicotine, the slowly-slowly approach is 25 percent less effective in helping them quit. A group of 697 smokers trying to kick the habit were studied for four weeks into their abstinence and again six months later. Those who stubbed it out abruptly were more likely to quit for good, and researchers may next look at how e-cigarettes affect the process.
The world’s gonna know his name. President Obama was instrumental in the development of the mega-hit musical — back in 2009, the White House hosted a poetry event where creator Lin-Manuel Miranda sang an early version of the opening song. But on Monday, the president and the First Lady welcomed the cast back for a special encore performance. After freestyling with POTUS in the Rose Garden, Miranda and company sang for a small assembled audience — and for a livestream, allowing Americans who can’t afford increasingly difficult-to-get Hamilton tickets to get a glimpse.
They’re getting in your face. The online retail giant has filed paperwork to patent a system that aims to commodify the selfie, enabling customers to upload unique photos of themselves in place of passwords to complete purchases. The Seattle-based firm says passwords are unsafe, and that needing to shield them from nearby eyes can be “embarrassing” or “awkward.” While that may sound eerily like the very definition of a selfie to some, companies like MasterCard are pursuing similar technologies, so you’d better get used to service with a smile.
She’s auctioning off the past. The singer’s ex-wife, Mayte García, is selling 95 lots of personal items linked to the star through L.A.-based Nate D. Sanders Auctions. The catalog is online for perusal and bidding through Thursday, featuring items like wedding china, stage costumes and rhinestone-studded handcuffs. Prices are expected to go into the tens of thousands (at least) for early tapes of several of Prince’s songs, as well as García’s engagement ring and a collection of personal notes trailing the “romantic journey” to his marriage proposal.
Better late than never. The league’s top health and safety officer acknowledged that there is “certainly” a direct link between head injuries in football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Jeff Miller made the statements — a first for an NFL official — during a discussion with the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce. But he added that there are still “a number of questions” the medical community must determine, including the prevalence of the disease and the actual risk most players face of developing it.