Who’s counting anyway? The front-runners ran away with huge leads in the Grand Canyon State, but Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz — who Jeb Bush just endorsed — nabbed Utah, and Idaho also felt the Bern. It’s still a long road to the July conventions, but OZY’s Nick Fouriezos says the race just took on a more urgent tone in the wake of yesterday’s terror attacks in Brussels. Cruz suggested that U.S. police should patrol Muslim neighborhoods “before they become radicalized,” and Trump said that torturing a Paris attacks suspect would’ve prevented Tuesday’s tragedy.
The Presidential Daily Brief
It’s a “black day for Belgium,” Prime Minister Charles Michel said following today’s bombing at Zaventem airport, where at least 11 were killed and 81 wounded. Another explosion hit the Maelbeek Metro station, killing at least 20 and injuring scores. ISIS is claiming responsibility, and police have released a photo and wanted notice of one man they are looking for in connection with today’s violence. Meanwhile, leaders have raised Belgium’s terror alert to the highest possible level and declared three days of national mourning, with Michel urging citizens to “show calmness and solidarity.”
He shared his message of hope. “I believe in the Cuban people,” the U.S. president said, appealing to young Cubans today to build a great nation that he hopes will be a partner to the United States. Speaking from Havana, Obama embraced the opening of diplomatic relations while tackling tough issues like human rights and differences between the countries’ political and economic systems. He welcomed an open dialogue and admitted that America too faces challenges — but noted that open debates and democracy “allow us to get better,” and that he’s hopeful about Cuba’s future.
Never far from the headlines for long, Toronto’s scandal-plagued former mayor has succumbed to an aggressive form of the disease called pleomorphic liposarcoma. Ford’s alcohol and drug abuse was well known, as were his many public gaffes — often fodder for late-night talk shows. “He had a bombastic personality, that’s for sure,” says OZY’s own Ontarian Neil Parmar, noting that Ford got Toronto into the spotlight for “all the wrong reasons” but acknowledging that he’ll be sorely missed by conservatives who applauded his cost-cutting leadership.
This has a different ring. The FBI has postponed a legal showdown with Apple over whether the tech giant can be forced to help unlock a terrorist’s iPhone. They say an “outside party” has come forward with a possible solution, which could let Apple off the hook just a day after CEO Tim Cook promised to keep up the fight during a live event announcing the smaller iPhone SE. The judge has issued an indefinite stay, but expects a status report from the government by April 5.
He’s getting serious. Between the billionaire’s meeting with Republican leadership and a surprisingly traditional address before America’s pro-Israel lobby, the GOP front-runner is trying to shift into a more dignified gear. Meanwhile, some Democrats are implying that it may be time for Bernie Sanders to bow out — but OZY’s Nick Fouriezos says that’s unlikely, especially since the Vermont senator raised $43.5 million in February, far outpacing Hillary Clinton’s $30 million. They may not have much in common, but the campaign’s biggest outsiders aren’t letting up.
Aung San Suu Kyi nominated for cabinet position in Myanmar. (NYT)
Discussion on Assad’s future not part of Syrian peace talks. (Time)
Six-year-old removed from long-term foster care over Native American heritage. (LA Times)
Yemeni Jews flown to Israel covertly. (Al Jazeera)
Catholic leaders await pope’s opinion on divorce. (WSJ) sub
They don’t want to miss the boat. Businesses are rushing to get a piece of the Cuban market as it opens up to U.S. investment bit by bit, and Carnival’s now got the OK from Cuban authorities — the first U.S. cruise ship operator to do so in half a century. Meanwhile, Starwood, Marriott and Airbnb have all gotten the go-ahead to extend their business there. Cruises, which begin May 1, will stop at Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba to offer travelers a taste of the island.
Trump can’t keep ’em away. Last year, there were more international students in the U.S. than ever before — almost a million — with China and India leading the charge. Turns out it’s not about politics; it’s the economy, stupid. Increasing global wealth means more funds to send students to America, where personal resources provide 64 percent of their funding. And most foreign learners aren’t studying to be doctors or mathematicians. Instead, would-be engineers are tied for first with those seeking the American dream via degrees in business.
Call it a sin of emission. The period following the dinosaur extinction 66 million years ago is considered the all-time high for carbon emissions — but according to a Nature Geoscience report, the 40.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide we released into the atmosphere in 2014 is nearly 10 times higher than the 4.4 billion of a peak year during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum period. With such unprecedented numbers, the researchers say it’s tough to make predictions, but the current situation is “likely to result in widespread future extinctions.”
The Hulkster’s running wild on them. A jury decided last week that Gawker Media owes the wrestler $115 million for posting footage of Hogan having sex with his former best friend’s wife. While Gawker says that initial judgment may already be beyond their means, the jury’s sent another $25 million message: an extra $15 million penalty for the site, $10 million for founder Nick Denton, and $100,000 for a former editor. Though Gawker intends to appeal, some worry this could put a damper on press freedom in more important cases.
The fight isn’t over. It’s the third time the legendary basketball reporter has battled the disease since he was first diagnosed in 2014. In an interview with HBO, the 64-year-old said he has “a lot of work” ahead, noting that he’s already had two stem-cell transplants and a bone marrow transplant from his son. Famous for his flamboyant wardrobe and playful “fights” with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, he plans to continue working games on Turner’s NBA on TNT through April.