It changed the world. For the first time, a high-ranking American official visited the Peace Park Memorial, site of the atomic bomb that killed an estimated 140,000 in 1945. The U.S. Secretary of State laid a wreath at ground zero to “revisit the past and honor those who perished.” But Kerry said the visit, which coincided with a G-7 foreign ministers’ meeting in Hiroshima, was “not about the past.” Rather, as he wrote in the memorial’s register, it was a reminder to end the nuclear threat “and avoid war itself.”
The Presidential Daily Brief
Is pressure building? North Koreans are expected to defect in droves as sanctions continue to squeeze the country. Officials in South Korea say 13 workers from a North Korean restaurant in China recently arrived in Seoul in the largest single defection under Kim Jong Un’s rule. And a Northern colonel’s asylum in the South has been revealed as the highest-ranking defection since the wartime 1950s. Citizens working abroad bring the Hermit Kingdom much-needed foreign currency, but with the stakes increasing, more are expected to take flight.
It all went down in flames. A celebration of a Hindu religious festival in southern India turned deadly, leaving at least 109 people dead and 500 injured. Sparks from an unauthorized fireworks display caused the blaze in the Puttingal temple complex, which traditionally hosts competing fireworks displays. Local authorities had denied permission to hold the competition this year, fearing they would go too far in the often overcrowded space. Police detained five people from the company that supplied the fireworks, and are now seeking another ten associated with the temple.
Everything is contested. Donald Trump’s new convention guru accused Cruz of “Gestapo tactics” after he swept Colorado and claimed vital delegates in South Carolina. Which delegates attend the convention is important: Though they’re initially required to support their candidate, in a contested convention they can switch sides in subsequent votes. OZY’s Nick Fouriezos says Cruz has long prepared for that possibility, while Trump is scrambling. The Donald did have one win, though, when John Kasich’s Michigan backers aligned with Trump delegates to spite Cruz’s people, who called the maneuver a “double cross.”
Can they even pronounce it? The British tabloid’s parent company is talking to several private equity firms in a bid to buy the once-formidable Silicon Valley portal. Daily Mail and General Trust, reportedly interested in Yahoo’s media properties to broaden its web stature, joins the ranks of 40 or so entities — including telecom behemoth Verizon — coveting the company’s assets, estimated around $34 billion. But a Daily Mail spokesperson said talks are still in very early stages and there’s “no certainty” they’ll end in a purchase.
U.N. envoy warns of difficulties as Yemen cease-fire begins. (Reuters)
Two injured in small plane crash in New Jersey. (ABC)
Man accused of killing ex-Saints player also known for football. (USA Today)
Suicide bombers fail in police station attack in southern Russia. (TIME)
Obama calls Gadhafi aftermath his worst mistake as president. (CNN)
Zika is “scarier than we thought,” says CDC. (Reuters)
What do Americans see in Donald Trump? It’s the question asked ’round the world, but it may not be fair. Brash, anti-establishment moguls and xenophobia-stoking populists exist in many political spheres, even in leftist strongholds like Canada and the Netherlands. Economic inequality and a tide of dispossessed workers the world over have brought power to Chinese property tycoon Ren “The Cannon” Zhiqiang and virulently Islamophobic Dutch party leader Geert Wilders. But the Donald, it seems, is the closest of any of these rabble-rousers to leading a global superpower.
Tired of pick-up lines? Chariot for Women promises strictly vetted female drivers just for female customers — including trans women — and kids under 13. Founded by former Uber driver Michael Pelletz and his wife, Kelly, the Boston-based company aims to create a safe space for women who feel uncomfortable with Uber, some of whose drivers have been charged in assaults and even a recent Michigan killing spree. Experts say it might violate gender discrimination laws, but Pelletz says he’d fight a legal challenge and plans to launch nationwide April 19.
Now conservationists have a trophy. Wild populations of the big cats had been declining for a century, but now their numbers are slowly rising, officials announced yesterday at an Asian conservation conference. Governments have been increasing protections and conservation efforts since a Global Tiger Summit six years ago — and it’s worked, bringing the estimated number of uncaged tigers up to 3,890. But experts warn against complacency: Cambodia’s population is now extinct, and there are only seven left in China, where demand for tiger-derived products has virtually wiped them out.
Did you vote? Unlike the starched-shirt Academy Awards, distribution of the “golden popcorn” statuettes is a wisecracking populist affair. Online voting gave the latest Star Wars installment three honors, including Movie of the Year. Will Smith took home a Generation Award for three decades in the industry, and hosts The Rock and Kevin Hart kept things light, riffing on Hulk Hogan’s sex tape. Leonardo DiCaprio also added to his triumphant year, nabbing another trophy for his Revenant role that spawned the hosts’ rap about a Leo-lovin’ bear.
That wasn’t very clutch. Golf’s young phenom fell to pieces with victory seemingly in hand, squandering a five-shot lead with a devastating quadruple bogey on the 12th hole. The 22-year-old defending champion ended tied for second, with Englishman Danny Willett cruising to his first major title. Spieth’s undoing was the daunting Rae’s Creek hazard that’s proved lethal for past champions, inspiring the legendary Jack Nicklaus to comment that the “whole golfing world feels” for Spieth but hopes “some good” will come out of the gut-wrenching loss.