Less than 24 hours after nine people died in the magnitude-6.4 Kumamoto quake, a new 7.3 magnitude earthquake hit the same area but with more range and impact, killing at least three. Japanese television showed one resident being rescued from the rubble of a house, and authorities received calls about other trapped victims. There was also a tsunami advisory, which was lifted, doubtless stirring memories of the 2011 northern Japanese quake and tsunami that killed thousands and melted down nuclear reactors, which were reportedly working normally after yesterday’s event.
The Presidential Daily Brief
It wasn’t a friendly exchange. Both Democrats got combative ahead of next week’s crucial New York primary. The Vermont senator hit the former secretary of state hard over her Wall Street ties — though when pressed he couldn’t cite an instance of Clinton kowtowing to banks — and her chances at implementing meaningful change. The raucous debate crowd booed and cheered both candidates in equal measure. But Sanders has more at stake: He needs a hefty win in New York to have a chance at challenging Clinton’s commanding lead.
They’ve got momentum. After state-level legislative victories in New York and California, the Fight for $15 movement staged rallies yesterday in Manhattan, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago and other cities across the U.S. Many of the protests focused specifically on McDonald’s, perhaps sensing a weak link: Last year the fast food chain raised wages to $1 over the local minimum, though only at company-owned restaurants, ten percent of its outlets. Opponents argue that a $15 minimum will ultimately hurt employees, but many workers are hoping for national change.
Don’t let the numbers fool you. While 6.7 percent GDP growth for the first quarter is lower than expected — and the slowest quarterly growth since 2009 — economists say China’s nowhere near down for the count. Instead, Beijing’s policies appear to be slowly stabilizing the nation’s economy, with fiscal stimulus and infrastructure spending boosting retail revenues, property sales and industrial output. While some question whether these bright spots will flicker and die as China attempts to rebalance, optimism remains: Shanghai’s stock index has jumped 14 percent in six weeks.
New Evidence Frees Man Imprisoned for 1957 Killing, First 22 Women Take on U.S. Army Ground Combat Duty
New evidence prompts release of man convicted in 1957 slaying. (USA Today)
U.S. Army assigns first 22 new officers to ground combat roles. (Washington Post)
Obamas release returns showing they paid $81,472 in taxes for 2015. (CBS)
As New York primary looms, Bernie Sanders visits the Vatican. (Chicago Tribune)
Belgian transport minister resigns over airport security concerns. (WSJ) sub
Feeling presidential after a week of briefings? Prove it with the PDB quiz. (OZY)
The gospel truth. Republican Gov. Bill Haslam declared that a bill passed by the GOP-dominated Legislature recognizing the importance of the Holy Bible did not give the book its proper due as a sacred text. And if it is sacred, he said, the bill would violate the U.S. Constitution. The Volunteer State’s neighbors have also recently said no to controversial measures pushed by social conservatives: Georgia’s governor just vetoed a bill giving legal protection to opponents of same-sex marriage. Tennessee’s legislature can overturn the Bible veto with a simple majority of votes.
They’re thirsty — for blood. In 2009, Yemen’s water minister warned shortages “will lead to violence,” while high prices for water-reliant foodstuffs caused unrest in Syria. Now civil wars rage in both countries, and analysts say the worst is coming. Droughts due to climate change, higher meat consumption in developing nations, and booming populations are hurtling the planet into conflict over H2O. While intelligence experts say factors like bad governance and sectarian strife also cause such violence, when Middle Eastern firms start tapping water in Arizona, desperation must be setting in.
It left them smarting. After a 2011 video (and resultant memes) showed the world a UC Davis policeman spraying the weaponized irritant at protesting students, the California school paid consultants $175,000 to scrub the Internet of “venomous” references to the incident. The effort, detailed in documents obtained by the Sacramento Bee, sought to steer search results for the school away from the spray. The university sought to be “fairly portrayed,” a spokesperson explained, but students paying up to $39,000 annual tuition may soon get up in the administration’s face.
They’re born with it. Scientists modeled the butterflies’ neural activity and discovered they rely on an internal compass that tells them both the time of day and which direction is southwest when they migrate to central Mexico each autumn. Monarchs use visual input paired with “internal clock” information from molecular timekeeping mechanisms in their antennae to plot the 2,000-mile path. Neuroscientist Steven Reppert called the findings a “treasure trove” to help researchers better understand the complex creatures, even as their numbers are threatened by dwindling milkweed crops, their sole food source.
No one would call him modest. You can already start saving for the box set, as the Oscar-winning director announced four more sequels to the 2009 film with the all-time global box office record of $2.8 billion in earnings. Cameron, 61, made the remarks at this week’s CinemaCon, where he called his originally planned three sequels “limiting.” The blockbuster director will see if his proposed saga holds up in 2018, when the first installment is scheduled to reach cinemas, with follow-ups planned for 2020, 2022 and 2023.
There’s no exemption in baseball. On this U.S. income tax filing deadline, OZY contemplates an unsportsmanlike vagary of the tax code: Lucky spectators who catch record-breaking homers may need tax attorneys. In 1998 the IRS opined that whoever snagged Cardinals phenom Mark McGuire’s record-breaking 62nd home run would have to report it as $1 million in income, or pay gift tax if they returned it to the steroid-enhanced slugger. The taxman recanted on the gifting penalty — but if you catch and keep a ball, better call Mossack Fonseca.