He’s not looking so presumptuous now. So says Dr. G Terry Madonna, director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin and Marshall College, about Donald Trump. The front-runners quickly claimed victory in Pennsylvania, and Trump won all five contests in the Northeast, declaring himself the “presumptive nominee.” “It’s virtually impossible to believe he can be denied,” Madonna says, “without splintering the party in ways it might not recover from in a generation.” Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton clinched Connecticut, Maryland and Delaware, and Bernie Sanders won only Rhode Island, tellingly turning his rhetoric to the “progressive party platform” in a statement last night.
The Presidential Daily Brief
It was “cold-blooded murder.” So says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about the brutal death of a 68-year-old Canadian journalist taken hostage by Islamist militant group Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines last September. Ridsdel warned in a recent video that he’d be killed on April 25 if ransom demands weren’t met, and while his family tried to pay, a close friend says the amount was simply too high. Philippine authorities have vowed to use “the full force of the law” to bring the terrorists to justice.
This is rotten news. A 16 percent decline in iPhone sales — Apple’s core product and prime income generator — brought the company its worst quarter in years, with revenue of $50.6 billion, down 13 percent from last year. Apple’s shares dropped 8 percent on news of the Q2 numbers yesterday, wiping $47 billion from the markets in after-hours trading. But there’s hope: These numbers didn’t include sales of the iPhone SE, which premiered last month, and new models expected later this year could boost the company further.
The world’s worst-ever nuclear accident occurred April 26, 1986, forever poisoning parts of Eastern Europe and rattling faith in atomic energy production. A botched test at the then-Soviet plant caused a meltdown, releasing deadly radioactive materials that killed 31 in the immediate aftermath, and an unknown number, estimated in the thousands, from resulting cancers. A memorial will be held today in Slavutych, a town built for evacuated plant workers, alongside a church service in Kiev, and President Petro Poroshenko will attend a ceremony near the tragic site.
This could be a ballot buster. The Tar Heel State has a long and embarrassing history of denying voting rights to minorities — but a district judge insists he’s not extending that legacy with his latest ruling, which upholds a controversial regulation requiring voters to have a photo ID. Opponents of the measure say the laws are racist, as minorities and the poor are less likely to have such identification. But the judge says he found no indication that the law’s motives were racial — though the North Carolina NAACP says it’ll continue fighting.
Dependence isn’t too slick. Thanks to falling commodity prices, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman plans to wean his country from oil revenue. The desert kingdom will sell off less than 5 percent of its state-owned oil company, Saudi Aramco, expected to be valued in excess of $2 trillion, through an IPO. It will also raise the capital of its public investment fund to $2 trillion from $160 billion. Prince Mohammed’s plan, which notably includes boosting women’s economic roles, aims to end Saudi oil reliance within four years.
Judge orders Trump University fraud case to trial (WSJ)
Prince’s sister files papers saying he left no will. (USA Today)
Mitsubishi admits it has cheated fuel tests since 1991. (BBC)
South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar sworn in as VP in Juba. (Al Jazeera)
China’s Ant Financial raises a whopping $4.5 billion. (FT) sub
Fire guts natural history museum, destroys rare exhibits in Delhi. (AFP)
Stephen Curry benched with injury for at least two weeks. (USA Today)
It’s a one-two punch. Hours after star guard Chris Paul broke his hand, another bomb dropped on Los Angeles when it was revealed that Griffin would miss the rest of the NBA playoffs after reinjuring his left quadriceps, ending a tumultuous season for the power forward. Already considered underdogs in a potential second-round matchup with Golden State, the Clippers are tied 2-2 with Portland after losing two in a row. They could face serious questions about the future if their season ends in another early exit.
How the mighty have fallen. Heisman Trophy winner and former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel, who was dropped by his team last month, has now been indicted on suspicion of hitting his former girlfriend. The 23-year-old has been charged with assault and family violence, and his ex has been granted a protective order against him. Meanwhile, Manziel’s lawyer says his client will be pleading not guilty to the charges, which could land him in jail for a year if he’s convicted.
It’s a home truth. Ireland’s Amen Support Services, the nation’s only organization for male domestic violence survivors, has seen a 42 percent spike in victims over the past six years, while the number of Australian men reporting partner violence nearly doubled between 2005 and 2012. Experts don’t think women are suddenly getting more violent — but men are simply feeling more comfortable about reporting the issue. While women are still victimized in greater numbers, advocates are also seeing a growing need to protect men’s rights and safety.
This goes against the grain. Infants who are fed rice-based cereal have higher levels of arsenic in their urine, a new study says. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is proposing a new cap of 100 parts per billion of inorganic arsenic in rice cereals — half of 76 cereals they tested had rates higher than this — to limit exposure that can damage the immune system and brain. And parents are being urged to mix other grains, like oats, wheat and barley, into babies’ diets.
They’re refocusing. The social media giant is reportedly working on a standalone photo app to rival Snapchat … again. The company is said to be suffering a 21 percent annual decline in users posting original content, though it maintains that sharing remains strong. It’s looking to make it easier for users to create and upload photos and live-streamed video onto its network. But critics are skeptical of whether this project — it’s the fifth attempt — can get increasingly privacy-wary teens to give Facebook another shot.
From a $10 founding father to a $70 billion debt crisis. Lin-Manuel Miranda, Pulitzer Prize-winning creator and star of the Broadway hit, has been pleading for help for Puerto Rico’s debt crisis. He’s now gone so far as to rap about it for John Oliver on television, promising U.S. lawmakers coveted tickets to his show in exchange for their help. “Paul Ryan, I’ll come sing Hamilton at your house,” he chimed, in hopes of Congress offering help before the island’s next payment is due on May 1.
This must be deflating. The New England Patriots star quarterback saw his four-game suspension over a scandal involving underinflated footballs lifted last September — only to have it thrown back in his face yesterday by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. While Brady considers his legal options, the Pats’ only other quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, may finally get a chance to start his first NFL game. Or perhaps the team will use one of its 11 draft picks to recruit a new starter who can keep Brady’s seat warm.