The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Cruz Drops Presidential Bid After Trump Dominates Indiana

    Start calling him the nominee. Donald Trump’s decisive victory in Indiana led Ted Cruz to drop his presidential campaign Tuesday night, effectively handing Trump the Republican nomination. Cruz did not mention Trump during his dropping out speech, saying he had no path to victory. John Kasich said he was sticking around, but there is no real obstacle to Trump earning a majority of Republican delegates before July’s convention. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton but still badly trails in the delegate hunt.

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    European Commission May Grant Visa-Free Travel to Turks

    Will they gain entry? The European Commission is reportedly set to conditionally approve Turkish travel, without visas, to the passport-free Schengen Area. This means holding up its end of the bargain in the deal that sends refugees who arrive illegally in Greece back to Turkey if they are not granted asylum. But unfettered travel for Turks can’t begin until Ankara meets EU criteria — like ensuring freedom of speech and the right to a fair trial — and the European Parliament gives its stamp of approval.

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    From Boom to Bust, Will Putin Stay on Top?

    Riding shirtless won’t help. First as prime minister, now as president, Vladimir Putin has long sought to alleviate Russia’s economic woes. But his initial progress has given way to the country’s longest recession since he took power in 1999, and poverty is expected to reach 14.2 percent this year. Falling oil and gas prices are undermining Putin’s all-powerful, horse-riding narrative. Now accusations from U.S. officials that Russia’s attempting to destabilize world politics, coupled with Putin’s strong but falling approval ratings, might just loosen his grip on the reins.

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    HSBC’s Q1 Profits Fall 14 Percent, Beating Expectations

    Investors didn’t keep calm. Britain’s largest bank and Europe’s biggest lender says its first quarter pretax profit fell 14 percent to $6.1 billion, compared to last year’s $7.1 billion — but still outpaced average forecasts of $4.3 billion. Global volatility and sliding commodities prices hurt the markets and wealth management parts of the business, while growth elsewhere helped cushion the fall, according to Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver. The bank hasn’t dropped its highly valued progressive dividend, but experts believe the slumping profits will result in more job cuts.

  5. Russian Foreign Minister Says Aleppo Could See Truce Today, U.S. Service Member Killed by ISIS

    Russia’s foreign minister gives hope for truce in Aleppo. (BBC)

    U.S. service member reportedly killed by ISIS attack in Iraq. (CNN)

    Hillary Clinton apologizes for comment about wiping out coal. (CBS)

    Scientists pinpoint three Earth-sized planets. (NBC)

    Solar Impulse 2 lands in Phoenix, completing another leg of round-the-world flight. (AFP)

    UBS profits take hit, private banking rebounds. (FT) sub


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    ‘Hamilton’ Leads Tony Nominations with Record-Breaking 16

    They got the job done. The Pulitzer Prize-winning musical biography of the founder of the American financial system is the favorite to win Best Musical — though with a record-breaking $80 million in advance ticket sales, it hardly needs the boost — and picked up 15 other nods as well, including seven nominations across all four acting categories. Also competing for the top prize is Shuffle Along, which producers had unsuccessfully pushed to have considered as a revival — presumably to give it a chance at the gold.

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    Marriage Booms in Chile After Divorce Is Legalized

    Only love him if you can leave him. That sentiment may be driving this South American nation’s matrimonial megaboom, which saw more than 67,000 couples tie the knot in 2013, a record since divorce was legalized in 2004. Back then, the Roman Catholic Church bemoaned an expected onslaught of divorce, but in fact it’s fueling the opposite: The legal exit strategy is nudging couples toward the altar, not away from it. And while the church may be less excited about potential splits, second marriages in Chile are also surging.

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    Number of Playground Concussions Is Climbing

    It’s a jungle gym out there. A new CDC report finds that American kids’ recreation-related ER visits have soared since 2001, with most of the injuries being sustained on monkey bars and swings. More than 29,000 children were treated for concussions and other head injuries in 2013, up from 18,000 in 2001. Researchers aren’t sure if the spike is due to increased playground use or better awareness by parents and doctors of the dangers of head trauma. But they’re hoping improved playground design and maintenance will help these numbers slide.

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    Kate Upton Breaks Engagement News on Red Carpet

    She threw a curveball. The most-discussed fashion accessory on the Met Gala’s red carpet last night was the model’s hulking diamond ring, which she used to inform the world that she’s engaged to baseball pitcher Justin Verlander. The New York Metropolitan Museum of Art event celebrated fashion in the age of technology, with many celebs, including Upton, donning metallic looks. The Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, 23, and Detroit Tigers star, 33, have been together three years but say they’re in no rush to set a date.

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    Judge Temporarily Bans WhatsApp in Brazil

    He’s sending a message. Judge Marcel Montalvao has ordered a 72-hour nationwide ban after the texting service told a Brazilian court it couldn’t provide unencrypted access to chat records related to a drug investigation. The country blocked WhatsApp from its 100 million Brazilian users back in December over a similar incident, but the 48-hour ban only wound up lasting 12 hours. WhatsApp says it has no power to turn over the records — but if the outages continue, Brazilians may increasingly turn to rival apps like Telegram.

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    Leicester City Wins a Most Unlikely Premier League Crown

    They outfoxed them all. Leicester’s tiny club has clinched England’s Premier League soccer championship, toppling much wealthier teams for its first title in the squad’s 132 years. The Foxes’ fans were delirious when Chelsea rallied to force a tie against Tottenham Hotspur, which needed a win to keep its championship hopes alive. Less excited are British bookmakers, who will take a beating from bettors — including American actor Tom Hanks, to the tune of $735,000 — who showed early faith in the 5,000-to-1 long shot.