Sanders on a roll, Obama to visit Hiroshima and why Facebook scares people

String of defeats raise questions about Clinton’s competitiveness in the general election

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Sanders takes West Virginia Bernie Sanders thrilled enthusiastic backers on Tuesday with a double-digit win in West Virginia’s presidential primary, and a vow to win the Democratic nomination, no matter how unlikely that seems. That followed a similarly big win — an upset that defied polling — in Indiana last week.

Although Hillary Clinton won the tiny Guam primary over the weekend, Sanders seems like the favourite to win the two remaining Democratic contests this month, in Kentucky and Oregon on May 17. “Yet that winning streak won’t do anything to dislodge Clinton from her spot as prohibitive frontrunner. With her huge lead in delegates, Clinton is still on course to win the nomination.”

However, the defeats raise questions about Mrs Clinton’s competitiveness in the general election in certain states her campaign once believed would be in play. (NYT, The Atlantic, FT)

In the news

Ryan-Trump rapprochement? Paul Ryan, House Speaker, said he doesn’t have “huge expectations” about his meeting with Donald Trump on Thursday other than to start the process of unifying the party after a “very bitter presidential primary.” Last week, Mr Ryan said he was not yet ready to endorse the tycoon. Whatever he decides this week, the risks are high. “If he endorses Trump, Ryan betrays his political beliefs; if he doesn’t endorse Trump, he betrays his party role,” says TA Frank. (usatoday, Vanity Fair)

Obama to visit Hiroshima Barack Obama will become the first serving US president to visit one of the two Japanese cities devastated by atomic bombs dropped by the US during the second world war. For decades, competing sensitivities over whether the US should apologise for the attack prevented such a visit. The White House has signalled this trip will not “revisit” the matter. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe refused to be drawn, saying merely that the visit was a “huge decision” for Mr Obama. (FT, Japan Times)

Undiplomatic language The prime minister’s search for a global deal on corruption took an embarrassing turn on Tuesday after he described Nigeria and Afghanistan — two of only four countries that have agreed to attend a summit this week — as “fantastically corrupt”. In a separate diplomatic embarrassment, Queen Elizabeth was heard to describe Chinese officials as “very rude” during a conversation with a police commander about President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the UK last year. (FT)

Alberta fire highlights threat to boreal forest Scientists say the near-destruction of Fort McMurray, Alberta, last week by a wildfire is the latest indication that the vital boreal forest is at risk from climate change. The forest gets less public attention than tropical forests, but it represents close to a third of the forest land on the planet. It is ecologically unique and vital to human welfare for its ability to limit the risks of global warming by soaking up some of humanity’s greenhouse emissions. (NYT)

Saudi Arabia raising oil output ahead of IPO The kingdom is ramping up production and pressing ahead with a global expansion plan for its state oil company ahead of what could be the world’s largest ever stock market listing. (FT)

Russian gang suspected in futures market scam Intercontinental Exchange’s London futures market has been used as a front for Russian organised crime, according to police who have made two arrests for suspected money-laundering in a network spanning Switzerland, the Caribbean and Russia. (FT)

The New Silk Road slump Sagging traffic on the trans-Eurasian railway route linking Chongqing with Duisberg, Germany, highlights China’s increasing economic woes. (NAR)

It’s a big day for

Dilma Rousseff Brazil’s president has asked the Supreme Court to block impeachment proceedings against her in a final attempt to stop the process hours before a crucial Senate vote. Similar attempts have been rejected by the court. Ms Rousseff could be suspended for up to 180 days if the senators vote for a full trial on Wednesday. Earlier, her supporters set up burning barricades and blocked roads. What is she accused of? (BBC, FT)

Ultra-high speed travel A company developing hyperloop technology that would allow people or freight to move at the speed of sound is set to demonstrate its propulsion system in the Nevada desert. (FT)

Ukraine A peace deal for the eastern part of the country may be given new life when foreign ministers from Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France meet in Berlin. (Deutsche Welle)

Food for thought

Germany is the eurozone’s biggest problem The European Central Bank takes a lot of blame — some of it justified — but it is Berlin that is causing the most trouble, writes Martin Wolf. “Germany’s ideas and interests are of huge importance to the eurozone. But they should not determine everything. If Germans believe this fatally weakens the legitimacy of the European project, they should use their exit option.” (FT)

US: Neglected nation From decaying bridges to poisoned water, critics say trillions of dollars are needed to fix America’s infrastructure. (FT)

How it feels to be on an Islamic State hit list Thousands of New Yorkers have been informed by the FBI that their names are on an Islamic State hit list, but many are not taking the threat as credible. “I am more threatened by Donald Trump and more terrorised by his existence than by Isis,” says one. “He’s a terrorist and I am so frightened of him. I speak for a lot of people.” (Newsweek)

Should we fear Facebook? Facebook is a media company, but more than that, it is a utility, an integral piece of information infrastructure upon which hundreds of publishers and media companies rely to reach their audience. A television channel like MSNBC can directly criticise Republicans all it wants and nobody really cares. But Facebook was roundly criticised for allegedly suppressing conservative news stories, because Facebook is not like a television channel. It is like something we’ve never really seen before: a super-powered cable operator for the mobile future. (The Atlantic)

The truth is out there . . .  And Hillary Clinton might be the one to uncover it. She has won over a small but committed cohort of voters with a pledge to open up the government files on UFOs and Area 51. (NYT)

Video of the day

Osborne makes his case against Brexit With just over a month to go until the UK referendum on its EU membership, the Remain and Leave campaigns are heating up. Vanessa Kortekaas reports from an FT 125 event, where chancellor George Osborne outlined the arguments for staying in the bloc. (FT)

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