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Donald Trump, the clear frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, has outlined his vision for the US role in the world in a speech that called on Washington to “shake the rust off America’s foreign policy”.

Speaking the day after he routed his Republican rivals in five eastern states, he said US foreign policy had “veered badly off course” since the end of the cold war and that a radical change was required.

By the lofty standards of Washington’s foreign policy establishment, it was “an awful speech”, said the Economist’s Lexington. The “blustery, error-strewn account of an ‘America First’ philosophy” took little account of “how the world actually looks from the Oval Office”. (FT, Economist)

In the news

Cruz picks running mate The Republican presidential candidate has named Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard boss, as his running mate less than 24 hours after being steamrollered in the latest round of primary elections. Ms Fiorina could help win female voters and California delegates, and she’s proven she can be an effective attack dog. But first, the unusual early pick has to help Ted Cruz regain momentum. (FT, WaPo)

Red Dragon, Red Planet SpaceX plans to send its Red Dragon spacecraft to Mars as soon as 2018, the company announced — the first stage of an audacious plan to establish a human colony on Earth’s nearest neighbour. (FT)

Syria talks stall Talks aimed at ending the five-year war in Syria ground to a halt with the government and opposition divided over fundamental issues, including whether President Bashar al-Assad’s political fate even belongs on the agenda. In the early hours of Thursday in Geneva, the UN’s special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, called for Russia and the US to launch an urgent effort to repair the ceasefire the two countries brokered in February. (WSJ)

Oceans losing oxygen The USA’s National Center for Atmospheric Research has warned that climate change is already causing a detectable reduction in the amount of oxygen dissolved in the Earth’s oceans, and says that the phenomenon will become widespread between 2030 and 2040. The “loss of oxygen in the ocean is one of the serious side-effects of a warming atmosphere, and a major threat to marine life” said Matthew Long, lead author of the study. (

Zuckerberg seeks tighter grip Facebook proposed a new class of stock with no voting rights to allow Mark Zuckerberg to maintain long-term control as it announced earnings had surged to $1.5bn from $512m a year earlier, sending shares up 9 per cent after hours. (FT)

Daniel Loeb warns of hedge fund ‘killing field’ The Third Point manager says he believes the industry is in the “first innings of a washout” after a string of disastrous market calls inflicted steep losses on many funds. (FT)

It's a big day for

The yen, which surged 2 per cent after the Bank of Japan dashed market hopes of stimulus, standing pat despite data showing the country had fallen back into deflation for the first time since 2013. Futures on the broad Topix stock index were also down 42 points at 1,339. (FT)

US growth Economists have forecast GDP will rise 0.7 per cent during the first quarter of the year, but that could be boosted by positive trade data. (Reuters)

Food for thought

Why Donald’s sexism is Hillary’s trump “The beautiful thing is women don’t like her,” Donald Trump smugly announced in closing his victory speech after Tuesday’s primaries. Polls show that women have a mixed view of Hillary Clinton, writes Robert Schlesinger. Their views of Trump, however, are much clearer: “They loathe him”. (usnews)

Elon Musk’s risky funding From personal loans to buying stock, the billionaire leader of Tesla, SpaceX and SolarCity has provided significant financial help to the companies he runs, even though it could be risky. Mr Musk defends the moves as consistent with his philosophy that “if I ask investors to put money in, then I feel morally I should put money in as well”. (WSJ)

Kenya’s Silicon Savannah The best thing to be said about Kenya’s oilfields may be this: they don’t contain much oil. That is no bad thing in a continent where the “resource curse” has hexed many a nation, says David Pilling. “Instead of oil or gas, gold or cocoa, Kenya has had to rely on ingenuity to keep itself ticking over. That matches the first success stories in Asia, where Japan, Taiwan and South Korea took off in spite of, and not because of, natural riches.” (FT)

Beware the inspirational boss Transformational leaders can be bad for your health, writes Andrew Hill. Workers who have more control in their jobs are more co-operative and creative. But those flayed by unmeetable deadlines and pressures beyond their control become introverted and neurotic: the wrong type of stress changes our personalities for the worse. (FT)

Michelle Obama in the fourth quarter The First Lady is speaking out against injustice in increasingly bold terms as her time in the White House draws to a close. (The Atlantic)

Video of the day

Japan’s interest rate decision explained Keeping interest rates steady caused the yen to rise and the stock market to fall. The FT’s Robin Harding explains why the Bank of Japan didn’t make any changes. (FT)

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