US frontrunners surge ahead, storks’ junk food habit and Trump’s castle

Super Tuesday 2 was an emphatic victory for Trump and Clinton

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Donald Trump knocked Marco Rubio out of the Republican race by winning Florida and three more states, reinforcing his status as the party’s frontrunner, but he lost to John Kasich in Ohio, complicating his path to the presidential nomination.

After a bruising loss in Michigan last week, Hillary Clinton posted a resounding comeback with four state primary wins, propelling her forward in the delegate count and pushing her much closer to clinching the Democratic nomination.

If Mr Trump gains a majority of delegates before July, Republican party fixers can still bend the rules to deny him the nomination, writes Ed Luce. Such a prospect would be incendiary. Yet the chances of an open Republican split cannot be ruled out. The divisions between Mr Trump and what remains of the Republican establishment are only growing as the primary season continues. (FT)

In the news

Deutsche Börse and LSE unveil merger deal Europe’s two largest exchanges are hoping regulators will bless the creation of a champion for European trading, based in London but with the German exchange’s Carsten Kengeter as chief executive. The big uncertainty is whether Intercontinental Exchange, a US rival, will enter the bidding for the LSE. ICE, which owns the New York Stock Exchange, said earlier this month it was considering making an offer. Patrick Jenkins outlines the risks to the grand visions. (FT)

Renewables curb emissions Carbon pollution levels stayed flat last year even though the global economy kept growing, in a sign that efforts to tackle climate change may be bearing fruit faster than thought. A surge in renewable power around the world was the main reason energy-related emissions stalled, the International Energy Agency found, reflecting rising levels of investment that reached a record $328.9bn last year. (FT, Bloomberg)

Man charged in celebrity hacking case A 36-year-old has been charged with stealing celebrities' usernames and passwords via a phishing scam, enabling him to hack their Apple iCloud and Gmail accounts and steal nude photos and videos. Ryan Collins, who has agreed to plead guilty to the offence, faces a jail term of 18 months, although a judge could extend that to five years. (BBC)

N Korea sentences US student Otto Warmbier, a 21-year-old American student who tearfully apologised for trying to steal a political propaganda poster in his hotel in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, has been sentenced to 15 years hard labour for subversion. The punishment is harsh compared with those given to foreigners in the past, reflecting high tensions between North Korea and the US. (NYT, BBC)

Philippine casinos probed Philippine authorities are investigating how $81m in stolen Bangladeshi central bank funds found their way from New York into a Philippine bank for laundering in local casinos. (NAR)

Brussels on alert The Belgian capital is on high alert amid a police operation linked to November’s attacks in Paris. Last night four officers were wounded and a suspect armed with a Kalashnikov was shot dead. (BBC)

It’s a big day for

Donald Tusk, who will send all 28 EU leaders a new draft of a refugee deal with Turkey that, in his own words, “needs to be rebalanced”. On the eve of another make-or-break EU summit, the former Polish prime minister is facing one of the biggest challenges of his 15-month tenure in trying to patch up the Merkel plan. (FT)

George Osborne The UK chancellor presents his Budget to parliament. Here’s what you can expect. (FT)

Food for thought

Trump's castle A behind the scenes look at the billionaire’s sparkling Florida estate with the mogul’s longtime butler, Anthony Senecal. Gems include how to tell when the former reality TV star is in a bad mood and what to do about it. (Spoiler: it involves a bugler playing “Hail to the Chief”.) (NYT)

Storks' junk food habit The white stork that generations of children have been told is the creature that carried them into the world has developed a disturbing habit: an addiction to junk food. The birds’ passion for discarded hamburgers, leftover fish and other food waste from rubbish dumps is so profound that thousands no longer fly south to Africa in winter from Europe, a new study has shown. (FT)

Secret meetings of the US elite at risk The Blackstone deal could net the well-connected Chinese conglomerate Anbang Insurance more than 7,500 of the US’s most expensive hotel rooms — common sites for sensitive business negotiations, diplomatic glad-handing, closed-door conferences, and maybe even the occasional illicit affair. And that should be terrifying to their long-time guests. (Quartz)

Scientists rebel Long publication delays that prevent scientists from showing off their most recent work have begun to look absurd against the expectations for speed and openness of the digital age. Several journals promised that scientists would not be penalised for immediately releasing their findings on the Zika virus, given the potential benefit for public health. Many are asking, why draw the line there? (NYT)

Service with a selfie Amazon has filed a patent for technology that would enable users to pay for items by taking a selfie. The company believes the move could improve cyber security as a selfie is far less likely to be hacked than a password. (Yahoo)

Video of the day

China’s NPC approves latest 5-year plan The annual parliament in Beijing has approved the government’s latest plan with unproductive mines to face reform, but there is still plenty of investment to come. The FT's Lucy Hornby reports from Beijing. (FT)

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