Cruz & Sanders Win Wisconsin, Slippery Iceland, Virtual Meatballs

CRUZ'S BIG WIN OVER TRUMP, SANDERS TOPS CLINTON

The Republican party's improbable presidential frontrunner Donald Trump suddenly looks vulnerable after a stinging double-digit loss to Texas Senator Ted Cruz in the Wisconsin primary. The New York Times reports that by early today Cruz had received 48% of the vote to 34% for Trump. Wisconsin also saw the Democratic race continue to tighten, as challenger Bernie Sanders racked up his sixth straight victory, even as Hillary Clinton continues to hold a commanding lead in the overall delegate count.


PANAMA PAPERS: SLIPPERY ICELAND SPIN

Iceland's Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson had apparently resigned yesterday amid the uproar of the Panama Papers revelations of offshore accounts. But Gunnlaugsson followed that up by saying his decision had nothing to do with the leaked Panama Papers, and that actually he was just stepping aside for an unspecified amount of time. The leaked documents revealed that Gunnlaugsson's wife owned an offshore company with substantial claims on Iceland's crashed banks. Here's how Icelandic-language daily Fréttablaðið looked this morning. Meanwhile, other revelations continue to pour out around the world:

  • FIFA president Gianni Infantino denies wrongdoing after leaked documents suggested he signed off on a television contract in 2006 with two businessmen who have since been accused of bribery, BBC reports. Infantino says he is "dismayed" and "will not accept" that his integrity is being doubted.
  • The bankrupt Luxembourg investment company Leyne, Strauss-Kahn & Partners (LSK) where former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was listed as a partner, has helped its customers to create offshore companies in tax havens, Le Monde reports.
  • Panamanian lawyer Ramon Fonseca filed a complaint yesterday after claiming that his firm was a victim of an external hack, Süddeutsche Zeitung reports.
  • Like his counterparts in other countries, Enrico Zanetti, Italy's Vice Minister for the Economy, said his office is already pursuing information revealed in the Panama Papers to investigate possible tax evasion cases. "Among the 800 Italians with accounts in Panama, there will be some honest taxpayers, Zanetti told Milan-based Corriere della Sera daily. But it doesn't take much to understand that most of them are tax evaders."

ON THIS DAY


The first Olympic Games of the Modern era were held on this day in Athens, 120 years ago. That, and more, in your 57-second shot of history.


ZUMA REMAINS IN POWER AFTER VOTE

South African President Jacob Zuma survived a parliamentary impeachment vote yesterday after the country's high court ruled he had violated the national Constitution in his handling of a lengthy corruption case, South African daily Times Live reports.


WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

Worldcrunch welcomes a new partner, Istanbul-based daily Cumhuriyet, whose editor-in-chief Can Dundar has served jail time for helping to lead the battle for freedom of speech in Turkey. The first Cumhuriyet article we're publishing, by Nurey Mert, takes aim at both the ruling government and an array of opposition groups. "This is the kind of government we have: It is not disturbed by the status of the country — on the contrary, it perceives the difficulties that Turkey faces as a solution to its own problems. All of this ‘martyrdom' propaganda, ‘the red on the flag is the color of blood,' and ‘dying for the homeland is what makes it real,' all is used toward that goal. On one hand, it is hard these days to say out loud things such as, ‘No sir, let us not be martyrs but brothers,' or ‘homeland should be where you are happy to live' or ‘let the red of the flag be the color of a flower.'"

Read the full article, Turkey Right Now: Awful Government, Awful Opposition.


WAR CRIMES CHARGES DROPPED AGAINST KENYANS

Crimes against humanity charges were dropped yesterday against Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto and radio executive Joshua Sang as the International Criminal Court found insufficient evidence in a case that has lasted six years, The Daily Nation reports.


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Photo: Michael Coyne/Axiom/ZUMA

According to a World Wildlife Fund report released today, more than half of the 229 World Heritage sites, including Machu Picchu and the Great Barrier Reef (pictured), are threatened by harmful industrial activities like mining or drilling for oil.


POLLS OPEN IN DUTCH REFERENDUM ON EU-UKRAINE DEAL

Voting has begun in the Netherlands in a referendum on a far-reaching free trade deal between Ukraine and the European Union that has run into opposition, as many Dutch citizens perceive it as unwanted EU expansionism, Amsterdam daily De Telegraaf reports.


MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD



IKEA LAUNCHES VIRTUAL REALITY APP

Swedish retail giant IKEA has announced the launch of their new app Virtual Reality Kitchen that will enable customers to remodel their kitchen through VR goggles, Swedish weekly Resumé reports. The user can choose between different colors and also shrink themselves to see how a child experiences the kitchen. (Spoiler: The meatballs look bigger.)

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Geopolitics

The New Iraq, Signs Of Hope Amid The Rubble And Reconstruction

How do you rebuild a country decimated by four decades of war and embargoes? Following the withdrawal of the U.S. military, Iraq faces many challenges, from oil revenues captured by the militias and endemic corruption to religious segregation. However, there are glimmers of hope for the country's future.

Street scene in Erbil, Iraq

Théophile Simon

BAGHDAD — With a vast office located at the top of a tower fiercely guarded by the army and a bell to call the staff, Khalid Hamza Abbas is obviously a powerful character, decked out in an impeccable suit. Abbas runs the Basra Oil Company (BOC), the national company responsible for the exploitation of the oil fields in the province of Basra, in the very south of Iraq, from which four million barrels of crude oil flow daily. It’s the equivalent of 4% of world demand and 65% of central government revenue concentrated in a region of only four million inhabitants.

As he explains the profit-sharing scheme between the world’s major oil companies and his public enterprise, the 50-year-old with thin glasses is suddenly stopped dead in his tracks by the ringing of his telephone. He tries a joke to mask his suddenly worried face: "I'm going to ask you to leave my office for a few moments. If I haven't called you back in 10 minutes, call the police."

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