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Super Tuesday, Massive China Layoffs, Driverless Car Crash

SUPER TUESDAY IS HERE

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are heading into the most important day of the campaign to date hoping to consolidate their leads as respective party favorites. It's primary day in 12 different states, most of them southern, where Clinton is expected to benefit from support among minorities, CNN notes.

  • GOP candidates Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio "campaigned Monday as if they were cramming for an exam," The Washington Post writes. Both are desperately trying to garner crucial support to defeat the billionaire Trump, who now has 49% support among Republicans, his highest figure yet, according to a CNN poll. USA Today reports about a possible party split in the event of a Trump presidential nomination.
  • The Clinton camp is readying for a potential showdown with Trump, and according to The New York Times, both Bill and Hillary believe it will be "a close November election." Other Democrats say that "only a concerted campaign portraying Trump as dangerous and bigoted" can usher in a Clinton victory.
  • Bernie Sanders, who has yet to be endorsed by a single U.S. senator, nevertheless raised more than $43 million in February from nearly 1.5 million contributors.

SYRIAN TRUCE VIOLATIONS TO BE PROBED

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned that all alleged ceasefire violations reported since a fragile truce began in Syria Saturday would be investigated, the BBC reports. Kerry also explained that the U.S. and Russia were both working on a "mechanism" to ensure that the airstrikes still being conducted target only ISIS and other jihadist groups like the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front.


6 MILLION

China plans to lay off as many as six million state workers from "zombie enterprises" over the next two to three years, two confidential sources have told Reuters. The move, which the authorities fear could spark social unrest, aim to curb both industrial capacity and pollution, the sources said. But it's also another sign that the Chinese economy is slowing. Official data published today show that "activity in China's factory and services sectors fell last month to its lowest level since the aftermath of the global financial crisis," the Financial Times reports.


VIOLENCE ERUPTS AS CALAIS "JUNGLE" CLEARED

Photo: Marc Demeure/Maxppp/ZUMA

French police are continuing to dismantle makeshift refugee shelters on the outskirts of Calais, home to anywhere between 3,700 and 5,500 migrants hoping to cross the Channel into Britain. Clashes erupted late yesterday between migrants and the police, with newspaperL'Opinion describing the events as "guerilla scenes" of between 100 and 150 migrants invading the beltway outside the harbor, throwing stones at the police and at cars on the road. According to local newspaper La Voix du Nord, some of the refugees set their tents on fire as police began clearing the "Jungle" yesterday, and hurled stones and saucepans at them while they were trying to put out the fire. Le Figaro reports that a growing number of migrants, most of them from Afghanistan, Iraq and Africa, are considering returning home because of the conditions in Calais. "We're being treated like animals," one man said.

France is just one flashpoint in Europe's ongoing migrant crisis. See our Extra! feature for a glimpse of how the press in Macedonia is covering clashes at the country's border with Greece.


VERBATIM

"Defeating the Zika virus will be our most important gold medal," Brazilian Ambassador to Paris Paulo C. De Oliveira Campos wrote in an op-ed for French newspaper Les Échos. "You can safely travel to Brazil" for this summer's Rio Olympics, he insists, saying that "Zika isn't a new Ebola." Brazilian authorities have made the fight against the virus "a national priority" amid fears that it and a dengue outbreak might affect tourism.

  • A new study published in The Lancetshows for the first time that Zika may cause Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare condition in which the immune system attacks nerve cells and causes paralysis. Another study from Argentina instead points to pesticides as the cause for spreading microcephaly.
  • Mexico has confirmed that 11 pregnant women are suffering from Zika and that the total number of infected patients is now 121.

WHAT BELGIUM KNEW ABOUT PARIS KILLERS

Belgium's anti-terror police had known since July 2014 that Salah and Brahim Abdeslam, two of the terrorists responsible for killing 130 people in Paris on Nov. 13, 2015, were "preparing an attack" somewhere, L'Echo reveals. The newspaper cites a phone call to the judicial police in which a source close to the brothers gave very precise information, including their links with suspected mastermind Abdelhamid Abaaoud and their "fascination" with ISIS. Salah Abdeslam, who took an active part in the November attacks, is still on the run.


ON THIS DAY


Captain America was born on this day in 1941. That and more in today's 57-second shot of history.


GEORGE KENNEDY, GIl HILL DIE

We bid farewell to two actors famous for their roles in (very) different cop movies. George Kennedy, aka The Naked Gun's Captain Ed Hocken, was 91. Gil Hill, a real-life inspector known for being Eddie Murphy's boss in Beverly Hills Cop, died at 84 after contracting pneumonia.


WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

Two German lawyers are seeking criminal charges against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, accusing him of enabling sedition, Süddeutsche Zeitung reports. The lawyers, who have asked that the U.S. founder pay a 150 million-euro fine, say Zuckerberg should be held personally responsible for posts Facebook users have published on the social network that defy German law over hate speech.

Read the full article, Germany Asks: Is Zuckerberg Criminally Liable For Facebook Hate Speech?


MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD



FIRST CRASH FOR GOOGLE'S DRIVERLESS CAR

It was inevitable. Google's self-driving car caused its first crash.


PAINTING LEO

Using her breasts as a brush, Russian artist Irina Romanovskaya painted a portrait of Leonardo DiCaprio finally winning an Oscar. She intends to present the painting to DiCaprio personally.

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Geopolitics

Why The 'Perfect Storm' Of Iran's Protests May Be Unstoppable

The latest round of anti-regime protests in Iran is different than other in the 40 years of the Islamic Republic: for its universality and boldness, the level of public fury and grief, and the role of women and social media. The target is not some policy or the economy, but the regime itself.

A woman holds a lock of her hair during a London rally to protest the murder of Mahsa Amini in London

Roshanak Astaraki

-Analysis-

The death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in Tehran on Sept. 16, after a possible beating at a police station, has sparked outrage and mass protests in Iran and abroad. There have been demonstrations and a violent attempt to suppress them in more than 100 districts in every province of Iran.

These protests may look like others since 2017, and back even to 1999 — yet we may be facing an unprecedented turning point in Iranians' opposition to the Islamic Republic. Indeed newly installed conservative President Ibrahim Raisi could not have expected such momentum when he set off for a quick trip to New York and back for a meeting of the UN General Assembly.

For one of the mistakes of a regime that takes pride in dismissing the national traditions of Iran is to have overlooked the power of grief among our people.

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