Brazil’s government in chaos over appointment of former leader

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is under renewed pressure tonight after her plan to appoint former President Inacio Lula da Silva to her government fell apart amid protests over alleged corruption.

CNN reported that Lula’s swearing-in ceremony..

..took place a day after mass protests calling on Rousseff to resign, following another judge’s release of an explosive secretly recorded phone conversation between her andLula da Silva on Wednesday.

Rousseff’s opponents said the call lends support to their allegation that the former president’s appointment to the Cabinet post is to help give him greater legal immunity from federal prosecutors, handing him a trump card against investigators.

Rousseff denied the accusation, saying there is an innocent explanation for the conversation.

***

WORLD

EU leaders met in Brussels on Thursday to seal a deal to put to Turkey on Friday over treatment of migrants coming to Europe. But some sticking points remain.

Meanwhile, in North Korea..

***

SPORTS

***

CULTURE

BBC presenter Cliff Michelmore, who was on television before most of the people who are currently on television were born, sadly died aged 96. For those of us of a certain age, he was the unflappable, trustworthy voice of the BBC – and by implication, the nation – in the same way Walter Cronkite was for an American audience.

This was one of my favorites, simply because it was never, ever done…

 

Supreme Court ball in Congressional court

President Obama on Wednesday nominated Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy on the US Supreme Court created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Mr Garland, a veteran judge,  is widely considered a moderate. In doing so, the President sets up a potential conflict with the Republican-controlled Senate, whose leadership had said it would oppose any nominee.

But some Republicans may be already wavering.

***

WORLD

After the latest installment of primaries, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are again tightening their grip on the Democratic and Republican races for the nomination respectively.

But the New York Times writes that they may be winning votes, but hardly hearts.

Even as they watched the two candidates amass large margins on Tuesday, historians and strategists struggled to recall a time when more than half the country has held such stubbornly low opinions of the leading figures in the Democratic and Republican Parties.

“There is no analogous election in the modern era where the two top candidates for the nomination are as divisive and weak,” said Steve Schmidt, a top campaign adviser to George W. Bush in 2004 and John McCain in 2008. “There is no precedent for it.”

For home-town GOP candidates Marco Rubio and John Kasich, there were mixed fortunes. Rubio called it a day after losing Florida to Trump while Kasich’s victory in Ohio led to him saying he’d stay in the race until the convention in Cleveland in July.

His #NeverTrump presser a few days ago on Trump’s rhetoric was passionate, honest and too late..

Meanwhile it looks like the next scheduled Fox debate next Monday won’t happen after both Trump and Kasich said they wouldn’t take part.

 

Pyongyang posturing

As is usually the case with North Korea, there will be some distance between the threatening rhetoric and the truth. Yet the former is always kind of freaky.

The New York Times reports:

If Mr. Kim follows through with those threats, that would mean that North Korea was readying its fifth nuclear test and was preparing to conduct more missile launchings in defiance of the sanctions resolution the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted this month against the country.

Mr. Kim declared that “a nuclear warhead explosion test and a test-fire of several kinds of ballistic rockets able to carry nuclear warheads will be conducted in a short time to further enhance the reliance of nuclear attack capability,” the North’s official Korean Central News Agency reported on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, a UN human rights investigator urged the prosecution of the North Korean leader, saying the nation was “devoting huge resources to developing nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction while many of its citizens went hungry and others worked in “slave-like conditions”.

***

WORLD

In the US presidential primaries, there are key contests on Tuesday, including Florida and Ohio, possibly the home-state “last stands” for Marco Rubio and John Kasich respectively.

And Trump may or may not have picked up the endorsement of a still somewhat beloved Ohioan…

But since Rose signs pretty much anything, it’s hard to tell for sure…

***

SPORTS

There are conflicting reports tonight over the future of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, with a press conference apparently set for Tuesday morning.

***

CULTURE

Finally, the cast of Hamilton visited the White House today.

 

The whole world is watching

Unrest at a political event in Chicago. Echoes of 1968. Was it inevitable? Where will it lead? What does it mean for the rest of the primary campaign? And the national?

Trump set for – yet – another big night

Voters went to the polls on Tuesday in primary contests in the key states of Michigan and Mississippi (as well as in Hawaii and Idaho). Tonight’s outcomes were expected to be a test of the power of the current groundswell of GOP sentiment against the inevitability of Donald Trump.

That didn’t seem to be working out so well.

EU and Turkey confident of breakthrough on refugee crisis

Update 12.48am, London

A tentative agreement between the EU and Turkey could change the continent’s approach to refugees and migrants coming across the Aegean Sea to Greece from Turkey. Initially after a day of discussion, there had been a stalemate on a possible deal at the emergency summit in Brussels.

Leaders now say they aim to have a framework deal in place before they next meet in ten days. This would involve the return of all migrants to Turkey, while the EU would provide more funding for Ankara and examine the resettlement of genuine asylum-seekers.

European Council President Donald Tusk said “the days of irregular migration to Europe are over”.

Earlier: EU-Turkey stalemate over refugee crisis

At an emergency summit in Brussels on Monday, EU leaders failed to agree a deal with the Turkish government aimed at alleviating the worsening refugee crisis across the continent.

As well as a financial incentive, it seems there’s also a broader political agenda.

But…

***

WORLD

Tuesday is International Womens’ Day.

In the US presidential primary, pressure appears to be growing on Florida Senator Marco Rubio ahead of the GOP contest in his home state on March 15th.

And it looks like there isn’t going to be another billionaire in the race after all..

***

SPORTS

Fallout continues from Monday’s Maria Sharapova revelation.

***

CULTURE

Finally, follow of the day is @Shit_Pitches

 

White House co-stars reunited

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan, close aide and support to her husband, President Ronald Reagan between 1981 and 1989, died on Sunday in Los Angeles aged 94. World leaders and ordinary people alike shared their memories.

Perhaps inevitably with political figures, however, she will be remembered differently by different folks.

Last year, it was reported that the First Lady had “refused to help Rock Hudson (a close friend)… as he sought treatment for Aids from a pioneering doctor in Paris.”

 

EU leaders meet on Syria crisis

Prime Minister David Cameron is in France on Thursday for a meeting with President Hollande on security and terrorism.

Meanwhile,

The meetings come amid heightened rhetoric over the refugee situation across Europe and particularly concerning the French/British border.

 

***

WORLD

Defeated GOP Presidential candidate in 2012 Mitt Romney is set to go after Donald Trump on Thursday as establishment anxieties grew – and electoral options for those opposed to Trump appear to recede in the wake of Super Tuesday.

But it probably goes without saying that four years is a – very – long time in politics.

There’s a GOP debate tonight in Detroit which will be shown on Fox. Megyn Kelly will be there, but Ben Carson won’t.

Seems that whoever becomes President, though, is going to have to deal with an escalating aquatic conflict.

***

SPORTS

Gutted.

 

 

Trump and Clinton tighten their grip

The national campaign leading to November’s Presidential election effectively kicked off with the string of Super Tuesday primary victories by Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Trump was the projected winner in at least six of the 11 – mainly southern – states voting, while Clinton widened her delegate lead in the race for the Democratic nomination. Both candidates wasted no time in pivoting during their victory speeches to attack the other.

In this already remarkable election, though, November still seems a long way off.

 

(although he did eventually take Minnesota, his first victory)

On the Democratic side,

 

Trump, Clinton take big leads into Super Tuesday

The Republican and Democratic front-runners go into the 11 Super Tuesday primary states with big poll leads. Can anything derail them between now and July’s conventions?

Maybe this unholy alliance…

The Note will be back later with a semi-almost live thing. Maybe.

***

WORLD

Tuesday isn’t so super for these people – don’t forget, people – at the “Jungle” migrant camp near Calais.

Dude had a will, it turns out…

In the for-now short-handed Supreme Court, a long-standing apparent vow of silence came to an end..

***

CULTURE