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10 things you need to know today: March 14, 2016

Harold Maass
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Romney campaigns with Kasich ahead of crucial Ohio primary

Mitt Romney is campaigning in Ohio with Gov. John Kasich ahead of Tuesday's Republican presidential primary in an attempt to keep GOP frontrunner Donald Trump from getting the winner-take-all state's delegates. The contest in Kasich's home state is considered a must-win for the governor, who is narrowly ahead or tied with Trump in the latest polls. Romney also is urging voters in Florida to vote for their home-state candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio, on Tuesday, but Trump leads polls there. He also is out front in North Carolina, Illinois, and Missouri, which vote the same day. [The Washington Post, RealClearPolitics]


Car bomb kills 37 in Turkish capital

A suicide car-bombing killed at least 37 people near a bus station in Ankara, Turkey's capital, on Sunday. The U.S. Embassy in Turkey had warned Americans on Friday of the possibility of a terrorist attack on Turkish government buildings and residences in the capital. The Turkish government blamed a Syrian Kurdish militia. Turkey responded by hitting Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq with airstrikes on Monday. [The Associated Press]


Clinton and Sanders hammer Trump in town hall

Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders focused their criticism on GOP frontrunner Donald Trump in a CNN-TV One Democratic town hall in Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday night. Both of the Democratic candidates said Trump was inciting violence. Clinton accused him of committing "political arson," saying Trump "has lit the fire and then he throws his hands up and claims that he shouldn't be held responsible." Responding to a video clip in which Trump blamed Sanders and his supporters for forcing Trump to cancel a rally in Chicago, Sanders said: "Donald Trump is a pathological liar." [CNN]


New round of Syria peace talks getting underway in Geneva

Negotiators representing the Syrian government and opposition groups arrived in Geneva on Sunday and were scheduled to begin United Nations-backed talks on Monday. The latest negotiations come more than a month after the first round collapsed over a government military offensive backed by Russian airstrikes. Since then, violence has decreased under a partial truce that took effect more than two weeks ago. "Its success demonstrates how exhausted all sides are," said Joshua Landis, a Syria expert and director of the University of Oklahoma’s Center for Middle East Studies. [The Washington Post]


16 killed in Ivory Coast attack

Terrorist gunmen killed 16 people at hotels in a beach resort town in Ivory Coast on Sunday. At least four of the dead were Europeans. "Six attackers came onto the beach in Bassam this afternoon," said President Alassane Ouattara during a visit to the site. "We have 14 civilians and two special forces soldiers who were unfortunately killed." The violence was the latest in a series of attacks in West Africa. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claimed responsibility. [Reuters]


Brazilian protesters call for president to resign

More than 1 million Brazilians protested in cities across the country on Sunday, calling for President Dilma Rousseff to resign. Security officials in Sao Paulo estimated the crowd in the city numbered 1.4 million at one point. Critics blame Rousseff for Brazil's recession, and for a corruption scandal swirling around her predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. [BBC News]


SXSW apologizes after U.S. Olympian told to remove Muslim headcovering

South by Southwest (SXSW) organizers apologized on Sunday to U.S. Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad, 30, after a volunteer told her she would have to remove her Muslim headcovering to get credentials for the arts festival in Austin, Texas. Muhammad, a fencer, is about to make history at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro by becoming the first woman to represent the U.S. wearing a hijab. [Reuters]


Maryland officer killed in ambush at police station

A Maryland police officer was killed Sunday when a gunman opened fire on a police station in the Washington, D.C., suburb. The alleged assailant and another suspect were arrested. Neither was immediately identified. The accused gunman was wounded in a shootout with officers outside the police station. The second suspect allegedly accompanied the alleged shooter but ran away when the shooting started. Prince George's County Police Chief Henry Stawinski said the gunman shot at the first officer he saw in an "unprovoked" attack. "It wasn't about anything," Stawinski said. [ABC News, CNBC]


Merkel gets 'wake-up call' in German elections

German voters dealt Chancellor Angela Merkel a setback in regional elections on Sunday, punishing her Christian Democrats in three states in the first elections seen as a test of her handling of a wave of migrants seeking to enter Europe from Syria and other trouble spots. The right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD), which takes a harder line on immigration, gained ground in all three of the states. Monday's Handelsblatt newspaper called the vote a "wake-up call" for Merkel after a year in which Germany took in 1.1 million migrants. [Reuters]


Kansas, UNC, Oregon, and Virginia top seeds in NCAA men's basketball tournament

Kansas, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Oregon, and Virginia were selected Sunday as the top seeds in the 68-team NCAA men's basketball tournament. Kansas, which won the Big 12 tournament on Saturday, is the No. 1 seed overall in March Madness, and will be appearing in the NCAA tournament for the 27th straight year, tying a record North Carolina set in 2001. "Even in a year when everyone knows who the best team is, they're only about 25 percent likely to win the tournament," said Joel Sokol, a Georgia Tech engineering professor whose statistics formula is influential in the seeding process. [The New York Times]

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