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Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: March 16, 2016

Harold Maass
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
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1.

Rubio ends campaign as Trump and Clinton win big

Marco Rubio dropped out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday after Donald Trump defeated the Florida senator in his home state. Ohio Gov. John Kasich also faced a must-win primary in his home state, and won, keeping his campaign alive. Trump won Illinois and North Carolina, and he and Sen. Ted Cruz are nearly tied in Missouri. Hillary Clinton firmed up her lead in the battle for the Democratic nomination by beating her rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, in delegate-rich Florida and Ohio, as well as North Carolina and Illinois. She and Sanders are nearly tied in Missouri.

2.

Obama to announce Supreme Court nominee at 11 a.m.

President Obama is scheduled to announce his nominee for the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden at 11 a.m. Wednesday, the White House says. The announcement said Obama would be naming someone with "an independent mind, unimpeachable credentials, and an unquestionable mastery of law" to fill the seat left vacant when conservative Justice Antonin Scalia died in February. Any Obama nominee will face an uphill battle for confirmation — Senate Republican leaders said they would not even consider an Obama nominee, saying the president elected in November should get to pick the next justice.

3.

North Korea sentences U.S. student to 15 years with hard labor

North Korea's highest court on Wednesday sentenced an American tourist, University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier, to 15 years in prison with hard labor after he was found guilty of subversion for trying to steal a propaganda banner. The trial took one hour. Warmbier, 21, tearfully confessed. Before the trial he had said he tried to take the banner as a trophy for a friend, who wanted to display it in a church. The court said he had tried to "impair the unity" of North Korea's people "pursuant to the U.S. government's hostile policy" toward North Korea.

4.

Obama administration cancels plan to allow drilling in Atlantic

The Obama administration on Tuesday withdrew its plan to allow oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic off the Southeast coast. The announcement followed opposition voiced by coastal residents from Georgia to Virginia, but still came as a surprise. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said the reversal was driven by concerns voiced in coastal communities. The move comes as oil prices have dropped to their lowest levels in years, a factor expected to limit any objections to blocking drilling in the Atlantic.

5.

1 killed in Belgian raid tied to Paris attacks

Belgian police raided a Brussels building linked to last year's deadly Paris terrorist attacks on Tuesday, leaving a suspect dead and four police officers wounded. Two other suspects possibly escaped the scene and remained at large. The dead suspect, who was armed with a Kalashnikov rifle, was killed by a police sniper. The Forest neighborhood was locked down for five hours after the first shots rang out. Belgium, which has become a prime recruiting ground for Islamist terror groups, has stepped up its counterterror efforts in recent months.

6.

Pennsylvania charges Franciscan friars with abetting sexual abuser

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane charged three former leaders of a Franciscan religious order with a conspiracy to endanger children for allegedly letting a friar who was a known sexual predator work with children. The three leaders — Giles A. Schinelli, 73; Robert J. D’Aversa, 69; and Anthony M. Criscitelli, 61 — are accused of failing to notify police about accusations against the friar, Brother Stephen Baker, and allowing him to work in jobs where he was able to molest scores of children, including a position as a school athletic trainer that he held for nearly a decade.

7.

Obama administration further relaxes Cuba travel restrictions

The White House announced Tuesday that the Obama administration is loosening restrictions on U.S. tourism to Cuba. The U.S. now will allow "people to people" educational visits to Cuba and make it easier to use American currency for transactions with Cuba. Citizens of Cuba will be permitted to earn salaries in the U.S., too. The changes, the latest in a series of efforts to normalize relations with Cuba, came five days ahead of President Obama's historic trip to the Communist-ruled Caribbean island, the first by a U.S. president in nearly 90 years.

8.

Ferguson City Council approves DOJ agreement on police reform

The Ferguson, Missouri, City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved an agreement with the Justice Department on police and municipal court reform. An investigation uncovered systemic bias after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen, by a white officer sparked protests in 2014 after a grand jury declined to indict the officer. The council had accepted the basics of the agreement last month but demanded changes — including more time to comply — provoking a federal lawsuit.

9.

Man charged in 2014 hacking of celebrities' nude photos

Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles announced Tuesday that authorities had arrested a Pennsylvania man, Ryan Collins, who has been charged with the 2014 "Celebgate" hacking scandal. Collins, 36, is accused of sending fake emails to get users to give him their user names and passwords, then using them to access hundreds of nude photos of famous women, including Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton. Collins reportedly has agreed to plead guilty to a felony violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

10.

Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg join forces for another Indiana Jones movie

Disney announced Tuesday that Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg will team up again for another Indiana Jones movie. Ford, 73, will star in the as-yet untitled film, and Spielberg will direct, as he did in the first four films in the action-adventure franchise. The movie will hit screens in July 2019, more than a decade after the last installment, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which divided critics but grossed nearly $800 million worldwide.