Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 16 Mar 2016

1. Trump and Clinton edge further ahead

The race to the White House continued yesterday with resounding wins for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Both triumphed in the primaries in Illinois, North Carolina and Florida, where Trump knocked rival Marco Rubio out of the race. Clinton also won in Ohio, while John Kasich took the Republican vote.

What is Hillary Clinton doing now?

2. Osborne delivers tax cuts in Budget...

Chancellor George Osborne has increased the tax-free allowance to £12,500 and raised the threshold for the 40 per cent higher-rate of income tax to £45,000 in his latest Budget. He also launched a new Lifetime Isa to help under-40s save for their futures. Other measures included a cut in corporation tax and plans to make every school in England an academy by 2020.

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Budget 2016: 'We should all be worried', warns IFS

3. Shot Brussels terror suspect identified

A terror suspect shot dead in Brussels yesterday has been identified as Algerian national Mohamed Belkaid. He was killed by snipers as he fired on police during a raid linked to last year's attacks in Paris. Four officers were wounded and two other men escaped over rooftops. Much of the area remains under lockdown.

US warns of Europe Christmas terror

4. Pakistan: bus bomb in Peshawar kills 15

Police in Pakistan say at least 15 people travelling on a bus have been killed by a bomb in the north-western city of Peshawar. No-one has yet claimed responsibility but the Pakistani Taliban is active in the area. It's believed up to 30 other people have been injured, with many in a critical condition.

5. Oscars apologises for its portrayal of Asians

Oscars organisers have apologised for the way Asians were portrayed in comic skits during this year's awards ceremony. The Academy said it regretted the cultural insensitivity and any offense caused. The jokes were made in an attempt to defuse race issues but were criticised for their "tone deaf" approach.

6. Oxford maths genius awarded Abel prize

An Oxford academic who proved a mathematical puzzle that had stumped scholars for 357 years has been awarded Norway's prestigious Abel prize, worth around £500,000. Professor Sir Andrew Wiles solved Fermat's Last Theorem in 1993, while working at Princeton University. The judges called the publication of his work "an epochal moment for mathematics".

Fermat's Last Theorem nets Oxford professor £500,000

7. ... and unveils sugar tax on soft drinks

The Budget also featured plans for a sugar tax on the makers of soft drinks designed to tackle the problem of childhood obesity. The £530m raised by the levy will be spent on funding primary school sports. Campaigners, including chef Jamie Oliver, welcomed the move, but shares in soft drinks manufacturers fell.

Sugar tax survives in 'watered-down' obesity strategy

8. New debris on Reunion 'not from MH370'

A piece of debris found on Reunion is unlikely to be part of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, say experts. A flaperon from the plane was found on the Indian Ocean island last year, but the new piece, discovered by the same man, is not expected to be from the plane.

9. North Korea sentences US student to 15 years in jail

US student Otto Warmbler has been sentenced to 15 years' hard labour in North Korea after admitting trying to steal a propaganda sign. The 21-year-old saw the banner in a hotel while visiting the country in January. The BBC says he may be being used as a political tool.

North Korea detains another US citizen

10. Briefing: what next for Syria after Russian withdrawal?

Five years to the day after the start of the Syrian civil war, and with peace talks under way in Geneva, Russia announced it will begin withdrawing its military forces. It joined the conflict last September, sending between 3,000 and 6,000 military personnel to the country, according to US estimates. Now President Vladimir Putin claims the goal for his armed forces has "in large part been fulfilled". Western officials are hopeful the move will put pressure on President Bashar al-Assad's regime to take peace negotiations seriously, but many remain sceptical about Putin's motives and intentions.

US and Russia spar over vetoed Syria sanctions

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