China's Record Deficit; Amazon's Encryption Flip: Saturday Wrap

  • U.K.'s Osborne shelves push for changes in pension tax
  • Turkish police tear-gas protesters after newspaper seized

Here are highlights of Saturday’s top breaking news stories:

Reflecting continued concerns about economic slowness, China’s Premier Li Keqiang unveiled plans for reduced growth and a record budget deficit, and abandoned a trade target in his report at the National People’s Congress. The government is still emphasizing economic expansion over confronting its debt. Inc. reversed course and said it will restore data encryption on its Fire tablets through an upgrade sometime during the U.S. spring. 

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and hundreds of supporters went to the home of her predecessor and mentor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, in a show of support after Lula’s detention by police investigating the so-called Carwash corruption scandal. The judge who authorized Lula’s detention on Friday said the move doesn’t mean he’s assumed guilty.

Old Mutual Plc, the U.K.-based insurer, is said to be contemplating a breakup into several companies and selling one or more units to private-equity firms.

Advisers to Ted Cruz say the Texas senator is campaigning aggressively in Florida, despite running a distant third, to blunt Marco Rubio’s chances for a home-state victory against Donald Trump. Their logic: A Rubio loss would force the Floridian out of the race and leave Cruz as the last remaining challenger to Trump.

Novartis said its psoriasis treatment controlled patients’ skin plaques longer than a rival therapy by Johnson & Johnson in a clinical trial.

A North Korean cargo ship was detained by the Philippines in the first such action under new UN sanctions passed last week, following a nuclear test and rocket launch by the North. 

U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne dropped a politically risky plan to scale back pension tax breaks, originally intended as a way to help deal with the country’s budget deficit.

On the “Brexit” front: Farmers rallied to support staying in the European Union while the British Chambers of Commerce suspended its top executive for coming out in favor of leaving.

Banca Popolare di Vicenza SCpA’s owners approved a plan to raise as much as 1.8 billion euros ($2 billion) in a public offering. With European regulators cracking down on undercapitalized institutions, a rejection by investors probably would have meant the failure of Italy’s 10th-largest bank.

Turkish police broke up demonstrations over the government’s seizure of the country’s largest newspaper on the grounds that it was undermining President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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