Trump Stays Defiant; Iran Says `Leave Us Alone': Sunday Wrap

  • One million Brazilians protest Rousseff, corruption, recession
  • Merkel's party pummeled in regional elections over refugees

Here are highlights of Sunday’s top breaking stories:

If anyone was waiting for Donald Trump to back off his pugnaciousness toward protesters, they got more of the same. The Republican president front-runner disclaimed any responsibility for violence at his campaign rallies; said no one’s really gotten injured, notwithstanding video evidence; and that he might organize his supporters to disrupt the rallies of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, whom Trump blames for organizing the protests. Trump later scrubbed a rally in Florida and went to Ohio, ahead of Tuesday’s winner-take-all primaries in both states. It wasn’t clear whether this was because of threats of disruption at the Florida event or because a new poll showed Trump now trailing John Kasich in Ohio but 20 points ahead of Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz in Florida.

Cruz no longer thinks an open convention to choose the Republican nominee is such a bad idea -- as long as he’s one of the potential choices, people who have won fewer states than he has aren’t, and no new candidate is “parachuted” in.

Iran’s oil minister said other petroleum-producing countries that want to freeze production levels to boost prices should “leave us alone” and allow Iran to boost production back to pre-sanctions levels.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party was pummeled in regional elections, with anti-immigrant candidates winning significant chunks of votes -- a measure of the backlash against her policies on refugees.

Not long after 22 people, including 14 civilians, were killed when gunmen stormed two hotels in Ivory Coast favored by foreigners, a suicide car bomb in Ankara (the third there in 5 months) killed 27. Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attack in Ivory Coast, the world’s biggest cocoa producer. The Ankara attack occurred about 200 meters (650 feet) from the Prime Minister’s office. The Turkish government blamed Kurdish PKK separatists.

Something around 1 million Brazilians took to the streets in peaceful protests against President Dilma Rousseff, corruption in general and tough economic times. The Sao Paulo protest was said by police to be the biggest in more than 30 years. The demonstrations came a day after the biggest party in Rousseff’s coalition said it will decide within a month whether to remain in the government.

The French air safety agency that investigated the suicide crash of a Germanwings passenger jet recommended that pilots no longer be protected by some of Germany’s strictest-in-the-world medical privacy provisions.

Royal Bank of Scotland is cutting about 550 investment positions as it shifts to robo-advice or self-service for customers with less than 250,000 pounds ($360,000) to invest and makes insurance customers talk to a call center instead of someone at a branch.

AstraZeneca Plc’s compensation committee is considering new ways to link the pay package of CEO Pascal Soriot more to performance -- specifically, progress toward the company’s revenue target in 2023.

Bangladesh’s finance minister is furious that the country’s central bank didn’t tell him that it had at least $100 million pilfered from its accounts at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York by hackers. The Fed itself said its systems weren’t hacked.

A watchdog group reported that Islamic State’s de facto #2 leader is “clinically dead” after a U.S.-led bombing raid targeted him earlier this month.

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