Advance Notice for April 9–15

Wyoming caucus, Putin Q&A, earnings season, Kobe

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Wyoming caucus: Democrats gather across Wyoming on Saturday for the state’s presidential caucus. Just 18 delegates are at stake — a paltry number in the last contest before New York’s April 19 primary, which awards 291.

  • While there’s no polling focused on registered Democrats (who are outnumbered by Republicans 41,000 to 140,000 in the Equality State), the party is predicting a higher-than-expected turnout. Six counties switched their venues in order to accommodate more voters, including Natrona County, the state’s second-most populous county.

Pyongyang Marathon: The annual race celebrating the birth of North Korea’s founder Kim Il-sung takes place Sunday. This is the third year the event is open to foreign amateur runners. However, foreign participants have to enter the country as part of an organized tour group, according to one of the official agencies.

Panama Papers investigation: It will be one week Sunday since the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists released its first reports on a trove of files taken from a Panamanian law firm that deals with offshore entities. The New York Times wraps up the fast-moving fallout, and UK banks have until Friday to declare any dealings with the law firm. We’re following the investigation for new information to be released, as well as keeping watch for news on who might have leaked the files.

The words in Spanish “The vote is safe” covers a wall ahead of elections in Lima, Peru. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

Peru general elections: Peru will hold general elections Sunday and vote for a new president to replace Ollanta Humala, who was elected in 2011 and has reached his constitutional term limit. The frontrunner is Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of former president Alberto Fujimori (1990–2000). She ran in 2011 and lost in a run-off.

  • Thousands of Peruvians have held anti-Keiko marches, saying her election would mean a return to the politics of her father, who is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence for corruption and human rights violations. If Keiko Fijumori fails to receive the necessary 50 percent to win the election outright she will, once again, enter a run-off election and will face the second-place candidate on June 5.
  • Other popular candidates in the race are Congress member Veronika Mendoza and former Prime Minister Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.

G7 foreign ministers meet: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Hiroshima, Japan, Sunday to join the foreign ministers of the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Canada, along with representatives of the European Council and the European Commission for talks ahead of next month’s G7 summit there.

  • The threat from Islamic State will be high on the agenda, as well as Europe’s migrant crisis and Turkey’s response to Kurdish militants and press freedoms. Russia’s continued presence in Syria is another likely topic of debate. The G7 used to be the G8 before Russia got bounced out over its actions in Crimea.
  • Kerry will also visit the memorial to victims of the 1945 atomic bombing, a first for an active U.S. secretary of state.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in India and Bhutan: Prince William and Kate will tour the two countries starting Sunday. The week-long trip includes a visit to the Taj Palace Hotel, where the royal couple will lay a wreath for the victims of the 2008 attacks.

Earnings season: Reports in the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and Barron’s all warn that Monday is likely to kick off a wave of negative earnings reports, showing that the first quarter of 2016 logged the biggest decline in corporate profits since 2009. A fourth-straight quarter of negative growth has also not been seen since the last financial crisis.

  • Metals manufacturer Alcoa is the first to report, and analysts are forecasting a $0.25 per share drop from the same period last year. U.S. major banks and Delta Air Lines fill out the week’s reports.

Flint water crisis: Hundreds of Flint, Mich., residents filed a lawsuit against Gov. Rick Snyder and other officials accusing them of hatching a plan to reduce the city’s debt by preventing it from buying treated water from Detroit. We’re watching for Snyder to respond.

Argentina debt battle: The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments Wednesday on lifting injunctions that will allow Argentina to make good on a pact to pay off $4.65 billion it owes to a group of U.S. hedge funds — money that’s due the following day, Thursday.

  • The decision could trigger an end to a dispute that stretches back to 2001 — when the Argentine government defaulted on more than $80 billion debt — by allowing the country to regain access to international bond markets and execute a planned $12.5 billion global bond offering.
  • A lifting of the restrictions and extension on the payment date would allow President Mauricio Macri to accomplish one of his main priorities since taking office in December 2015.

Kobe’s last game: Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant is set to play his last game on Wednesday at the Staples Center against the Utah Jazz. It’s a bit of a dismal final round for Bryant, 37, who is retiring after 20 seasons and five NBA titles. So far, the Lakers have won merely 16 games.

Russian President Vladimir Putin listens during media forum of the All-Russia People’s Front in St.Petersburg, Russia, Thursday, April 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky, Pool)

Putin’s annual Q&A marathon: “Direct Line with Vladimir Putin,” The Russian president’s yearly question and answer session with the Russian public, will take place on Thursday. Putin is expected to field phone calls, emails, SMS messages and queries from social media in front of a live audience, in what’s always a visually-impressive studio.

  • We’ll be watching to see whether revelations of Putin’s ties to $2 billion in offshore accounts described in the Panama Papers comes up. In Russia, the investigation has been presented by state media as little more than an “information war,” failing to spark the protests that have hit in other nations.
  • Questions posed are also likely to include the weakening of Russia’s economy, its support mission in Syria and perhaps a few cheeky one-liners from babushkas over whether the commander-in-chief is romantically active.
  • In 2013 Putin managed a record 4 hours and 48 minutes but has since slackened the pace. This year we’ll be watching (all of it) to see if he shoots for the five-hour mark.

“Fight for 15” protests: Labor organizers are again demonstrating for higher wages and union rights ahead of U.S. Tax Day, with this year’s global strikes and protests zeroed in on McDonald’s. A representative for the company says its restaurants will remain open.

Ex-NYPD officer sentencing: Peter Liang is expected to be sentenced on Thursday for the fatal shooting of an unarmed man, Akai Gurley, in the stairwell of a New York City housing project. The Brooklyn district attorney’s office has said it will not seek prison time for Liang, who was convicted of second-degree manslaughter.

Clinton-Sanders debate: Just five days before the New York State primary, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will meet in Brooklyn, NY, for a ninth Democratic matchup. Thursday’s showdown was a late addition to the debate schedule, as the campaigns had previously disagreed on details surrounding the date and location.

  • The event is set to be staged at the historic Brooklyn Navy Yard, but there is a push to move it to a recreational center in the troubled Brownsville neighborhood, described by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams as one of the “last areas where gentrification has not settled in.” Sanders grew up in the Midwood section of the borough, while Clinton has adopted Brooklyn Heights as her campaign headquarters.

Amazon Kindle: Chief Executive Jeff Bezos promised in a tweet that the company would reveal details of a new higher-end Kindle e-reader in the week ahead. A source tells the Wall Street Journal it will feature a rechargeable protective case to extend battery life. We’re watching for that and word on other upgrades, as well as pricing and other sale details.

Tax Day: Lastly, for those who like to push deadlines, next Friday is not this year’s deadline for filing income taxes in the U.S. Instead, April 18 is this year’s tax return due date. “Emancipation Day” — a legal holiday in Washington, DC — comes on a Saturday this year, so it’s been moved to the 15th, which means the whole nation gets a three-day extension.


Extended outlook:

April 16: Pope Francis visits Lesbos, Greece
April 18: Oscar Pistorius sentencing for upgraded murder conviction
April 18: U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in challenge to President Obama’s executive actions on immigration
April 19: New York state presidential primary
April 21: New deadline for Volkswagen to reach deal with U.S. on emissions scandal
April 22: U.S., China sign Paris Agreement on climate change in UN ceremony
May 14: Winner of Haitian presidential runoff election scheduled to be sworn-in


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