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John Boehner has been out of the spotlight since he was ousted as the Republican Speaker of the House last year. One of his most memorable appearances since then came via a photo he tweeted of mo​wing his new lawn in Florida. But the former Ohio congressman is back – with a vengeance. In an interview at Stanford University, he told people what he thinks about Ted Cruz, the Texas senator who is backed by the same Tea party members who dethroned him. Read more

Are we headed for a Trump vs. Clinton general election race?
The latest round of the US presidential election has seen big victories for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. So is it now all-but-certain that we are looking at a Trump-Clinton contest in November? The FT’s digital comment editor Sebastian Payne puts the question to Gideon Rachman and Washington bureau chief Demetri Sevastopulo​.

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Less than 24 hours after he was trounced by Donald Trump in the Acela primaries, Texas senator Ted Cruz made the unorthodox move of naming Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett Packard boss, as his running mate – something that in most elections only happens when the presumptive nominee, which Cruz certainly is not, arrives at the convention.

Speaking in Indiana which votes next week, Cruz gave a few reasons for the move, including the need to “give the American people a clear choice”. It came across as a desperate effort to change the narrative after he lost his mathematical path to reaching 1,237 delegates – the number needed to win the nomination on the first ballot at the convention on Tuesday. Read more

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The race for the White House has moved to the northeast with five states – Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Delaware – served by the so-called “high-speed” Acela train voting on Tuesday. In the Republican race, Donald Trump is hoping to build on the momentum from his big win in New York last week as he tries to reach the 1,237 delegates needed to avoid a contested convention.

To help understand the convoluted battle for delegates, we have compiled an explainer on contested conventions. If you’re confused, believe me you belong to a big club, including Trump who has been slower than Ted Cruz in learning the ropes. Trump recently brought in Paul Manafort, a veteran Republican operative, to help him win the shadow battle for delegates, but there are signs that the billionaire is unhappy with Manafort’s efforts to make him sound and appear more presidential. Read more

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Some pacts last forever. Others can barely make it through 24 hours.

While Ted Cruz and John Kasich valiantly announced late on Sunday night that they had formed an alliance to stop Donald Trump in Indiana, Oregon and New Mexico, there are already signs that this new partnership may not be working out as planned. Read more

By Gideon Rachman

When supporters of the Vote Leave campaign sketch out a future for Britain outside the EU, they often point to the Anglosphere of English-speaking nations — bequeathed by Britain’s imperial past. So Barack Obama’s intervention in Britain’s EU referendum last week was a potentially devastating moment for the Brexit campaign. Here was the president of the US — the most powerful member of the Anglosphere — arguing forcefully for Britain to stay inside the EU.

Bernie Sanders brought his “Feel the Bern” revolution to Gettysburg where Abraham Lincoln delivered one of the most famous speeches in US history. Playing tag-team with Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a rising star in the Democratic party, he recited part of Lincoln’s 1863 Gettysburg Address: “This nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.” Watch his speech for yourself.

Sanders frequently talks about the need to reform the criminal justice system. In Gettysburg, he lambasted a system that allows private companies to run prisons. He also reminded the packed room about the infamous “kids for cash” scandal in the state that involved a businessman who ran prisons bribing a judge to send more business – jailed kids – in his direction. Read more

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Fresh off the New York primary, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are engaging in a war of words… over restrooms.

On Thursday morning Trump was asked on the “Today” show about a recent bill signed by North Carolina’s governor which restricts transgender people to using public bathrooms that correspond to the sex on their birth certificate. Read more

Russia’s new nationalism
What are the origins of Eurasianism in Russia and how has it come to occupy a central place in Kremlin thinking today? Charles Clover, FT China correspondent and former Moscow bureau chief discusses his new book, Black Wind, White Snow: The Rise of Russia’s New Nationalism with Gideon Rachman.

The European Central Bank has kept rates and policy on hold in April after delivering a raft of cuts last month.

The key focus of president Mario Draghi’s press conference – which begins at 13.30 London time – will be the fraught relationship between the central bank and the eurozone’s largest economy. Germany politicians have been lining up to criticise the ECB’s easing policy, which have hurt German savers and smaller German banks that rely on interest income.

Key developments

  • Headline deposit rate held at -0.40%
  • More information on the corporate bond buying process will be released after the press conference
  • Statement from the council says that the focus is “is now on the implementation of the additional non-standard measures”
  • ECB has started to expand monthly purchases under the asset purchase programme to €80bn
  • The ECB will buy bonds from all non-banks with above an unspecified credit rating, including maturities up to 30 years.

By Emily Cadman and Chris Giles

 

Albania: A role model for Britain?

For several weeks, the “Leave” campaign seemed to be having the better of Britain’s debate on whether to stay in the EU. But the last few days have been much better for Remain. The arrival of President Obama on Thursday – who is expected to endorse British membership of the EU – will boost the pro-Europeans. The UK Treasury has just released a heavyweight report on the negative economic consequences of Brexit, which the Leave side has had difficulty refuting.

But, perhaps most important development of all has been a dangerous gaffe by Michael Gove, the pro-Brexit Justice Secretary – who, in a speech on Tuesday, appeared to suggest that Albania would be a suitable model for post-Brexit Britain. Read more

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The biggest political news of the day comes not from the campaign trail but from the US Treasury. After fierce debate in Washington, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has announced that Alexander Hamilton’s face will remain on the $10 bill, appeasing fans of the award-winning Broadway hip-hop musical Hamilton, while the abolitionist Harriet Tubman will grace the face of the $20. Read more

Campaign posters in Vienna for Freedom party presidential candidate, Norbert Hofer

Slowly but surely, the political tides are turning in favour of Austria’s rightwing populist Freedom party. Thanks to the impact of Europe’s refugee and migrant crisis, and thanks to declining public confidence in the two mainstream parties that have dominated Austrian politics since the second world war, the Freedom party is top of the opinion polls, consistently attracting more than 30 per cent of public support.

Now the Freedom party, unashamedly playing its anti-immigrant, anti-Islam cards, wants to upset the apple cart in Austria’s presidential election, to be held on Sunday. The top two candidates will go through to a second round on May 22. According to the latest polls, these will be Alexander Van der Bellen of the Greens and either Irmgard Griss, an independent, or Norbert Hofer of the Freedom party. Read more

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As the race for the White House candidates reaches a critical stage in the state of New York, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton held onto their frontrunner status for their respective parties. This blog curates the results and reaction, with despatches from our DC bureau chief Demetri Sevastopulo at the Trump party held – where else – at Trump Tower, while the Clinton party took place five blocks away at the Sheraton in Times Square. 

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Umpteen New York pizza slices, hot dogs and “Victory” ice cream sundaes later, the five remaining presidential candidates are bidding adieu to the Big Apple. And some are more anxious to leave town than others.

While polls don’t close in New York until 9pm today, three of the candidates — Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz and John Kasich – had all fled town by midday, a telltale sign for how they expect tonight to play out. Read more

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Donald Trump is hoping for a big victory in the Republican primary in New York tomorrow to erase the painful memories of the past few weeks, which have included losses to Ted Cruz in Utah and Wisconsin. The Texan has also vacuumed up, and locked in, delegates in states in ways that will help him if the GOP presidential battle ends up in a contested convention. Read more

By Gideon Rachman

The way the press treats political leaders marks a crucial dividing line between free and authoritarian countries. In an authoritarian state, presidents and prime ministers demand and receive reverential treatment. In democratic countries, political leaders know that they will be subject to satire — and vicious and sometimes unfair criticism.

After a rough and tumble debate with Hillary Clinton on Thursday night in Brooklyn, Bernie Sanders flew overnight to Rome for a conference on inequality where he was scheduled to meet Pope Francis. Unfortunately for Sanders, whose trip cost him two days of valuable campaigning time in New York: the pontiff had to cancel the meeting to travel to Greece.

Instead of a photo-op with one of the strongest voices for tackling inequality, Sanders ended up sitting beside Evo Morales, the leftist president of Bolivia, whose appearance in the same shot probably does not help Sanders an awful lot with American voters. Read more

Written by Samantha Pearson

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff has not had a particularly easy life. As a Marxist guerrilla, she was captured, tortured and spent three years in jail. She’s gone through two divorces and was struck down by lymphoma in 2009. As president, she’s received death threats and was regularly humiliated during the World Cup when thousands of fans swore at her in unison in front of the world’s media. But even by Rousseff’s standards, this has been a week from hell. Read more

Donald Trump has had a tough few weeks. He was hammered in Utah and Wisconsin and failed to win any delegates in Colorado which has a complicated multi-tiered electoral process that the tycoon says shows that the system is “rigged” against outsiders like him. But he is heading into the New York primary on Tuesday with a commanding lead of more than 30 points over John Kasich and roughly 35 points over his main rival, Ted Cruz. Trump also learned today that Florida prosecutors have decided not to prosecute his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who had beencharged with “battery” for allegedly manhandling a female reporter at a rally.

Cruz appeared with his wife Heidi, a Goldman Sachs banker, and their two young daughters at a CNN town-hall debate last night. The presence of the children helped humanise Cruz who is sometimes compared to a vampire and has almost no friends in Washington. This is just one of the jokes about Cruz in the US capitol: “Why do people take an instant dislike to Ted Cruz? Because it saves time!” Read more