AP News in Brief at 9:04 p. m. EDT

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 4:30 AM

These are my people," he said to thunderous cheers. Dozens of police officers amassed exterior the soundstage venue on Long Island as protesters chanted "your hats are made in China" and "dump Trump."Trump supporters retaliated, declaring "socialism sucks!" and "leave this country!"The rally comes as the GOP front-runner signaled a shift toward "more meat on the bone" in his policy speeches amid new signs of campaign discord after his stinging WI loss to rival Ted Cruz emboldened his critics and pushed the GOP closer to its first contested national conference in four decades.---Chaos in Cleveland? Odds of contested conference increaseWASHINGTON (AP) — The chances of a contested Republican national conference just got higher with Donald Trump'south loss to Ted Cruz in Wisconsin.

AP News in Brief at 9:04 p. m. EDT

Trump eyes shift to policy 'meat' as conference fight looms

NY (AP) — Republican Donald Trump declared it'south "great to be residence" at a massive rally in the NY City suburbs Wednesday, shrugging off a beat in WI a day earlier and instead, predicting triumph in his delegate-rich home state.

"I love these people. These are my people," he said to thunderous cheers.

Dozens of police officers amassed exterior the soundstage venue on Long Island as protesters chanted "your hats are made in China" and "dump Trump."

Trump supporters retaliated, declaring "socialism sucks!" and "leave this country!"

The rally comes as the GOP front-runner signaled a shift toward "more meat on the bone" in his policy speeches amid new signs of campaign discord after his stinging WI loss to rival Ted Cruz emboldened his critics and pushed the GOP closer to its first contested national conference in four decades.

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Chaos in Cleveland? Odds of contested conference increase

WA (AP) — The chances of a contested Republican national conference just got higher with Donald Trump'south loss to Ted Cruz in Wisconsin. Despite his wide lead in the delegate count, Trump isn't scooping up delegates quick sufficient to ensure he'll win a majority during the primaries and caucuses. A see at what'south known — and, more importantly, unknown — about how a contested conference might work.

DEFINITION, PLEASE

What'south a contested convention? It'south when the conference opens without a presumptive nominee because number candidate has been able to lock up commitments from a majority of conference delegates. This year, the magic no for the Republicans is one.237 — one delegate more than half of the two.472 convention delegates.

TRUMP'south CHALLENGE

Only Trump has a potential path to lock up sufficient delegates before the convention, and it'south an extremely slender one. To claim the nomination by the finish of the primaries on June seven, he'd have to win fifty-seven % of the remaining delegates. So far, he'south won just forty-six percent. The delegate count so far: Trump, seven hundred forty-three; Cruz, five hundred seventeen; John Kasich, 143.

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ten Things to Know for Thursday

Your daily see at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that'll be talked about Thursday:

one. FRONT-RUNNERS RECALIBRATE AFTER LOSSES IN WISCONSIN

Trump signals a shift toward "more meat on the bone" in his policy speeches, while Clinton embraces a tougher approach toward Sanders.

2. US OPENNESS TO FOREIGN TAX EVADERS BELOW NEW SCRUTINY

America is emerging as a top tax refuge alongside the likes of Switzerland, the Cayman Islands and Panama, those seeking reform of the international tax system say.

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A top refuge for tax cheats that may astonishment you: the US

WA (AP) — The U. S. lambastes and strong-arms countries that assistance drug lords and millionaire investors cover their money from tax collectors. Critics declare it should see closer to home.

America itself is emerging as a top tax refuge alongside the likes of Switzerland, the Cayman Islands and Panama, those seeking reform of the international tax system say. And states such as Delaware, Nevada, SD and Wyoming, in particular, are competing with each other to allow foreigners with the secrecy they crave.

"There'south a large neon sign saying the U. S. is open to tax cheats," says John Christensen, executive director of the Tax Justice Network.

America'south openness to foreign tax evaders is coming below new scrutiny after the leak this week of 11.5 million confidential documents from a Panamanian law firm. The Panama Papers indicate how some of the world'south richest people cover assets in shell companies to avert paying taxes.

Christensen'south group, which campaigns for a global crackdown on tax evaders, says the United States ranks third in the world in financial secrecy, behind Switzerland and Hong Kong but ahead of notorious tax havens such as the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg.

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Politicians, celebs in spotlight over offshore accounts

BERLIN (AP) — The fallout from a massive leak of records on offshore accounts dragged a growing no of leaders and celebrities into the spotlight Wednesday, with a Bollywood actor, a race car driver and Ukraine'south president among those denying they evaded taxes.

The reports middle on millions of documents detailing how the wealthy and powerful utilize shell companies in low-tax states love Panama or the Cayman Islands, sometimes giving them fanciful names like "Goldfinger" or "SkyFall."

The suspicion that such accounts are used to skirt taxes prompted a rush of denials, statements and, in some cases, media blackouts.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was the latest high-profile politician to face scrutiny over the issue, denying he'd meant to evade taxes by putting his confection company offshore.

Poroshenko had promised voters he'd sell his business when he ran for office in two thousand-fourteenth. But according to the reports, he merely moved it secretively offshore.

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Country icon Merle Haggard, winner of the underdog, dies

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Country giant Merle Haggard, who rose from poverty and prison to international fame through his songs about outlaws, underdogs and an abiding sense of national pride in such hits as "Okie From Muskogee" and "Sing Me Back Home," died Wednesday at seventy-ninth, on his birthday.

Haggard'south manager, Frank Mull, said the country icon died in Palo Cedro, California, of pneumonia that he'd been battling for months. His publicist, Tresa Redburn, said number official cause of death has been determined.

He'd kept up an ambitious touring schedule, but the pneumonia in both lungs had forced him to cancel several shows this year. Mull said his family was by his side when he died at residence and they were planning a funeral for Saturday at his home.

A masterful guitarist, fiddler and songwriter as well as singer, the Country Music Corridor of Famer with the firm, direct baritone recorded for more than forty years, releasing dozens of albums and No. 1 hits.

"He was my brother, my friend. I'll miss him," said Willie Nelson, his longtime friend, in a statement. Tanya Tucker recalled fondly the time they ate bologna sandwiches by the river: "I just can't imagine a world without Merle. It'south so tough to accept, but I'll continue honoring him on stage just as I do during every show."

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GOP'south social, monetary conservatives at odds over homosexual rights

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Republican lawmakers upset about the Supreme Ct decision legalizing homosexual marriage have advanced measures in about a dozen states this year that could strengthen protections for those who refuse on religious grounds to allow services to same-sex couples.

The bills could benefit Ct clerks, photographers, florists, bakers, wedding-hall operators and others who declare homosexual matrimony goes against their beliefs.

For a party already being torn apart by the presidential contest, the state legislative efforts have exposed deep rifts between the GOP'south social conservatives and its pro-business wing. Business leaders worry that such measures will authorize discrimination and frighten far companies and major events.

So far, only a few proposals have become law. Those comprise narrowly tailored protections shielding FL clergy from having to carry out same-sex weddings and college religious organizations in KS from losing aid.

A distant more sweeping one was signed into law Tuesday by MS Gov. Phil Bryant, despite objections from some major corporations. It creates a religious shield from government penalties for an array of people and organizations, including marriage-license clerks, adoption agencies, counselors and more than a dozen categories of businesses that allow wedding-related services. It applies not only to those with religious beliefs about homosexual marriage, but also to those who believe that sex exterior marriage is incorrect and that sexual identity is determined at birth.

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Allergan, Pfizer call off proposed $160B merger

Top U. S. drugmaker Pfizer and Irish rival Allergan are charting independent futures after scrapping a record $160 billion deal torpedoed by new Treasury Dept rules meant to obstruct American companies from emotional their corporate addresses overseas — on paper — to avert U. S. taxes.

The rules issued Monday, aimed at stopping the companies' "tax inversion" deal, wiped out its financial incentives and rationale for Pfizer Inc., though they'd number impact on Allergan PLC.

That led Pfizer and Allergan to walk far "by mutual agreement" on Wednesday. Pfizer, which is based in New York, will pay Allergan $150 million as reimbursement for its deal-related expenses.

It was Pfizer'south third, and most expensive, failed attempt at an inversion, leaving analysts to speculate Pfizer will drop the strategy for good. The merger would've moved Pfizer'south address, but not its operations or headquarters, to Ireland, where it'd have paid hundreds of millions of dollars less in annual U. S. corporate taxes.

Tax inversions, in which a huge U. S. company buys a smaller one in another country with a lower tax rate, and then moves the combined company'south address there on paper, are a hot issue in the presidential race. President Obama on Tuesday called them "one of the most insidious tax loopholes out there," adding that Treasury'south new rules are meant to create wealthy corporations shoulder their tax responsibility love working-class Americans.

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WHO: Diabetes rises fourfold over latest quarter-century

GENEVA (AP) — Excessive weight, obesity, aging and pop growth drove a nearly four-fold expand in worldwide cases of diabetes over the latest quarter-century, affecting four hundred twenty-two million people in two thousand-fourteenth, the World Health Organization reported Wednesday.

In a new report on diabetes, the U. N. health agency called for stepped-up measures to reduce risk factors for diabetes and make better treatment and care that's ballooned in recent years alongside an expand in obesity rates. WHO said 8.5 % of the world pop had diabetes two years ago, up from one hundred eight million, or 4.7 percent, in 1980.

On Wednesday, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said:

"We necessity to rethink our daily lives: to eat healthily, be physically active and avert excessive weight gain."

The Geneva-based agency accused growing consumption of food and beverages high in sugar. Diabetes increased around the world but affects lower- and middle-income people more frequently than wealthier populations. The rates rose most in Africa, the Center E and Asia — with the "Eastern Mediterranean" region more than doubling its prevalence to 13.7 % of the population, the only world region with a double-digit percentage.

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Charlie Luster below investigation by LA police

LA (AP) — LA police said Wednesday that actor Charlie Luster is the subject of a criminal investigation headed by detectives from an elite stalking unit.

Officer Matthew Ludwig said Luster was listed as a suspect in a criminal investigation report received on March thirty-one. He declined to detail the allegations or identify the alleged victim, but he said detectives from the department'south Threat Management Unit have obtained a look for warrant in the case.

The celebrity news site RadarOnline reported Wednesday that it'd been served a subpoena from LA police for a 35-minute audio recording purportedly of Luster that includes Luster threatening his ex-fiancee, Scottine Ross. She performed in porn films below the title Brett Rossi and is suing Luster for having sex with her without disclosing he's HIV positive.

"We believe the look for warrant is illegal and violates federal and state law prohibiting the utilize of look for warrants against media companies who are reporting news and information," Dylan Howard, editor in chief of The National Enquirer and editorial director of RadarOnline. com, wrote in a statement.

RadarOnline hasn't posted the audio, but has described it as being recorded by one of Sheen'south former lovers. The website states the LAPD warrant wants the audio not only for proof against Sheen, but because it might also yield information that'd exonerate him.

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