March 16, 2016 Last Updated 7:11 am

Super Tuesday II narrows the field; Supreme Court nomination to be announced at 11am ET

Morning Brief: Apple opens up Apple News Format to all publishing partners; malware hit major publishing websites through ad networks this weekend including the NYT and BBC

The front runners in the race for the Democratic and Republic primaries took major steps forward in their efforts to secure their nominations. Hillary Clinton looks to have won all five states that voted yesterday (Missouri is still in doubt, but she leads with few votes left to count), and Donald Trump won four of the five races, losing only Ohio to its sitting governor John Kasich (Missouri is also in doubt, with Trump leading Sen Ted Cruz by 1,726 votes, with 99 percent reporting). Yesterday’s voting narrowed the field of candidates still in the race on the Republican side as Sen. Marco Rubio suspended his campaign after failing to win his home state of Florida.

But the nomination race is not over just yet. While Clinton looks assured to win, having not only the most pledged delegates won, but also a huge allotment of so-called “super delegates” in her pocket. Donald Trump, on the other hand, will still need to win future primary races by a wide margin to continue accruing delegates. That means we will likely see Clinton start to pivot towards the general election while Trump must still target his Republican rivals still in the race – Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. John Kasich.

If Trump and Clinton are the eventual nominees, this will set up an interesting situation as both candidates have negative favorability ratings, setting up an environment where each candidate will be free to attack the other’s character… and get away with it.

This fall may witness the ugliest race in memory.

Meanwhile, the sitting President plans to announce a Supreme Court nominee today at 11am ET.

supremecourt-380“As president, it is both my constitutional duty to nominate a justice and one of the most important decisions that I — or any president — will make,” President Obama said in a statement.

“I’ve devoted a considerable amount of time and deliberation to this decision. I’ve consulted with legal experts and people across the political spectrum, both inside and outside government. And we’ve reached out to every member of the Senate, who each have a responsibility to do their job and take this nomination just as seriously.”

President Obama listed three qualifications he feels necessary in the next SC Justice: 1) “an independent mind, unimpeachable credentials, and an unquestionable mastery of law”; 2) ‘recognize the limits of the judiciary’s role”; and 3) “a keen understanding that justice is not about abstract legal theory, nor some footnote in a dusty casebook.”

The New York Times speculates that the three finalists were federal appellate judges Sri Srinivasan, Merrick B. Garland and Paul Watford, meaning Gov. Chris Christie didn’t make the cut.

(By the way, the NYT is bragging that they received the notice in an email, but they might have looked on the White House website, it was posted there.)

Apple yesterday sent notices to publishing partners already accepted to publish to the company’s Apple News app that the Apple News Format has finally, and we really mean finally, been opened up to other publishers other than the small group of publishers let in at launch.

apple  news appThe move will be much appreciated by the publishers (TNM is an Apple News publisher), but is likely far too late to help the app. The roll out has proven a disappointment with publishers complaining of low readership and a lack of reader data available.

This is not how a product roll out should occur, with the most enthusiastic partners left on the sidelines while the usual suspects – in this case media brands such as The New York Times, WIRED and a few others – get the benefit of working directly with Apple.

The problem with Apple News is that for most publishing partners, they have had to rely on their RSS feeds to populate their channels, making the app simply an RSS reader – a poor alternative to Flipboard.

Opening up Apple News, though late in the game, might help the situation. But first publishing partners need to get through Apple’s approval process, and so far that is proving slow. TNM has already submitted articles for Apple News but none have been approved for publication (leading to the question, why does Apple need to approve the content from existing publishing partners?).

Should TNM hear from Apple today a new post on Apple News will appear explaining the procedure for publishing to the app, as well as the experience with Apple.

MalwareBytes claims that this weekend a number of high profile media websites were the victims network ads with malware.

“(O)ut of the blue on the weekend we witnessed a huge spike in malicious activity emanating out of two suspicious domains. Not only were there a lot of events, but they also included some very high profile publishers, which is something we haven’t seen in a while,” the company said.

The sites included,,, and others.

Ad networks involved include Google, AppNexus, AOL and Rubicon.

The malware uses vulnerabilities in such add-on programs such as Microsoft’s Silverlight, with the attack installing ransomeware which forces the computer owner to pay the hacker via bitcoin in order to regain access to their computer data.

Comments are closed.