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CEO Daily: Wednesday, March 23

The terror attacks in Belgium continue to overshadow most other news this morning. Belgian police identified two suspected Islamic State bombers captured on security cameras before they struck Brussels Airport on Tuesday. The death toll rose to at least 31, with 200 more wounded. Police have arrested another man in Brussels this morning. His identity is still unclear.

 

Meanwhile, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton won primaries in Arizona yesterday. But Ted Cruz won in Utah and Bernie Sanders took Utah and Idaho, ensuring both challengers would continue their campaigns.

 

The terror attacks, though centered in Europe, have caused the candidates to toughen their already tough talk about policies to fight terror in the U.S. Trump renewed his call for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. and for legalized torture to extract information from Islamic State operatives. Cruz upped him by calling on the U.S. to “empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.”

 

In case you missed it, Fortune yesterday published an analysis of the candidates’ social media followings that shows how deeply entwined the Trump campaign has become, intentionally or unintentionally, with white supremacists in the U.S. You can, and should, read it here.

 

Business news below.

 

Alan Murray
@alansmurray
alan.murray@fortune.com

Top News

Bush to endorse Cruz

Five weeks after dropping his bid for the White House, Jeb Bush is expected to throw his support behind his one-time opponent Senator Ted Cruz, who’s seen as the only candidate capable of catching frontrunner Donald Trump. This move, reported by Politico, likely isn’t a surprise to many as Bush famously tussled with Trump many times throughout the campaign. Bush will reportedly say Cruz can articulate “how conservative policies will help people rise up and reach their full potential.” The endorsement could be too late as Trump continued to extend his delegate on Tuesday over Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich. Fortune

Nike reports broad sales gains

Nike on Tuesday reported an 8% jump in revenue for the latest quarter, as demand for the company’s gear grew across all regions and on balanced growth for branded apparel and footwear. Shares slipped in the after-hours session as the growth wasn’t as high as expected – the second time in a row its sales missed Wall Street targets. But Nike executives remained undeterred about the future, especially with the Summer Olympics coming later this year. In the years those event occur, Nike often unveils a lot more new innovative products, helping generate interest (and higher sales) for the brand. Fortune

Credit Suisse is cutting more jobs

Credit Suisse Group announced $821 million in additional cost cuts and plans to shrink its investment bank further as it spurs a restructuring plan aimed at revitalizing its earnings. The cuts include eliminating 2,000 jobs at its Global Markets business to better weather challenging market conditions, Switzerland’s second-largest bank said. The bank, like its global peers, is grappling with record low interest rates, low commodity prices and slower growth in emerging markets such as China. And at Credit Suisse, Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam is five months into implementing his new strategy, though some observers view his targets as too ambitious. Reuters

Puerto Rico fights for Chapter 9

The debt-laden island went toe-to-toe with its creditors on Tuesday at the Supreme Court, arguing that it had been wrongly locked out of the bankruptcy courts, the only place where Puerto Rico could be expected to restructure its crushing debt. Puerto Rico is struggling with $72 billion in debt and has been saying for more than a year that it needs to restructure at least some of it. But the island cannot do so, because Chapter 9 specifically excludes it. As all this is sorted out, there are big payments due in May and June and it isn’t clear if Puerto Rico will have the money to make them, likely resulting in creditor lawsuits. The New York Times (subscription required)

Around the Water Cooler

McDonald’s, Pizza Hut rethink India strategies

India’s appetite for fast food has hit a wall at McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, KFC and other established global brands, deflating optimism that untapped demand in the 1.2 billion-person market would offset slumping consumption in the West and China. Part of the problem? Competition of course, as Starbucks, Burger King, Wendy’s and many others enter the market with new outlets. Sales growth is slowing for the food-service industry in India, making market share increasingly important. As a result, fast-food first movers into the market are trying to reinvent themselves. The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Why the Gawker verdict will be overturned

While a Florida court’s decision to hand down a $115 million judgment against Gawker Media in a privacy suit looks like a win for former wrestling star Hulk Hogan, there is good reason to believe the decision should be – and likely will be – overturned. Hogan sued Gawker for publishing a 90 second clip in 2012 from a video recorded in 2006 of the wrestler having sex with a wife of a friend. His legal team argued that publishing the clip was an invasion of privacy. But past court cases suggest history is on Gawker’s side, as a contest brews between Hogan’s right to privacy and Gawker’s First Amendment right to publish newsworthy content. Fortune

Google expands Android Pay

Google is bringing its mobile payments service, Android Pay, to the U.K. The tech giant said Wednesday that it would expand its mobile payment service to the U.K., joining two other existing markets, the U.S. and Australia. Android Pay, which debuted in September, lets shoppers pay at store checkout counters by waving their Android smartphones in front of a wireless reader. In December, Google said the service would arrive overseas for the first time in Australia in early 2016. Importantly, the move to go to the U.K. is a major step forward for Google in its battle with rival Apple Pay, which has a big head start with availability in more international markets including China. Fortune

Lincoln Navigator’s concept wows the crowd

When Ford’s Lincoln full-size SUV took the stage at a preview event ahead of the New York Auto Show, gasps were heard when the vehicle’s side doors opened up with so-called gullwing doors, which open upward like seabirds’ wings – a feature of Tesla’s new Model X crossover. The doors are a way to show how features could work their way into the next Navigator, though executives admit they are too impractical for most consumers. But concerts are seen as a great way to explore ideas, and the cool doors will let those that attend the auto show see the interior better. The production version of the Navigator that goes on sale in 2017 will look a lot like the concept version, a Lincoln brand executive said. USA Today