Sajid Javid, the Business Secretary, said that the government would like a buyer to save Port Talbot steelworks. ‘We’re going to also have to offer support to eventually clinch that buyer and to give this steel plant a long-term viable future,’ he said. Andrew Tyrie, the chairman of the Commons Treasury Select Committee, said that he expected to learn by the end of this month the proportion that remained active of the 655,000 National Insurance numbers granted to people from the EU in the year up to September 2015. An online survey by Opinium for the Observer on the forthcoming EU referendum put the ‘leave’ side at 43 per cent and ‘remain’ at 39 per cent. An ORB poll for the Telegraph found 51 per cent of voters supporting ‘remain’, an increase of four percentage points in a month, and ‘leave’ support down by five points at 44 per cent. Queues built up at vets before the deadline of 6 April to microchip dogs or face a fine of £500.
Junior doctors called a strike over two days. Junead Khan, 25, a delivery driver from Luton, a supporter of the Islamic State, was convicted of plotting to kill an American airman outside a base in East Anglia. A power failure in overhead lines disrupted travel for thousands travelling by rail to and from Birmingham. Ronnie Corbett, the comedian, died, aged 85. Dame Zaha Hadid, the architect, died, aged 65. Sarah Young, 40, was buried at sea after losing her life when she was washed overboard in the Pacific during the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.
Two teenagers were arrested after a boy of 17 was stabbed to death in New Cross, south-east London. Two girls, aged 13 and 14 at the time, were convicted of the hideous murder of a 39-year-old woman in her home in Hartlepool in 2014. Two members of the pop group the Tremeloes, aged 70 and 72, pleaded not guilty to indecently assaulting a girl of 15 in Chester following a gig in 1968. The nation was divided about the wisdom of Helen Titchener in The Archers stabbing her husband, Rob.
A friend of Vladimir Putin, and Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson, the prime minister of Iceland, were among those who came in for heavy criticism after more than 11 million files were taken from a Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca, and passed to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, and thence to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Mr Gunnlaugsson resigned after a tenth of the population turned out to demonstrate against his having apparently hidden his investments in an offshore company. Sergei Roldugin, a close friend of Mr Putin, was said to have connections with an offshore firm in the British Virgin Islands. The father of David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, Ian Cameron, who died in 2010, was mentioned in the papers as the director of an offshore company, as had been reported in 2012. Downing Street issued a statement: ‘The Prime Minister, his wife and their children do not benefit from any offshore funds.’
Greece rounded up 202 migrants, 130 of them Pakistanis, and shipped them back to an uncertain fate in Turkey. On the same day 220 migrants reached the Greek islands. The Vatican hoped to arrange a visit to Lesbos soon by Pope Francis in the company of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Orthodox leader. Azerbaijan agreed a ceasefire after four days of fighting ethnic Armenian forces who have controlled the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh since the 1990s. Dublin tram-drivers went on strike for more pay. Australia’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest, sung by Dami Im, was judged not to have breached rules on product placement by including the words ‘trying to feel your love through face time’.
Vojislav Šešelj, the former deputy prime minister of Serbia, was acquitted at the international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia of all nine charges against him of committing atrocities. South Africa’s highest court ruled that President Jacob Zuma had breached the constitution by failing to repay public money used to upgrade his private residence. The problems of President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil multiplied as the PMDB, the biggest party in her governing coalition, withdrew its support. Ted Cruz beat Donald Trump in the Wisconsin primary for the Republican presidential candidate. The annual rate of growth in Spain, which has been without a government since December, rose to 2.8 per cent. The China National Tourism Administration said it had built 14,320 public lavatories last year. CSH