OBAMA AGENDA: Attack in Kenya
Breaking overnight: At least 15 are dead after a terror attack by Al-Shabab gunmen at a university in Kenya.
The latest on the Iran nuke negotiations, from NBC’s Andrea Mitchell: "United States, Iran and European Union leaders working on a deal to limit Iran's nuclear program took a several-hour pause to sleep early Thursday after a marathon session that lasted through the night. Two days beyond the longstanding deadline to reach a deal, the all-night talks were focused on whether the U.S. and EU would agree to ease banking, oil and financial sanctions, apart from United Nations sanctions, officials said. The discussions ended around 6:05 a.m. local time (midnight ET)."
CONGRESS: Menendez after indictment: “I’m not going anywhere”
All the latest on Bob Menendez, from our NBC team: "Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez angrily responded to his indictment on federal corruption charges Wednesday, telling a cheering crowd he is "outraged" by the charges and declaring, "I am not going anywhere."
Star-Ledger op-ed on Menendez: "Resign and spare us the drama"
Yahoo's Michael Isikoff has details on one of Dr. Salomon Melgen's girlfriends, for whom feds allege Menendez intervened to arrange a U.S. visa.
Adam Nagourney reports from Las Vegas that Harry Reid is focused on helping his successor.
In Israel, John Boehner told POLITICO: "The world is on fire." More, on Iran: "What bothers me is it looks like the administration is so hungry for a deal just to have a deal so they can say they have a deal,” Boehner said. “The rest of the world wants something real out of this."
Steve Scalise talked to The Hill about his speech to a white supremacist group, saying that he was "frustrated" by media coverage that he called unfair.
OFF TO THE RACES: The latest 2016 polling
A new Washington Post/ABC poll finds Jeb Bush leading among Republicans and Ted Cruz surging.
From the New York Times: "State laws seen as discriminatory against gay couples have laid bare and intensified longtime divisions in the party between social conservatives opposed to gay rights and the pro-business wing of the party that sees economic peril in the fight."
Early state watch: Democrats in South Carolina are trying to pass a bill to bar discrimination based on sexual orientation.
BUSH: The New York Times reports: "Jeb Bush appeared to modify his public comments about Indiana’s “religious freedom” law on Wednesday in a closed-door Silicon Valley fund-raiser, telling a small group of potential supporters that a “consensus-oriented” approach would have been better at the outset."
The founder of a new Bush-aligned fundraising group says he might disclose his donors, reports the Washington Post.
CHRISTIE: Christie said on Wednesday night that Mike Pence will "fix the problem and move on" from the religious freedom controversy.
CLINTON: Writes Reuters: "Warren’s backers are already fanning out in the early-voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire to push Clinton to shift toward economic populism and away from the pro-business policies of her husband, former President Bill Clinton. Activists told Reuters they plan to show up at town halls and rallies to publicly call on Clinton to adopt policies such as breaking up big banks and expanding the Social Security retirement program."
POLITICO reports that a slew of Ready for Hillary staff are joining up with her campaign.
CRUZ: Here's Cruz doubling down in Iowa: "The Fortune 500 is running shamelessly to endorse the radical gay marriage agenda over religious liberty"
The Wall Street Journal reports that Ted Cruz has raised about $4 million since announcing his candidacy.
George Will writes that Ted Cruz's Barry Goldwater-esque theory of mobilizing the most conservative voters gets it wrong.
PATAKI: He's preparing to announce his NH steering committee for his PAC - and opening up office space.
O'MALLEY: He and Jim Webb will address South Carolina Democrats at the end of April, per CNN’s Peter Hamby.
Also around the country…
ILLINOIS: Equality Illinois praised Sen. Mark Kirk for opposing Indiana's religious-freedom law: “I strongly oppose what Governor Pence did. We should not enshrine bigotry under the cover of religion. It’s not just bad practice – it’s un-American," Kirk said.
Per a release: "Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois, the state's oldest and largest advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Illinoisans, said Kirk's strong statement set a standard that should be followed by all Illinois statewide officials. 'Sen. Mark Kirk has done the right thing in calling out Indiana's hateful law, and we applaud him for it,' Cherkasov said. 'True leadership is not standing silent in the face of laws that encourage blatant discrimination, and Illinois deserves to have all our public officials speak out against Indiana's law that targets lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people under the cover of religious freedoms.'"
*** Thursday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Tamron Hall speaks with State. Rep. Ed DeLaney (D-Indiana) and Vice President of Marketing & Communications for Visit Indy Chris Gahl about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in Indiana, and former Army Ranger & Former CIA counterterrorism analyst Kevin Strouse about the terror attack at Garissa University College in Kenya.
*** Thursday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell is monitoring late breaking developments on the Iran nuclear negotiations in Switzerland and will interview Fmr. Ambassador Christopher Hill, UC Irvine Professor James Famigletti shares the latest research on California’s historic drought, NTV reporter Dennis Okari reports from the University hostage situation in Kenya, plus the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza and Karen Tumulty and NBC’s Kristen Welker, Kelly Cobiella, Kelly O’Donnell, Pete Williams and Miguel Almaguer.