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Sweetness And Light
12:01 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Watching College Basketball's Slump Into Anonymity

Duke freshman Austin Rivers, seen here in the Blue Devils' loss to Lehigh in the NCAA tournament, is leaving school for the NBA draft. The trend of athletes spending only one year in college has hurt the sport, says Frank Deford.
Streeter Lecka Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 10:31 am

This year's Final Four seems more like Best in Show at the Westminster. Such pedigree: Kentucky, Kansas, Ohio State and Louisville –– four of the very top dogs in the history of the sport. Well, it's a Meryl Streep kind of year, isn't it?

But if the Final Four might delight fans by giving them aristocracy in its teams, unfortunately the whole of college basketball is plagued by anonymity in its players, and external issues that have diminished the popularity of the game.

Good grief. This year, there has been more buzz about Mad Men than about March Madness.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:01 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Supreme Court's Medicaid Decision Could Reach Far Beyond Health Care

The final argument the Supreme Court will hear about the new health care law is whether its Medicaid expansion unfairly forces states to participate.
Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 10:56 am

After Tuesday's judicial fireworks, the Supreme Court wraps up arguments on the new health care law Wednesday by focusing on two questions. The first involves what would happen if the "individual mandate" — the core of the law that requires most people to have health insurance — is struck down. Would the rest of the law fall, too, or could some provisions stay?

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Shots - Health Blog
12:01 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Court Looks At Whether Mandate Can Separate From Rest Of Health Law

If the Supreme Court rules that the health insurance mandate is unconstitutional, does that invalidate the rest of the law?
Adam Cole NPR

In its second-to-last argument over the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ponders a what-if.

Specifically, if the justices decide that Congress exceeded its constitutional authority in enacting the part of the law that requires most Americans to either have health insurance starting in 2014 or pay a penalty, does that invalidate the rest of the law? And if not, how much, if any, of the rest of the law should it strike down?

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The Two-Way
7:26 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Mine Agency To Congress: Don't Blame Us For Deadly Disaster

As we reported last week, an independent panel reviewing the Mine Safety and Health Administration's (MSHA) role in the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine disaster found that the agency "possibly could have prevented" the explosion that took 29 lives.

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The Two-Way
7:10 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Pope Arrives In Havana, Where He's Expected To Meet Raúl Castro

Pope Benedictus XVI arrives at Jose Marti airport in Havana on Tuesday.
Marcelino Vazquez AFP/Getty Images

Pope Benedict XVI landed in Havana today and he's expected meet Cuban President Raúl Castro.

The pontiff's visit has put Cuba's dictatorship in the spotlight, because during his speeches the Pope has been taking subtle shots at the regime. The Los Angeles Times reports:

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The Salt
6:09 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Activists Say Americans Support Labeling Genetically Modified Food

People march demanding labels for genetically modified food near the White House in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 16, 2011.
Ren Haijun Xinhua /Landov

Activists who want genetically modified food to be labeled in the U.S. say there's more support than ever for their cause. As evidence, a coalition calling itself Just Label It released the results today of a survey it commissioned from The Mellman Group, a national pollster. The survey found that 91 percent of voters favor the labeling of food with genetically modified ingredients.

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The Two-Way
6:00 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

British Student Jailed For Racist Tweets About Collapsed Soccer Player

Bolton Wanderers' Fabrice Muamba is obscured by medical staff trying to resuscitate him after collapsing. His teammate Ryo Miyaichi, right, and Tottenham Hotspur's Jermain Defoe, center top, watch.
Matt Dunham AP

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 9:09 am

A British student has been sentenced to 56 days in jail for posting racist tweets about a soccer player who collapsed on the pitch.

Liam Stacey pleaded guilty to "incitement to racial hatred," after he let loose a barrage of tweets that contained the n-word and crude sexual references. It all started earlier this month, when Fabrice Muamba, a soccer player, collapsed on the pitch and Stacey tweeted that he was dead, followed by "#Haha."

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It's All Politics
5:59 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Ex-Clinton Solicitor General, Colorado AG React To SCOTUS Arguments

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 7:12 pm

It was a question that seemed to be one of the most difficult for the current solicitor general, Donald Verrilli Jr., to answer persuasively, at least to the obvious satisfaction of the conservative justices: If the individual mandate for the purchase of health insurance was found constitutional, what would limit Congress from passing other laws requiring people to buy products from broccoli to cellphones?

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The Two-Way
5:30 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

After 'Hunger Games,' U.S. Archer Shoots For Olympic Games

Archer Khatuna Lorig, seen here during the London Archery Classic last October, helped actress Jennifer Lawrence prepare for her role as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games.
Dean Mouhtaropoulos Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 10:31 am

This summer, U.S. archer Khatuna Lorig hopes to return to the Olympic Games. But she's already helped put archery into The Hunger Games this spring — by training the film's star, Jennifer Lawrence, to shoot.

In the kill-or-be-killed competition in the film drawn from Suzanne Collins' book, Lawrence's character, Katniss Everdeen, relies on her ability with a bow. And Lorig worked with the actress to ensure she had proper form.

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It's All Politics
5:26 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Buddy Roemer: All Americans In November Could Have A Third Choice

Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, shown here last summer in Bedford, N.H., is now seeking the presidential nomination of two third parties.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 7:58 pm

Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, a onetime Republican candidate for president now seeking the nomination of both the Reform Party and Americans Elect, said he could be a problem in November for Barack Obama and the eventual GOP nominee.

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