Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 7:13 am
Jamphel Yeshi has died. The 27-year-old Tibetan exile, who on on Monday set himself on fire in New Delhi, was the latest in a small but growing number of Tibetans who in the past year have burned themselves in protest of China's rule over their country.
On the third and final day of Supreme Court arguments over the constitutionality of the health care overhaul law enacted in 2010, the focus turns to whether the law could survive if the justices decide to strike its most controversial component — the so-called mandate that "requires most Americans to either have health insurance starting in 2014 or pay a penalty," NPR's Julie Rovner reports.
The nation's capital is focused on the Supreme Court this week, and that includes members of Congress. Wednesday is the third day justices will hear arguments considering the constitutionality of President Obama's health care overhaul.
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It's the third and final day for the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the Obama health care overhaul. The justices hear arguments today on what parts could remain in effect if the court rules the individual mandate of the health care law is unconstitutional. After yesterday's arguments, that seemed more likely than most experts had expected.
Backed by the federal government, doctors in Michigan are trying to expand the use of a controversial form of organ donation that raises disturbing ethical concerns, including questions about whether the donors are really dead. Defining dead turns out to be pretty complicated. There are two ways to declare someone dead.
Now, if the health care law survives constitutional scrutiny, the Republicans who are running for president have vowed to repeal the law if elected. One GOP candidate now appears less likely to have that opportunity. Newt Gingrich is short on victories and low on cash, and he is dramatically shrinking his campaign for president.
Pope Benedict stuck to mostly spiritual themes on a visit to communist Cuba's most sacred shrine. This morning, the pontiff leads a mass in Havana's Plaza of the Revolution. As Nick Miroff reports from Havana, so far even Benedict's gentle push for greater religious and political freedoms for Cubans has been rejected by the government.
Florida state investigators are continuing to look into the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. His family has been part of a widespread campaign calling for the arrest of the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed the 17-year-old high school student. Yesterday, the parents of Trayvon Martin were up on Capitol Hill attending a forum on hate crimes and racial profiling. NPR's Sonari Glinton reports from the Capitol.
Comedian Bill Maher's $1 million check to the superPAC supporting President Obama's re-election is the first seven-figure donation to the group since Obama tacitly endorsed the fundraising strategy in early February.
And it has brought new focus to some of Maher's statements about women — specifically Republican women — and led to calls for the White House to disavow the HBO host and his money.
And our last word in business today is lost and found.
For nearly 60 years, the whereabouts of a painting by Paul Cezanne remained a mystery. Some art experts feared his 19th century painting was lost forever. The watercolor is a study for a famous series of oil paintings Cezanne called "The Card Players."
Kenya strikes oil - that was the headline in Nairobi's Daily Nation newspaper this week. It's the first time such a discovery has been made in the East African nation. Kenya's energy minister quickly held a press conference with oil company executives. Holding up a glass bottle of crude oil, he pledged to make sure that oil is a blessing for the people and not a curse.
And we're joined now by the BBC's Will Ross in Nairobi to talk about this discovery. Well, good morning.
Folklorist Alan Lomax spent his career documenting folk music traditions from around the world. Now thousands of the songs and interviews he recorded are available for free online, many for the first time. It's part of what Lomax envisioned for the collection — long before the age of the Internet.
A protester blocks an Atlanta street during a rally protesting Georgia's new immigration law in June 2011. Now, the state's lawmakers are considering a bill that would also ban students here illegally from attending all public colleges.
Credit Erik S. Lesser / EPA/Landov
In February, protesters in Atlanta showed their opposition to a state bill that would ban students here illegally from attending Georgia's public higher education institutions.
Last year, several states passed strict laws aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration. Those laws are now being challenged in federal court, and next month the Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on Arizona's immigration law — but that hasn't stopped some Southern states from moving forward with more restrictions.
Texas and the federal government are going at each other again, this time over Planned Parenthood.
The Texas Legislature cut off all Medicaid money to Planned Parenthood because of its involvement in abortions; in response, the federal government has suspended funding for the state's reproductive health program.
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?
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.
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.
Japan is home to Asia's oldest and largest motion-picture industry, with its own unique genres and traditions. While every film industry has stuntmen, only Japan has a class of actors whose main job is to be sliced and diced by samurai sword-wielding protagonists. But the decline of period dramas means that this class of actors is literally a dying breed.
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?
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.
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."