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With the Senate Judiciary Committee set to open hearings on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, the game of confirmation cat and mouse is about to begin. Senators will try to get a fix on Gorsuch's legal views — and the nominee will try to say as little as possible.

Supreme Court scholars and practitioners on the right and left may disagree about whether they want to see Gorsuch confirmed, but in general there is little doubt about the nominee's conservatism. Indeed, his conservative pedigree is the reason he was picked.

The president and CEO of USA Gymnastics has resigned, months after an investigative report by The Indianapolis Star alleged that the organization ignored reports of sexual abuse by adults working in the sport, including coaches and a prominent doctor.

Forget basketball.

March Mammal Madness may be more thrill-packed than the NCAA's version of March Madness.

Sure, basketball players can jump. But can they jump like the giant pouched rat, which leaps 5 feet in the air? Not only that, the mega-rodent, weighing in at around 3 pounds, can sniff out land mines and identify TB in sputum samples.

Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET Friday

President Trump's second attempt at a "travel ban" was supposed to go into effect Thursday. Instead, the central components of the executive order have been blocked by judges on opposite sides of the country.

In both cases, the judges relied heavily on public statements from Trump and his advisers to conclude that the order — despite being "facially" neutral on religion — was designed to target Muslims.

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There are some places where the two communities involved in President Trump's executive order on refugees and immigrants, as well as the one securing the U.S.-Mexico border, overlap.

One of these areas is Southern California. Immigrants in Los Angeles are relying on mosques, community groups and their own families to navigate the complicated new immigration climate.

Nearly five years ago, the nation's leading group of obstetricians and gynecologists issued a policy statement saying the time had come for oral contraception to be available without a prescription.

We wrote about it and everything.

This frog really lights up a room.

The South American polka dot tree frog initially appears unremarkable. But researchers in Argentina recently got a huge surprise when they shone an ultraviolet light on it, revealing that the creature is actually fluorescent and glows bright blue-green.

Ask any veteran lawyer about her worst fear, and you'll hear this: the client who digs a hole for himself — and then keeps on digging.

The challenge of defending a difficult client is once again in the news this week as the Justice Department has struggled to convince federal judges that President Trump's executive order, imposing limits on travelers from six majority Muslim countries, is not, in fact, a ban on Muslims.

In the new film “The Belko Experiment,” brutal mayhem ensues when workers at Belko Industries are told that they must kill or be killed. The film is a change of pace for screenwriter and producer James Gunn (@JamesGunn), who’s best known for the hit 2014 film “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

What Is The Alternative Minimum Tax?

Mar 16, 2017

The release of two pages of President Trump’s 2005 tax return this week has drawn attention to what’s known as the alternative minimum tax.

Trump reported $153 million in income that year, and paid a tax rate of around 25 percent. But if it weren’t for the alternative minimum tax, he would have paid closer to 4 percent in taxes. NPR’s Marilyn Geewax (@geewaxnpr) explains what the alternative minimum tax is with Here & Now‘s Robin Young.

President Trump’s revised travel ban has been dealt another setback Thursday — from a federal court in Maryland. This after a federal judge in Hawaii ordered Wednesday night that the travel ban targeting six majority-Muslim countries be put on hold, just hours before it was to take effect.

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One morning in early March, I got into my car and drove to see the Mount Carmel Jewish Cemetery in Northeast Philadelphia. The graveyard is 20 minutes from my house. It's filled with the remains of Jewish Philadelphians, the majority of them from the 19th century.

Updated at 4:02 p.m. ET

If there was any doubt over President Trump's views on climate change, those doubts evaporated with the unveiling of his proposed federal budget on Thursday.

The budget would end programs to lower domestic greenhouse gas emissions, slash diplomatic efforts to slow climate change and cut scientific missions to study the climate.

This morning President Trump released a proposed 2018 budget that calls for a $9 billion, or 13.5 percent, cut for the U.S. Department of Education.

Updated: 12:04 p.m. ET March 16, 2017

Top supporters of the neighborhood schools bill say it won't receive a vote during this year's legislative session, which ends on March 30. The issue is expected to be discussed during legislative committee hearings in Louisville over the summer.

A couple of months ago, Shan'Taya Cowan got into Harvard.

"I just froze," she remembers. The first word she read was, "Congratulations." "And I didn't know what to do because, it was never really an option for me."

Biomedical research and public health are among the big losers in the Trump administration's proposed budget.

The proposal promises:

  • A "major reorganization" in the National Institutes of Health, which supports most of the nation's research on diseases and treatments. That includes a cut of $5.8 billion, about 20 percent of NIH's $30 billion budget.

An advisory panel convened by the Food and Drug Administration to evaluate the health risks of the powerful opioid painkiller Opana ER says that the danger it poses as a drug of abuse outweighs its benefits as a prescription painkiller.

The time-release opioid was reformulated in 2012 to make it harder to crush. The goal was to reduce abuse by snorting it. But users quickly figured out that the new formulation could be dissolved and injected.

An executive assistant suffered minor burns after opening a letter that exploded at the International Monetary Fund's office in Paris on Thursday, according to multiple local news reports citing police statements. The device doesn't seem to have been very powerful — but French officials say it was an act of terrorism.

President Trump has released a budget blueprint outlining increased military spending and cuts across other agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department. Congress will still have to draft a formal budget, but the plan released Thursday by the White House indicates the president's priorities. Read the full document below.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte's center-right party is celebrating a resounding win over populist Geert Wilders' Party for Freedom, in a result that's being welcomed by centrists and progressives in France and Germany, which will also hold national elections this year.

"I warmly congratulate @markrutte for his clear victory against extremism," French President Francois Hollande tweeted Thursday.

"Millions of poor, disadvantaged students are trapped in failing schools."

So said President Trump at the White House recently. It's a familiar lament across the political spectrum, so much so that you could almost give it its own acronym : PKTIFS (Poor Kids Trapped In Failing Schools).

Where there's no consensus, however, is on the proper remedy for PKTIFS.

Someone Made A Coconut Cannon (Really)

Mar 16, 2017

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Next we have news of the way that warming oceans are affecting coral reefs. It's not good news.

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Warmer waters stress the coral, sapping it of color and sometimes killing it.

The Oxford Comma Goes To Court

Mar 16, 2017

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The former sheriff of Los Angeles County has been convicted for his role in a scheme to block an FBI investigation into mistreatment of inmates in his jails.

For 15 years, Lee Baca led the nation's largest sheriff's department. He was among the most powerful law enforcement leaders in the country.

Part of Baca's job was to oversee the jails, where there were allegations of deputies beating inmates, including those in handcuffs.

In recent years, Spain has had a devastating economic crash, an influx of migrants and corruption scandals that left people fed up with politicians. All these factors might make Spain fertile ground for the sort of right-wing, anti-immigrant political parties gaining ground in other parts of Europe. But unlike much of the continent, Spain has no such far-right movement.

Why?

Dr. Amin Rabiei knew he wanted to work in medicine from an early age. When he was growing up in Iran, he watched his dad experience seizures and his mom struggle to help. Rabiei went on to medical school in Iran, then practiced at a rural clinic there, all the while working toward an important career point that culminates Friday: getting matched to a medical residency training program in the United States.

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