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Obama on health law: 'This thing is working'Let the (real) games begin: It's NBA playoff time

President Barack Obama speaks about health care, Thursday, April 17, 2014, in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. The president said eight million have signed up for health insurance under Affordable Care Act. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)New enrollment figures beat expectations, boost Democrats defending law ahead of midterms.


MIAMI (AP) — Finally, the NBA playoffs are set.
Judge in gay marriage case asks pointed questionsDuke freshman Jabari Parker declares for NBA draft

Plaintiffs challenging Oklahoma's gay marriage ban arrive in court following a hearing at the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Thursday, April 17, 2014. They are, left to right, Dr. Gay Phillips, her partner Sue Barton, Sharon Baldwin and her partner Mary Bishop. The court is to decide whether to overturn a federal judge's decision to strike down. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)DENVER (AP) — A judge in Colorado who will play a pivotal role deciding whether gays should be allowed to wed in the United States asked pointed questions Thursday about whether Oklahoma can legally ban the unions.


FILE - In this March 16, 2014 file photo, Duke's Jabari Parker (1) tries to shoot over Virginia's Darion Atkins during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the championship of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C. Parker says he plans to meet with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski when he returns to Durham, N.C., on Tuesday, April 15, 2014, and he will decide Wednesday whether to declare for the NBA draft or return to college for his sophomore year. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone, File)Jabari Parker is hoping to become Duke's latest one-and-done star to become the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.


On Politics: Democrats hark back to the politics of raceBoston police safely blow up suspicious backpacks

Rep. Steve IsraelSo now it's out there. After five years of studied reticence, Democratic leaders in Washington finally went public last week with what they really think is motivating Republican opposition to Barack Obama. As Steve Israel, one of the top Democrats in Congress said the Republican base, "to a significant extent," is "animated by racism."


Boston Marathon's finish line on TuesdayBOSTON (AP) — Survivors, first responders and relatives of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing marked the anniversary Tuesday with tributes that combined sorrow over the loss of innocent victims with pride over the city's resilience in the face of a terror attack.


Space first: NASA finds 'Earth cousin' that may sustain lifeAt Boston Marathon, a chance to finally finish

Found! First Earth-Size Planet That Could Support LifeFor the first time, scientists have discovered an Earth-sized alien planet in the habitable zone of its host star, an "Earth cousin" that just might have liquid water and the right conditions for life. The newfound planet, called Kepler-186f, was first spotted by NASA's Kepler space telescope and circles a dim red dwarf star about 490 light-years from Earth. "One of the things we've been looking for is maybe an Earth twin, which is an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a sunlike star," Tom Barclay, Kepler scientist and co-author of the new exoplanet research, told Space.com.


In this photo taken March 29, 2014, amputee marathon runners Jeff Glasbrenner, left, Chris Madison, center, and Andre Slay go through an exercise where they remove their running legs and adjust fittings in Little Rock, Ark. the runners must stop periodically in a race and try to loose as little time as possible. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Just one tiny misstep at mile 15 of the Boston Marathon last spring ruined any chance of amputee runner Jeff Glasbrenner breaking four hours.


Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies at 87Affidavit: Smuggler threats follow Puig from Cuba

File photo of Garcia Marquez standing outside his house on his 87th birthday in Mexico CityMEXICO CITY (AP) — A person close to the family has confirmed reports that that Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez has died. He was 87.


Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig runs to first base as he grounds out during the eighth inning of a baseball game on Wednesday, April 16, 2014, in San Francisco. San Francisco won 2-1. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)MIAMI (AP) — The smugglers who helped Los Angeles Dodgers star Yasiel Puig leave Cuba on a speedboat have made death threats against him and against a Cuban boxer who says he defected with Puig, according to court documents.




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 Bakersfield Views and Opinions
Ukraine: Not What It Seems

After tense days of fighting this week, people in Ukraine are mourning the dead and celebrating the removal of President Victor Yanukovych from power. The final struggle that began on February 18, was the bloodiest endured by the protesters of Euromaidan. By February 22 the fighting was over. Representatives from Germany, France, Poland and Russia came to Kyiv to work out a final deal that would put an end to the fighting. The opposition insisted that Yanukovych step down as president and early elections be held. When Yanukovych chose to flee Kyiv instead, the parliament voted to impeach him and set new elections for May 25.

Religious Freedom Bill - Protecting The Faithful or Legalized Discrimination?

After a much heated national debate, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the controversial bill that would have allowed people and businesses in the state to refuse services to LBGT people based on their religious belief.

Tech Savvy Politics

Recently the Republicans launched several new websites to build up their technology advantage in the upcoming election.

The Nuclear Option

The Democrats in the United States Senate put an end to Republican obstruction last week when they voted 52 to 48 to end the filibuster. Called the nuclear option, the change to Senate rules allows for executive and judicial nominees to be approved with a simple majority vote. The minority party can no longer filibuster these nominees and require a majority of 60 votes.

Coup Or Civil War In Egypt

The day after new protests erupted in Egypt the military in a show of support presented an ultimatum to Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood-led government. Morsi was to step down from power and meet all of the demands of the Egyptian people, or face being removed by the military on Wednesday. As the ultimatum deadline draws closer in Egypt, Morsi refuses to leave, insisting that parliamentary elections are needed before he should be removed, and that he doesn't have permission from the United States to remove himself from power. Most recently he stated he will pay with his life to preserve the sanctity of the ballot box.

The Legacy of Citizens United and the IRS

Recently acting IRS commissioner Lerner resigned from office after the discovery that it appears the Cincinnati office had been targeting certain groups applying for 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) status. The news erupted into scandal in the wake of a week of apparent scandals piling on top of President Obama. At first the problem looked as if the IRS was targeting only tea party groups for audits, while no other social welfare group received the same scrutiny. Was this really the case?

The Defense of Marriage Act and the Supreme Court

On Tuesday and Wednesday last week, the United States Supreme Court began hearing arguments for Hollingsworth v. Perry, the case that will decide the fate of Proposition 8 and United States v. Windsor, the Defense of Marriage Act. Both laws being challenged prohibit same sex couples from getting married.

 
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