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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 20, 2014 | By Jason Song and Larry Gordon
Students at UC Irvine say they are excited about having President Obama speak at their commencement this year after the news was announced Thursday. “I feel it to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Alex Liao, an international studies major who is scheduled to graduate. The president will deliver the address at Irvine's 50th anniversary ceremony in June. Liao had been worried there would be only one large ceremony that would deprive students of the chance to walk across the stage and receive their diplomas, but having Obama and smaller ceremonies was the “optimal solution,” he said.
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SPORTS
March 19, 2014 | By Houston Mitchell
Think he will enter the Billion-Dollar Bracket Challenge? President Barack Obama has chosen Michigan State to win the NCAA men's basketball championship over Louisville. The president filled out his bracket during a segment aired on ESPN on Wednesday. Joining Michigan State and Louisville in his Final Four are Florida and Arizona. PLAY ALONG: Build your own NCAA bracket Obama has filled out a bracket and made it public every year since he took office. He has chosen the correct winner only once, when he picked North Carolina in 2009.
SPORTS
March 19, 2014 | By Nathan Fenno
One part of President Obama's NCAA tournament bracket didn't please George Washington men's basketball Coach Mike Lonergan. The president picked Lonergan's team, seeded ninth and making its first NCAA appearance since 2007, to lose to eighth-seed Memphis on Friday in Raleigh, N.C. "You picked Memphis over your neighbors in Foggy Bottom? Come on man!"  Lonergan tweeted at the president Wednesday night. INTERACTIVE: Times' NCAA tournament bracket George Washington's campus sits a half-mile from the White House.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 18, 2014 | By Booth Moore
L'Wren Scott, a towering 6-foot, 4-inch fashion figure who started modeling in her teens, created her own high-end clothing line and dressed fashion fans including Nicole Kidman and First Lady Michelle Obama, was found dead Monday. Sources differ on her age but police said she was 49. Her body was found in her New York City apartment by an assistant. Though there were widespread reports that she was found hanged, police said no criminal activity was suspected and the coroner's office is investigating.
NATIONAL
March 18, 2014 | By Richard Simon
WASHINGTON - It took decades, congressional legislation and a review of thousands of war records, but two dozen veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam received the Medal of Honor on Tuesday from President Obama at an emotional White House ceremony. "As one family member has said, this is long overdue," Obama told the single largest group of Medal of Honor recipients since 1945. The presentation came after Congress in a 2002 defense bill ordered a review of thousands of war records to determine whether Latino and Jewish veterans were denied the nation's highest military decoration because of discrimination.
WORLD
March 17, 2014 | By Maher Abukhater
RAMALLAH, West Bank - Thousands of Palestinians rallied in West Bank cities on Monday in support of President Mahmoud Abbas, hours before his scheduled meeting at the White House with President Obama. Palestinians carried pictures of the Palestinian leader and banners expressing support for Abbas, who Palestinians fear faces pressure from Obama and other world leaders to accept a framework peace agreement with Israel that falls short of their aspirations for independence. "We are here, Mr. President, to tell you that we are behind you in your efforts to find a solution to our just case that would end the [Israeli]
WORLD
March 17, 2014 | By Kathleen Hennessey and Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON -- President Obama warned Monday that the penalties on Russia could be expanded if President Vladimir Putin's government does not back down from its military takeover of Crimea as the White House announced travel and financial sanctions on 11 senior Russian and Ukrainian officials. "Further provocations will do nothing except to further isolate Russia and diminish its place in the world," Obama said in a statement at the White House. "We can calibrate our response on whether Russia chooses to escalate or deescalate the situation.
OPINION
March 16, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Last week President Obama ordered the Department of Labor to revise regulations determining which workers qualify for federal overtime protections, a move that was presented as a way to increase income for some lower-wage workers. It's not. In reality, it's a matter of basic fairness. The issue begins with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which established the national minimum wage for most workers and guaranteed overtime pay for more than 40 hours of work a week. But the law also allowed overtime exemptions to be set by the Labor Department.
OPINION
March 15, 2014 | By Erwin Chemerinsky
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg should retire from the Supreme Court after the completion of the current term in June. She turned 81 on Saturday and by all accounts she is healthy and physically and mentally able to continue. But only by resigning this summer can she ensure that a Democratic president will be able to choose a successor who shares her views and values. A great deal turns on who picks Ginsburg's successor. There are, for example, four likely votes to overturn Roe vs. Wade on the current court: Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel A. Alito Jr. If a Republican president selects Ginsburg's replacement, that justice easily could be the fifth vote needed to allow the government to prohibit all abortions.
NATIONAL
March 15, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON - Intense opposition from the National Rifle Assn. has all but doomed prospects for President Obama's nominee for surgeon general, officials said Saturday as pro-gun Senate Democrats peeled away from the White House on a volatile issue in an election year. Facing a potential high-profile setback for the president, the White House is not pushing for a vote to confirm Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy, a Harvard- and Yale-educated internist and former emergency room doctor who has advocated for stricter gun control laws, the officials said.
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