National News

Final Call For Questions On Health Insurance As Deadline Looms

There's just one week left for most people to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act. And as people race to meet the deadline, they still have questions about the law, and the sign-up process.

"Is there a deadline to enroll in a health plan?" asks Josephine Ilog of Manteca, Calif. "And what happens if a person misses that deadline?"

Newly elected GOP Congressman David Jolly of Florida, right, poses for a ceremonial swearing-in with Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, on March 13. Jolly edged out Democrat Alex Sink in a special election that Republicans cast as a referendum on President Obama and his unpopular health care law.

Democrats Count On The Fine Art Of Field Operations

Democrats have had great success in recent presidential elections registering, targeting and turning out their core voters. Now they're hoping to use that sophisticated field operation to to stave off defeat in this year's midterm elections.

They'll need all the help they can get because the Democratic hold on the Senate is looking increasingly shaky. The president is unpopular. So is Obamacare, and the number of vulnerable Democratic Senate seats is growing by the day. Several independent handicappers have recently moved several more Democratic seats into the "toss up" category.

A cold, snowy winter in most of the country hurt economic growth, but forecasters see conditions improving for the rest of the year.

After Winter's Chill, Economists Predict A Warming Trend

Somewhere under all of that melting snow, there's a warming economy.

"Adverse weather conditions" have hurt economic growth so far this year, but things are headed in the right direction now, according to a forecast released Monday by the National Association for Business Economics.

"Conditions in a variety of areas — including labor, consumer and housing markets — are expected to improve over the next two years, while inflation remains tame," Jack Kleinhenz, NABE president and chief economist for the National Retail Federation, said in a statement.

Inmates in a recreation yard at the Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy, Calif. California is trying to address court-ordered reductions in overcrowding with a plan to shift thousands of those convicted of "non-serious" crimes to county jails.

Freeing Up California's Prisons: A Massive Undertaking

It's been said you can judge the quality of a civilization by the way it treats its prisoners. If that's true, California in 2011 was in poor condition, at least according to the Supreme Court.

Fun fact: The vines that vanilla beans grow on also produce orchids.

When Vanilla Was Brown And How We Came To See It As White

Say you know someone, maybe a friend of a friend, who's perfectly pleasant but just sort of lacks any sort of oomph. You don't want to be mean (because, you, unkind? Never), but if you had to describe that person in a really, really honest way, how would you do it?

Call the FOF boring? Bland? Dull?

Vanilla?

Pay to (watch them) play: Dodgers fans in and around Los Angeles can only see their team on TV if they have Time Warner cable service.

In LA, Watching Home Team's Ball Games Just Got More Complicated

On Saturday, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers kicked off the baseball season with two games in Sydney, Australia. Fans in most of the country watched the games on the official Major League Baseball Network. But in Los Angeles, home of the Dodgers, fans could only watch on a brand new all-Dodgers channel.

Alaa Abdel Fattah (center), a prominent activist and a leading figure in the 2011 uprising against Egyptian autocrat Hosni Mubarak, is welcomed by his wife after he was released from the main central security office in Cairo on Sunday.

Egyptian Court Orders Prominent Activist Freed On Bail

At a Cairo criminal court, a judge ordered the release of prominent left-wing activist Alaa Abdel Fattah on bail. Abdel Fattah, described by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience, has spent almost four months in prison.

Chasson Randle of Stanford celebrates defeating the Kansas Jayhawks during the third round of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

Two More Upsets: Stanford Takes Kansas; Kentucky Fells Wichita St.

The NCAA Tournament has produced another stunning upset: This afternoon, the Kansas Jayhawks joined Villanova as the second No. 2 seed to fall in the round of 32.

Kansas lost to Stanford 60-57 on Sunday.

SB Nation reports:

Guinea Says 59 People Have Died In Ebola Outbreak

The West African country of Guinea said on Sunday that 59 people have died during an outbreak of Ebola.

The AP reports this is the first time an outbreak of the virus has been detected among humans in the country.

Adolfo Suarez, president of the Spanish government from 1977 to 1981. This picture was taken in Madrid in 1976.

Adolfo Suárez, President Who Ushered In Spain's Democracy, Dies

Adolfo Suárez, the Spanish president responsible for the country's Democratic transition, died on Sunday.

Suárez, the BBC reports, had suffered from Alzheimer's for about a decade.

He was 81.

In its coverage, El País calls Suárez the "most solitary politician of the democracy."

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