RSS
10 things you need to know today: March 27, 2012
Trayvon Martin's parents go to Washington, Democrats release an alternative budget, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
The parents of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teenager shot by a neighborhood watchman in Florida, protest with thousands of people in New York City.
The parents of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teenager shot by a neighborhood watchman in Florida, protest with thousands of people in New York City.
CC BY: david_shankbone

1. MARTIN PARENTS HEAD TO CAPITOL HILL
The parents of slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin are expected to attend a Judiciary Committee hearing on hate crimes and racial profiling on Tuesday. A protest at the White House demanding that federal authorities file charges in the case is planned ahead of the hearing. On Monday, details emerged about the account of the incident that neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman, who says he shot Martin in self-defense, gave police. Zimmerman told officers that Martin hit him and slammed his head against the sidewalk. [NPR]
………………………………………………………………………………

2. HEALTH CARE FACES BIG DAY IN COURT
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments questioning whether it is constitutional for Congress to require Americans to get health insurance or pay a penalty as part of President Obama's health care law. The constitutionality of the individual mandate is the main question in the high court's three-day review of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Two hours of arguments on the issue, twice the normal amount, are scheduled. [Washington Post]
………………………………………………………………………………

3. U.S. SUPPORT FOR AFGHAN WAR DOWN
According to a new a poll, American support for the war in Afghanistan has fallen sharply following a series of violent incidents in the country. The poll found that 69 percent of those surveyed believed the U.S. should not be be engaged in the decade-old war, up from 53 percent just four months ago. Both Republicans and Democrats were shown to be feeling increasingly pessimistic about the war. [New York Times]
………………………………………………………………………………

4. DEMS RELEASE COMPETING BUDGET
House Democrats have released their alternative to the budget proposal unveiled last week by Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). The Dems' plan, authored by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), aims to reduce the deficit without making big cuts to entitlement programs by raising taxes on the wealthy. However, it appears it would not lead to a balanced budget anytime soon. Under Ryan's plan, the budget would be balanced by 2040. [Washington Post]
………………………………………………………………………………

5. NORTH KOREA DEFIANT, PLANNING MISSILE LAUNCH
On Tuesday, Pyongyang said it would move forward with plans to launch a long-range missile next month, despite President Obama's recent warning. North Korea "will not give up the satellite launch for peaceful purposes, which is a legitimate right of a sovereign state and requirement essential for economic development," according to the country's official Korean Central News Agency. [CNN]
………………………………………………………………………………

6. AL JAZEERA GETS FRENCH SHOOTING VIDEO
Al Jazeera's Paris bureau says it has received edited video footage of the shootings in southwest France allegedly carried out by Mohammed Merah. The video is said to contain images of the seven people murdered set to religious music and readings from the Koran. At the request of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the victims' families, the television network has said it will not broadcast the footage. [Associated Press]
………………………………………………………………………………

7. WORLD STOCKS HIT A HIGH
World stocks are on the rise after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke indicated Monday that he would continue to stimulate the economy with loose monetary policy. The S&P 500 hit a four-year high on Monday, while world stocks hit a 2012 high in Tuesday trading. [Reuters]
………………………………………………………………………………

8. SANTORUM SAYS HE WOULD BE ROMNEY'S VP
Despite his harsh attacks against his rival for the Republican presidential nomination, Rick Santorum said in an interview Monday that he wouldn't rule out being Mitt Romney's running mate. "I'll do whatever is necessary to help our country," Santorum said. [Christian Broadcast Network]
………………………………………………………………………………

9. DSK UNDER PROSTITUTION RING INVESTIGATION
Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was officially warned Monday that he is being investigated for "aggravated pimping" for his alleged involvement with a French prostitution ring and released on 100,000-euro bail. In France's legal system, DSK is at a point short of being arrested and formally charged, but he is not allowed to speak to the media about the case. [CNN]
………………………………………………………………………………

10. WEIGHT-LOSS SURGERY MAY CURE DIABETES
Two studies released Monday show that stomach-reducing surgeries are far more effective than medication alone in treating Type 2 diabetes. Some participants in the study were able to stop taking insulin just after their surgeries. "It is a major advance," says a diabetes expert who is not affiliated with the research. [Associated Press]

EDITORS' PICKS

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week