For much of last year, Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder fended off accusations that his team's name was an offensive racial slur, insisting he would never change it to something more benign. But with outrage over the name continuing unabated — NPR's ombudsman last week advised the organization to no longer use the word — Snyder knew he had to do something to defuse the whole situation.
His solution: He's founding a charity to benefit Native Americans, called the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation. In a letter announcing the foundation, Snyder reaffirmed his belief that the racial slur "captures the best of who we are and who we can be." And he said he'd spent four months visiting 26 reservations around the country, where residents told him —surprise! — they thought the team's moniker was just fine.
"In speaking face-to-face with Native American leaders and community members, it's plain to see they need action, not words," he wrote.
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) was David Letterman's guest on Wednesday night's Late Show, and Letterman asked about the kerfuffle over the "religious freedom" law in his home state, Indiana. Franken and Letterman both agree that gays and lesbians, because they are people, should not be discriminated against, and that Gov. Mike Pence (R) erred in signing the law. Then Letterman got down to brass tacks.
"Here's what I want to know," Letterman started. "I love Indiana, and I'll probably be buried in Indiana, and I know I've embarrassed the state many, many times.... What can I do now to make the governor feel uncomfortable." Franken had a brainstorm: "As a matter of fact, there's an open seat there," with Sen. Dan Coats (R) not seeking re-election in 2016. "I think you should run," he said. Letterman, who will be jobless next year, shakes his head no, but Franken has a point: Candidates with 35-40 years of professional comedy under the belt have fared pretty well in politics. —Peter Weber
Cynthia Lennon, the first wife of John Lennon and mother of their son, Julian, died of cancer on Wednesday at her home in Mallorca, Spain, at age 75. Cynthia Powell and John Lennon met in art school in Liverpool, and married in 1962 after she became pregnant but before the Beatles recorded their first single, "Love Me Do."
It was not a very happy marriage, according to her two memoirs and several interviews, and it ended after John started a relationship with his future second wife, Yoko Ono. After their divorce in 1968, Cynthia Lennon remarried three times, and her last husband died in 2013. She is survived only by Julian Lennon, who posted this video after her death. —Peter Weber
If new Late Late Show host James Corden wasn't familiar with America's April Fools Day tradition before Wednesday's show, he was afterward. Katie Couric is the guest, and anything else would kind of ruin the punchline. Watch below. —Peter Weber
Any publicity is good publicity, right?
According to the Daily Mail, Barbara Walters, who created ABC's The View in 1997, believes that bringing on a controversial figure as co-host would boost the show's floundering ratings.
Walters sold the rights to The View to ABC last year. In an interview with David Letterman in 2014, Walters said that she didn't think that being on the show was what Lewinsky wanted at the time, but added, "I think it'd be great if she were on The View, but I wouldn't expect it tomorrow."
The "network source" quoted by the Mail said that Walters thinks Monica would attract a younger demographic interested in her story and what she has to say, though her presence would likely bar an appearance by Bill or Hillary Clinton.
Lewinsky has reportedly been asked to appear on the show as a guest to discuss her anti-bullying campaign, but a network executive said there are no plans to bring her on as a co-host.
Thirteen U.S. senators have signed a letter to the head of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) in a bipartisan effort to allow for a vote on moving the 2018 World Cup to a different location.
Fox News reports that Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) are leading the charge to find a new host country for the competition. The senators cite "Russian aggression" and point to the fact that nearly half of the 2014 World Cup participants have joined international sanctions against Russia as reasons to consider "[denying] the Putin regime the privilege of hosting the 2018 World Cup."
When workers from Russia's Rosneft oil company set out on a land reclamation project, they had no idea they would stumble on an important discovery. The workers unearthed the tusks of a female woolly mammoth during the project, near the city of Nyagan in western Siberia.
— Siberian Times (@siberian_times) March 30, 2015
Rosneft called the Khanty-Mansiysk Museum of Nature and Man to assess the find, and museum paleontologists confirmed the remains are at least 10,000 years old. They believe the mammoth was 30-40 years old when it died.
The museum will clean the tusk and bones, and experts will use radiocarbon dating to determine the remains' exact age. The experts also hope to determine whether the mammoth was part of the European or North American subspecies.
A federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) on corruption charges over his alleged use of his office to secure business deals for a friend in exchange for gifts.
The product of a years-long investigation, the 14-count indictment alleges Menendez received free trips on a private plane and that he improperly lobbied on behalf of a top donor, Dr. Salomon Melgen. The ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Menendez has said he did nothing wrong.
It is the first indictment of a sitting senator since prosecutors charged the late Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska in 2008.