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Kelliher gets DFL endorsement

Margaret Anderson Kelliher snatched the endorsement from the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party Saturday in Duluth, Minn.

Kelliher, the current House Speaker, is the first woman to receive an endorsement from a major party in Minnesota, FOX 21 News said.

Kelliher had to woo delegates for endorsements, going against popular and well-known people such as Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, the Star Tribune said.

Kelliher still has a long road ahead as she must face off against other Democratic challenges such as the powerful former U.S. Senator Mark Dayton, the Star Tribune said.

Obama and Republicans fight over financial reform

President Obama and top Republicans sparred over financial reform that is expected to crack down excesses of Wall Street.

Obama used a weekly address to press for reform and calling Republicans "cynical and deceptive", the New York Times said.

The proposed bill pushes changes to avoid a meltdown similar to one in 2008 and the creation of a consumer protection agency, said the New York Times.

"If there is one lesson that we've learned it's that an unfettered market where people are taking huge risks and expecting taxpayers to bail out when things go sour is simply not acceptable," Obama said.

Both sides said they believed common ground could be reached, but no signs have been shown of either side giving ground, Reuters said.

NOTE: This is one of the three articles that could not be posted yesterday.

Justice John Paul Stevens to retire

Justice John Paul Stevens announced Friday that he will retire this summer.

Stevens, a leader of the Supreme Court's liberal bloc, will be President Obama's second Supreme Court appointment, BBC News said.

Steven will be 90 years old on April 20, which makes him the oldest member of the Supreme Court, said the Washington Post.

He was originally appointed by President Gerald Ford, a Republican president, in 1975. However he frequently supported issues considered more liberal including abortion, civil rights, and the relationship between the church and state, said BBC News.

The appointment of a new judge is unlikely to change the ideological balance of the court, the Washington Post said.

Battle over the $50 bill

Republican politicians are split over whether or not to put a new face on the $50 bill, replacing Ulysses S. Grant with Ronald Reagan.

Representative Patrick T. McHenry of North Carolina has drawn up a bill with 17 other co-sponsors that swaps out the post-Civil War-era president with a more modern, conservative president, the New York Times said.

The bill has split Republicans, with especially strong disapproval from Ohio politicians, which is the home state of Grant, and fans of Grant, said the New York Times.

"There wouldn't be a United States without Ulysses S. Grant, you could argue, because of the Civil War and the tremendous military leader he was even before he became president," John Marszalek, executive director of the Ulysses S. Grant Association at Mississippi State University told ABC News.

Despite the criticism, Rep. McHenry remains firm in his conviction. "Every generation needs its own heroes," he said in a statement. "One decade into the 21st century, it's time to honor the last great president of the 20th..."

Obama visits Afghanistan for first time as president

Barack Obama visited Afghanistan for the first time since being sworn into office as President Sunday.

The visit to Afghanistan was a surprise. The president gave a "pep rally" speech to troops and aimed several comments at Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai, the New York Times said.

Obama said the troops were in Afghanistan to, "keep America safe and secure". Of President Karzai, he stressed the need to tackle corruption, BBC News said.

The president promised troops a clear mission and said, "I'm confident all of you here are going to get the job done in Afghanistan," to applause and cheers.

Woman sets man on fire

A woman has been accused of setting a man on fire Wednesday, according to police.

The man had rubbing alcohol on his shirt when the woman, Tanisha Willis, 38, of Robbinsdale, set him on fire with a lighter, the Star Tribune said.

Police responded to a call on the 4000 block of 37th Avenue, where they found the man lying naked on a bed, badly burned, KARE11 said.

The victim was hospitalized for first-, second-, and third-degree burns, said KARE11, and is expected to spend several weeks in the hospital.

Willis says she was "only joking around" when she held the lighter near the man and flicked it, said the Star Tribune.

Willis has been charged with felony second-degree assault, the Star Tribune said.

Students protest over high tuition rates

Students at the University of Minnesota and across the nation protested high tuition rates and cuts to public education Thursday.

The protest, called March 4 Day of Action to Defend Public Education, took place in cities across the country with students, teachers, parents, and the general public joining in, the Associated Press said.

At the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities campus, students marched from Morrill Hall over to Coffman Union, holding up signs and chanting things like, "Chop from the top!", said the Minnesota Daily.

Students expressed worry about rising tuition rates, while teachers and low-paying employees gave speeches about the necessity of cutting pay from administration instead of forcing teachers to take furloughs, the Minnesota Daily said.

"I'm one of the lowest paid employees," said Tanisha Jones-Lindsey, a University office specialist. "[Administrators] can actually afford to take pay cuts."

Nationwide, some of the protests ended violently. At the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, 15 students were arrested after throwing ice chunks at police and attempting to enter an administrative office, the Associated Press said.

Republicans and Democrats spar at summit

Republicans and Democrats clashed at a health care summit called by President Obama Thursday.

The summit was called by Obama to find a compromise on the sticking points between proposals by the two parties and lasted around seven hours, Politico said.

Obama invited 40 congressional members to come to the Blair House, the official state guest house, with hopes to save a health care bill that has been debated since last summer, said BBC News.

The summit was mostly partisan clashing with both sides reiterating their talking points, BBC News said.

Republicans repeatedly proposed scrapping the entire bill and starting over again, Politico said, while Democrats emphasized the need to pass a bill that millions of uninsured Americans are waiting for.

One of the most contentious points came when Obama sparred with Sen. John McCain, who he ran against in the 2008 elections, said Politico.

"We're not campaigning anymore, John," Obama said. "The election is over now."

"I'm reminded of that every day," McCain replied.

Obama to propose insurance price controls

President Obama is set to announce proposals to give the federal government more control of health insurance prices.

A White House official told the press of the coming move Sunday night, suggesting it was a proposal to help win over support for health care overhaul, Politico said.

The proposal would give the federal government the ability to block excessive rate increases to health insurance companies, the New York Times said.

The proposal will come along with the package Obama is set to release that helps bridge the gap between the Senate and House health care bills, said the New York Times. Price controls are not included in either current bill, but the move comes amid populist anger over recent insurance increases in California that have reached up to 39 percent.

A health care summit is being held Thursday and Obama plans to release his proposals early, Politico reported, in an apparent move to put pressure on Republicans to show they have their own solutions to the current problem.

Olympic athlete dies in training accident

An Olympic athlete died early Friday in a training accident on the very day the Opening Ceremonies were scheduled to begin.

Nodar Kumaritashvili, 21, of the Republic of Georgia, was training as a luge athlete Friday when his sled flipped and he flew over the embankment, hitting a concrete wall, the New York Times reported.

Kumaritashvili was on the last turn of the run and traveling around nearly 90 mph when the accident occurred, the New York Times said.

Paramedics were immediately at the scene, said the Pioneer Press, giving him chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but to no avail.

The Pioneer Press reports that Kumaritashvili was pronounced dead at the trauma center in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada.

The New York Times reported that this will likely raise questions into the safety of the $100 million luge track that some are calling the most dangerous track ever.

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