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March 16, 2017
GREGORY SHAMUS-GETTY IMAGES
Time for March Madness

March Madness is here. The annual NCAA men’s basketball tournament kicks off today and runs through April 3, with 64 college teams across the U.S. in the first round of competition. Winners of first-round matchups narrow the field to 32 teams, with winners of second-round matchups advancing to the Sweet Sixteen, followed by the Elite Eight, and the Final Four. The winners of that matchup will then go head-to-head in Phoenix, Arizona, to determine who will advance to the National Championship game. Gonzaga, Kansas, North Carolina, and 2016 championship team Villanova are top teams to watch. Expect exciting matchups in Round 1 games tonight, including Northwestern vs. Vanderbilt. This year is the first time in school history that Northwestern has reached the NCAA tournament. The women’s NCAA tournament starts on Friday, with the final matchup slated for April 2, in Dallas, Texas. Connecticut is the heavy favorite to take home a fifth straight National Championship.

GEORGE LEE—THE STAR-ADVERTISER/AP
Judges Block Travel Ban

A judge in Maryland has rejected President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban. Trump says the ban is meant to protect the United States against terrorists. It blocks people from six majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S. Judge Theodore Chuang on Thursday ruled against the ban after hearing a case presented by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups representing immigrants, refugees, and their families. The groups argued that the ban discriminates against Muslims, making it unconstitutional. Chuang agreed. (Muslim’s practice the Islamic religion; the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees religious freedom.) Chuang’s decision comes a day after U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson of Hawaii (pictured) also rejected the travel ban. Watson disagreed with the claim that the ban is about national security. Trump said his administration would appeal Watson’s decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

BILGIN S. SASMAZ—ANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES
Going Green for St. Patrick’s Day

The world goes green every March 17th on St. Patrick’s Day. Why? Some might think the green is inspired by the grassy landscape of Ireland, but it can actually be traced to the country’s politics. (In fact, blue is believed to have been associated with Ireland before green. In the 16th century, Henry the VIII of England claimed to rule Ireland, and his flag was blue.) Timothy McMahon, Vice President of the American Conference for Irish Studies, says the earliest use of green was for patriotic reasons during the Great Irish Rebellion of 1641. The color green began appearing more frequently again years later when the Society of United Irishmen wore uniforms comprised of the color in the 1790s.

 

The origins of the wearing of green clothing in the U.S. on St. Patrick's Day date back to the 19th century, when Irish immigrants came to America looking for better job opportunities, and began wearing green and carrying Irish flags along with American flags as a point of pride for their home country.


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