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The name “Redskins” for the NFL franchise in Washington, DC is “disparaging” to Native Americans everywhere. That ruling Wednesday by an obscure federal agency has created an uproar. The billionaire team owner says he’ll never change, but pressure is building—all the way to the White House. Is it all about sensitivity to historical wrongs, or political correctness out of control? We’ll hear more about the “R word.” What about the “Braves,” the “Chiefs,” the “Blackhawks” and the “Indians?”

Banner Image: The Washington Redskins; Credit: Lee Diehr

Top Cleric Calls for New Government in Iraq 7 MIN, 50 SEC

Yesterday, it was President Obama calling for a change of political leadership in Iraq. Today, it’s that country’s top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, in a Friday sermon calling for “an effective government that enjoys broad national support [and] avoids past mistakes." Martin Chulov is Middle East Correspondent for the Guardian.

Martin Chulov, The Guardian (@martinchulov)

The Washington Redskins and Political Correctness 35 MIN

During halftime of Game 2 of the National Basketball Association finals, a 30-second spot ran in seven major television markets. It was sponsored by the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation of Native Americans to further what tribal leaders called “an important discussion of racism.” On Wednesday, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ruled that the term “Redskins” was “disparaging” to “a substantial composite” of Native Americans when trademarks were granted between 1967 and 1990.

Mary Hudetz, Native Peoples Magazine (@marymhudetz)
Erik Brady, USA Today (@ByErikBrady)
Brendan O'Neill, Spiked (@spikedonline)
Christine Haight Farley, American University's Washington College of Law (@Prof_Farley)

The Heart Disease Gene 8 MIN, 20 SEC

Heart disease is America’s number one killer, and there hasn’t been a major new drug to fight it since statins came on the scene in the 1980’s. Now, researchers say, a single genetic mutation may lead the way to the next step forward.

720,000 Americans have suffered heart attacks. But, in the future, they might be prevented if drugs are developed to mimic the mutation of a single gene. That’s according to today’s New England Journal of Medicine, which reports on research conducted by Dr. Sekar Kathiresan, Director of Preventive Cardiology at Massachusetts General Hospital and associate member of the Broad Institute.

Sekar Kathiresan, Massachusetts General Hospital (@skathire)


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