The embarrassment of college basketball riches continues Friday into the weekend. But there are plenty of alternatives - from baseball to tennis to hockey - if you’re already hooped out (all times Eastern).
– Dodgers vs. Reds (3:05 p.m., MLB.TV): Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman, who hit 100 mph on the radar gun in his spring training debut for the Reds, makes his second appearance today against Los Angeles.
– Lafayette vs. Lehigh (4:45 p.m., ESPN2): One of the nation’s oldest collegiate rivalries takes center stage as the Leopards and Mountain Hawks clash for the Patriot League title - and an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
– Who Do You Think You Are? (8 p.m., NBC): Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith features in this week’s episode of the genealogy documentary series.
Here’s a quick glance at the collective consciousness of the Web on Friday:
Lady Gaga "Telephone" music video - Video may have killed the radio star, but Lady Gaga is redefining that genre all on her own - and dominating Twitter and Google trends today. Music video releases used to be highly anticipated, but in recent years many artists completely neglected them, and without a platform like TRL to launch them, they just stopped making good ones. Enter Haus of Gaga, stage left. With Gaga tackling music videos like the art form they always had the chance to be (see Paparazzi), her latest video for "Telephone" featuring Beyonce was hotly anticipated nearly every day for the last month. Users took to Twitter and Google each day it was supposed to release only to be let down and hear there was a new date.
Well, the day finally arrived yesterday, and with it came another pop culture creation from the Queen of Pop Art herself (who flat-out addressed rumors she was a hermaphrodite in the video and wore a SMOKING pair of sunglasses, literally). Fans wondered if the delay was a result of Gaga worrying the video wouldn't live up to hype she's created. I'm not sure that it stood up to Paparazzi, but other artists, wake up. Gaga has put you on notice. She is the current and future of musical artistry and right now she owns the music video.
With the average unemployed worker out of a job for nearly 20 weeks and nearly 40 percent of the unemployed out of a job for more than six months, Congress passed a short-term extension of unemployment benefits and other economic aid last week. The vote came after the $10 billion bill was held up by Kentucky Republican Sen. Jim Bunning, who complained that the Democratic-led Congress should have found some way to pay for the measure rather than add the cost to the national debt.
Coming to Bunning's defense was Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, a fellow Republican. Extending workers' unemployment checks "is a disincentive for them to seek new work," Kyl said on the Senate floor March 1. "I am sure most of them would like work and probably have tried to seek it, but you can't argue it is a job enhancer."
And former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, another Republican, said on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that keeping benefits coming "keeps people from going and finding jobs."
"There's some studies that have been done that shows that people stay on unemployment compensation and they don't look for a job until two or three weeks before they know the benefits are going to run out," said DeLay, who resigned from Congress in 2006 and is awaiting trial on a money-laundering charge in his home state of Texas. So, are people just kicking back, enjoying a couple of extra weeks of those unemployment checks? The CNN Fact Check desk decided to ask around.
Fact Check: Do unemployment benefits extend joblessness?
Vice President Joe Biden has argued that civilian trials have a better record than military trials for terror suspects. On "Face the Nation," Biden threw out some supporting figures: "There have been over 300 tried in federal courts by the last administration and by us. They're all in jail now. None of them are out seeing the light of day."
Fact Check: Is Biden correct? Are there over 300 terrorists in jail?
On CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS," King Abdullah II of Jordan said that the only viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a two-state solution. "Fifty-seven nations, a third of the United Nations, do not recognize Israel today," he said. "So, they're isolated in the neighborhood and further afield."
Fact Check: Are there really 57 nations that do not recognize Israel?
Here’s a look at some of the stories CNN.com reporters are working on Friday:
September 11th settlement – A New York judge may approve a $657.5 million settlement Friday for workers who became ill after the September 11 terrorists attacks. New York City officials have reached a settlement with the thousands of rescue and cleanup workers who suffered disease and injury from the polluted air at the World Trade Center site.
The payout would be divided among about 10,000 plaintiffs if enough of them agree to the terms. If only 95 percent agree, the settlement will be reduced to $575 million. A hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET, before a judge who must approve the deal. Our correspondents will attend the hearing and give you the latest on the story.
Serial killer's other victims? - In 1978 he was known as Bachelor No. 1 when he appeared on "The Dating Game." Rodney Alcala, 66, was convicted in February of murdering a child and four women between November 1977 and June 1979. But now, authorities are wondering about hundreds of photos of unidentified women and children in a storage unit. Police released the photos in hopes that the public can help figure out if they are other victims of Acala or simply part of his obsession.
Sailors aboard a Royal Australian Navy ship engaged in a pattern of kinky and public sex acts in ports from Hawaii to China and Singapore, according to reports in the Sydney Morning Herald.
John Avlon, author of "Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America," railed on CNN against partisans on the far right and far left "that are always trying to divide rather than unite us."
He said on CNN's "American Morning" on Friday that "they really have developed a disproportionate influence over our politics that ends up drowning out most folks in the middle." He continued, "If independents could realize that there are more independents than Democrats or Republicans, I think we could help bring politics back to the center."
Fact Check: Are there more independent voters than Democrats or Republicans? How do they influence elections?
President Barack Obama's upcoming trip to Indonesia and Australia has been delayed from March 18 to March 21, according to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
Obama had previously expressed a willingness to delay the trip in order to work on health care, according to a senior administration official.
“The President will delay leaving for Indonesia and Australia - will now leave Sunday - the First Lady and the girls will not be on the trip," Gibbs wrote on his Twitter account.
– CNN's Suzanne Malveaux contributed to this report
Natoma Canfield: The 50-year-old cleaning woman from Medina, Ohio, wrote an e-mail to President Obama in December about health care reform. Last week, Obama read her letter at a White House meeting with insurance executives.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said, "This is a letter the president will likely take with him to meetings today and throughout this period to remind everyone what's at stake with the final push for health care reform and what happens if we walk away."
WKYC-TV in Cleveland, Ohio, reports that Canfield, a cancer patient, was hospitalized Sunday. "I am getting great care," Canfield told the TV station, "but without insurance, I have no way to pay for it."
Canfield told WKYC that Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield notified her that her premium had been increased more than 40 percent to $8,496, and so she dropped her health insurance on January 1. Canfield, who has the president’s thank-you letter framed at home, said she hopes she is strong enough to be with Obama when he visits Ohio on Monday. FULL POST
11:00 am - Pelosi briefing on health care - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi briefs reporters on the battle over health care reform in Washington.
11:00 am - Somalia briefing - The State Department holds a special briefing on U.S. policy in Somalia.
2:00 pm - Haiti quake victims memorial - Florida's Lynn University holds a memorial service for its students and staff killed in the Haiti earthquake.
2:30 pm ET - Whale sushi protest - Animal rights activists protest outside a Santa Monica, California, restaurant accused of serving whale sushi to customers.
3:00 pm ET – Clinton on women's rights - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers remarks in honor of the 15th anniversary of the U.N. World Conference on Women.