This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate 6 The NCAA has taken a seat on the bench in the political game. The organization that governs college athletics was once at the forefront of hot-button issues such as the Confederate flag and transgender rights. But that stance evolved quickly as one Republican-controlled state after another rushed to pass laws that supporters hail as a war on “wokeness,” even as critics deride them as exclusionary and a step backward in human decency. The NCAA's new approach came into sharper focus during March Madness as Texas — which has largely banned abortion and was debating a host of proposals that would limit gay and transgender rights — prepares to host both the men's and women's Final Four this weekend. Nary a word has been spoken about moving these events out of Houston and Dallas. “It's just an extraordinary time, which requires extraordinary courage, an uncommon … [Read more...] about NCAA takes seat on bench in the political game
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How democratic are the countries at Biden’s democracy summit?
President Biden, propelled by a conviction that the 21st century will be defined by competition between "democracy vs. autocracy," convened his second "Summit for Democracy" this week and invited the leaders of more than 100 countries to discuss human rights, confronting authoritarianism and lessening corruption. The invite list includes over half of the countries recognized by the United Nations, and there are complex differences between the democracies present. "I think the Biden administration has taken a big-tent approach, and there is merit to that," said Nicole Bibbins Sedaca, executive vice president of Freedom House, a nonprofit research group that monitors and advocates for democracy around the world. "But for me, the bigger question is, can they use this opportunity to galvanize change within all of the countries that are attending and find unity to push for a global community that is more democratic." Freedom House's March report, "Freedom in the World," scores how … [Read more...] about How democratic are the countries at Biden’s democracy summit?
Houston Astros championship odds and Opening Day betting lines
Opening Day is an exciting time of the year for baseball fans and sports betting enthusiasts alike. And while Houston Astros supporters can't (legally) wager on the defending World Series champions in the Bayou City, an array of sports betting options are available roughly two hours east across the Louisiana border. With two World Series titles and four American League pennants since 2017, there isn't a massive amount of value in betting on the Astros to win a second straight championship. They're a near-unanimous favorite when it comes to World Series futures odds, entering Opening Day at around 6-to-1 at most major sportsbooks—despite starting the year with former All-Stars Jose Altuve, Michael Brantley and Lance McCullers Jr. on the injured list. Potential bettors could wait to place their World Series wagers, hoping to get a better price in-season if Houston struggles early or another contender starts to separate itself from the pack. But those who follow such a strategy … [Read more...] about Houston Astros championship odds and Opening Day betting lines