The Jewish and Christian holidays have always been entwined, but rarely does Good Friday coincide with the first night of Pesach, when Jews mark their passage from bondage. On Sunday, Christians celebrate their holiest day, when they believe Jesus was resurrected. Pope Francis will mark it with a new book of inspirational messages, Walking With Jesus. Also new, according to a onetime Denver rabbi: Jews can smoke weed in Colorado and other permissive jurisdictions. But beer — “liquid bread” — cannot be sipped at the seder.
The Presidential Daily Brief
It’s a deal, but paper-thin. Iranians poured into the streets late Thursday, dancing and honking car horns to celebrate an agreement to lift Western sanctions in exchange for limits on their country’s nuclear development. The framework would seem a landmark in U.S. relations — 36 years after Iranian revolutionaries took Americans hostage — but details must be hammered out by the June 30 deadline. Even then, timetable disagreements, domestic politics or opposition from Israeli and Arab allies could scuttle the deal.
Abandoned in South Korea, Shin Song Hyuk seemed lucky when Americans chose to adopt him at age 3. But they never sought citizenship for him and turned him over to foster care. On Thursday, Hyuk, now Adam Crapser, turned 40 just as the U.S. government initiated deportation hearings, threatening to send him back to an unfamiliar country and raising questions about safeguards for foreign adoptees. Crapser, the married father of three, has until June to convince the nation he calls home to let him to stay.
They’ve had a rethink. After multinational firms, cities and states shunned Indiana, the Hoosier state “fixed” its Religious Freedom Restoration Act, largely viewed as discriminatory against gay people — to the point of enshrining some sexual orientation protection for the first time. The cultural clash and legislative change played out similarly in Arkansas. GOP presidential hopefuls may regret energizing LGBT advocates, and Indiana’s left is gearing up for its next fight: to have sexual orientation more widely protected under the state’s anti-discrimination law.
ISIS siezes Palestinian refugee camp in Syria’s capital. (NYT)
Russia urges Security Council to pause Yemen airstrikes. (BBC)
Fidel Castro appears in public for first time in 15 months. (USA Today)
Badgers beat imperfect Kentucky to face Duke in NCAA final. (CNN)
Earth’s largest atom splitter re-starting after power boost. (The Guardian)
They’re being sold short. Little people find that society has few objections to using “midget,” a derogatory term that facilitates discrimination along the lines of “dwarf tossing” and Russia’s recent ban on commercial drivers shorter than 4′11″. Add to that list of indignities the fact that shorter folks get lower pay, are unlikely to make CEO, and some world leaders belittle their rivals by labeling them a “dwarf.” But they’ve earned Olympic gold and Formula One trophies, so maybe it’s time to stop looking down on them.
Most teens are consumed by social media. Not Tiffany Sun, 17, a finalist in the Intel Science Talent Search who’s spent years dissecting a moral dilemma. Fascinated by the traditional train-switch, life-or-death philosophy test, she interviewed 300 subjects and found that given the choice, we’d let a waitress die before a businesswoman, and save a vixen before a plain Jane. Sun wowed experts with her findings and should inspire applicants for OZY’s Genius Awards, grants of up to $10,000 for students chasing equally big ideas.
She won an Emmy in 2000 for casting the comedy series Freaks and Geeks and launched the careers of Seth Rogen, James Franco and How I Met Your Mother’s Jason Segel. Now she’s named the supporting cast for the upcoming all-female Ghostbusters remake. The behind-the-scenes guru has the Midas touch, having plucked a mailman’s son, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, from obscurity after observing he was nerdy enough to have “seen the inside of a locker.” He’s gone on to star in six movies.
The Boys of Summer don’t come cheap. By the time Major League Baseball commences Sunday, player salaries will have topped an average of $4 million. At least they’re working longer: The average game has stretched to a mind-numbing three hours, and MLB is trying to quicken the pace by keeping batters focused. Will the result be more injuries? Some coaches hope crunching biometric data can predict who’s hurting before it’s a problem, or at least before those millions depreciate.
Online journalist Matt Stopera lost his phone and found a nation. Swiped from a New York bar, his iPhone started posting selfies of some guy in front of citrus trees and Chinese signs on Stopera’s Instagram feed. He wrote about them, and his story went viral in China, with followers vowing to find the device — and succeeding. The fenced phone’s new owner, “Brother Orange,” invited him to China, where Stopera was mobbed by fans. And no worries about the theft, he says: “People keep giving me phones.”