Facing it head-on: With calls for him to resign hanging over his head, Veterans Affairs’ Secretary Eric Shinseki will face representatives of people particularly vulnerable to his agency’s medical failings today. The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans has booked Shinseki as its featured speaker at its annual conference in Washington. While he stands before them, lawmakers consider whom to hold responsible for a scandal involving the treatment of ailing veterans that has cost some of them their lives.


Bill Gates, sort of: He’s even wealthier than Donald Sterling and a whole lot more animated, too. But what else do we know about Steve Ballmer, the former Microsoft CEOwho’s poised to take over the Los Angeles Clippers? Unlike owner Donald Sterling, whose racist remarks hurled him into a vortex of public criticism, Ballmer flew under the radar in recent months before he laid down a $2 billion offer for the team.


Spellbinding: It was the first spelling bee tie in 50 years.But Sriram Hathwar and Ansun Sujoe wore the judges out.They correctly spelled so many words Thursday that the Scripps National Spelling Bee had to declare them both winners. The last word was “feuilleton” (roughly pronouced Fwooyetonh). Know what that is? Culture section of a European newspaper. Sujoe, a 13-year-old seventh-grader from Fort Worth, Texas, knew it and nailed it.

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