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UNESCO award in name of Equatorial Guinea president causes uproar

The Obamas pose in 2009 with Teodoro Obiang Nguema and his wife, Constancia Mangue de Obiang.
The Obamas pose in 2009 with Teodoro Obiang Nguema and his wife, Constancia Mangue de Obiang. (Lawrence Jackson/white House)
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The lawmakers, slaughtered last year by their staffers, opted this year to challenge members of the media. The reporters promptly recruited as many college women's softball players as they could find with congressional press passes, including: the Wall Street Journal's Kara Scannell (Fordham) at short; National Journal's Amy Walter (Colby College in the snow) at third; CNN's Stephanie Kotuby, a veteran on the network's team, at second; and high school star Emily Pierce of Roll Coll at first.

We'd list the outfielders, but we're told they won't get any action because starting pitchers Carrie Budoff Brown of Politico and Emily Ortman of Roll Call will mow 'em down. Both are right-handers with deadly change-ups. (It's a slow, very slow-pitch game.)

The lawmakers, led by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and the indomitable Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), who throws a baffling knuckleball, are undaunted, even though, at an average age of 56, they're a decade or so older than the media team. They've got three college world series veterans.

Napolitano, 73, and Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.), who is just coming off foot surgery, have been allowed a designated pinch runner, Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio).

The members, wearing pink T-shirts, field strong-hitting Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.) at first, Rep. Shelley Moore "Rocket Arm" Capito (R-W.Va.) at third, rookie of the year and slugger Rep. Debbie Halvorson (D-Ill.) starts in right, Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) who's on the co-ed Hill team, is at short, and hard-hitting lefty Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) is at second.

The charity game will benefit breast cancer awareness.

Broadcast news

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) had a hold on all eight nominees to the Broadcasting Board of Governors until he could talk to them about challenges facing U.S. international broadcasting. "I am pleased to report," he wrote in a letter to Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) and top Republican Sen. Richard Lugar (Ind.), "that each of them has answered my questions," apparently to Coburn's satisfaction.

"However," he added, given the BBG's "vital role" in international broadcasting, he requested a "balanced oversight hearing before the end of the year to discuss the agencies under the BBG's purview." What's more, he wrote, "I would further ask that I be allowed to attend the hearing and question the witnesses."

Maybe not unprecedented but pretty unusual. Kerry and Lugar are said to be mulling.

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