LIANE HANSEN, host:
Time now for your letters.
Many of you sent responses to Debbie Elliott's story about the Gulf of Mexico's recovery from the oil spill after BP achieved a static kill of the blown-out well.
Charles Young posted this at NPR.org: It's good that the leak has stopped, ocean surface is cleaner, and there are fewer tar balls on beaches. However, the real measure is figuring out where has all the spilled oil gone. Not knowing where everything has gone to means we cannot possibly evaluate the impact.
I spoke with Virginia's attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, last week about immigration and health care. Virginia recently filed a lawsuit challenging the new federal health-care law.
Mr. KEN CUCCINELLI (Attorney General, Virginia): The Virginia Health Care Freedom Act was in conflict with the federal health-care bill, particularly the individual mandate. So we brought suit to, in our view, protect the Constitution and Virginia's own statute.
HANSEN: We heard from a number of you who disagreed with the attorney general. Sara Hartley of Oakland, California, writes: Liane Hansen did not ask Cuccinelli to address the precedents for other insurance mandates like auto and home. She did not observe the difference between illness and other matters of commerce. A catastrophic accident or life-threatening malignancy must be treated by ERs, MDs and hospitals, regardless of insurance. Getting life-saving care is not discretionary, like the purchase of a product. Anyone who claims the freedom to remain uninsured should have to create a cash account with the equivalence of the average health insurance coverage.
We also had a report from Noah Adams about an annual international piano competition at Oberlin College and the winning pianist, 14-year-old George Li.
(Soundbite of piano)
HANSEN: Brian Hoffman of Evanston, Illinois, writes: I was deeply saddened by the winner-take-all subtext of Mr. Adams' otherwise engaging piece. George Li may, indeed, be wonderful and at age 14, the best pianist in this year's competition. But to omit the names of the other two finalists, who were also deemed worthy of playing with the Cleveland Orchestra, is wrong because they, too, must be wonderful, even if slightly less so. And it is wrong because of the underlying implication that only a winner has a shot at long-term excellence, or even greatness. We don't know how the future careers of any of these amazing youngsters will play out so please, give the losers a break.
Well, we don't know if we can give them a break into the big time, but we can tell you their names: John Chen from Leesburg, Virginia, and Kate Liu from Chicago, Illinois - both 16 years old.
Whether you want to give us a break, bouquet or brickbat, go to our website, NPR.org, and click on Contact Us. You can also reach out to us on Twitter at NPRWeekend. I'm at NPRLiane, spelled L-I-A-N-E.
This is NPR News.
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