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The Two-Way
2:56 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Optional Essay And Other Changes Coming To The SAT

They'll need new prep books.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 6:43 pm

  • NPR's Claudio Sanchez Discusses The College Board Announcement On 'All Things Considered'

The essay is optional. Scores will return to 1,600. And there will be no penalties if you answer something incorrectly. Those are the big takeaways from the SAT changes announced Wednesday.

The College Board said the revisions, the first updates to the college entrance exam since 2005, will take effect in 2016.

Other changes announced: Certain vocabulary words will be dropped in favor of those more commonly used in school and at work, and test-takers will have the option to take the SAT on a computer.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Israel Says It's Seized Iranian Arms Shipment Bound For Gaza

Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) say the video shows an Iranian shipment bound for Gaza.
Israeli Defense Forces

The Israeli military claims to have seized a ship carrying advanced Iranian-made weaponry bound for Gaza.

The Israel Defense Forces "intercepted an attempt to smuggle an Iranian shipment of advanced weaponry intended for terrorist organizations operating in the Gaza Strip. The operation took place in the early hours of Wednesday morning," the IDF said in a statement on its website.

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The Two-Way
12:38 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Senate Blocks Obama's Nominee For Civil Rights Job

Debo Adegbile, shown at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2009 when he was an attorney with the Legal Defense and Educational Fund of the NAACP.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 3:54 pm

Eight Senate Democrats, including Majority Leader Harry Reid, joined Republicans in a vote to block President Obama's nomination of Debo Adegbile to head the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.

The Washington Post writes:

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All Tech Considered
12:04 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Automakers Eye Laser Lights To Let Drivers See Farther At Night

The i8, which has the optional laser headlights, will be on sale in Europe this summer. BMW is working with the U.S. Department of Transportation to get it approved for a U.S. release.
BMW

In our Weekly Innovation series, we pick an interesting idea, design or product that you may not know about yet. Do you have an innovation to share? Use our form.

If you thought LED headlights were bright enough, automakers are looking ahead to even more powerful beams using lasers.

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The Two-Way
12:01 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Putin Reportedly Joins List Of Nobel Peace Prize Nominees

Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Alexey Nikolsky AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 12:13 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin is among the 278 nominees for a 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, according to Peace Research Institute Oslo, an institution that closely tracks the Nobel committee's work.

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Shots - Health News
11:59 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Cities Take The Lead In Regulating Electronic Cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes for sale in Vapeology LA, a store in Los Angeles, are tended by owner John Hartigan.
Reed Saxon AP

Count Los Angeles as the latest big city to say no to electronic cigarettes.

The City Council there voted unanimously on Tuesday to ban use of the devices, which release vaporized nicotine, in almost all public places, including bars, workplaces and beaches.

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The Two-Way
11:35 am
Wed March 5, 2014

China To Boost Defense Spending Amid Regional Tensions

Delegates from China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) march from Tiananmen Square to the Great Hall of the People to attend sessions of National People's Congress and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Tuesday in Beijing.
Ng Han Guan AP

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 12:42 pm

China said Wednesday that it plans to increase defense outlays by more than 12 percent, to nearly $132 billion, this year in the face of what a top military official described as increasingly severe security challenges for Beijing.

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Parallels
11:09 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Sanctions On Russia: Why The Europeans May Say Nyet

Ties between Russia and Europe are more than just gas.
Sergei Karpukhin AP

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 11:24 am

Russia's seizure of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula brought with it threats of U.S. sanctions, but Europe, while condemning President Vladimir Putin's actions, has been more circumspect. Part of the reason: Europe's dependence on Russian money and energy.

"It is a matter of simple economics," Alex Melikishvili, senior Europe/CIS Analyst at IHS Country Risk, said in an email.

He noted that the EU is Russia's main trade partner; bilateral trade is in hundreds of billion of dollars annually, in contrast with much lower U.S.-Russia trade (see chart).

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The Two-Way
10:44 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Ex-IRS Official Invokes 5th Amendment Again, Then Things Get Hot

Former IRS official Lois Lerner raises her hand as she's sworn in Wednesday at the start of a House Oversight & Government Reform Committee hearing. She declined to answer questions posed by Chairman Darrell Issa, invoking her Fifth Amendment right.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 11:34 am

As she's done before, the woman at the center of the political storm over the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of some conservative groups from 2010 into 2012 invoked her Fifth Amendment right not to answer questions during a brief appearance before a congressional committee on Wednesday.

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The Salt
10:42 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Chipotle Says There's No 'Guacapocalypse' Looming

An employee prepares to make fresh guacamole at a Chipotle restaurant in Hollywood, Calif.
Patrick T. Fallon Bloomberg

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 2:16 pm

Looks like reports of a looming "guacapocalypse" have been vastly overstated.

This morning, guacamole lovers woke to headlines warning that Mexican fast-food chain Chipotle could eventually be forced to drop the dip from its menu, if changing global weather patterns continue to drive volatility in the price of avocados.

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