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The Two-Way
3:56 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 7:43 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
2:55 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
1:13 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Putin Reportedly Joins List Of Nobel Peace Prize Nominees

Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Alexey Nikolsky AFP/Getty Images

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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The Two-Way
1:10 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 4:54 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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The Two-Way
12:35 pm
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 1:42 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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The Two-Way
12:03 pm
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 12:34 pm

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 Two-Way
11:15 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Italian Publisher Launches Pope Francis Fan Magazine

Publisher Mondadori provided this image of the first issue of Il Mio Papa (My Pope) on Tuesday, a day before it was slated to hit Italian newsstands.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 11:51 am

Pope Francis, fresh from getting his picture on the cover of Rolling Stone, now graces the pages of a new Italian fan magazine devoted to His Holiness.

But the pontiff tells an Italian newspaper that he views all the attention as "offensive."

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The Two-Way
9:47 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Don't Worry, They Say, 100-Foot Asteroid Will Miss Us Today

A NASA artist's illustration depicts an asteroid belt around a star that the space agency says is "the same age and size as our Sun."
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 11:56 am

Don't say you weren't warned.

But also don't worry, the experts say.

As we wrote last month when an asteroid measuring about 900 feet long passed near enough to Earth to generate headlines about a "close encounter," more rocks are always headed our way.

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The Two-Way
8:58 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Job Growth Was Weak Again In February, ADP Survey Shows

The scene at a job fair last year in Emeryville, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Private employers added only 139,000 jobs to their payrolls in February and job growth in January was even less than previously thought, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report.

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