Are you smarter than a high-schooler? Revamped SAT questions released
Perfidious. Enervating. Spurious. Abscond.
Remember the anxiety those difficult “SAT words” caused back in high school? Well, you can almost forget about them. That’s because the College Board, the nonprofit that creates the test, is revamping the SAT and released a sneak peek today. Not only will the test now come with an optional essay, but test-makers want to focus on relevant, more commonly used vocabulary and developing real-world math skills.
So dust off and sharpen those #2 pencils and see if you can tackle these sample questions:
After fall in Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood self-reassessment is critical, experts say
WASHINGTON — Nine months after former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was removed from office by a military coup, members of his Muslim Brotherhood party need to develop a unified message if they want to stage a comeback to power, experts said Tuesday.
But it won’t be easy.
A large number of Brotherhood leaders are imprisoned in Egypt, where the group was declared a terrorist organization last December, and the group encompasses myriad beliefs, making a unified and coherent ideology difficult to define.
"The Muslim Brotherhood is more of a tribe, more of an identity belonging than an ideology," said Hassan Mneimneh, an expert on extremism in the Arab world with the German Marshall Fund.
The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928 as an Islamist social and political movement. It has since spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa, though it’s largest base is in Egypt . Until 2012, when Morsi was elected Egyptian president, it functioned primarily as an opposition party, which the experts said explains in part the problems the group faces today.
As an opposition, Mneimneh said, the Brotherhood didn’t need to develop an effective social, political or economic theory. But Morsi, as head of state, did not have that luxury.
The Brotherhood’s fall from power in Egypt was jarring in part because of a failure by both citizens and party leaders to realize the party’s lack of experience as a ruling party and what that would mean to its governing capacity, experts said.
"This idea that the Brotherhood was somehow going to sweep the whole region and now they’re rolled back or whatever, I think would have been a very exaggerated idea to begin with," said Michele Dunne, a Middle East senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Now, despite the chaos in Egypt, the group has a chance for revision and development, the panelists said.
For the Brotherhood, “this is the time to try to evolve framework into something more concrete,” Mneimneh said.
(The panel was broadcast live by C-SPAN and is available here:
Vice President Joe Biden is expected to join Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Governor Deval Patrick, former Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, and other officials today to honor the victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.
The Pulitzer Prize Board awarded public service pulitzers to The Washington Post and The Guardian US for their coverage of the National Security Agency revelations.
Staff of The Boston Globe won the Pulitzer for their breaking news coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings, which happened a year ago this week.
Here’s a shot of the full lists of prize winners:
In a phone interview with the New York Times, New Yorker editor David Remnick called the public service award "The epitome of important reporting and the epitome of what public service in journalism is all about."
The Pulitzer Prize and the long shadow of Edward Snowden
In a little more than an hour, the Pulitzer Prize Board will announce 2014 winners.
Photos and bios of the winners will be available here:
The Associated Press reported this morning that:
Among the potential contenders are reporters who revealed the massive U.S. government surveillance effort. The revelations, based on thousands of documents handed over by leaker Edward Snowden, were first published in June in The Guardian and The Washington Post, which last week received a George Polk Award for national security reporting.
Politico republished a story this morning, too, from March, highlighting the Pulitzer Prize Board’s dilemma:
The issue before the Pulitzer Prize Board: Does it honor reporting by The Washington Post and The Guardian based on stolen government documents that are arguably detrimental to the national security of the United States, and which were provided by a man who many see as a traitor? Or, does it pass over what is widely viewed as the single most significant story of the year — if not the decade — for the sake of playing it safe?
The AP also listed Andrea Elliott of The New York Times as a potential winner, for her story on homelessness in New York City. And John Cichowski of New Jersey is making some noise, too, for his writing on the traffic jams on the George Washington Bridge following lane closures linked to Gov. Chris Christie’s staff.
Anti-Bullying bill already has 194 co-sponsors, but needs more
California Democrat Linda Sanchez pleaded for more lawmakers to support a school safety bill that’s been stuck in a House subcommittee for nearly a year.
The Safe Schools Improvement Act is basically an anti-bullying bill, requiring schools to provide a minimal “code of conduct” against harassment, and specifically prohibit it on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation.
At a news conference Thursday morning, Sanchez said that research finds high incidents of bullying in are disabled children, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender kids. According to the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network, eight out of 10 LGBT students have reported being harassed in school.
“So some of the hesitation we’ve had getting, in particular, Republican co-sponsors is that they object to including LGBT students,” Sanchez said. “But what they’re failing to get is that the legislation would help every student, not just one group of students.”
Sanchez already has 194 co-sponsors for her bill, but needs more support from the other side of the aisle for it to go anywhere in the House.
“The issue is not partisan,” said Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif., who shared his own story about being bullied as a young Japanese-American following World War II. “The issue is very human.”
Colbert to replace Letterman: Will late-night TV become more political?
CBS announced Thursday that Stephen Colbert will take the helm at the “Late Show” after David Letterman retires in 2015.
Colbert’s new job means the end for his popular Comedy Central show, “The Colbert Report,” which debuted in 2005 with the comedian — and Northwestern grad — inhabiting a fictionalized character that shares his name and satirizes conservative media pundits.
Fans of Colbert may be disappointed to hear the beloved character won’t make the trip over to CBS — at least outright — according to an interview Colbert did with Bill Carter of The New York Times:
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh senses a political move on the part of CBS:
You can listen to Limbaugh’s reaction to the announcement via Media Matters.
Colbert’s late-night peers, on the other hand, took to Twitter to congratulate him on his big break:
CBS said in a press release that Colbert’s premier date as host of “Late Show” will be announced once Letterman determines a timetable for his final shows in 2015.
WASHINGTON – The byzantine circus that is budget season nears its zenith.
Today, the House continued its consideration of House Con Res. 96, better known as the Ryan Budget. Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan’s budget would repeal the Affordable Care Act, among trillions in other cuts. The word used most often to describe it today was “draconian.”
The budget will probably pass the House, but stands almost zero chance of passing the Senate. You would think that would make this vote less heated. You would be wrong.
Late in the day, an out-of-breath Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer took to the podium to refute Republican allegations that House Democrats were responsible for increasing the deficit. “I heard Rep. Brady’s comments when I was downstairs and had to come right up here,” he panted. The exchange between the Maryland Democrat and Texas Republican got heated, steadily increasing in volume. At one point, Brady claimed that President Bush’s trillion-dollar addition to the deficit was the fault of former Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“I’d be happy to discuss that with you in a special order,” Hoyer responded. That’s about as close as it gets in the House to saying “You wanna take this outside?”
At one point, three Wisconsin congressmen traded barbs about who knew the most about cheese.
The House will wrap up debate and vote on the Ryan budget tomorrow.
March Madness ended last night when UConn defeated Kentucky 60-54. It’s a sad time for many of us as we shift our focus back to the rest of life.
For those who may not have followed along but still want to have something to talk about with their friends and colleagues that are already counting down to Selection Sunday 2015 (341 days…) here are some quick facts about the 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament.
The tournament was full of upsets and surprises for everyone, including the President Barack Obama…
House Foreign Affairs Comm. Approves Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act
Beyonce may have said it best most recently.
“Who run the world?”
After the addition of two amendments, the House Foreign Affairs Committee approved HR 3583, also known as the Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act, to give improved scholarship aid to women on Thursday.
The bipartisan bill requires the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to award at least half of its merit-based scholarships in Pakistan to women.
“We made it a priority for the U.S., now we need to make it a priority abroad,” said Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., who cited the statistic that 600 million women worldwide are illiterate – more than twice the number of men.
The legislation is named after Yousafzai, a 16-year-old Pakistani girl who was shot in the head by Taliban after standing up to defend her right to an education.
“I hope these scholarships will bring many more Malalas,” said Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla.
Frankel added an amendment to the bill requiring recipients of the scholarships to commit to working within their community as a way to “pay it forward.”
The bill markup followed a two-hour hearing about women’s education in the Middle East. Women’s rights experts testified about the importance of educating girls at a young age and continuing the support throughout higher education.
Last week, a wordless campaign ad of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell went viral when The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart created the art of #McConnelling — dubbing other songs over the two-and-a-half-minute video. Here are some of the best #McConnelling videos from MOTH reporters:
Students at Northwestern University danced for 30 hours straight this weekend during the school’s annual Dance Marathon to raise money for charity.
Two of our reporters flew back to Evanston to participate in the philanthropy event, which ultimately raised more than $1 million.
Although going back to Chicago and dancing for 30 hours was both stressful and physically draining, both Preetisha Sen and Jon Palmer said they were glad they participated.
"I covered DM last year for North By Northwestern and was amazed at how the Northwestern community came together for such a great cause," Palmer said. "I decided that I would do DM this year no matter what and stuck with my plan even after I was accepted to the Medill on the Hill program. I’m glad I did – it was a life changing experience, even if I’m having a hard time functioning today."
"I did DM last year and will never forget the moment they reveal the final fundraising total – that’s the moment all the physical pain feels so unbelievably worth it," Sen said. "I knew it was an experience I wanted to have again. Luckily, my friends and family supported me enough that going back to Chicago for DM went from being an idealistic thought to a reality – especially my brother who let me mooch off some frequent flyer points."
Proceeds from DM were given to two charities: Team Joseph, an organization dedicated to finding a treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and the Evanston Community Foundation, a local charity based in Evanston, the site of NU’s main campus.
Last week for our website, MOTH reporter Lauren Caruba covered Team Joseph’s struggle to persuade the FDA to approve a potentially life-saving drug for children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Read her story here: http://bit.ly/1el34ve.
Interactive: Medicaid expansion still up in the air for many states
dark blue: debating Medicaid expansion light blue: debating partial Medicaid expansion dark grey: not expanding Medicaid light grey: expanding Medicaid
Although the Affordable Care Act initially called for all states to expand Medicaid by Jan. 1, the Supreme Court ruled states could decide for themselves whether to expand Medicaid. Click the map for more information on Medicaid expansion by state. Status of Medicaid expansion reflects states’ status as of Feb. 4, 2014.
Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius’ murder trial for shooting and killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year started Monday in South Africa. Pistorius plead not guilty to the murder and several gun-related charges against him. Today, a neighbor of Pistorius testified in court, saying she heard screams the night of the death.
For more information on the testimony, see CNN’s coverage here.
President Barack Obama’s proposed fiscal year 2015 budget would raise taxes on the wealthy and cut military spending while funding a minimum wage hike, expanding preschool and improving beleaguered roads.
Obama announced his $3.9 trillion budget proposal Tuesday morning. The plan has already been met with criticism from Republican opponents. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, tweeted that the budget would be “spending too much, borrowing too much [and] taxing too much.”The proposal is not expected to be adopted by Congress.
The proposal also includes a separate set of programs called the Opportunity, Growth, and Security Initiative which totals $56 billion. Half the money would come from spending cuts elsewhere and the other half would come from reducing tax benefits from the retirement accounts of the wealthy. It would go to investing in early childhood education and clean energy research and boosting economic growth in disadvantaged neighborhoods, among others programs.
"I don’t know if this is the best part, but for me watching John Travolta mess up Idina Menzel’s name was definitely the most memorable moments. I think I’ve watched that Vine more than 50 times." - Peter Scone Preetisha Sen
“I think the most memorable moment of the Oscars was when John Travolta butchered Idina Menzel’s name as he introduced her “Let It Go” performance.”- Sarah Ortiz Sara Olsted
Aid package comes as Secretary of State John Kerry lands in Kiev
Upon arrival in Kiev, Kerry offered $1 billion to Ukraine in loan guarantees. President Obama responded to Russian President Vladimir Putin Friday, threatening that “there will be costs,” but Putin has shown no signs of backing down.
Comedian Seth Rogen testified about the importance of Alzheimer’s research before a Senate appropriations subcommittee Wednesday. Rogen is a champion of the Alzheimer’s Association. His testimony drew laughs from everyone present. Here are a few of his best jokes:
1. "Thank you for the opportunity to testify today and for the opportunity to be called an expert in something, because that’s cool," Rogen said. "I don’t know if you know who I am, chairman. I know you never saw Knocked Up, which is a little insulting.”
Harkin also drew a laugh with his response: ”I want the record to note that this is the first time, I will wager, this is the first time in any congressional hearing in history that the words ‘knocked up’ have ever been spoken.”
2. “I should first answer a question I assume many of you are asking. Yes, I’m aware this has nothing to do with the legalization of marijuana.”
Rogen said Alzheimer’s research funding is an issue that’s even more important to him.
3. “I came here today for a few reasons: One … I’m a huge House of Cards fan.” Rogen added he felt it was important for him to testify because he’s frustrated with how expensive it is to care for someone with Alzheimer’s and because he wants to show others dealing with Alzheimer’s that they aren’t alone in their struggles.
Covering Congress is an experience unlike anything else…which can be a little crazy when you’re only 19 or 20 years old. Even though our reporters stay professional and respectable on the job, it’s easy to have an internal “geek-out” moment when you have to work a little harder to stay cool. Here are some of our reporter’s favorites:
Preetisha Sen, Business beat:
I think I geeked out when I saw Marco Rubio vote – it was all of 10 seconds but I had just written a paper about him so I was pretty stoked.
Jessica Floum, National Security beat:
My ‘geek-out moment’ happened in the press room of the White House before President Obama honored the Miami Heat for their 2013 NBA championship. Ryan (McCrimmon) and I waited two hours alongside at least twenty other reporters and cameramen. The veteran reporters told war stories to pass the time. One told a story about how he had accidentally gotten so close to Jesse Jackson, who was standing above him, that his camera boom rammed Jesse Jackson in a very unfortunate place. That’s when I knew how in the thick of it D.C. journalists are and what I would be in for this quarter.
Stephanie Haines, National Security beat:
I have too many: The first, in my first hearing, I looked up and saw John McCain. I tried to take a snap chat of him. Second, I said hello to Martha Raddatz, ABC’s chief global affairs correspondent, in Statuary Hall post SOTU. She spoke at Northwestern in the fall and I met her there, so we’re BFF’s now, nbd. And third, I got a picture with Ann Compton, long-time ABC White House correspondent. #celebstatus #omg #hireme.
Sylvan Lane, Immigration and Demographics beat:
My geek-out moment was when I went up to interview John McCain after the unemployment bill vote a few weeks ago. I instinctively just kind of ran up to him to get his reaction, but as soon as I got face to face with him, I realized I was about to interview a man who was almost president of the United States. Luckily, there were a few reporters who got to him before me, so I had time to refocus myself before I started asking him questions.
Sophia Bollag, Health and Science beat:
The president’s State of the Union address was definitely the coolest event I’ve reported on in Washington. I had never been in the same room with that many important people before.