The Two-Way
11:42 am
Wed August 17, 2011

Tests Show 1 In 4 U.S. Students Set For College; Wide Gap For Minorities

Out of the 29 states in which at least 40 percent of graduates took the ACT, only Minnesota had more than half of its students meet at least three college-readiness benchmarks.
ACT

Only 1 in 4 U.S. high school graduates who took the 2011 ACT college entrance exam scored high enough to be deemed ready for college-level courses in all four of the test's subject areas, according to the company that designs the tests.

The college-readiness rating of 25 percent represents a trend of improvement since 2007, when only 23 percent of students met all four benchmarks.

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The Two-Way
11:17 am
Wed August 17, 2011

Happy Feet, The Lost Emperor Penguin, Will Head Home By Month's End

The last time we checked in on Happy Feet, the Emperor Penguin that lost his way and ended up 2,000 miles from home in New Zealand was facing tough odds: He was at the Wellington Zoo, dehydrated and with a belly full of sand.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:44 am
Wed August 17, 2011

What's In A Drug Name? Sometimes, Enough To Cause Mix-Ups

Risperidone (Risperdal), prescribed for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and ropinirole (Requip), used for Parkinson's disease and restless legs syndrome, have strikingly similar labels.
Food and Drug Administration

If a pharmacist heard the name Clindesse (a vaginal antibiotic cream) or Clindets (antibiotic cream for acne) while filling a prescription over the phone, you could see how they might confuse them, especially if one was more familiar. But the patient receiving end of such a mix-up might not be amused.

The government has a system in place to try to keep similar looking and sounding drugs from ending up on the market together. But the pharmaceutical industry has been pushing to kill the system.

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The Two-Way
10:17 am
Wed August 17, 2011

Thieves Hit California Schools; Targeting Animals, Copper Wiring

From California, two stories have emerged today about thieves stealing from schools. In one case, the criminals seemed motivated by selling metal pipes. And in the other, they wanted rare animals.

Two reptiles and a tarantula were stolen from a classroom in Jurupa Valley, elementary school teacher Bonnie Werner says. The thieves broke into Troth Street Elementary and took the prize elements of her collection of lizards, snakes and other animals.

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Wed August 17, 2011

Inspector General: Army Improperly Tested Body Armor Plates

Captain Michael Blakley, company commander of Battle Co., 1-32 Infantry Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, accompanied by Afghan National Army soldiers leads the patrol at the Mullah Omar mosque in Sangsar village in Kandahar province, the heartland of Taliban in southern Afghanistan.
Romeo Gacad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 17, 2011 11:25 am

A report (PDF) from the Department of Defense's Inspector General details flawed quality assurance inspections of the body armor used by troops to stop bullets. The investigation, which was requested by Congress, looked at seven Army contracts worth $2.5 billion and awarded between 2004 and 2006.

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Economy
10:01 am
Wed August 17, 2011

Rating The Wall Street Ratings Agencies

Frank Partnoy is a law professor at the University of San Diego.
Fergus Greer courtesy of Frank Partnoy

Earlier this month, Standard & Poor's announced that it had downgraded the U.S. credit rating from AAA to AA+, citing political risks and the nation's rising debt burden. It was the first time in history that the U.S. credit rating was lowered.

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The Two-Way
9:03 am
Wed August 17, 2011

Report: Syrian Government Is Tracking, Intimidating Dissidents Abroad

The Wall Street Journal has an exclusive report today that sheds light on just how far the reach of Syria's police state extends: Talking to U.S. officials and Syrian expatriates in the U.S., the paper found that the regime of President Bashar Assad is tracking and intimidating dissidents living abroad.

The Journal reports:

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The Two-Way
8:28 am
Wed August 17, 2011

Stolen Rembrandt Found In A Church

Los Angeles Sheriff lead detective Clarence Williams, left, and Los Angeles County sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore, right, display the recovered $250,000 quill pen Rembrandt drawing known as "The Judgment."
Gus Ruelas AP

Originally published on Wed August 17, 2011 11:36 am

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Shots - Health Blog
8:05 am
Wed August 17, 2011

Bargain CT Scans For Smokers: More Harm Than Good?

A CT scan of a human lung.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed August 17, 2011 12:57 pm

Hospitals around the country have started offering deeply discounted CT scans for smokers worried about lung cancer.

Their pitches point to recent findings that screening current or former heavy smokers with CT scans before they show symptoms of lung cancer could modestly reduce their risk of dying from the disease. But some experts question whether the strategy is simply a marketing ploy that could bring more harm than good.

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The Two-Way
7:58 am
Wed August 17, 2011

China Denies Inspecting U.S. Stealth Helicopter In Pakistan

In a statement, yesterday, China denied a report that Pakistan allowed it to inspect the remnants of the specially modified Black Hawk helicopter that malfunctioned during the Osama bin Laden raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

The BBC reports:

"Those reports are entirely groundless and very ridiculous," the Chinese defence ministry said in a statement.

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