'Bad actors' trying to game SATs
China's largest private education company has been subverting efforts to prevent cheating on the SAT college admission test, Reuters found. New Oriental Education & Technology has regularly provided items from the tests to clients shortly after the exams are administered. Because material from past SATs is typically reused on later exams, the items New Oriental is distributing could provide test-takers with an unfair advantage.
Icahn’s government role boosts activists
The advisory role granted to billionaire investor Carl Icahn by President-elect Donald Trump this week spans all regulatory matters, including vetting members of the Securities and Exchange Commission. It’s a potential blow to CEOs and board directors who hoped the new SEC would favor corporate management teams over shareholder proposals, such as those that helped Icahn earn his billions.
Underground Chinese Catholics pose challenge
Since taking office in March 2013, Pope Francis has vigorously supported talks aimed at rapprochement with China to heal a rift that dates back to 1949. That’s when the communists took power in China and subsequently expelled foreign Christian missionaries. Since then, China has refused to submit the local Catholic Church to Vatican authority. And the Vatican, in turn, has refused to recognize the China. That puts today’s Chinese Catholics, who number as many as 10 million, in a thorny position of accepting reconciliation with a government that has persecuted them for years.
The body trade
Jim Stauffer donated his mother’s brain to Alzheimer’s research after she died, but a Reuters report has found that her body was actually used for military research on bomb blasts. This story industry over which there is little regulation: the trade in human cadavers and body parts.
Picture of the day
A present for me?
A lioness opens up Christmas presents in her enclosure in Hagenbeck's zoo in Hamburg, Germany December 23, 2016. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer