News on the go: March 7, 2014

Emily Mills

Crimean lawmakers unanimously declared Thursday they want to secede from Ukraine and become a part of Russia. The decision will be given to Crimean citizens, 60 percent of whom are ethnic Russian, in 10 days. The declaration of independence came after continued clashes between the government and protestors in Ukraine. (Read full story.)

The SAT will soon face major changes to its format and scoring system. The perfect score will change from 2,400 to 1,600, the essay will be optional, the vocabulary will be simplified and students will no longer be penalized for wrong answers. Students also will have the option to take the exam on computers. College Board President David Coleman said the test needs to be more representative of what students learn in high school. The new version of the SAT will be handed out in 2016.

The Senate voted 55-45 Thursday to leave the authority to prosecute rape and other serious crimes with military commanders instead of giving the power to military trial lawyers. The decision to block changes to military sexual assault cases comes after officials from the Pentagon said commanders must be able to discipline their own troops to retain control and military effectiveness. (Read full story.)

The U.S. is expected to face an El Nino season this year after one of the coldest winters on record. An El Nino occurs between December and April every few years and causes the warming of the central Pacific Ocean, which this year is expected to lead to warmer temperatures, fewer Atlantic hurricanes and a rainier, warmer winter for the 2014-2015 season. However, the warmer weather could lead to droughts and failed food crops worldwide.

Information is from the Associated Press.

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