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EDUCATION

The federal government released the findings of a study that examined the writing proficiency of eighth grade and 12th grade students. The study found the percentage of 12th grade students who can write at or above the basic level increased from 74 percent to 82 percent. The increase could possibly be linked to the added focus on writing in the classroom since the SAT included a writing portion in the test.

HEALTH

ScienceDaily reported that a Universite de Montreal study found that there is no connection between weight loss and smoking for teenage girls. The study also found that teenage boys who smoke 10 cigarettes per day are more likely to have stunted growth.

NATION

Unemployment claims hit a record high since September 2005, as reported by the Labor Department. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Barnake stated, for the first time on Wednesday, that the country might be headed toward a recession.

ENTERTAINMENT

The top five songs on the Billboard Hot 100 are:

1. Touch my Body by Mariah Carey

2. Love in This Club by Usher, featuring Young Jeezy

3. Four Minutes by Madonna, featuring Justin Timberlake

4. Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis

5. No Air by Jordin Sparks, a duet with Chris Brown


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