In the News 4/2

Noa Davies


Why MIT Is Bringing Back Standardized Test Requirements

This week, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced it will be bringing back the requirement of standardized tests in its application process. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many colleges and universities declared that standardized testing was not mandatory for their applications. This allowed for admission offices to look at applicants that they might not have looked at before. So why now, after admission season, is MIT taking this back? “Our research suggests the strategic use of testing can help us continue to improve both the diversity of our class and its collective success at MIT,” Dean of Admissions Stu Schmill wrote in a blog post. This might be a helpful data point for a school such as MIT where math and science subjects are very heavy for students, but UC schools claim that going test-optional actually helped them with diversity. The future of the weight of standardized testing is most definitely up for debate.


Israel Experiences a Terrorist Attack

On Tuesday, Israel faced its deadliest terrorist attack in eight years. The attack occurred in the city of Bnei Brak, and has been the third deadliest terrorist act in eight years. The other two attacks were in Beersheba and Hadera which are both rare targets for militants. The Bnei Brak attack was carried out by 27-year-old Biaa Hamarsheh who owned a cellphone shop north of the West Bank. No militant group has claimed responsibility for his actions and his reasons for the attack remain unclear. Hamarsheh killed five people in his attack.


January 6th Investigation Calls US Supreme Court Justice Thomas into Question

As the investigation of the January 6th attack on the White House continues, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife’s texts about the event have emerged. Thomas was nominated by President George H.W. Bush in 1991. His wife, Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, apparently exchanged texts with Mark Meadows, former White House chief of staff, encouraging efforts to keep President Joe Biden from taking office. Because of this discovery, Justice Thomas is now facing backlash saying that he should have recused himself on cases involving the 2020 election and January 6th. While Ginni Thomas has not been accused of any criminal behaviors, the texts to Meadows led to members of Congress calling for her to be questioned and for Thomas to recuse himself from any January 6th cases.


Mayor Adams Makes Efforts To Move Homeless People Into Shelters

New York City has made serious strides to move homeless people into shelters. Mayor Eric Adams sees this transition as crucial to the city’s pandemic recovery and a way to make the city safer. In 12 days, sanitation workers and the police have cleared 239 encampments. Only five people at those sites agreed to go to homeless shelters. The rest will most likely remain outdoors or rebuild their encampments. In the first four weeks of efforts to clear out subways, nearly 80 people each week accepted placements in shelters. Mayor Adams has also stated that the city is in the process of opening 500 beds in specialized shelters that have fewer restrictions, more on-site services, and privacy. Meera Joshi, the deputy mayor for operations, stressed that encampment removals were not a “one and done” and that there is still much to do in regards to this matter.


Will Smith Slaps Chris Rock

This year’s Oscars took a turn for the worse when Chris Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. Pinkett Smith has been open about her struggle with an autoimmune disorder, alopecia, which leads to hair loss. Her husband, Will Smith, then walked onto the stage and proceeded to punch Rock. The whole outburst was filmed live, while Smith’s comments afterward were muted. Later in the show, Smith went on to receive the Academy Award for Best Actor for his lead role in the movie “King Richard.” The next day, Smith released a statement apologizing to Rock and stating “..a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.” The Academy is now conducting an investigation of the situation and assessing what repercussions Smith should receive.