Teacher’s union boss courts GOP, key Hispanic groups in bid for Biden’s education secretary pick

The former president of the nation’s largest teachers union is working to lock up support from Republican senators and Hispanic leaders in her bid to be picked as Education secretary, according to officials familiar with the talks.

a close up of Lily Eskelsen García who is smiling at the camera: Lily Eskelsen García speaks at a news conference.

© Andrew Harnik/AP Photo
Lily Eskelsen García speaks at a news conference.

Lily Eskelsen García is expected to score the backing of more than 40 Hispanic groups finalizing a letter endorsing her for the position this week. She has also strategized in recent weeks with Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the retiring chair of the Senate committee that oversees education and himself a former Education secretary.

“We’ve talked with her and gave her advice on how to get bipartisan support,” said David Cleary, Alexander’s chief of staff and veteran of education policy on Capitol Hill. “There’s a good argument to be made for Lily.”

The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a collection of more

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Key test: South Koreans sit university exam amid COVID-19 surge | South Korea

Nearly 500,000 high school students are sitting the test with stringent measures imposed to curb the virus.

South Korea fell quiet on Thursday as hundreds of thousands of students sat for the country’s high-stakes national university entrance exam amid a surge in coronavirus cases that has prompted new measures to curb its spread, including for candidates sitting the test.

Teenagers spend years preparing for the exam, which can mean a place in one of the elite colleges that are seen as key to future careers, incomes and even marriage prospects.

This year, the coronavirus pandemic has added to the pressure – delaying and disrupting the school year and at times forcing all classes online.

At the elite Ewha Girls’ Foreign Language High School many students arrived on their own or with their test-taking friends and some parents seemed more nervous than their children. Tightened curbs following a wave of new

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Imagining the Future Anew at Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University, a Key Participant in UNESCO’s Futures Literacy Summit

To foster the knowledge, development, and reach of futures studies, Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University (PMU) is participating in the High-Level Futures Literacy Summit, held by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) from 8 to 12 December 2020.

Dr. Issa Al Ansari, President of PMU, will first deliver an opening speech on the university’s involvement in the enrichment of future studies. The university will further present and participate in workshops, announce research grants, and offer a virtual exhibition.

“The purpose of the UNESCO 2020 Summit is to amplify the role of futures studies in influencing people’s perceptions and actions related to the present and the future as well, as to empower all people, to use future thinking efficiently and effectively in order to create changes that benefit societies,” said Dr. Ansari, President of PMU. “Futures studies are a very important element of the educational mission

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Colgate University proved why testing is key to opening campus amid coronavirus pandemic

Some colleges managed to salvage the fall semester by bringing students back to campus amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The key to success? Lots and lots of testing.

Colgate University in upstate New York is one of the schools that prioritized testing early on. The 200-year-old college has conducted roughly 11,000 COVID-19 tests for its 3,000 students, according to the school’s dashboard. The school also engaged in wastewater sampling to detect COVID cases.

“Testing that many people that often has allowed us to stay safe and remain open,” Colgate Dean Paul McLoughlin told Yahoo Finance Live (video above). “But also, it is what’s necessary. It’s allowed us to sort of identify early.”

Colgate, which is currently reporting 0% positivity rates for four weeks in a row, has offered its students antigen tests on a voluntary basis between November 16 and 17 before students head home for Thanksgiving. Furthermore, the school

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Will Geo Baker close out Rutgers Hall of Fame career this season? 3 key players to watch

The most-anticipated Rutgers men’s basketball season in ages is only three days away.

The Scarlet Knights are expected to tip off against Sacred Heart on Wednesday night at the RAC in Piscataway, COVID-19 permitting. Here are three players who will be key to Rutgers’ push to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 30 years:

Geo Baker: Don’t look now, but this may be the final season for a budding Rutgers icon. Baker will be forever remembered as the on-court face of the program’s revitalization; he is a shoo-in to enter the Rutgers Hall of Fame someday and his No. 0 may be retired. But back to the present: Baker is the heart and soul of this team and its go-to guy in crunch time. This team cannot get to where it wants to go without a big season from him.

Ron Harper Jr. Harper averaged 12 points

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College Football Power Rankings: Oklahoma makes key move as Northwestern soars into top 10

Take a good look at the latest sets of college football rankings. The College Football Playoff Selection Committee sure will. That’s been proven. The committee’s first rankings (debuting Tuesday) have been so similar to the human polls over the years that it resembles a sort of intellectual plagiarism.

Take last year. The CFP matched the AP Top 25 in 14 of the top 15 ranked teams. Six of them the CFP had in the exact same place in the polls as AP voters. Just for grins, we looked back and compared how the Power Rankings stacked up in 2019. The committee matched us on four exact poll positions. So consider this week an appetizer for Tuesday night.

This is especially applicable this week because the first CFP Rankings are a template for the rest of the season. Any movement of teams will be judged in relation to Tuesday’s initial rankings.  

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Law enforcement leaders say education key to mask mandate

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Violations of North Dakota’s mask mandate carry a possible fine of up to $1,000. But many law enforcement leaders say issuing a citation for failing to wear a face covering is a last resort and that education is the priority.

Gov. Doug Burgum encouraged law enforcement to prioritize education when he imposed the mandate Friday after months of refraining from an order. He also issued an executive order limiting capacity for bars, restaurants and event venues, and suspended prep sports and extracurricular activities. Burgum directed all local, county and state law enforcement to enforce his executive order.

Bismarck Police Chief Dave Draovitch said officers will respond to calls about violations, but won’t actively be looking for people or businesses that have not complied with the mandate. A citation would be the last resort, Draovitch said.

“I understand that some do not agree with this executive order,

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A key to the mystery of fast-evolving genes was found in ‘junk DNA’

A long-standing puzzle in evolution is why new genes — ones that seem to arise out of nowhere — can quickly take over functions essential for an organism’s survival.

A new study in fruit flies may help solve that puzzle. It shows that some new genes quickly become crucial because they regulate a type of DNA called heterochromatin. Once considered “junk DNA,” heterochromatin actually performs many important jobs, including acting like a tightly guarded prison: It locks up “bad actor” genes, preventing them from turning on and doing damage.

Heterochromatin is also one of the fastest-changing bits of DNA in the body, so the genes that regulate it have to adapt quickly just to keep up, evolutionary biologist Harmit Malik at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and his colleagues report online November 10 in eLife.

“The work is a milestone,” said Manyuan Long, an evolutionary biologist

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Cysteine synthesis was a key step in the origin of life: study

origin of life
Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

In an important step during the early evolution of life on Earth, the formation of the amino acid cysteine delivered vital catalysts, which enabled the earliest protein molecules to form in water, according to a new study by UCL researchers.

All proteins are built from the same 20 amino acids. One of these, cysteine, was assumed not to have been present at the origin of life. Despite its fundamental importance to all life today, it was unclear how cysteine might have formed on the early Earth.

In a new study, published in Science, UCL scientists have recreated how cysteine was formed at the origins of life. Additionally, they have observed how, once formed, cysteine catalyses the fusion of peptides in water—a fundamental step in the path towards protein enzymes.

The UCL researchers created cysteine using very simple chemistry and chemicals—hydrogen cyanide and hydrogen sulfide—that were

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5G for business: Why this green and leafy campus could hold the key to success

Business enthusiasm for 5G remains limited, with research suggesting just 15% of UK businesses are currently investing in 5G.

Sceptical executives with constrained investment budgets through 2021 might choose to wait before exploring next-generation networks. However, organisations that explore the potential of 5G now could get ahead of the crowd, which is where an innovative approach in the leafy English county of Warwickshire aims to play a key role.

An alliance that includes the University of Warwick, Warwickshire County Council and telecoms giant BT aims to help entrepreneurs and businesses in the local area create useful applications for superfast networks.

SEE: 5G smartphones: A cheat sheet (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

“We believe that 5G is a game-changer for innovation and that we can create new use cases, new products, new services,” says David Plumb, chief innovation officer at the university. “By doing that, it allows us to create new companies and

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