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Weekly News Quiz for Students

Adapted from the Learning Network at The New York Times

Samuel Corum for The New York Times

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On Sept. 26, President Trump announced that he had selected Judge Amy Coney Barrett to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Judge Barrett would become the 115th justice in the nation’s history and the ______ woman ever to serve on the Supreme Court.





President Trump has selected Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a conservative, to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a leader of the Court’s liberal wing, and will try to conclude Senate confirmation before Election Day in a move that would significantly alter the ideological makeup of the Supreme Court.

If confirmed, Judge Barrett would become the 115th justice in the nation’s history and the fifth woman ever to serve on the Supreme Court. The other female justices are Ginsburg, Sandra Day O'Connor (retired), Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan.

At 48, Judge Barrett would be the youngest member of the current court. And she would become Trump’s third appointee on the court, joining Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

Xavier Burrell for The New York Times

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On Sept. 23, a grand jury weighing evidence in one of the country’s most contentious police shootings indicted a former Louisville police detective on charges of ______ for his role in the raid on the home of Breonna Taylor, but the two officers who shot Taylor six times faced no charges.

evidence tampering

reckless endangerment


unlawful use of a weapon

Protesters poured into the streets in Louisville after the announcement. And at least two police officers were shot shortly before a 9 p.m. curfew. There were also demonstrations in New York, Chicago, Milwaukee, and smaller cities around the country.

Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, was shot and killed by Louisville police officers during a botched raid on her apartment in March. The demonstrators called for all three officers, who are white, to be held to account for Taylor’s death.

Prosecutors found that the two officers who shot Taylor were justified in their use of force because they had identified themselves as officers and had then come under fire from her boyfriend, who said he thought it was intruders forcing their way inside. The charges against former Detective Brett Hankison were for firing recklessly into a neighbor’s apartment.

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Over the weekend, protests against ______ popped up in cities across Europe, including Berlin, Dublin, London and Paris.

climate change

coronavirus restrictions

gender inequity

racial injustice

Gatherings are taking place in major European cities as coronavirus cases are again rising across much of Europe. But with health experts warning that a second wave has already arrived in some places and with many governments moving to reintroduce restrictions, the ranks of those dismissing the dangers of the virus and calling it a government-led hoax have swelled.

Daniel Jolley, a senior lecturer in psychology at Northumbria University and an expert in conspiracy theories, said the emergence of a growing, vocal contingent of people who believed governments were not being truthful about the pandemic was unsurprising.

“People are drawn to conspiracy theories in times of crisis,” Jolley said. “When there is something happening—a virus outbreak, rapid political change, the death of a celebrity, a terrorist attack—it breeds conspiracy theories.”

The prolonged nature of the pandemic and the prospect of a new round of government restrictions, he believes, have only deepened that distrust and potentially spurred on the naysayers.

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California plans to ban the sale of ______ statewide by 2035, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Sept. 23.



new gasoline-powered cars

plastic toys

The governor’s plan is a sweeping move aimed at accelerating the state’s efforts to combat global warming amid a deadly and record-breaking wildfire season.

In an executive order, Governor Newsom directed California’s regulators to develop a plan that would require automakers to sell steadily more zero-emissions passenger vehicles in the state, such as battery-powered or hydrogen-powered cars and pickup trucks, until they make up 100 percent of new auto sales in just 15 years.

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Magawa, a 5-year-old African giant pouched rat, was recognized with a prestigious honor for his work ______ .

detecting mines and explosives in Cambodia

fighting off a rabid cat threatening school children in Mali

helping to dig out trapped coal miners in Peru

identifying poisonous cheese intended for the prime minister of Estonia

Magawa is the first rat to receive the award. He will receive a gold medal bestowed by the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, a British charity. 

Magawa has sniffed out 39 land mines and 28 pieces of unexploded ordnance, and helped clear more than 1.5 million square feet of land over the past four years.

“Magawa’s work directly saves and changes the lives of men, women, and children who are impacted by these land mines,” said Jan McLoughlin, the director general of the charity. “Every discovery he makes reduces the risk of injury or death for local people.”

Juan Arredondo for The New York Times

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This week, Cream of Wheat changed its packaging. Its parent company, B&G Foods, is the latest company to re-evaluate the racial undertones of its brand after this summer's Black Lives Matter protests renewed the focus on images that the companies had used for decades to sell their products. Which of the brands below has announced it will do the same?

Aunt Jemima

Mrs. Butterworth’s

Uncle Ben's

All of the above

The Black chef will no longer appear on Cream of Wheat packaging. It’s a decision that comes three months after the parent company, B&G Foods, vowed to re-evaluate its marketing to ensure it did not “inadvertently contribute to systemic racism.”

“For years, the image of an African-American chef appeared on our Cream of Wheat packaging,” the company, B&G Foods, said. Although research suggests the image may be based on an actual chef from Chicago, “it reminds some consumers of earlier depictions they find offensive,” the company said.

It is not clear when the change will take effect.

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______ percent of Americans have antibodies to the new coronavirus, suggesting that the nation is even further from herd immunity than had been previously estimated, according to a study published on Sept. 25 in The Lancet.

Less than 10



More than 60

The study looked at blood samples from 28,500 patients on dialysis in 46 states. The results roughly matched those of an analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that will be released next week. The CDC’s analysis found that about 10 percent of blood samples from across the country contained antibodies to the virus.

An accurate estimate of the country’s immunity is important because President Trump has tentatively promoted the idea of reaching herd immunity. That would happen by canceling lockdowns, mask-wearing campaigns, and social-distancing mandates. The plan would be to let the virus spread through the population while trying to protect the people most vulnerable.

But most public health experts say that such a policy would lead to thousands of additional deaths, as it is impossible to protect all Americans who are elderly or have underlying conditions that render a person more likely to become seriously ill or to die.

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