✏️ Pencils down

·6 min read

A fire at a Baltimore row home turned deadly when the building collapsed, killing three firefighters. And check your spam folder – you could be a bajillionaire!

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But first, want fries with this nightmare fuel? 🍟 A woman in England was eating a chicken and bacon wrap from McDonald's when she bit "something hard." She said it turned out to be an exotic spider.

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SAT to get shorter, go online-only

Put the pencil down. The SAT is going online. The College Board, the organization that administers the SAT, PSAT and other standardized tests, announced the change Tuesday. The shift to online exams won't happen until 2024 for American students. International students will start testing virtually in 2023. For decades, the SAT – or its competitor, the ACT – was required to apply to traditional colleges. The tests' ubiquity has faded in recent years as more colleges have ditched the exams as a prerequisite for admissions. Critics of the test say it disproportionately favors wealthy students who have the time and resources to take test-prep courses and sit for the exam multiple times. Test advocates say it helps connect low-income students to colleges or scholarships that might otherwise pass them over. The College Board said the switch to the digital version will offer benefits to those taking and administering the test. For starters, the test will run about two hours, trimmed from the roughly three hours it takes now. Plus, the virtual format will mean students get their test scores back in days as opposed to weeks.

Won't need these much longer. The SAT is moving to the digital realm.
Won't need these much longer. The SAT is moving to the digital realm.

What's going on with Ukraine?

President Joe Biden said Tuesday he would consider directly sanctioning Russian President Vladimir Putin if Russian forces invade Ukraine. During an unscheduled visit to a local shop, the president warned of "enormous consequences" for Russia not only economically and politically but "worldwide." The Biden administration and Senate Democrats are weighing legislation that would personally sanction Putin if Russia should invade Ukraine. The package would block all U.S. property transactions and interests in property held by the Russian president and other top military and government officials. Biden also said troop movement to NATO countries depends on what Putin "does or doesn't do," reiterating that deployments are about showing solidarity with NATO allies. He also repeated that there are no plans to send U.S. troops to Ukraine. Watch to catch up on the latest? Here's what we know.

Ground crews unload weapons and other military hardware delivered by the U.S. military at Boryspil Airport near Kyiv, Ukraine, on Jan. 25.
Ground crews unload weapons and other military hardware delivered by the U.S. military at Boryspil Airport near Kyiv, Ukraine, on Jan. 25.

What everyone's talking about

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Worker vaccine mandate gone but not forgotten

The Biden administration is officially withdrawing its requirement that most private-industry workers be vaccinated or regularly tested for coronavirus – the controversial rule the Supreme Court blocked from enforcement earlier this month. But the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said it is still considering whether the vaccinate-or-test rule should be imposed on a nonemergency basis, which wouldn’t require as high a legal standard to meet. OSHA said it is "prioritizing its resources to focus on finalizing a permanent COVID-19 Healthcare Standard." The original rule had applied to businesses with at least 100 employees and would have impacted more than 80 million workers. It was challenged by a number of GOP-led states as well as some businesses and advocacy groups.

Demonstrators protest on the Roosevelt Bridge against the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate on Nov. 26, 2021, in Stuart, Fla. The protest was in support of health care workers who will face unemployment because of the mandate.
Demonstrators protest on the Roosevelt Bridge against the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate on Nov. 26, 2021, in Stuart, Fla. The protest was in support of health care workers who will face unemployment because of the mandate.

3 firefighters killed, 1 hurt in blaze at Baltimore row home

A Baltimore firefighter who survived the collapse of a burning vacant home that killed three colleagues was upgraded to fair condition Tuesday. Fire Chief Niles Ford said the four firefighters were battling the row home blaze early Monday when they became trapped in the partial collapse of the three-story building. EMT/Firefighter John McMaster was immediately pulled out and taken to a hospital, Ford said. Officials confirmed that Lt. Paul Butrim, Firefighter/Paramedic Kelsey Sadler and EMT/Firefighter Kenny Lacayo died after battling the blaze. McMaster was originally listed in critical condition and on life support Monday night at Maryland Shock Trauma. But Ford said in a statement Tuesday that McMaster's condition has been upgraded to fair as "he is conscious and alert."

Firefighters salute as an ambulance carries a deceased firefighter after they were pulled out of a collapsed building while battling a two-alarm fire at a vacant row home, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022, in Baltimore. Officials said several firefighters died during the blaze. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Firefighters salute as an ambulance carries a deceased firefighter after they were pulled out of a collapsed building while battling a two-alarm fire at a vacant row home, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022, in Baltimore. Officials said several firefighters died during the blaze. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Real quick

🤑 Friendly reminder to check your spam folder

A Michigan woman's search for a missing email turned into a $3 million surprise. Laura Spears, 55, of Oakland County, was on the hunt for an email when she noticed one in her spam folder from the Michigan Lottery notifying her she had won a $3 million Mega Millions prize. "I couldn’t believe what I was reading, so I logged in to my Lottery account to confirm the message in the email," she told the Michigan Lottery. "It’s all still so shocking to me that I really won $3 million!" She recently claimed her prize and plans to share the money with family and retire earlier than planned. She also made sure to change her email settings.

Laura Spears, 55, of Oakland County won $3 million in the Dec. 31 Mega Millions drawing.
Laura Spears, 55, of Oakland County won $3 million in the Dec. 31 Mega Millions drawing.

A break from the news

🥇 Olympics countdown: With 10 days to go, U.S. downhill skier Breezy Johnson withdraws from Beijing Olympics with a knee injury.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: SAT changes, COVID-19, Ukraine, Baltimore fire. It's Tuesday's news.

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