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Confused about the Common Core State Standards? Join the club. That's not to say the new benchmarks in reading and math are good or bad, working smoothly or kicking up sparks as the wheels come off. It is simply an acknowledgement that, when the vast majority of U.S. states adopt a single set of educational standards all at roughly the same time, a little confusion is inevitable.

Below is a handy FAQ about Common Core. We'll continue answering your questions in the coming months. You can post them in the comments section, or on Twitter and Facebook using #commonq.

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If you think craft beer is seemingly everywhere these days, there's good reason. From bars and restaurants to supermarket aisles, the selection of locally made, often quirkily named brews has grown at an exponential rate.

The United States has the capability to record "100 percent" of a country's phone calls, The Washington Post reports today citing people "with direct knowledge" and documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

According to the paper, the U.S. keeps those recordings for a month. The paper adds:

Boy, it's a good time to be a dark-chocolate lover.

We've noted before the growing evidence that a daily dose of the bitter bean may help reduce blood pressure. There also seems to be a link between a regular chocolate habit and lower body weight.

Nigerian Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie might be Africa's best-known young writer, but she's now making a big mark this side of the Atlantic.

As increasingly confident Republican leaders predict big midterm election gains, the head of Democratic National Committee put on her game face Tuesday and insisted the party will hold control of the Senate.

The Democrats' grass-roots organization, said Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and what she characterized as the GOP's continuing alienation of women, minority, LGBT and middle-class voters, bodes well for her party this fall.

Many plans sold on the health insurance marketplaces offer a trade-off: lower premiums in exchange for limited choices of doctors and hospitals. But consumers who opt for these plans with the idea that they'll go out of network when necessary may be taking a big financial risk.

The health law generally limits how much consumers can be required to pay out of pocket for medical care (not including premiums). In 2014, the limit for an individual plan is $6,350 and for a family plan, $12,700.

Chechen separatist leader Doku Umarov, whose attacks on Russian civilians earned him the nickname "Russia's Bin Laden," is dead, according to an insurgency website.

However, it's worth noting that this is not the first time Umarov's death has been announced.

The BBC reports via Kavkaz Center, the main website of Russia's Islamic militants, that Umarov "became a martyr," but had no further details.

Two people were killed and one was critically injured when a KOMO News helicopter crashed and burned Tuesday near Seattle's Space Needle, the station reports.

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