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Trending In Our News Feeds First day of papal conclave. Following Mass, the College of Cardinals will enter the Sistine Chapel and cast their first votes to select the successor to Pope Emeritus Benedict. We expect initial results around 6:30 p.m., Vatican time. Black smoke from the Chapel chimney will mean that no candidate received the necessary two-thirds majority vote. White smoke signals the selection of the next pope. Follow along with editor Mike Luciano’s live blog.
NY “soda ban” struck down. The day before NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg’s controversial ban on large, sugary drinks was set to become law, a state judge ruled against the law in court. Judge Milton Tingling, Jr. called the ban “arbitrary and capricious,” echoing the complaints of New York business owners. The ban would have prevented businesses from selling sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces. Bloomberg announced he will appeal the decision immediately.
Aurora shooter submits “not guilty” plea. A judge entered a plea of “not guilty” on behalf of James Holmes today. Holmes is accused of killing 12 and injuring 70 others at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises last July.
NASA announces results of Mars analysis. In a press conference today, NASA will reveal the results of analysis performed on the first rock sample ever extracted from Mars. Watch the conference live here, at 1pm EDT.
Facebook “likes” reveal personal details. Researchers from Cambridge have found that certain patterns of “likes” are linked to specific personal qualities. For example, if you “like” science and curly fries, you probably have a high IQ. The researchers can use their data to reliably predict a Facebook user’s religion, drug behavior, and sexual orientation, among other traits.
Liberal arts schools offer tuition deals. In the face of declining high school graduation rates and decreasing enrollment at private colleges, liberal arts school are beginning to offer novel financial incentives to prospective students. Alma College, in Michigan, now offers its students a $2,500 research stipend and free classes to those who need a fifth year to graduate. More than two-dozen liberal arts schools have frozen tuition rates at 2012 levels.
Status Updates Pundit in the Washington Post. Congratulations to Pundit Hamdan Azhar, who’s covering SXSW for PolicyMic, live from Austin, TX! The Washington Post’s “Ideas@Innovations” blog features his most recent story on SXSW. 
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Must Reads From PolicyMic Rand Paul is the New Force to Be Reckoned With in DC (Ruby Lee, @1776lostgarden) – Last Wednesday may be one for the history books. While the president played nice with select GOP senators, the rug was ripped out from under them by a freshman senator from Kentucky.
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How Republicans Can Win Back Millennial Voters and Succeed In 2014 and Beyond(Matthew Swift, @MatthewASwift) – To win the future, the GOP must embrace the ensuing war within the party and foster healthy debate on key issues. We cannot remain in a state of denial.
[22 Mics, 176 Comments, 100 Shares]
Millennials Will Help Turn a Broken Newark Around (Rashawn Davis, @Davis4West2014) – From gun violence to unemployment, the problems that Newark faces are the same problems faced by its young residents, but no local politicians are under the age of 37. Until now.
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PolicyMic Mixtape: 12 New Tracks You Can't Miss This Week (Juan Camero, @jdcamero21) – We've included two "Gangnam Style" remixes, and that's enough reason to listen to all of these songs.
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5 Under-the-Radar Places American Troops Are Stationed (Eli Sugarman, @EliSugarman) – Most Americans know that the U.S. military is winding down its presence in Afghanistan, but here are a few places you may have forgotten still have armed forces.
[3 Mics, 3 Comments, 14 Shares]
What We’re Sharing Is there life after work? Former Lehman Brothers CEO weighs in on work-life balance (NY Times).
What’s in a name? A graph of the most popular papal monikers (Economist).
It’s not all bad: Why the sequester is good for Africa (Foreign Policy).
Why taking classes online might be even better than showing up in person (Financial Times).
Shaq is back: The big man’s top 5 business tips (Wired).
New David Bowie album released. Stream “The Next Day” here (PolicyMic).
Baauer busted: “Harlem Shake” producer didn’t pay for samples (NY Times).
How The Bachelor won back its viewers, just in time for the season finale (NY Times).

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