First watch: The world's smartest students, Veep in Asia, Giving Tuesday

McClatchy Washington BureauDecember 3, 2013 

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Some of the thousands of Los Angeles area high school students attend the 12th Annual College and Career Convention, sponsored by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, on Nov. 6, 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles.

GARY FRIEDMAN/LOS ANGELES TIMES — MCT

The average U.S. 15-year-old is not as smart as students in many other countries, according to new international data released this morning. Among U.S. students, Massachusetts teens scored higher on the PISA test. Students in Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong rank highest.

Vice President Joe Biden is in Tokyo this morning, as part of a weeklong tour of Asia. "Economically, diplomatically, militarily, we have been, we are, and we will remain a resident Pacific power," he told a Japanese newspaper.

Bitcoin Friday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday. Virtual currency bitcoin was used in a record number of transactions on Black Friday. Online shopping hit record levels on Cyber Monday. And new this year, the United Nations is partnering on an effort to boost charitable donations by inspiring the spirit of generosity on #GivingTuesday.

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