THE MORNING BANTER: World Illiteracy, Alaska Drilling, SOTU Responses, and Jennifer Lawrence Naked

Happy Thursday! A few deep breaths and it will almost sort of be the weekend. Here’s what’s happening on the interweb:

1. Report: 250 Million School Age Kids Can’t Read

At least 250 million of the world’s 650 million primary school age children are unable to read, write or do basic mathematics, according to a report Wednesday commissioned by the U.N. education agency. I wish those 250 million kids could know how upsetting that stat makes me, but they can’t read this so whatever.

2. Shell to Stop Drilling in Alaska in 2014

Shell, Europe’s largest oil company, will stop drilling for oil in Alaska this year as it cuts back on investments and tries to reverse a steep drop in earnings. Incoming CEO Ben van Beurden said Royal Dutch Shell PLC will cut capital spending by around $10 billion this year and sell assets to become more efficient because of a court ruling that put “significant obstacles” in the way of exploiting resources in the Arctic.

Van Beurden decried that he almost got away with it, if it wasn’t for those pesky federal court rulings and their voracious dog.

3. A Translation of Cathy McMorris Roberts’ SOTU Response

For those trying to figure out what she was saying underneath all their bullshit, here’s a great translation for you, brought to you by our very own Ben Cohen. Spoiler alert: it’s just more bullshit.

4. Jennifer Lawrence Naked on the Cover of Empire

Jennifer Lawrence bore all for Empire Magazine’s cover, which would be hot if she wasn’t covered in blue paint and scales. Okay, I’m lying, it’s still pretty hot.

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