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March 12, 2014

Question: How do you get angsty, indifferent high school kids to raise money for a charity? Beg? Bribe?

Try torture.

A Washington high school is blasting Justin Bieber's song "Baby" on repeat between class periods and during lunch until the student body reaches its goal of raising at least $500. The money will benefit a school for orphans in Ghana, not to mention the sanity of the Tenino High School teens.

The school's torturer is none other than student body president Connor Stakelin, who came up with the idea. He's so dedicated/masochistic that he actually holds the intercom phone up to the stereo for the duration of the pass periods.

Luckily for everyone involved, the school matched and far exceeded its goal, raising more than $960 as of Tuesday. While Stakelin has ceased the school's forced Bieber Fever, he's keeping the fundraiser open.

"Any more we raise would be better for them," Conner told USA Today Network.

Here's hoping Stakelin's public-office ambitions end after graduation. Although imagine what Bieber torture could do on a national level... Lauren Hansen

6:41 p.m. ET
Getty Images/Alex Wong

Following the unexpected death of conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Saturday, Republicans and Democrats immediately began fighting over who should select his replacement. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement that "this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president," while Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said President Obama "can and should send the Senate a nominee right away."

Were Obama to nominate Scalia's replacement, it would dramatically refashion the ideological make-up of the court, with the reliably conservative Scalia almost certainly being replaced by a liberal like Obama's other two nominees, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. Ben Frumin

6:12 p.m. ET
Getty Images/Kayana Szymczak

In the wake of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's unexpected death on Saturday, several prominent conservatives argued on Twitter that the next president — and not President Obama — should select Scalia's replacement. Were a Democratic president to nominate Scalia's replacement, it would dramatically refashion the ideological make-up of the court, with the reliably conservative Scalia almost certainly being replaced by a liberal like Obama's other two appointments, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.

Here's GOP presidential contender Ted Cruz:

And influential National Review writer Charles C.W. Cooke:

Expect to see a lot more of this. Ben Frumin

6:12 p.m. ET

After word spread of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's unexpected death Saturday, presidential candidates mourned the longest-serving justice in statements and on Twitter.

Scalia reportedly died of natural causes Saturday at a luxury ranch in West Texas. He was 79. News of his death comes just hours before the remaining six Republican presidential candidates meet in South Carolina for their ninth debate. Lauren Hansen

5:49 p.m. ET
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Image

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the death of Justice Antonin Scalia on Saturday, mourning his colleague as "an extraordinary jurist, admired and treasured by his colleagues." Roberts called Scalia's passing "a great loss to the court," which may see its ideological make-up dramatically refashioned as the Democratic president seeks to replace the late conservative justice.

Here's Roberts' full statement. Ben Frumin

5:48 p.m. ET
Getty Images

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead Saturday at a luxury resort in West Texas, according to federal officials.

Several state and federal agencies are conducting an investigation, but officials say it appears the 79-year-old died of natural causes. Scalia had arrived at the Cibolo Creek Ranch on Friday for a private party. When he didn't show up for breakfast, an employee of the ranch went to his room and reportedly found his body.

Scalia, the longest-serving justice on the Supreme Court, was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 and established a strong conservative voting record over his tenure. His death has the potential to dramatically reshape the ideological make-up of the court.

In a statement, Chief Justice John Roberts said he was saddened to hear of his colleague's death. "He was an extraordinary individual and jurist, admired and treasured by his colleagues. His passing is a great loss to the Court and the country he so loyally served."

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott echoed those sentiments in his statement, calling Scalia, "a man of God, a patriot, and an unwavering defender of the written Constitution and the Rule of Law." Lauren Hansen

2:16 p.m. ET
Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The State Department marked 81 of more than 500 Hillary Clinton emails released Saturday as confidential, The Hill reports. Another three were upgraded to "secret" status, and none were marked "top secret," the highest designation.

None of the emails released Saturday had been marked confidential when they were originally sent.

The State Department still has more than 3,000 emails to release from Clinton's private server, which she used as secretary of state. Julie Kliegman

1:24 p.m. ET

In case the Rubik's Cube isn't already challenging enough to solve, one puzzle maker just made it physically demanding, too. Tony Fisher constructed a monstrous cube, spanning just over 5 feet in either direction and weighing in at about 224 pounds.

Fisher believes his creation could be the biggest functional Rubik's Cube in the world, and he hopes to get it recognized as such by Guinness World Records.

On his YouTube page, he notes that the cube broke shortly after he shot the surreal video below, but he's working on getting it fixed. Julie Kliegman

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