Even if you didn't get selected to be the new defense secretary, you can still do your part by taking our latest Week to Week news quiz and see what you know about the world.
Here are some random but real hints: It's a triple threat; it's expected to result in the most conservative government in that country's history; but it's still a good house design; and gesundheit! Answers are below the quiz.
1. What controversial practice did China announce it would end in 2015?
a. Cyber espionage on American corporations
b. "Harvesting" organs from executed prisoners
c. Using fake social media apps to track protesters
d. Evicting people from their property so it can be used by well-connected real estate developers
2. Which one of the following is not something Australia's officials had to deal with from traveling Australians?
a. In 2011, Australians evacuated from civil upheaval in Egypt in a government-chartered airplane expected frequent-flier miles
b. A business group traveling through Russia wanted the embassy to provide English subtitles for local Russian television programs
c. At the embassy in Bangkok, an Australian walked in with a prostitute and wanted to get a loan to pay for services already provided; such requests are common at that embassy
d. Australians evacuated from the 2004 Southeast Asian tsunami requested first-class seats
3. According to a new Russian joke, what is going to hit 63 next year?
a. The number of countries taken over by the Russian military
b. Vladimir Putin's age, the oil price per barrel, and the ruble's value against the dollar
c. The number of "capital crimes" the Kremlin is accusing Ukraine of committing
d. The number of Russian oligarchs subject to Western sanctions
4. Who is physicist Ashton B. Carter?
a. President Obama's pick for secretary of defense
b. Jimmy Carter's grandson, who lost his bid to become Georgia's governor
c. The discoverer this week of the largest known black hole, called ACb #1075B
d. The Nobel prize winner who sold his Nobel to raise money for Ferguson protestors
5. What country's leader called snap elections?
a. United Kingdom
6. The U.S. House managed to pass a bill unanimously on Tuesday. What did it do?
a. Increase congressional salaries by 20% over two years
b. Reduce by 25% the number of FDA food inspectors
c. Threaten to kick Turkey out of NATO if that country didn't join the air war against ISIS
d. Cut off Social Security payments to World War II Nazis who lost their U.S. citizenship
7. What did a U.S. Justice Department review conclude about Cleveland?
a. Cleveland has the best-trained police force in the country
b. Cleveland should train the police departments of New York and Ferguson, Missouri
c. Cleveland police use excessive force and are poorly trained
d. Cleveland's mayor is innocent of claims that he associates with organized criminals
8. What have scientists learned from studying DNA from Richard III's remains?
a. He died of the plague
b. President Obama is related to Richard III through his maternal grandfather's family
c. He was French
d. The Tudor genetic claim to the throne is invalid
9. What does cosmologist Stephen Hawking say could end the human race?
a. Tax-and-spend liberalism
c. Artificial intelligence
d. A pandemic like Ebola
10. What did San Jose city crews dismantle this week?
a. "The Jungle," the largest homeless camp in the United States
b. Worker protections for city employees
c. The foundation for what was planned as the first Burning Man installation in the city
d. An Occupy San Jose protest camp in the downtown financial district
BONUS. What is reportedly not very effective this year?
a. The Green Bay Packers throwing game
b. Online spying attempts by Russia and China
c. The Ebola virus
d. The flu vaccine
Want the live news quiz experience? Join us Monday, December 15 in downtown San Francisco for our next live Week to Week political roundtable with a news quiz and a social hour at The Commonwealth Club of California. Panelists include the San Francisco Chronicle's Joe Garofoli, CBS SF's Melissa Griffin Caen, and Hoover Institution's Bill Whalen.
Explanations of the hints: It's a triple threat: Putin's age, oil prices, and the ruble are all perilously close to that magic number; it's expected to result in the most conservative government in that country's history: predictions are that Likud could get enough seats to govern if it teams up with two other conservative parties; but it's still a good house design: the Tudors might have been wrong for England, but they look great on that shaded side street; and gesundheit: if you don't like sneezing, this could be a bad year for you.