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  1. HOLY MOLY Pope Benedict XVI to Resign Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images

    1. Pope Benedict XVI to Resign

    Pope Benedict XVI will resign on Monday, effective February 28, the Vatican has confirmed—the first time a pope has resigned since 1415. In a statement, the pope, 85, said his health had deteriorated over recent months “to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.” He also said he is resigning in full freedom and is “fully aware of the gravity of this gesture.” Benedict had reportedly wanted his predecessor, John Paul II, to resign when his health was failing. The Vatican said the papacy will be vacant until a new successor is chosen.

    February 11, 2013 6:23 AM

  2. NEMO Northeast Digs Out After Blizzard John Moore/Getty

    2. Northeast Digs Out After Blizzard

    Don’t let all the Instagram photos of children sledding fool you. As the region began assessing the damage from the storm, officials blamed nine deaths on the blizzard that struck the Northeastern U.S. and Canada on Friday and Saturday. Two people were killed in Boston, including a 14-year-old boy, and another two were injured from carbon monoxide poisoning. Roads in some areas remained impassable over the weekend: on Saturday, Massachusetts lifted its historic travel ban, the first of its kind imposed since the historic blizzard of 1978. In New York’s Long Island, key roads began to reopen, though some vehicles remained stuck in the snow, and the eastern half of the area’s main roadway, the Long Island Expressway, will be closed from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday for snow removal.

    February 10, 2013 7:56 AM

  3. DEVELOPING Five Dead in Cruise Ship Accident Manuel Gonzalez/AP

    3. Five Dead in Cruise Ship Accident

    Five people are dead and another three injured when a lifeboat fell off a cruise ship and into the sea on Sunday, Spanish officials said. The ship was docked off the coast of Santa Cruz on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands, apparently doing an emergency drill. Reportedly, all those on the lifeboat were crew members, but the nationality and sex of the dead was not known; the injured were all men, two aged 30, and another, a Greek national, is 32.

    February 10, 2013 2:40 PM

  4. NOT BFFS ANYMORE McCain: ‘Leaning’ Against Hagel Fox News

    4. McCain: ‘Leaning’ Against Hagel

    What happened to a circle is round, it has no end, that’s how long we’ll be friends? It turns out that circle ends after a dozen years together in the U.S. Senate. John McCain said on Fox News Sunday that he is “leaning” toward voting against his former colleague and fellow Republican Chuck Hagel for Defense secretary. McCain said that Hagel was “wrong” to vote against the Iraq War surge in 2007, and Hagel knows he is wrong but refused to admit it in his confirmation hearing last week. McCain and Hagel were once friends in the Senate, and are both Vietnam War veterans. Hagel’s aides, though, insisted on Friday that he will not withdraw his name for the position.

    February 10, 2013 11:58 AM

  5. Rogue L.A. Offers $1M Reward for Ex-Cop Irvine Police Department/AP

    5. L.A. Offers $1M Reward for Ex-Cop

    The city of Los Angeles is offering a $1 million reward—the largest in Southern California’s history—for information leading to the capture of Christopher Joseph Dorner, a rogue ex-police officer suspected of killing of three people and wounding two. Meanwhile, police said on Saturday that they will reopen the investigation into the 2009 firing of Dorner, as the fugitive continued to elude authorities after enacting an apparent revenge plot against the LAPD for firing him in 2009 for allegedly making false statements against his training office. Acknowledging that he is “aware” of the LAPD’s history of racism, police chief Charlie Beck insisted the investigation is “not to appease a murderer” but rather to assure the community that the department is fair and transparent.

    February 10, 2013 6:40 PM

  6. awards season ‘Argo’ Wins BAFTA Best Film Stuart Wilson / Getty Images

    6. ‘Argo’ Wins BAFTA Best Film

    Watch out, Oscars, Argo is on an unstoppable award-winning roll. After a big win at the Golden Globes, the Iranian hostage thriller took home Britain's BAFTA award for Best Film, and Ben Affleck snagged the Best Director trophy as well. Skyfall was named Best British Film, Daniel Day-Lewis unsurprisingly won for Lincoln, and Christoph Waltz got the prize for Supporting Actor. Anne Hathaway and Emmanuelle Riva took the awards for Best Supporting Actress and Best Actress, respectively.

    February 10, 2013 5:15 PM

  7. muddled legacy Paterno Family Fights Damning Report Carolyn Kaster / AP Photo

    7. Paterno Family Fights Damning Report

    In an attempt to clear his name, the family of Joe Paterno released a report denying claims made by former FBI Director Louis Freeh that the coach complied in the child-sex-abuse scandal that shook Penn State’s football program. Published online this morning “The Critique of the Freeh Report: The Rush to Injustice Regarding Joe Paterno,” written by former U.S. attorney general Dick Thornburgh and experts Jim Clemente and Fred Berlin, says the Freeh report is “deeply flawed and that key conclusions regarding Joe Paterno are unsubstantiated and unfair.” In turn, Freeh has already stabbed back, saying the “self-serving report” “doesn’t change the facts.” Penn State stands by Freeh’s report and is implementing the 119 recommendations it makes.

    February 10, 2013 4:57 PM

  8. SECOND TERM SOTU to Focus on Jobs Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

    8. SOTU to Focus on Jobs

    Get those bets ready for what President Obama’s grand ambition will be in Tuesday’s State of the Union address. Sources said the president will focus the speech, his first State of the Union of his second term, on the economy as the unemployment rate ticked up last month—as well the need for public investment in infrastructure, education, and research. The president is also expected to propose ways to make college more affordable. At a policy retreat in Virginia on Thursday, the president said the priority of his second term “starts with an economy that works for everybody.” According to speechwriter Cody Keenan, the president “likes” the draft of the speech he saw last week. Obama’s speechwriters began drafting the State of the Union after Election Day in November.

    February 10, 2013 7:52 AM

  9. CHANGING OF THE GUARD Gen. Allen Hands Over Afghan Command Pool photo by Omar Sobhani

    9. Gen. Allen Hands Over Afghan Command

    Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford will take over the command of NATO troops in Afghanistan on Sunday, as U.S. Gen. John Allen said the troops had come a “long way” toward winning the counterinsurgency. “I think we are on the road to winning," Allen told the BBC. Allen, cleared last month of allegedly sending inappropriate emails to a woman linked to the resignation of CIA director David Petraeus, will take over the NATO command in Europe. Dunford is expected to be the the force’s last commander, as the U.S. has insisted it will hand over the reins to Afghan forces in 2014. “Today is not about change, it’s about continuity,” Dunford said in a change-of-command ceremony in Kabul on Sunday. “What has not changed is the will of this coalition.”

    February 10, 2013 8:08 AM

  10. NEW ORLEANS Four Shot in Mardi Gras Celebrations Jonathan Bachman/AP

    10. Four Shot in Mardi Gras Celebrations

    Four people were shot Saturday night on a packed Bourbon Street in New Orleans in the city’s Mardi Gras celebrations. One male victim had undergone surgery Saturday night and was listed in critical condition, while the other three were stable. The area remained crowded with revelers after the shooting, with many saying they were undeterred by the violence and others saying they were not surprised. “It’s kind of like that,” said Baton Rouge resident Lyle Robelot, 26. “You just hope it doesn’t happen to you.” No arrests were immediately reported, and police said they were pursuing three men who fled the scene.

    February 10, 2013 8:40 AM

  11. BREEZY Chris Brown Totals Car Pool photo by David McNew

    11. Chris Brown Totals Car

    Chris Brown totaled his Porsche on Saturday after allegedly being chased by paparazzi, his rep said. Brown collided with a wall in Beverly Hills, police said. The singer’s rep said he was on his way to a charity event when the paparazzi were in “aggressive pursuit” of him. “In an effort to remove himself from the situation, he began to back down an alley at which point he was cut off by two additional vehicles,” Brown’s rep said. No one was hurt, according to police.

    February 10, 2013 8:46 AM

  12. TOO LOW

    12. Dalton Rejects: Scared to Criticize

    Nothing like publicizing the names of rejected incoming kindergarteners to give them a complex for life. Parents of the rejected applicants to elite New York city prep school Dalton are apparently too terrified to criticize the school for fear their kids will get further punished, according to a report in Sunday’s New York Post. Many of the children have not yet heard from other schools and their parents don’t want it known their children were rejected—or they don’t want to incur the wrath of Dalton, in case they try to apply again in a few years. The names of students rejected from the school were sent to alumni as part of a fundraising drive—some have alleged it could be a pay-for-admission scheme—but the school has since apologized for the “privacy breach.”

    February 10, 2013 2:28 PM

  13. BACKLASH Hollywood Rallies for Melissa McCarthy Kevin Winter/Getty

    13. Hollywood Rallies for Melissa McCarthy

    Living well is the best revenge. Hollywood rallied in support for comedian Melissa McCarthy after Observer critic Rex Reed called her “tractor-sized” and a “female hippo.” “Turns out Rex Reed didn’t die sad and alone 10 years ago,” tweeted Modern Family star Eric Stonestreet. Paul Feig, director of McCarthy’s breakout film Bridesmaids, tweeted that Reed could “go f--- himself.” Observer commenters also attacked Reed, accusing him of a double standard. But McCarthy may have gotten the last laugh: although it received mixed reviews, her new film Identity Thief brought in $11.2 million on its opening night, Friday, despite the blizzard that hit the Northeast.

    February 10, 2013 8:49 AM

  14. TRAGIC Obama: ‘Heartbroken’ Over Slain Teen Pool photo by Charles Rex Arbogast

    14. Obama: ‘Heartbroken’ Over Slain Teen

    The funeral program for 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who performed last month at President Obama’s inauguration, featured a handwritten note by Obama, while first lady Michelle Obama attended the service in Chicago on Saturday. “Dear Cleopatra and Nathanial, Michelle and I just wanted to let you know how heartbroken we are to have heard of Hadiya’s passing,” the note read. Obama also pledged to “work as hard as we can to end this senseless violence.” Hadiya’s family focused Saturday’s service on her life and personality rather than the politics surrounding her death. She was killed on Jan. 29 in a suspected gang-related shooting, though she and her friends had no ties to any gangs.

    February 10, 2013 8:11 AM

  15. #Rough Millennials Most Stressed Generation Jessica Miglio/HBO

    15. Millennials Most Stressed Generation

    It’s not easy being told you’re perfect and can do anything only to grow up and find yourself a normal person—living an average life. A new study by the American Psychological Association finds that the millennial generation (18- to 33-year-olds) are more stressed than any other age group. More than 50 percent of millennials reported having their sleep disrupted by “overwhelming worries” in the past month. “Many of these young people have come out of college or graduate school with horrendous student debt into a job market where there are not very many jobs,” the psychological group’s executive director said. “This has put their life plans, probably, on hiatus.” Someone’s been watching Girls. #MillennialPeopleProblems.

    February 9, 2013 5:29 PM

  16. REVOLUTION Ron Paul Wants Back Cliff Owen/AP

    16. Ron Paul Wants Back

    But what about the Ron Paul Revolution? The former Texas congressman and outspoken anti-government crusader filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization over the website, according to a blog post on the site on Friday. is controlled by some of Paul’s followers, who founded the site in 2008 and helped foster grassroots support for him in that year’s presidential campaign. The owners of the site said they contacted Paul last month and said that although they still wanted control of, they offered him their mailing list for $250,000 and the use of as a “free gift.” Paul instead filed a complaint with the U.N.-backed tribunal, a group that he has long called to be disbanded.

    February 10, 2013 8:43 AM