Pope Benedict XVI becomes the first pope to resign since 1415, the search for an ex-cop at the center of an LAPD revenge plot widens, and sources predict an aggressive State of the Union address from Obama. Meanwhile, Grammy winners celebrate their awards, Justin Timberlake makes his musical return with a retro Grammy performance, and Tiger Woods may be dating Lindsay Vonn.
Pope Benedict XVI To Resign, http://huff.to/VPiqiC
Pope Benedict XVI announced today that he will resign the papacy on February 28, citing health concerns and old age. The pope, who is 85, will the be the first pope to resign since 1415. “After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to a certainty that my strengths due to an advanced age are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry,” said Pope Benedict. Benedict had already been the oldest pope elected in nearly 300 years when he was elected in 2005 at age 78. Since there will be no need for the mourning period that traditionally follows the death of a pope, the Vatican will hold a conclave to elect a new pope by mid-March.
Search for ex-cop at center of LAPD revenge plot widens, http://bit.ly/Y4Icz7
Authorities are entering the second week of a manhunt for former LAPD cop Christopher Dorner, who released an online manifesto targeting police officers and their families. Dorner says he is seeking revenge for being fired from the police department and is so far accused of killing three, including the daughter of a former LAPD police chief and another former cop. The search for Dorner has widened to become one of the largest in the history of Southern California. Los Angeles announced a $1 million reward on Sunday for help in catching Dorner.
Obama’s State of the Union 2013: Aggressive, http://politi.co/WEATlU
Democrats close to Obama hint that the president plans to use his State of the Union speech on Tuesday to challenge the Republican Party and put his opposition on the defensive. West Wing leaks suggest viewers should expect an address much more aggressive than his 2009 SOTU, in which he called for peaceful, bipartisan collaboration. The address is likely to build upon Obama’s progressive Inauguration speech and supposedly will center on jobs creation, the middle class, and infrastructure projects, all key areas for partisan debate. The speech will also mark the debut of Cody Keenan, who wrote for Ted Kennedy, as Obama’s new chief speechwriter. Florida Senator and rising Republican star Marco Rubio will likely generate buzz when he delivers the GOP’s rebuttal speech.
Graham on Brennan, Hagel: ‘No confirmation without information,’ http://bit.ly/12mIT9R
Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that he would hold up Obama’s nominees to head the CIA and Defense department until he gets more information about the administration’s response to September’s Benghazi attack. “No confirmation without information,” Graham said, addressing whether he would allow the nominations of John Brennan and Chuck Hagel to go forward. Graham specifically asked whether Obama had called Libyan officials and asked them to allow a rescue team to go to the consulate that night, saying he believes American lives could have been saved had the president called the government. ” I don’t think we should allow Brennan to go forward for the CIA directorship, Hagel to be confirmed secretary of defense until the White House gives us an accounting,” he said.
Tornado tears through southern Mississippi, http://bit.ly/Wc6ZDM
At least 12 were injured when a tornado touched down in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on Sunday, prompting the governor to declare a state of emergency in four counties. The University of Mississippi, located in Hattiesburg, received significant damage to several buildings as a result of the storm, though none were injured there. No one has been killed so far, authorities reported, though many town structures were impacted. “If there is a good thing about this, it happened on a Sunday when most of these structures were vacant,” mayor of Hattiesburg John DuPree said.
Local Students Want “Traditional Prom”, Gays Banned, http://bit.ly/Y4iRHc
A group of students, parents, and at least one teacher at a high school in Sullivan, Indiana are advocating for a “traditional” prom that would ban gay students. Sullivan High School insisted that they cannot legally allow such a prom, inspiring the group to organize at a church on Sunday and discuss options for holding a separate prom. “We want to make the public see that we love the homosexuals, but we don’t think it’s right nor should it be accepted,” one high school student said. Though the movement has garnered support from several local pastors, not all in the community agree with it. “The feeling of being loved and belonging is universal,” said local Jim Davis.
Grammy Awards 2013: Mumford & Sons’ ‘Babel’ Wins Album of the Year, http://lat.ms/YktKnp
Justin Timberlake Makes Musical Return With Retro Performance, http://bit.ly/Z4kdGS
Grammy Dresses: The Bold and the Beautiful, http://bit.ly/14MGQ21
Tiger Woods Dating Lindsay Vonn; Source Says Relationship is New, http://bit.ly/151O43b