The Top 10 Stories of February 26, 2013

By Duane Shank 2-26-2013

Quote of the day.
"We don't come into the world alone. We shouldn't leave it alone." Kate Hopkins, Louisville, Ky., on why she attends burial services for paupers who die without family or friends.
(Associated Press)

1. Coalition of Christians pushes Congress to protect poor from spending cuts.
A coalition of noteworthy Christian leaders and thinkers is asking President Barack Obama and congressional leaders to protect the poor from the forced spending cuts that are due to take effect this week.
(CNN Belief Blog)

2. GOP will propose sequester changes.
In a last-minute bid to minimize the most painful impacts of federal spending cuts — and perhaps blame — Republicans will propose this week allowing the government to choose where to cut.

3. Hagel poised for defense confirmation.
Chuck Hagel’s seven-week struggle to win confirmation as secretary of defense appears near the end with an expected Senate vote Tuesday on his nomination.
(NBC News)

4. Republicans sign brief in support of gay marriage.
Dozens of prominent Republicans — including top advisers to former President George W. Bush, four former governors and two members of Congress — have signed a legal brief arguing that gay people have a constitutional right to marry.
(New York Times)

5. U.S. lawyers say BP ignored warnings.
The man in charge of BP's ill-fated Deepwater Horizon rig warned his boss that staff were operating in "chaos, paranoia, and insanity" just days before a fatal blowout killed 11 men and caused the worst oil spill in U.S. history, a New Orleans court heard on Monday.

6. Iran, big powers hint at nuclear concessions.
Iran said it was prepared to make an offer to major powers in talks on its nuclear program in Kazakhstan, after the United States proposed limited sanctions relief in return for a halt to the most controversial work.  

7. Kerry vows not to leave Syria rebels ‘dangling in the wind.’
Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday that the Obama administration has been considering new steps to increase support for the Syrian opposition and hasten the departure of President Bashar al-Assad and that some of them would be decided at an international conference in Rome this week.
(New York Times)

8. South Korea inaugurates first female president.
Park Geun-Hye, the daughter of South Korea's late military ruler, has been sworn in as the country's first female president.
(Al Jazeera)

9. Italy election: Europe jitters over result deadlock.
European politicians and markets have reacted anxiously after Italy's general election produced a stalemate between center-right and center-left blocs.

10. Pope to be called 'emeritus pope.'
Pope Benedict XVI will be known as "emeritus pope" in his retirement and will continue to wear a white cassock, the Vatican announced Tuesday, again fueling concerns about potential conflicts arising from having both a reigning and a retired pope.
(Associated Press)

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