Quote of the day.
"Many years ago, the father was looked at primarily as a financial provider. Now he''s looked at in a much more holistic sense of what providing means. It''s not just financial — it means spiritual and emotional provision as well." Christopher Brown of the National Fatherhood Initiative on new research showing how parents spend their time.
1. Cardinals elect Pope Francis.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, an Argentinean Jesuit who is the first in his order and the first from Latin America to hold the see of Peter, has been elected the 266th bishop of Rome and leader of the world''s 1.2 billion Catholics.
(National Catholic Reporter)
2. New pope shifts church’s center of gravity away from Europe.
The surprise selection on Wednesday of an Argentine, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, as the new pope shifted the gravity of the Roman Catholic Church from Europe to Latin America in one fell swoop, and served as an emphatic salute to the growing power of Latinos across the Americas.
(New York Times)
3. Democrats challenge Obama on offers to cut Medicare, Social Security.
While Democratic leaders are offering quiet support for Obama’s renewed campaign to strike a grand bargain with Republicans that would include cuts to Social Security and Medicare, a significant number of Democratic lawmakers are digging in their heels and vowing to protest any reduction in promised benefits.
4. U.S. citizens join immigrants in pressing lawmakers for change.
The forces favoring comprehensive legislation are showing new levels of confidence and organization, and, in a change from six years ago, [undocumented] immigrants and their American citizen family members, like Ms. Garcia, are stepping forward to speak for themselves.
(New York Times)
5. Keystone XL pipeline not good for Canada, opposition leader suggests.
Canada''s opposition leader spoke out against the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline during a visit to Washington on Wednesday, breaking with the Canadian government''s full-on lobbying push for the controversial project.
6. U.S. general puts troops on security alert after Karzai remarks.
The American commander in Afghanistan quietly told his forces to intensify security measures on Wednesday, issuing a strongly worded warning that a string of anti-American statements by President Hamid Karzai had put Western troops at greater risk of attack both from rogue Afghan security forces and from militants.
(New York Times)
7. Israeli parties strike coalition deal.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reached an agreement Thursday to form a new coalition government that is expected to try to curb years of preferential treatment for the ultra-Orthodox minority and may push for restarting peace efforts with Palestinians.
8. Iran ''steps up'' military support for Assad.
Iran has boosted its military support for the Syrian government in recent months, solidifying its position alongside Russia as the government''s "lifeline" as rebels seize more territory across the country.
9. Iraqi Sunnis await a Baghdad spring.
United by a common foe, former insurgents and allies have now won support from the Gulf in hope of ousting Shia government.
10. Empowering women to improve food security.
Programs in India and Bangladesh that aim to empower women show that to beat the odds stacked against them, strategies must be transformative.