In stunning news, Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday morning from the Vatican that he will resign his position as head of the Catholic Church, effective on February 28. This has already set off a flurry of speculation, largely because no pope has voluntarily done so since the year 1415.
The news is still coming in, but here's what we know so far:
A 14-year-old student at Price Middle School in Atlanta was shot in the head or neck on Thursday afternoon. The student was taken to the hospital; his condition has not been officially released, but reports say that he is alert, conscious and breathing.
On Tuesday afternoon, a man in Dale County, Alabama, near Midland City, got on a school bus, demanded a child be let off with him, then shot and killed the bus driver when he refused. The shooter, identified as Jimmy Lee Dykes, then took the boy from the bus and is currently holed up with him in an underground bunker nearby.
Kimberly McCarthy, who was convicted and sentenced to death for the robbery and murder of Dorothy Booth in 1997, will be executed by the state of Texas Tuesday night. She will be the first woman since 2010 to be put to death in the United States.
Sometimes—like when they call themselves "space conquerors" after launching a satellite that broke almost immediately and tumbled out of orbit—it can be hard to take North Korea seriously. Other times—like when they threaten another test of their nuclear program at a highly delicate time for their neighbors, politically—it seems wiser to keep a close eye on them.
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