- Published on Wednesday, 13 March 2013 16:52
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina was elected pope Wednesday, becoming the first pontiff from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium. He chose the name Francis, associating himself with the humble 13th-century Italian preacher who lived a life of poverty.
Looking stunned, Francis shyly waved to the crowd of tens of thousands of people who gathered in St. Peter's Square for the announcement, marveling that the cardinals needed to look to "the end of the earth" to find a bishop of Rome.
In choosing a 76-year-old pope, the cardinals clearly decided that they didn't need a vigorous, young pope who would reign for decades but rather a seasoned, popular and humble pastor who would draw followers to the faith. The cardinal electors overcame deep divisions to select the 266th pontiff in a remarkably fast, five-ballot conclave.
- Published on Thursday, 15 March 2012 16:31
LINCOLN, Neb. — When Karen Williams' son died in a motorcycle crash, the Oregon woman turned to his Facebook account in hopes of learning more about the young man she had lost.
Williams found his password and emailed the company, asking administrators to maintain 22-year-old Loren Williams' account so she could pore through his posts and comments by his friends. But within two hours, she said, Facebook changed the password, blocking her efforts.
"I wanted full and unobstructed access, and they balked at that," said Williams, recalling her son's death in 2005. "It was heartbreaking. I was a parent grasping at straws to get anything I could get."
Now lawmakers and attorneys in at least two states are considering proposals that would require Facebook and other social networks to grant access to loved ones when a family member dies, essentially making the site contents part of a person's digital estate. The issue is growing increasingly important as people record more thoughts and experiences online and more disputes break out over that material.
- Published on Wednesday, 07 March 2012 16:22
WASHINGTON — His delegate lead growing, Mitt Romney gently nudged his Republican opponents toward the sidelines on Wednesday and said he was on track to wrap up the presidential nomination before the party convention next summer. Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich paid him no mind, vowing to fight on in a campaign marked by persistent ideological divisions.
If anything, the political maneuvering intensified as the marathon pointed toward contests in five states over the next week. Romney's campaign purchased television advertising time in Alabama according to campaign sources, as it pursued a breakthrough in the party's Southern base.
A Santorum ally urged Gingrich to abandon the race.
In response, the former House speaker said he would consider it — if he thought Santorum was sure to beat Romney and then President Barack Obama. "I don't," he added.
- Published on Tuesday, 06 March 2012 21:43
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio — Republican Rick Santorum is back.
After four straight losses to Mitt Romney, the former Pennsylvania senator won at least three states — Oklahoma, North Dakota and Tennessee — on Super Tuesday. He was aggressively challenging Romney in the night's marquee race in Ohio.
Even before all the states were decided, it was clear that Santorum's position as Romney's chief Republican opponent was still intact.
"This was a big night tonight," Santorum told cheering supporters at a local high school. "We have won in the West, the Midwest and the South, and we're ready to win across this country."
- Published on Tuesday, 06 March 2012 13:14
ATLANTA — Mitt Romney is angling to solidify his front-runner status and Rick Santorum to keep it a two-man race as voters in 10 states put Super Tuesday's imprint on the Republican presidential contest. Newt Gingrich just hopes to keep his struggling campaign alive with a strong showing in Georgia.
With Ohio looming large in the Super Tuesday lineup, textbook editor Heather Froelich outside Columbus gave her vote to Romney, saying: "He understands the economy."
Enthusiasm was in short supply among some of those casting ballots.
Gingrich got a reluctant vote from Tricia Tetrault, in Edmond, Okla., where she explained her decision this way: "Ronald Reagan wasn't available any more. What can I say?"
Santorum got the support of contractor Matt Howells in suburban Cleveland, but Howells didn't expect his ballot would count for much.
"I really don't see a Republican winning the White House," he said.
- Published on Monday, 05 March 2012 09:06
CANTON, Ohio — Mitt Romney's allies are hoping Super Tuesday's powerful imprint on the Republican presidential nomination will bring clarity, at long last, to the fractious contest and rouse Republicans behind their frontrunner. But that's strictly up to voters across the nation, weighing in on most consequential day of the campaign to date.
Romney and his chief rival, Rick Santorum, scrambled for any advantage they could find Monday in Ohio, the most-watched contest in the 10-state extravaganza stretching from Alaska to the southeast.
Latest polls found Santorum slipping in Ohio, putting him in a near dead heat with Romney, and Gingrich looking strong but not invincible in his home state of Georgia, which he needs to win to have any hope of resurrecting his candidacy. Ron Paul, trailing the delegate count and the expectations game, hoped one or more of the three caucus states, Alaska, Idaho and North Dakota, would finally give him a victory.
- Published on Wednesday, 29 February 2012 08:54
CHARDON, Ohio — The 17-year-old suspect in a deadly shooting rampage at an Ohio high school appeared briefly in juvenile court as residents of the shaken community offered sympathy and support for families and friends of the three students who were killed and two who were wounded.
A prosecutor described suspect T.J. Lane as "someone who's not well" and said the teen didn't know the victims but chose them randomly.
Lane admitted taking a .22-caliber pistol and a knife to the 1,100-student Chardon High School and firing 10 shots at a group of students sitting at a cafeteria table Monday morning, prosecutor David Joyce said.
Authorities offered their own condolences Tuesday and shared a nugget of welcome news, announcing that an 18-year-old girl who was hurt in the shootings had been released from the hospital and was home with family. The second injured teen remained in serious condition at a suburban Cleveland hospital.
- Published on Tuesday, 28 February 2012 23:00
WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney scored a hard-won, home state triumph in Michigan and powered to victory in Arizona Tuesday night, gaining a two-state primary sweep over Rick Santorum and precious momentum in the most turbulent Republican presidential race in a generation.
"We didn't win by a lot, but we won by enough," Romney told cheering supporters in Michigan. He also tweeted his delight — and his determination: "I take great pride in my Michigan roots, and am humbled to have received so much support here these past few weeks.
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