Latin America
5:54 am
Sat March 24, 2012

Pope Encounters A 'Wounded, Depressed' Mexico

Pope Benedict XVI listens to a speech during his welcome ceremony in Mexico.
Gregorio Borgia AP

Originally published on Sat March 24, 2012 9:49 pm

Crowds of people dressed in white and waving yellow flags lined the highway outside the Leon airport in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato to welcome Pope Benedict XVI. They cheered wildly when the grinning, 84-year-old pontiff sped past in his glass-sided popemobile.

The pope began his weeklong trip to Latin America on Friday afternoon. He's spending the weekend in Mexico before heading to Cuba.

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Politics
5:53 am
Sat March 24, 2012

Medicare Cuts: 'End As You Know It' Or Future Gift?

Vice President Joe Biden speaks about Republicans' proposed changes to Medicare, at Wynmoor Village retirement community in Coconut Creek, Fla., on Friday.
Luis Alvarez AP

Democrats lost no time in attacking the budget plan House Republicans introduced Tuesday. The plan saves money by overhauling Medicare, but Democrats argue it will destroy the program.

One of the Democrats leading the charge is Vice President Joe Biden. Taking on the role of candidate, Biden was in Coconut Creek, Fla., giving the second in what he promises will be a series of campaign speeches challenging the Republicans.

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Around the Nation
5:52 am
Sat March 24, 2012

Fla. Students 'Making A Stand' For Slain Classmate

Michael M. Krop Senior High School students chant during a rally demanding justice for Trayvon Martin, on Friday.
Alan Diaz AP

Students walked out of more than 30 Miami schools on Friday, some chanting "Justice for Trayvon," in a sign of solidarity with the 17-year-old black student who was killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer last month in Sanford, Fla.

Protesters numbered more than 1,000 at some schools, others fewer than 100. Some teachers and principals gave their tacit approval.

The first walkout was at Carol City High School, where Trayvon Martin was a student last year. Hundreds of his old schoolmates walked out in the middle of the school day.

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News
5:44 am
Sat March 24, 2012

Tragedy Gives The Hoodie A Whole New Meaning

James Gilchrist of Orlando, Fla., attends a rally for slain teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., on Thursday. Trayvon was wearing a hoodie when he was shot.
Roberto Gonzalez AP

From the tragic death of Trayvon Martin, a symbol emerges: the hoodie.

A simple hooded sweatshirt has become emblematic of certain assumptions in America. And of a desire by many to overturn those assumptions.

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Space
2:29 am
Sat March 24, 2012

Debris Makes Space Station Astronauts Hunker Down

A discarded chunk of a Russian rocket forced six space station astronauts to seek shelter in escape capsules early Saturday, then ultimately safely passed in front of the space station, according to NASA.

NASA spokesman Rob Navias told The Associated Press ahead of the incident that the space junk would barely be close enough to be a threat. But if it had hit the station, it could have been dangerous, so the astronauts — two Americans, three Russians and a Dutchman — woke early and climbed into two Soyuz vehicles ready to rocket back to Earth just in case.

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It's All Politics
6:24 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Santorum's 'Obamaville' Ad Warns Of 2nd-Term Horror

Santorum ad screen capture

Rick Santorum has a not so little problem standing between him and a general-election face-off with President Obama — Mitt Romney.

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The Two-Way
6:11 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Memo: Corzine Ordered MF Global Customer Funds Moved To London Account

Former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D).
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 10:50 pm

Former New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine directly ordered that $200 million from a segregated customer account be transfered to cover a $175 million overdraft in a London account. That's according to a memo (pdf) from the House Committee on Financial Services, which is scheduled to hold a hearing next week about the spectacular collapse of MF Global.

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U.S.
6:09 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Global Health Expert Chosen As World Bank Nominee

Dr. Jim Yong Kim is introduced as the new president of Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., in 2009.
Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 7:12 pm

Jim Yong Kim, President Obama's nominee to be the leader of the World Bank, is an unconventional choice. As a global health expert, he's a medical doctor who helped start an international health organization. He currently serves as president of Dartmouth College.

"Despite its name, the World Bank is more than just a bank," Obama told reporters during the White House announcement Friday morning. "It's time for a development professional to lead the world's largest development agency."

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Religion
5:44 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Thousands Rally For Religious Freedom Nationwide

Protesters rally for religious freedom in front of Philadelphia's Independence Hall on Friday. Rallies took place nationwide to protest the mandate that some religious organizations cover the cost of contraception.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 6:50 pm

Across the country, thousands of people skipped lunch Friday to protest what they see as a threat to religious liberties in the United States.

The protesters' specific complaint was the birth control mandate in the new health care law, but the discontent runs far deeper.

It didn't take much for the Rev. Pat Mahoney, an evangelical minister, to warm up the crowd in Washington. He gazed out at hundreds of people who filled the plaza in front of Kathleen Sebelius' office at the Department of Health and Human Services.

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Election 2012
5:19 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

How Would A President Romney Handle Afghanistan?

In this 2005 photo, then-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney presents Afghan President Hamid Karzai with a memento at Boston's Logan Airport. Karzai was preparing to speak at Boston University's commencement.
Dina Rudick AP

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 6:17 pm

An Army staff sergeant's alleged massacre of Afghan civilians has brought new calls for the United States to leave Afghanistan even before the timetable set by President Obama, who has announced that the U.S. combat mission will be over by the end of 2014.

Some Republican presidential candidates are among those publicly asking if now is the time for the U.S. to leave Afghanistan.

But not Mitt Romney.

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