On Tuesday, March 12, 115 Cardinals from around the world will gather in the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City to elect the new head of the Catholic Church. The Cardinals will all gather at 10:45 am, attend mass, and then march in precession to one of the most beautiful rooms in the world. They will take the oath of secrecy as they begin this most holy rite of the Catholic Church. The room will be swept for bugs and listening devices and all electronic transmissions will be jammed to ensure total confidentiality.
Former Surgeon General, C. Everett Koop, died at 96 years old. He was the most visible Surgeon General 20th-century. He was appointed by Pres. Ronald Reagan 1980. He is best known for bringing the AIDS epidemic to the forefront of American awareness. At a time when no one was confronting the issue, he was very clear and explicit in Telling the American people of its existence and dangers.
He also led the fight against tobacco smoking. He claimed that 30% of all cancer deaths could be directly attributed to tobacco. He was also the first to warn of the dangerous effects of secondhand smoke.
He was a retired pediatrician when Pres. Reagan appointed him. He was not an expert in public health, but he had a lot of common sense and became known as "America's Doctor."
The Carnival cruise ship Triumph suffered an engine-room fire that was caused by a leak in a fuel oil return line. The ship lost electricity and had to run on generators for four days. This forced passengers to sleep on the upper decks, wait in long lines for limited food, and urinate in a bag. With the help of tugboats, the Triumph returned to land on Thursday, February 14, in Mobile, Alabama.
A woman that was aboard the ship is now suing Carnival. She says she " suffered a permanent bodily injury, pain and suffering, mental anguish and a loss of capacity to enjoy life." Attorney James Walker says the passengers are not really entitled to anything because the cruise line covered all their bases in fine print on the bottom of each ticket. To make up for the cruise, Carnival reimbursed each passenger for the cruise, gave them a free cruise, and $500 cash. This is more than the company was " legally obligated to provide." This is the first of many lawsuits against Carnival.
Christopher Dorner was a member of the Los Angeles Police Department who was fired because of a dispute with his supervisor. He said that he was unjustly discriminated against and vowed vengeance against the police department and their families. He first killed the daughter of a member of the police department as an act of revenge. He then killed a police officer when they tried to stop him. There has been an active manhunt searching for Dorner for about a week. His burned out vehicle was found near the base of Big Bear Mountain in California. Dorner then went up the mountain and took two women hostage and stole a car. The women escaped safely and alerted the police. When police tried to stop the vehicle, Dorner shot two officers, killing one. On Tuesday, February 12 Dorner barricaded himself in another cabin. Police heard a gunshot in the cabin, then the cabin started burning and is continuing to burn as of Tuesday evening. Although there is no confirmed capture or death of Dorner, it is believed that he may have taken his own life and did not leave the burning cabin. Another theory is that he may have escaped while the cabin was burning. The result of the investigation will be known in the next few hours.
Robert Griffin III led the Washington Redskins to their first NFC Eastern Division Championship in many years. Many people viewed him as the new hope that came to rescue the Redskins after they had been so bad for so many years. He was definitely the star player for the team. Many fans believed believed RG3 would carry the team all the way to the Super Bowl.
On Sunday, RG3 severely injured his right knee. There is a lot of controversy if Coach Shanahan should have taken him out because he was obviously not playing up to his usual potential. Given the fact that RG3 is so important to the Redskin's future, a lot of people are saying that the coach make a mistake by keeping him in. They say that he should have been thinking more about the future of both RG3 and the Redskins, not just the current game.
On Wednesday, the mayor of Indianapolis, Mayor Greg Ballard, signed an executive order requiring the city to replace its 500 non-police sedans with hybrid vehicles. Indianapolis is aiming to reduce the nation's reliance on foreign oil. Mayor Ballard says, "our oil dependence in some cases places the fruits of our labor into the hands of dictators united against the people of the United States." But, this will not only will this reduce the nation's reliance on foreign oil, it will also protect the environment.
Even though these hybrid vehicles are more expensive than the gasoline-powered sedans they will replace, "taxpayers could save $12,000 over the 10-year lifespan of each new electric and plug-in hybrid." Mayor Ballard has wanted to make this switch for the past few years and now, technology has allowed this change to happen.
Hundreds of same-sex couples descended upon Seattle City Hall on Sunday, December 9 to get married. Washington is now one of nine states that has enacted same-sex marriage laws. Marriage licenses could be picked up as early as 12:01 on Thursday, but due to the three-day waiting period the earliest these couples could be married was Sunday. Although many places began marrying gay and lesbian couples at midnight on Sunday, Seattle City Hall began marrying couples at 10 am. As couples exited city hall they were greeted by many people cheering and congratulating them. Many people were so happy they called this "a great day, a joyous day."
In support of Coach Chuck Pagano, who is battling leukemia, the players of the Indianapolis Colts shaved their heads. Blue, the team’s mascot, challenged the Colts’ cheerleaders via twitter for one cheerleader to also volunteer to shave her head if he could raise at least $10,000 for leukemia research. One cheerleader, Megan M publically volunteered for this challenge. Through the Colts’ website Blue was able to raise $22,000. At the time Megan’s head was shaved another cheerleader also stepped forward to volunteer. Their hair was donated to Locks of Love and the money raised by Blue was sent to leukemia research.