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.
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.
Update 2:55: One shooting victim's name is Jody Neal, according to his uncle and sister, who were interviewed at the scene.
Update 2:50: "The police believe the danger has been mitigated," according to a spokesman for the college. "The school is under control but still being evacuated."
A small college in Houston is on lockdown following what appears to have been a shooting on campus on Tuesday. One suspect has been detained, and a second is possibly on the loose, according to local authorities.
Wednesday afternoon, President Obama proposed numerous measures in response to a string of recent mass shootings across the country, including one at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in which 20 children and six adults were murdered by a gunman.
On Monday President Obama nominated former Senator Chuck Hagel to the post of secretary of defense and current counterterrorism adviser John Brennan as director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Both nominees may run into problems getting confirmed to their positions by the Senate.
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