Today's Headline News from Associated Press
OBAMA: FLEXIBILITY WON'T HELP WITH SPENDING CUTS
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) - No progress to report in negotiations with Congress, President Barack Obama on Tuesday singled out for praise the few Republicans who say they're open to aspects of his approach to averting looming government-wide spending cuts, seeking to turn up the heat on GOP leaders ahead of Friday's deadline.
Obama rejected a proposal floated by Senate Republicans to give the president more flexibility to pick and choose which programs should be cut to reach the $85 billion over seven months mandated by the so-called sequester. "There's no smart way to do that," he said.
BENEDICT TO BE CALLED 'EMERITUS POPE,' WEAR WHITE
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Two pontiffs, each wearing white and each called "pope" living a few yards (meters) apart, with the same archbishop serving both.
The Vatican's announcement Tuesday that Pope Benedict XVI will be known as "emeritus pope" in his retirement, called "Your Holiness" as an honorific and continue to wear the white cassock associated with the papacy fueled renewed questions about potential conflicts arising from the peculiar reality soon to face the Catholic Church: having one reigning and one retired pope.
2ND MAJOR SNOWSTORM PARALYZES PARTS OF MIDWEST
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - For the second time in a week, a major winter storm paralyzed parts of the nation's midsection Tuesday, dumping a fresh layer of heavy, wet snow atop cities still choked with piles from the previous system and making travel perilous from the Oklahoma panhandle to the Great Lakes.
The weight of the snow strained power lines and cut electricity to more than 100,000 homes and businesses. At least three deaths were blamed on the blizzard.
SENATE CLEARS THE WAY FOR CONFIRMATION OF HAGEL
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate cleared the way Tuesday for confirmation of Chuck Hagel to be the nation's next defense secretary after Republicans dropped their unprecedented delay of President Barack Obama's choice to head the Pentagon.
On a vote of 71-27, the Senate ended a Republican filibuster, setting the stage for the widely expected confirmation of the former two-term Republican senator from Nebraska later in the day. Eighteen Republicans joined 51 Democrats and two independents to move forward with the contentious nomination.
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