The 115 cardinal-electors of the 1.2 billion-member Roman Catholic Church, meeting in conclave for the second day on March 13, elected Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, to become the church’s 266th pope.
In a report published online on March 11, Jason Ditz, research editor at Antiwar.com, used the strained meeting on Monday between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel as the backdrop to assert that the U.S. occupation of the war-torn nation “is flying apart at the seams, with insider attacks and popular opposition once again on the rise.”
On March 11, as the United States and South Korea began their annual joint military exercises, the government of North Korea responded by saying the 1953 armistice is over and cutting off the telephone “hot line” between the two Koreas at Panmunjom.
Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, commander of the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) — the U.S. military command responsible for operations in 20 countries in the Middle East — has recommended that 13,600 U.S troops remain in Afghanistan after the White House-mandated 2014 withdrawal date for American and NATO troops.
During an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program on Tuesday, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush revealed that he would now support legislation that provided a “path for citizenship” for illegal immigrants.
While reviewing a challenge to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, several Supreme Court justices questioned the need for continuing an important provision of the act (Section 5), which requires only certain geographic areas — mainly seven Southern states, Alaska, Arizona, and three boroughs of New York City, as well as numerous smaller jurisdictions — to obtain federal preclearance before making changes in voting laws.
With the end of the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI rapidly approaching, Vatican spokesmen on February 23 vehemently refuted reports originating in the Italian media that presented highly negative descriptions of the Holy See’s central administrative apparatus, known as the Curia. An Italian newspaper suggested that the pope had resigned soon after being presented with a dossier that revealed a network of Vatican priests, "united by sexual orientation," who were being blackmailed.
Speaking at the United Nations Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on February 19, North Korean diplomat Jon Yong Ryong threatened South Korea with "final destruction.”
President Obama has proposed the creation of a new “Lawful Prospective Immigrant” visa specifically for illegal immigrants that would allow those who are here illegally to remain in the country while they await permanent legal status.
The United Nations Security Council condemned the communist government of North Korea for conducting its third nuclear test on February 12, and tightened sanctions on the repressive regime.