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10 things you need to know today: February 11, 2013
Pope Benedict announces his resignation, Mumford & Sons shines at the Grammys, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
Pope Benedict XVI delivers his Christmas Day message from the central balcony of St Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.
Pope Benedict XVI delivers his Christmas Day message from the central balcony of St Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. Franco Origlia/Getty Images

1. POPE BENEDICT XVI SAYS HE IS STEPPING DOWN
The Vatican confirmed on Monday that Pope Benedict XVI will step down on Feb. 28, a very rare occurrence in the history of the Roman Catholic Church. "The last pope to resign was Pope Gregory XII in 1415," says Paul Owen at Britain's The Guardian. And the news of Pope Benedict's departure "seems to have come as a complete surprise to everyone," including prelates in the church. According to The Guardian's Lizzy Davies, the Catholic Church will be without a pope from Feb. 28 until the cardinals elect a replacement. In a letter to the faithful, the 85-year-old Pope said that his "strength of mind and body" had deteriorated in the last few months "to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me." [The Week]
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2. MUMFORD & SONS, FUN., AMONG TOP GRAMMY WINNERS
The British roots music band Mumford & Sons took the top honor at Sunday's Grammy Awards for their album Babel. "We figured we weren't going to win because The Black Keys have been sweeping up all day — and deservedly so," Mumford & Sons front man Marcus Mumford said as he and his band members collected the award from last year's winner, R&B-soul singer Adele, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Other top honors went to young acts including indie trio Fun., electronic pop artist Gotye, rapper-R&B singer Frank Ocean and rock group The Black Keys. In a first, this year's Grammy Awards — the 55th — finally embraced songs and videos people listened to via YouTube and other internet outlets, rather than purchasing them. [Los Angeles Times]
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3. WINTER STORM DUMPS SNOW IN MIDWEST
A powerful winter storm slammed into the Midwest on Monday, dumping more than a foot of snow on some areas as people in the Northeast were still digging out after a historic snowfall days earlier. Some parts of the East Coast got several feet of snow, leaving many towns buried and without power. "It looked like a war zone," said Jim Cantwell, a state representative for the Massachusetts towns of Marshfield and Scituate, where about 90 percent of customers remained without power late Sunday. "The devastation we have seen here would lead one to believe that it'll be days before we get power back." [CNN]
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4. DOZENS DIE IN STAMPEDE DURING INDIA RELIGIOUS FESTIVAL
At least 37 people died Sunday in a stampede at a train station in northern India during one of the world's largest religious festivals. About 30 million Hindus took a dip at the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna, and the mythical Saraswati rivers on one of the holiest days in the 55-day Humbh Mela, or Pitcher Festival, and that evening tens of thousands of people were in the Allahabad station waiting to leave when a last-minute schedule change triggered chaos on the platform. [Associated Press]
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5. POLICE SEARCH HOME-IMPROVEMENT STORE IN MANHUNT
Police evacuated a Northridge, Calif., Lowes home-improvement store Sunday night after a possible sighting of suspected cop-killer Christopher Dorner. With police helicopters hovering overhead, officers searched the store before allowing shoppers to leave, although they had to leave their cars in the parking lot. Hours earlier, police had announced a $1 million reward for information leading to the arrest of Dorner, who is suspected of killing a Riverside police officer and two others in a campaign to avenge his firing from the Los Angeles police force five years ago. [ABC News]
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6. DANISH DRUGMAKER'S INSULIN DRUG HITS A SNAG
U.S. regulators put the brakes on Novo Nordisk's new long-acting insulin Tresiba by demanding more clinical tests on the drug to assess possible heart risks. Shares in the Danish drugmaker dropped by 12 percent early Monday, because the move will make it harder for the company — Denmark's largest corporation and the world's top insulin maker — to meet its financial goals. Shares of rival Sanofi gained four percent. [Reuters]
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7. FRENCH, MALIAN FORCES RETAKE KEY CITY
French and Malian government forces regained control of the strategic northern Mali city of Gao on Monday. Islamist rebels invaded the city, which they had fled two weeks earlier, through its harbor on Sunday and fought for hours in the heart of the downtown area, following an attack by two suicide bombers at military checkpoints on the edge of town. The al-Qaeda-linked insurgents had run the town for 10 months, but residents had thought they were gone for good. "We were stunned when we came out and saw what happened," one local said near Gao's heavily damaged police headquarters. [Associated Press]
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8. LIFEBOAT ACCIDENT KILLS FIVE
Five crew members on a British cruise liner were killed on Sunday during a routine safety drill, when the lifeboat they were in plunged 100 feet into the sea after the cables holding it snapped. The vessel came to rest in the water upside down, trapping the dead and three others, who were injured, inside. The incident occurred as the ship, the Thomson Majesty, was on a six-hour stopover in port on the Spanish island of La Palma. "The three surviving members were in the rear of the vessel and were able to free themselves," said Leandro Melgar, chief of the Ports Authority in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. [Telegraph]
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9. FRENCH HORSE MEAT SCANDAL SPREADS
French ministry officials are meeting with food-safety regulators on Monday to consider how to respond to widening concerns over horse meat being sold labeled as beef. Several supermarket chains and other retailers, including Casino Guichard Perrachon, Carrefour, and four others, on Sunday pulled frozen lasagna, moussaka, cannelloni, and hachis parmentier made by Findus Group Ltd. and Comigel after some of their products were found to contain horse meat. "We need to get out of this fog," French Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll said. "That way, we can establish traceability." [Bloomberg]
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10. AN IPHONE WATCH?
Apple is testing a watch-style device with some of the functions of its hugely popular iPhone, according to The Wall Street Journal. The newspaper's source says the company has talked to manufacturer Foxconn about putting together the wearable gadget. The Journal didn't say what iPhone features the smartwatch would offer, and analysts said the device would be unlikely to serve as an adequate substitute for an iPhone. "That means it could be little more than a second display or microphone for those Apple fans that feel the need to carry another of the firm's products at all times," says Lawrence Latif at The Inquirer. [The Wall Street JournalThe Inquirer]

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