10 things you need to know today: February 27, 2013

Hagel wins confirmation, the Pope says good-bye, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion

Pope Benedict XVI waves to the faithful as he arrives in St Peter's Square for his final general audience on Feb. 27, one day before he resigns.
(Image credit: Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

1. HAGEL WINS CONFIRMATION

The Senate confirmed Chuck Hagel as defense secretary on Tuesday in a 58-41 vote, ending a bitter battle between the White House and Republicans. The vote, essentially split along party lines, marked a victory for President Obama. Still, Hagel, a former GOP senator, won by the narrowest margin of any defense secretary since the job was created in 1947, raising concerns even among his supporters that he would emerge as a wounded leader as he takes over a Pentagon facing deep budget cuts scheduled to take effect on Friday. "He has had to renounce every contrarian view that endeared him to the president in the first place," one Republican senate aide said. [New York Times, Daily Beast]

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