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Obama Returns to Chicago to Address Gun Violence, Economy

President Barack Obama heads to Chicago to talk gun control reform President Barack Obama will be returning to his adopted hometown of Chicago on Friday to talk about his plans to reform gun control laws and future economic plans.

The city of Chicago has faced an unusually high number of deaths lately and it seems like with every passing day another life is lost due to gun violence.

Last year over 500 people were killed in Chicago and it seems like that number will be topped this year if someone doesn’t step in. In a little over a month, almost 50 people have already been senselessly murdered.

With the city facing certain tragedy, it’s only fitting that the President host an event in the troubled city to discuss what he plans to do to turn things around. The event will allow the President to pretty much highlight the points in his State of the Union Speech, but the Chicago natives are just ready to hear how he will help fight back against gun crimes.

“He’ll, of course, also talk about the gun violence that has tragically affected too many families in communities across Chicago and across the country,” a White House official said.

The official also revealed that President Obama will be focusing on “strengthening the economy for the middle class and the Americans striving to get there.”

Before he makes the stop in Chicago, however, he will also be visiting Asheville, North Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia on Thursday to further push economic plan.

Needless to say, the rest of the world has been focusing just a bit less on the economics because families are busy trying to protect their loved ones in the midst of so many violent out breaks. After the tragic Newtown, Connecticut elementary school massacre the President has been urging Congress to take action.

While Congress agreed that something needed to be done, they couldn’t exactly agree on what needed to be done.

The president pushed Congress to approve a ban on military style weapons and would like to improve the thoroughness of background checks for those interested in purchasing weapons.

With little to no progress being made on the bill, however, the only likely outcome will be increased background checks although your neighbor will still have the right to purchase a rocket launcher in case they ever need to… you know… shoot a deer or something. That’s what most average people use military weapons for right?

Meanwhile, the First Lady has already made her way to Chicago on Saturday. Not to push a political agenda, but to reach out to the family of Hadiya Pendleton.

The First Lady attended the 15-year-old girl’s funeral and did her best to help console the family.

Hadiya was shot in cold blood just weeks after she returned to Chicago after performing at Obama’s second inauguration.

 

Pope’s Shocking Resignation May Give Way To African Pope

Pope Benedict XVI made a shocking announcement today when he revealed he would be resigning on Feb. 28 due to major health concerns.

Pope Benedict's unexpected resignation may welcome first non-white pope The 85-year-old pope became the first pope to willingly step down from his position in almost 800 years, and it seems like one shocking announcement may be followed by another.

While it is incredibly rare for a pope to resign, it’s even more unheard of to welcome a non-white pope to take his place. The unexpected and shocking resignation could change all that.

“After having repeatedly examined my conscious before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry,” the current pope said in a statement.

So let the guessing games begin because Catholics and non-Catholics alike are both on the edge of their seats waiting to see who will take over for Benedict.

With the majority of Catholics living in Africa and South America it seems hopeful that a non-white pope might be taking over. Then again, however, if they do select a non-white pope it will be centuries of tradition coming to an end – which may deter some members of the Vatican from making such a drastic decision.

When Benedict was selected to be the pope, many Catholics were hopeful that it was Joseph Ratzinger who would be selected. Is now finally the time for Ratzinger to step up? Probably not.

Having a pope step down due to health concerns will probably deter the College of Cardinals from selecting a man who is only a few years younger than Benedict. The last thing they would want is to be going through the careful selection process in another year or two thanks to another surprise resignation.

Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana is still a good contender though and at age 64 he would be one of the younger replacement options. Meanwhile some have their hopes set on 70-year-old Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga who was the President of the Latin American Episcopal Conference.

The College of Cardinals is hoping to have their decision made by Easter and will all convene on March 31 in hopes of announcing the new pope.

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Catholics are shocked by Pope Benedict’s surprise resignation. [NY Times]

Irony strikes as an ex-Virginia executioner begs the system to do away with the death penalty. [Washington Post]

Michelle Obama reaches out to Chicago gun violence victim’s family as she attends Hadiya Pendleton’s funeral. [CNN]

Women step up in gun reform debate in an unexpected way. Ladies all over the country are begging for the right to keep their guns. [NY Times]

Malian soldiers take over Gao in search of radical Islamic fighters before French forces could take control of the chaos. [Huffington Post]

The GOP denies all allegations that they are stupid as they set out on a campaign to convince the nation they aren’t misogynistic xenophobes. [Daily Beast]

 

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