What happens when a pope resigns? The vatican says emblems of authority like the papal ring will be destroyed, as if a pope had died. He will also lose his infallibility -- his supreme authority in Church matters. The special power, limited to statements of doctrine, has been used only once when Pius XII established the Assumption of Mary as Church dogma in 1950. What happens to Pope Benedict XVI? Rev. Federico Lombardi says the retiring Pope will live in a monastery on the edge of the Vatican gardens adding the Pontiff’s decision to reside there will not put his successor in a delicate position. "The pope will surely say absolutely nothing about the process of the election." Lombardi reveals for the first time that the pope has had a pacemaker for years. The pope's brother, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger says Benedict plans to stay out of the public eye and will probably even stop writing. He also confirms his brother has no intention of returning to live in his native Bavaria. How will a retired Pope be addressed? Some Vatican officials say it would probably be up to the next pope to decide Benedict's new title-- he might still be called "Your Holiness" as a courtesy. It is not even clear whether the retired pope will retain the name Benedict, or revert to Joseph Ratzinger.
Read more on Rappler.
Benedict XVI's Successor
A leading archbishop from Ghana tells Reuters a black African pope to succeed Pope Benedict would be "quite some miracle." He says negative perceptions within the Catholic hierarchy will have to be overcome first. Catholics in the African continent has risen from 55 million to more than 145 million in last 30 years. Cardinals Peter Turkson of Ghania and Laurent Mosengwois of Congo are mentioned as candidates. Turkson is the head of the Vatican justice and peace bureau. There are no open campaigns or declared candidates for the post and cardinals are forbidden by Church law from revealing who they voted for. Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi announced that cardinal electors will meet in mid-March to choose Benedict's successor. "The beginning of the conclave cannot be before March 15."
Read more on Al Jazeera and Rappler
US President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address on Tuesday is the lowest-rated since 2000, according to Nielsen ratings. 33.5 million Americans watched Obama's address, a significant decline from the second-term speeches of his predecessors. 39.4 million viewers watched President George W. Bush's second-term SOTU in February 2005, while President Bill Clinton's January 1997 address drew 41.1 million. In general, viewership for Obama's address has been in decline -- from 52.4 million in 2009, 48 million in 2010, 42.8 million in 2011 and 37.8 million in 2012.
Read more on Politico.com
UNA vs Team PNoy
Vice President Jejomar Binay wants common candidates to choose between Team PNoy and the United Nationalist Alliance. UNA shares guest candidates Sen Loren Legarda, Sen Francis Escudero and Grace Poe with the administration. Binay threatens to drop the three if they continue snubbing the opposition's events. The common candidates skipped the UNA proclamation rally in Cebu to attend the Team PNoy rally. Legarda and Poe only sent proxies while Escudero did not. UNA campaign manager Toby Tiangco says he will no longer allow representatives in future UNA events, saying the three were given "special treatment."
Read more on Rappler:
The Philippines' travel industry is expected to provide 18% to 20% of total jobs by 2016. This translates to about 6.8 million to 7.5 million workers the tourism sector will employ. Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr says the industry is also expected to contribute 11% to the Philippines' GDP. 2012 marks the first time the Philippines' foreign tourist arrivals went beyond the 4-million mark. The government also increased its domestic tourist arrival target to 44 million by 2016. Jimenez says domestic tourist arrivals drive the growth of the industry.
Read more on Rappler
Japan's economy shrinks for the third straight quarter, with its key engines of growth -- exports and corporate capital outlays -- still in a slump. The economy contracts 0.4% in the last three months of 2012, a rate steeper than analysts' forecasts. Exports fall 3.7% though economists are hopeful the recent drop in the yen may give exporters a lift. Japan will likely rely on government programs to prop the economy, such as several stimulus measures approved by the previous government and a massive spending package announced by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Read more on The Wall Street Journal
Media giant Time Warner is in talks to sell most of its Time Inc. publishing business. Fortune reports Meredith, publisher of Family Circle and the Ladies' Home Journal, is looking to buy most of Time Inc's titles, such as People, InStyle, and Real Simple. The potential deal would see Time Warner keeping at least three titles -- Time, Sports Illustrated, and Fortune. Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes has been slimming down the company, letting go of Time Warner Cable and AOL in 2009. With its revenues down, Time Inc. has become a drag on its corporate parent. Its revenues account for only 12% of Time Warner's $28.7 billion sales.
Read more on CNN
Fans hit DC comics for hiring an anti-gay Mormon writer for a new Superman comic book to be launched this year. DC commissions Orson Scott Card, author of Ender’s Game, to write the first two installments of its new digital-first comic, Adventures of Superman. Card has been vocal about his anti-gay views. In 2004, he wrote an essay where he said gay people were not "normal." Fans of Superman and DC question the decision of a company which in the past is seen as progressive with its editorial decision. The move prompts calls for a boycott on the company and an online petition to push DC to drop the story lines written by Card.
Read more on Pink News
The French and Italians may be famous for romance, but a global love survey conducted by the Gallup Organization says its Filipinos who get the most love. The survey, conducted in 136 countries, posed the question: “Did you experience love for a lot of the day yesterday?” The Philippines came first at 93%, Rwanda second at 92%, Puerto Rico third at 90%. Next comes Hungary, Cyprus, Trinidad and Tobago, Paraguay, Lebanon, Costa Rica and Cambodia.
Read more on Bloomberg
Toilet & Humor
Actor Matt Damon co-founder of Water.org resorts to humor to spread the message in a YouTube video the organization hopes will go viral. In a "news conference", Damon announces he is beginning a "toilet strike," saying: "In protest of this global tragedy, until this issue is resolved, until everyone has access to clean water and sanitation ... I will not go to the bathroom." Water.orgs says nonprofits groups are trying humor get their message out because people aren't shocked by statistics anymore. Water.org spent less than $100,000 producing the ad in contrast to a Super Bowl ad that costs $4 million. The actors in the Damon video who wrote, produced, and directed the sketch worked for little or no salary.
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