1. First baby cured of HIV. Doctors in Mississippi claim they used an unconventional treatment, injecting the baby with drugs just 30 hours after birth. If confirmed, this would be only the second case of cured HIV (Timothy Brown was the first) and a massive turning point for HIV treatment. However, doctors question whether the baby was infected in the first place. The case will be presented at a conference in Atlanta later today.
2. Obama expected to nominate Walmart Foundation pres as budget chief. We don’t envy Sylvia Mathews Burwell: $85 billion in sequester slashes and threatened cuts to federal programs will not make her job easy. If nominated, Burwell will be the second female budget chief in U.S. history.
3. The Romneys return to the spotlight. Mittens is back! In an extended interview with Chris Wallace on Fox Sunday News, Mitt and Ann Romney revealed they were convinced they would win the White House. Mitt critiqued Obama’s leadership, while Ann discussed her flirtation with Dancing with the Stars. You can watch the entire interview here.
4. National School Breakfast week begins. Consulting firm Deloitte has released a study claiming that government-subsidized school breakfasts could help up to 807,000 more students graduate high school every year. Obama approves of school breakfasts, but it is unlikely that Congress will approve funding in light of sequester cuts.
5. Laws to identify mentally ill wouldn’t lower gun violence. Reports by health researchers claim that requiring health professionals to flag potentially dangerous patients would fail for a simple reason: Identifying violent patients is an inexact process. Experts argue that the mentally ill commit only 3%-5% of violent crimes in the U.S.
6.Process of selecting new pope begins. Today marks the first in a series of daily meetings by Catholic cardinals to set a date for the conclave to select the new pope. However, it is likely that much of the process will take place in private, late-night meetings. Pay attention to the name the next pope selects for himself: Papal monikers have important connotations.
7. Former head of Scottish church admits to sexual misconduct. Keith O’Brien has confirmed the rumors of sexual misconduct that caused him to resign.
8. Kenya holds presidential elections. Voting has so far proceeded smoothly, despite some attacks this morning by separatist rebels. A run-off vote will be scheduled for April if neither of the frontrunners – Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Deputy Prime Minister Uuru Kenyatta – wins a majority vote. Ethnic violence killed more than 1,000 in Kenya’s 2007 elections, when Odinga claimed that victory had been stolen from him.
9. Top Al-Qaeda commanders reported dead. Over the weekend, Chad’s army reportedly killed top Al-Qaeda operatives Mokhtar “The Uncatchable” Belmokhtar and Abdelhamid Abou Zeid in a strike in northern Mali. Belmokhtar is responsible for the Algerian hostage crisis in January. A U.S. service that tracks terrorist internet activity raises questions about whether he is actually dead, based on online messages posted by militants claiming that Belmokhtar is alive.
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