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1. Papal conclave starts tomorrow. When the College of Cardinals enters the Sistine Chapel tomorrow to begin the process of selecting a new pope, two primary factions will drive the process. The New York Times reports that the Roman cardinals, representing the traditional ways of the Vatican, support the Archbishop of São Paulo for the papacy. Odilo Pedro Scherer would be the first Latin American pope. The other primary coalition at the conclave is made up of reformers who are said to favor an Italian archbishop, Angelo Scola.
From around the Web:
The BBC provides you with a virtual, interactive tour of the Sistine Chapel. Businessweek has a rundown of the papal front runners, and explains why conclaves are more difficult to predict than presidential elections. The Daily Beast profiles the American archbishop who cracked down on sex scandals, and The Boston Globe tells you all about the “Conclave” smartphone app.
How it’s playing on PolicyMic:
Pundit Andrea Ayres argues that the Church should use the conclave as an opportunity for reform. Areej Elahi-Siddiqui reports on the Vatican wiretapping scandal, and Jay Nelson adds something light-hearted to the mix, supporting a Survivor-style contest of fitness to select the next pope.
2. North Korea severs hotline with South. Ahead of U.S.-South Korean military exercises, North Korea has made good on a threat to sever a 41-year-old hotline with its sister nation to the South. The move strains the already tenuous relationship between the two countries. The New York Times reports that, for the first time, a majority of South Koreans favor nuclear armament, in response to the threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear program.
3. U.S. gun ownership in 40-year decline. Results from the General Social Survey indicate that the percentage of gun owners in America has dropped since the 1970s. In 2012, 34% of American households owned guns, compared to 50% in the early 70s. Rates have declined across the country, including states traditionally associated with gun culture.
4. Harvard spies on deans. The university has admitted to searching through the e-mail accounts of 16 deans in order to determine who leaked an internal memo on student cheating to the press. Harvard did not inform the deans of the searches until The Boston Globe published an article investigating the university.
5. Seattle bar bans Google Glass. Local watering hole 5 Point Café posted a threat on their Facebook page promising a**kickings for anyone who wears Google’s new product in the bar. The bar’s owner admitted the post was partly a gag, but that he also has serious privacy concerns over the video feed in Google’s eyewear.

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