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Trending In Our News Feeds Conclave selects new pope. White smoke billowed from the Sistine Chapel chimney last night, signaling the selection of a new pope. The College of Cardinals chose Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina to lead the Church. He is the first Jesuit pope, and the first from South America, despite the fact that Catholicism entered the continent more than half a millennia ago. Bergoglio assumed the name Francis I. He is the first pope to take the name of St. Francis of Assisi.
 
How it’s playing on PolicyMic:
Our pundits are debating whether Pope Francis’ election will be good for the Church: Roy Klabin argues that the Vatican missed an opportunity for much needed change, while Ruby Lee counters that Bergoglio’s traditional views could actually save the Church. Elizabeth Plank critiques the Pope’s track record on gay and women’s rights, while on a lighter note, Liam Boylan-Pett writes on how the conclave teaches us how to make a better reality TV show.
 
CPAC begins today. Top conservatives from around the country will congregate in Maryland for the next three days to discuss the future of the GOP. Conference organizers selected Sarah Palin and Donald Trump to present this year’s biggest speeches, snubbing party hotshots such as Chris Christie. The Washington Post has five developments to keep your eye on at the conference.
 
Higgs boson particle confirmed. Physicists announced today they have confirmed the discovery of a sub-atomic particle that gives all the matter in the universe its size and shape. Scientists first announced the discovery last July, but have only just completed analyzing the entirety of their data.
 
47% filmmaker revealed. In an interview on The Ed Show yesterday evening, Scott Prouty revealed that he shot the notorious “47%” video that changed the course of the 2012 presidential election. Who is he? Some details here. Prouty declared that, while he is a registered independent, he wanted Romney’s words to be front-and-center in the national consciousness.
 
Senate begins hearing on sexual assault in the military. The Senate began its first investigation on sexual assault in the military in nearly a decade yesterday. Survivors of sexual assault urged politicians to mandate independent review of assault claims and prevent military officers from overturning decisions.
 
Study shows that fathers struggle with work-home balance, too. A study released by the Pew Research Center today reveals that fathers are about as likely as mothers to say that they struggle to balance demands at work and in the home. However, men are twice as likely as women to complain that they are not spending enough time with their kids, and more frequently report feeling inadequate as parents.
 
Status Updates Meet PolicyMic’s pundit of the week. Lily Bolourian is a feminist activist and frequent PolicyMic contributor. Find out what makes her tick, here.
 
Congratulations to our superstar writers! Check out pundit Thérèse Postel’s article on the violence in Bahrain in The Atlantic. The Wall Street Journal has taken on pundit Shanoor Servai to write for their “India Real Time” blog. Read her most recent story, here.
 
Don’t forget to comment on Rand Paul’s op-ed on PolicyMic. Senator Paul will personally respond to the most mic’d comment.

Involved in politics, culture, or entrepreneurship? Let us know what you’re up to and we’ll feature you in this section!

Must Reads From PolicyMic 10 Characters That Need to Be in the New 'Star Wars' Trilogy (Jesse Merkel, @RedstateJD) – The table is set for an epic "Star Wars" trilogy if the right characters are cast. Here are 10 characters, old and new, that should be in the new movies.
[24 Mics, 60 Comments, 94 Shares]
 
PETA Invades Starcraft Launch Party In Support Of Digital Animal Rights (Daniel Waugh, @danguywaugh) – The release event for "Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm" saw PETA in attendance with a wild pro-Zergling message. Are they actually serious?
[17 Mics, 16 Comments, 50 Shares]
 
Millennials Are a Tremendous Opportunity For the Republican Party (Alex Smith) – The past two presidential elections have shown that the Republican Party has largely lost its way with young adults. But millennials are defined by an innovative spirit that shares many values with the GOP.
[13 Mics, 12 Comments, 25 Shares]
 
A More Libertarian Republican Party Would Be a Wrong Turn For the GOP (Benjamin Byron) – Calls for a more principled libertarian stance from the GOP to build support among millennials are wrong about millennial concerns and what the rising generation wants from its government.
[12 Mics, 66 Comments, 92 Shares]
 
Hot off the press!
Until the GOP Stops Demonizing Gay People, Millennials Will Never Be Republicans (David Lampo) – Millennials will not listen to a party that continues to demonize gay people. If the GOP is going to appeal to young voters, it must push the Christian Right out of the driver's seat.
[13 Mics, 6 Comments, 12 Shares]
 
What We’re Sharing Why you should prioritize slow success over a career in the fast lane (Harvard Business Review).
 
A congressman on political dysfunction: D.C. needs to pass a budget on time (No Labels).
Hat tip to Collin Berglund.
 
What “Girls” teaches us about global politics (Foreign Policy).
 
Google gave Kansas City the world’s fastest internet. Find out what they do with it (Slate).
 
Pope smoke: the science behind the Sistine chimney (Mental Floss).
 
How the “Veronica Mars” movie raised $2 million in under 10 hours (The Guardian).
 
15 awesome college classes you didn’t know existed (BuzzFeed).
 
Just For Kicks – Jeff Gordon takes this car dealer for the ride of his life.
 
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