Feb 11th, 2013 - International News
— Pope Benedict XVI said Monday he lacks the strength to fulfill his duties and on Feb. 28 will become the first pontiff in 600 years to resign. The announcement sets the stage for a conclave in March to elect a new leader for world's 1 billion Catholics.
The 85-year-old pope announced the bombshell in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals, surprising even his closest collaborators, even though Benedict had made clear in the past he would step down if he became too old or infirm to do the job.
Benedict called his choice "a decision of great importance for the life of the church."
Indeed, the move allows the Vatican to hold a conclave before Easter to elect a new pope, since the traditional mourning time that would follow the death of a pope doesn't have to be observed.
It will also allow Benedict to hold great sway over the choice of his successor. He has already hand-picked the bulk of the College of Cardinals — the princes of the church who will elect the next pope — to guarantee his conservative legacy and ensure an orthodox future for the church.
There are several papal contenders in the wings, but no obvious front-runner — the same situation when Benedict was elected pontiff in 2005 after the death of Pope John Paul II.
The Vatican stressed that no specific medical condition prompted Benedict's decision, but in recent years, the pope has slowed down significantly, cutting back his foreign travel and limiting his audiences. He now goes to and from the altar in St. Peter's Basilica on a moving platform, to spare him the long walk down the aisle. Occasionally he uses a cane.
His 89-year-old brother, Georg Ratzinger, said doctors had recently advised the pope not to take any more trans-Atlantic trips.
"His age is weighing on him," Ratzinger told the dpa news agency. "At this age my brother wants more rest."
Benedict emphasized that carrying out the duties of being pope — the leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics worldwide — requires "both strength of mind and body."
May 16th, 2013 - Local News
— An event featuring President George W. Bush has raised $400,000 to support the West Michigan Aviation Academy.
Bush spoke Wednesday to a crowd of roughly 900 during the second annual Leaders of...
May 15th, 2013 - Local News
The West Michigan Aviation Academy is preparing for a special Gala tonight that will take place in a hangar at the Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids. The featured speaker for this year's fun...
May 16th, 2013 - State News
— The average electric customer of Consumers Energy will start paying $1.67 more per month.
The $89 million rate increase was approved Wednesday by state regulators. It's less than a $110 million...
May 15th, 2013 - State News
— Law enforcement agencies statewide are holding events to mark National Police Week.
Ceremonies planned for Wednesday include the Port Huron Department of Public Safety, which will honor its pol...
May 16th, 2013 - National News
— Parts of North Texas have been slammed by tornadoes with at least six people killed.
The spring tornado outbreak destroyed or damaged dozens of homes and injured dozens of people. Officials say...
May 15th, 2013 - National News
— The House Agriculture Committee is set today to consider small cuts to the $80 billion-a-year food stamp program in an effort to appease conservatives who say the food aid has become too expensiv...
May 16th, 2013 - International News
— NATO says two of its service members and four civilian contractors were killed when a suicide car bomber struck a convoy belonging to the military alliance in the Afghan capital today.
May 15th, 2013 - International News
— Air India says the cockpit door of one of its planes got jammed during a flight while the captain was using the toilet, forcing an unscheduled landing by the co-pilot in central India.
May 16th, 2013 - Sports News
— Johnny Oduya and Marcus Kruger scored in the third period, Corey Crawford made 20 saves and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 in the opener of their second-round playoff serie...
May 15th, 2013 - Sports News
— Miguel Cabrera homered, Doug Fister pitched seven impressive innings and Andy Dirks gave the Tigers a lift for a second straight night in Detroit's 6-2 victory over the Houston Astros on Tuesday. ...
Apr 30th, 2013 - Health News
— Looking for a new way to get that jolt of caffeine energy? Food companies are betting snacks like potato chips, jelly beans and gum with a caffeinated kick could be just the answer.
The Food an...
Apr 1st, 2013 - Health News
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration says it has approved a first-of-a-kind diabetes drug from Johnson & Johnson that uses a new method to lower blood sugar.
The agency cleared J&J'...