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World/National News

March 3, 2013

Nation Briefs

(Continued)

If both deaths are confirmed, it would mean that the international intervention in Mali had succeeded in decapitating two of the pillars of al-Qaida in the Sahara.

Benedict’s resignation: the hints were there all along, in retrospect

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Benedict XVI stunned the world when he announced Feb. 11 he would resign as pope. But in retrospect, all the signs were there, and they even accelerated in recent months. Here’s a look at the hints Benedict dropped starting in 2005, his first year as pope, indicating that unlike his predecessors over 600 years, his papacy would end in retirement, not death.

—In his first encyclical “God is Love” — published eight months after he was elected — Benedict wrote about service. “It is God who governs the world, not we. We offer him our service only to the extent that we can, and for as long as he grants us the strength.”

—Five years later, in the 2010 book “Light of the World,” Benedict made it more explicit, and personal. “If a pope clearly realizes that he is no longer physically, psychologically and spiritually capable of handling the duties of his office, then he has a right, and under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign.”

—In March, according to the Vatican newspaper, he decided to resign after an exhausting trip to Mexico and Cuba. He told only a handful of people and the only visible sign for those in the know would come seven months later when renovations began on the monastery in the Vatican gardens where he will live.

Kerry says Egypt’s bickering sides need to create sense of ‘political and economic viability’

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s bickering government and opposition need to overcome their differences to create “a sense of political and economic viability” if the country is to thrive as a democracy, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday.

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