About the pope's resignation... an Italian newspaper is reporting it came the same day he received a leather-bound pot-boiler of a report detailing a "network of gay prelates," and sex and blackmail, in the highest reaches of the Vatican. The Catholic Church, mind you, thinks non-hetero sex is "intrinsically disordered."

Georgia's stash
of lethal injection drugs is about to expire, so corrections officials are frantically rushing through their list of prisoners condemned to die.

A Los Angeles hotel is disinfecting its water pipes, or at least trying to, after a dead Canadian was found in a rooftop cistern. No one knows how she died.

The flu vaccine never works all that well for senior citizens. This year, it's especially impotent.

Another reason it's lousy to get old: The company behind the Free Medicare Scooters you see advertised during senior-friendly television programs (like the news) was raided by dozens of FBI officers on account of fraud.

Sequestration! The military is fiddling its teeny-tiny fiddle over planned spending cuts that come after two multitrillion-dollar wars in the Middle East. The president wants more tax increases to stave off the blunt budget ax. And, it turns out, voters will pretty much blame Republicans if and when everything goes to hell.

Our "withdrawal" from Afghanistan next year doesn't mean we won't still have thousands of troops camped out in the place for the foreseeable future.

Someday, when drones are used in American skies on American people, this tip sheet from Al-Qaida on how to avoid 'em will come in very handy.

In Kenya, talking politics before an election is an invitation to machete murder by the hundreds.

Shitty rain and wind are headed for Portland this morning/afternoon and probably sticking around to ruin your weekend. Which means things will finally be getting back to normal around here.

Cleotha Staples,
oldest of the siblings who made up the Staples Singers, has died. She was 78. Some damned good Jesus music if ever there was some damned good Jesus music.