Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
1. VATICAN FORCED TO DEFEND ITS RECORD ON CLERGY SEX ABUSE
At a U.N. hearing, a top church official acknowledges there can be “no excuse” for child abuse, as the Vatican faces allegations it enabled the rape of thousands of children by protecting pedophile priests.
2. $1.1 TRILLION US BUDGET ADVANCES
The bill sweeps through the House and is on track for a big Senate vote by week’s end.
3. WHICH OSCAR CATEGORY MAY CREATE THE MOST BUZZ
Best actor hopefuls are especially strong, including stars like Matthew McConaughey ("Dallas Buyers Club") and Leonardo DiCaprio ("The Wolf of Wall Street").
4. LARGE MAJORITY FAVOR EGYPT’S NEW CONSTITUTION
Unofficial results show that more than 90 percent of voters said “yes” on the draft charter, an election official reports.
5. OHIO PREPARES FOR EXECUTION WITH UNTRIED DRUG COCKTAIL
Intravenous doses of two drugs — a sedative and a painkiller — are to be used to put the inmate to death because supplies of the previous drug have dried up.
6. WHERE THE AIR HAS TURNED GRAY
Beijing sees the winter’s first wave of extremely dangerous pollution, with visibility reduced in the Chinese capital to several hundred yards.
7. HEAVY DRINKING SPEEDS MENTAL DECLINE, STUDY SAYS
For middle-aged men, a history of heavy drinking can hasten mental decline with aging, new research shows.
8. V FORMATION IS A PRECISION DRILL
While flying in the characteristic formation, birds choreograph the flapping of their wings to save energy, a study suggests.
9. WHO’S ENTERED REHAB FOR ALCOHOL ABUSE
Country singer Trace Adkins seeks medical help after canceling the several performances on a weeklong cruise.
10. TOSS ANOTHER TENNIS BALL ON THE BARBIE
The temperature at the Australian Open reaches 108 degrees, forcing the suspension of some matches.