Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday, from AP:
1. HAGEL CONFIRMED AFTER BITTER SENATE FIGHT
Among his daunting challenges as defense secretary: dealing with $46 billion in budget cuts set to kick in on Friday.
2. BENEDICT’S FINAL ACT AS POPE NEARS
He holds his last public general audience in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday before retiring the next day.
3. U.S. LIKELY TO BLOW PAST ECONOMIC DEADLINE
It’s hardly the rosy scenario Obama promised as he ran for re-election, AP‘s Julie Pace says.
4. WHO’S TO BLAME IN A DEADLY HOT AIR BALLOON CRASH
Some Egyptians said safety standards had declined amid political turmoil, others said the pilot may bear responsibility.
5. WHY OFFICIALS SUSPECT MISSING BOATERS ARE A HOAX
The Coast Guard says there is no sign of the vessel off the California coast and no one has reported a family of four missing.
6. WHEN TEAMWORK DOESN’T WORK
7. FIRST LADY TOO RISQUE FOR IRAN
Iranian state media runs altered images of U.S. first lady Michelle Obama‘s Oscars appearance, making her sleeveless, scoop neck gown less revealing.
8. WELL, THERE ARE FEWER ICEBERGS NOW…
An Australian billionaire is getting ready to build a new version of the Titanic that could set sail in late 2016.
9. A REAL BUZZ KILL
10. A BLIZZARD ON LOOP FEED IN MIDWEST
At least three deaths are blamed on the blizzard, the second in as many weeks. Conditions are so bad that snowplows slide into ditches.
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