Pope Francis, who has repeatedly called for an end to the death penalty, on Sunday proposed that Catholic leaders suspend the practice for a year to mark the Holy Year of Mercy.
“I make an appeal to the conscience of all rulers, so that we can achieve an international consensus for the abolition of the death penalty,” the Pope said in his Sunday address in St. Peter’s Square.
The Pope declared that this is a Jubilee Year. The goal of the year is mercy. The Church is to echo the word of God that resounds strong and clear as a message and a sign of pardon, strength, aid, and love. May she never tire of extending mercy, and be ever patient in offering compassion and comfort. May the Church become the voice of every man and woman, and repeat confidently without end: “Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old” (Ps 25:6)
1 million Walmart workers get a raise
The company will boost its minimum wage to $10 an hour from $9. But it’s not just minimum wage workers who are getting raises. The change applies to virtually all of its hourly workers, including some supervisors, which make up the majority of the company’s 1.4 million U.S. workers.
The wage hike will boost a full-time worker’s average hourly wage by 3% to $13.38. Part-timers will get an an average hourly wage of $10.58, up 6%.
This is the second step of a two-phase increase announced last year. The company also said it’s changed its scheduling procedures to give workers more advanced notice of their shifts, and has increased the paid time off.
The changes do not come cheap — they will cost the company an additional $1.5 billion this year, on top of the $1.2 billion that last year’s wage hikes.
The Politcal Wheel Continues To Spin
- Sanders, will have to demonstrate he can win in states where the electorates aren’t predominately white.
- Rubio, he needs to show he can win period — not just beat expectations or finish higher than other candidates in his ideological lane.
- Cruz, needs to prove he will be able to master the ground game of Iowa with strong evangelical support but unable to translate that win into the kind of widespread backing needed to win the nomination.
- Clinton Needs to Talk To Minority Women and step up her game.
- Trump… you never know. Just be ready for anything.
Let’s Play Ball!
MLB announced Thursday that there will be three games on the schedule to get the 2016 regular season going on Sunday, April 3.
A divisional matchup pitting the St. Louis Cardinals against the Pittsburgh Pirates is the first game on the docket, which will be followed by the Toronto Blue Jays visiting the Tampa Bay Rays. The nightcap is a World Series rematch between the New York Mets and Kansas City Royals.
Sunday, April 3
St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates: 1:05 pm ET (ESPN)
Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays: 4:05 pm ET (ESPN2)
New York Mets at Kansas City Royals: 8:35 pm ET (ESPN)
The rest of the league will take the field Monday, April 4 for the traditional opening day slate, four games which will be available nationally on ESPN or ESPN2.
National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, organized by the National Eating Disorders Association, begins Sunday, Feb. 21. The week seeks to bring about awareness of the dangers of eating disorders, and to challenge the way the public perceives these illnesses.
“The goal of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is to put the spotlight on the seriousness of eating disorders and to improve public understanding of their causes, triggers and treatments,” the NEDA website reads, listing off the goals of the week. “By increasing awareness and access to resources, we can encourage early detection and intervention.”
China Is Buying Up American Companies
Chinese companies have been buying up foreign businesses — including American ones — at a record rate, and it’s freaking out lawmakers.
There is General Electric’s sale of its appliance business to Qingdao-based Haier, Zoomlion’s bid for the heavy-lifting-equipment maker Terex Corporation, and ChemChina’s record-breakingdeal for the Swiss seeds and pesticides group Syngenta, valued at $48 billion.
Most recently, a unit of the Chinese conglomerate HNA Group on Wednesday said it would buy the technology distributor Ingram Micro for $6 billion.
To date, there have been 102 Chinese outbound mergers-and-acquisitions deals announced this year, amounting to $81.6 billion in value, according to Dealogic. That’s up from 72 deals worth $11 billion in the same period last year.
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