Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI sits in St. Peter's Basilica as he attends the ceremony marking the start of the Holy Year, at the Vatican, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. Pope Francis declared Tuesday that mercy trumps moralizing in the Catholic Church, as he opened a special Holy Year marked by unprecedented security aimed at thwarting a Paris-style attack at the Vatican. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
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Retired pope asks forgiveness over handling of abuse cases

Retired Pope Benedict acknowledged the “abuses and errors” that occurred under his watch when he was an archbishop in Germany, according to The New York Times.

He asked for forgiveness despite denying any misconduct. The report of accusations sent shock waves throughout an already overwhelmed Roman Catholic Church community. For the past quarter-century, the organization has been coping with reports of minor sexual abuse.

A report was commissioned by the German archdiocese to investigate how the church handled sexual abuse cases from 1945 to 2019. According to the report, at least 497 victims of abuse were identified during this time period. It was also found that Benedict had mishandled four of these cases during his five years as archbishop.

Biden science adviser Dr. Eric Lander resigns after being criticized for mistreating staff

In this Jan. 16, 2021 file photo, Eric Lander speaks during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del. The Senate Commerce Committee on Thursday approved President Joe Biden’s nomination of Eric Lander to be chief science adviser, the last unfilled Cabinet post in the Biden administration. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

According to ABC News, President Joe Biden’s top science adviser, Dr. Eric Lander, has resigned from his position after an investigation has begun looking into his mistreatment of staff.

Lander’s letter of resignation to President Biden mentioned that he takes responsibility for his actions. He blamed “ambitious goals” as the driving force behind his behavior towards his staff.

“I have sought to push myself and my colleagues to reach our shared goals — including at times challenging and criticizing,” wrote Lander. “But it is clear that things I said, and the way I said them, crossed the line at times into being disrespectful and demeaning, to both men and women. That was never my intention. Nonetheless, it is my fault and my responsibility. I will take this lesson forward.”

Four states plan to lift school mask mandates

In this Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, file photo, students, some wearing protective masks, arrive for the first day of school at Sessums Elementary School in Riverview, Fla. Debate amongst school-wide mask mandates continue as COVID-19 cases continue to drop. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara, File)

Officials from Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey and Oregon announced plans on Monday to drop their school mask mandates within the next couple of weeks, according to The Washington Post. Decisions on masking rules will now be left up to individual districts.

The Connecticut governor said he will recommend the removal of school mask mandates by the end of this month. New Jersey’s mask mandate will end on March 7. Oregon and Delaware plan to remove their school mask mandates no later than March 31.

Despite the change in masking policy for those states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends universal indoor masking as well as a three-foot minimum of physical distance, regardless of vaccination status.

U.S. figure skater Nathan Chen sets world record at Beijing Olympics

Nathan Chen, of the United States, competes during the men’s short program figure skating competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

22-year-old Nathan Chen scored high enough to set a new world record in the short program on Monday at the Beijing Winter Games according to NBC News. Chen’s performance scored a 113.97 and included a quad flip, a triple axel and a quad lutz-triple toe loop combo.

The previous world record had been held by two-time defending gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu representing Japan. His rough start to Tuesday’s performance cost him the record when he performed a single salchow instead of a quadruple salchow.

If Chen has a strong free skate on Thursday, it could make him an Olympic champion.

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