|'I Am Simply a Pilgrim Beginning the Last Leg of His Pilgrimage on This Earth'|
|Mar 2, 2013, 7:50 PM|
Pope Benedict XVI bid an emotional goodbye to the world's 1.2 billion Catholics this week, while stateside, talk of the looming sequester cuts dominated the week. Click through to see the quotes that made the front pages.
Benedict XVI's eight-year tenure as pope ended Thursday, after he bade farewell to the faithful and departed the Vatican as the first pope to resign in six centuries.
"Thank you for your love and support," the pope tweeted from his Pontifex account. "May you always experience the joy that comes from putting Christ at the centre of your lives."
With church bells ringing across Rome, the pope was driven to the helipad on the Vatican grounds for the 15-minute flight to Castel Gandolfo, the papal summer residence where he assumed the title "pope emeritus" after 8 p.m. local time.
When Benedict arrived at the residence just south of Rome, he was greeted by a crowd of supporters waving flags and banners.
"I am simply a pilgrim beginning the last leg of his pilgrimage on this earth," he told them.
Interest in Pope Benedict XVI's last days as leader of the Catholic Church has heightened before his departure, offering a business opportunity in papal-related memorabilia.
Billy McMillan in Scotland has seen a slight uptick in interest in mugs he sells on eBay that feature Benedict, related to the papal visit in 2010.
He said he sold close to 50 Benedict mugs at £5.49 or about $8.32 in the past two weeks, most of which were shipped to Canada, the U.S., Australia and Central Europe.
He plans to post new items that bid farewell to Pope Benedict and welcome the new pope this week, including new T-shirts and mugs.
"There might be a small rise in Benedict memorabilia for a short period, and then I expect interest to recede quickly," McMillan said. "Major world events like this are always good for business."
The morning after $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts kicked in, President Obama called once more for lawmakers to compromise to halt the damaging impact the sequester will have on the nation's economy.
"These cuts are not smart," Obama said Saturday in his weekly address. "They will hurt our economy and cost us jobs. And Congress can turn them off at any time -- as soon as both sides are willing to compromise."
The president warned that "not everyone will feel the pain of these cuts right away," but that, "the pain will be real."
"Beginning this week, businesses that work with the military will have to lay folks off," Obama said. "Communities near military bases will take a serious blow. Hundreds of thousands of Americans who serve their country -- Border Patrol agents, FBI agents, civilians who work for the Defense Department -- will see their wages cut and their hours reduced."
"Here's the thing: None of this is necessary," he said.
Mark Lucas wouldn't mind seeing America's defense budget cut by billions.
"There's quite a bit of waste within the military," Lucas, who serves as Iowa state director for the conservative group Americans for Prosperity (AFP), told ABC News. "Being in there for 10 years, I've seen quite a bit of it."
With the budget sequester set to kick in on Friday, the former Army ranger is among a small chorus of conservatives saying bring on the cuts.
Lucas cited duplicative equipment purchases, military-run golf courses and lavish food on larger bases -- unlike the chow he endured at a combat operations post in Afghanistan with about 120 other soldiers.
"These guys would have very good food, and I'm talking almost like a buffet style, shrimp and steak once a week, ice cream, all this stuff," Lucas said. "They had Burger Kings and Pizza Huts and McDonald's. And I said to myself, 'Do we really need this?'"
Girls Gone Wild, founded by Joe Francis, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the soft-core porn business, GGW Brands LLC, amid a legal battle with casino mogul Steve Wynn.
The bankruptcy petition was filed on Wednesday in California, a move that will protect assets against a long-standing lawsuit by Wynn, reported the Wall Street Journal.
"Yesterday several of the U.S. operating entities for Girls Gone Wild joined the ranks of companies like American Airlines and General Motors having sought reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy code," according to a statement from GGW.
"Girls Gone Wild remains strong as a company and strong financially," the statement said. "The only reason Girls Gone Wild has elected to file for this reorganization is to re-structure its frivolous and burdensome legal affairs. This Chapter 11 filing will not affect any of Girls Gone Wild's domestic or international operations. Just like American Airlines and General Motors, it will be business as usual for Girls Gone Wild."
Among the four largest creditors that were listed, the largest was $10.3 million in disputed debt with Wynn Las Vegas.
In 2001, the millionaire Dennis Tito became the first paying space tourist -- he bought a flight to the International Space Station from the Russian space agency.
Now he's aiming higher. He and a group of fellow space entrepreneurs announced Wednesday that they will try to mount the first-ever flight to Mars, sending a man and a woman to fly past the red planet and return safely in 501 days.
And they say they hope to pull it off by 2018 -- just five years from now, and decades earlier than NASA or anyone else has even contemplated.
"It's a great step for humanity," Tito said. "I think it would be really exciting, not only to our generation, but younger generations as well."
Toni Wild is 50 years old, but she never lies about her age. After surviving breast cancer twice, losing her husband in a freak car accident, and going into heart failure because of the chemotherapy, she considers surviving 50 years one of her greatest achievements.
Now, she's telling her story of survival.
"There were so many twists and turns that could have ended my life, and ended it quite early on," she told ABCNews.com. "I wanted other women and other individuals to hear my story and to see that regardless of what obstacles you may cross in your life, you can overcome those."
Wild's journey began in 1992, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 29. She underwent chemotherapy and radiation and was cancer-free for five years. While on a trip with her husband a week after doctors gave her a clean bill of health, they got a flat tire, and he was struck and killed by an oncoming car as he was changing it.