10 things to know for Wednesday
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
1. CIAO, BENEDICT XVI
The pope recalls "joy and light" and also moments of difficulty in his last final audience as pontiff before he retires.
2. 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.
3. CONGRESSMAN PROPOSES END TO AUTOMATIC BUDGET CUTS
U.S. Rep. Adam Smith's bill would cut more than $300 billion over the next eight years and put off the sequester.
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. US CONSIDERS DIRECT AID TO SYRIAN REBELS
The AP reports the Obama administration is considering supplying help to the Free Syria Army.
6. SLOW-MOVING STORM AIMS AT NEW ENGLAND
The heavy wet, snow as headed east after closing schools and making travel treacherous.
7. NYC MAYOR HELPS ELECT JACKSON REPLACEMENT
Former Illinois legislator Robin Kelly, who favors strict gun control, was helped by Michael Bloomberg's super PAC in the race.
8. WHY OFFICIALS SUSPECT MISSING BOATERS ARE A HOAX
The Coast Guard found no registration of the boat described and no one reported a family of four missing.
9. GETTING YOUR COMPUTER TO TALK TO YOUR COFFEE MAKER
Machine-to-machine communication, or the "Internet of Things," is getting a lot buzz at this year's wireless trade show.
10. HOW TO EAT FAMILY-STYLE IN THE SCHOOL CAFETERIA
Philadelphia charter school students pass serving dishes around circular tables, use real plates and silverware and bypass French fries for fennel salad.