Friday News: Surprise Pope Moves, Animal Adorableness, and more

In my news-travels this week, I stumbled across an interesting mix of surprising and not-so-surprising stories happening around the world. Consider it your end-of-the-week sampler platter, in case you missed the following items:

According to the Postmaster General, the United States Postal Service is undergoing a major financial crisis. Rate hikes and losing Saturday delivery are among the options being discussed to save the institution.  [NBC News/AP]

Personally, my vote is for Saturday mail being eliminated. After awhile, I think we’d hardly notice the loss.

With this week’s release of Grand Theft Auto V, Simon Parkin at The New Yorker asks, “How Evil Should a Video Game Allow You To Be?” I haven’t really progressed beyond Donkey Kong Country and Wii Sports, so I’ll let the more serious gamers among us weigh in on the topic.

And speaking of Donkey Kong: Hiroshi Yamauchi, the man responsible for bringing Nintendo into the video game field, died on Thursday in Japan at the age of 85. Go throw some barrels in tribute. [New York Times]

Science time! Did you know that researchers have sorta-kinda figured out why some people are left-handed? [New Scientist] My son, brother, mother, and maternal grandmother are all left-handed, and one uncle is mostly ambidextrous, which I find interesting. My grandmother, however, switched to that hand after contracting polio at a young age.

In sad medical news, comedian Billy Connolly has been diagnosed with both Parkinson’s and early-stage prostate cancer. Geez. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Also reported this week, championship boxer Ken Norton — perhaps most famous for breaking Muhammad Ali’s jaw — died at the age of 70. [The New York Times]

Perhaps the most surprising story I read this week comes from Vatican City: “Pope Bluntly Faults Church’s Focus on Gays and Abortion.” [The New York Times]

“A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality,” he told Father Spadaro. “I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person.”

I’m not Catholic, but I kind of like this new guy.

Finally, some news to make you say EEEEE!

‘Outrageously cute’ seal - New England Aquarium
(photo by David L. Ryan via

LOOK at this baby! “Outrageously cute” seal goes on display at the New England Aquarium.

She is the best.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

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Sara Habein

Sara Habein is the author of Infinite Disposable, a collection of microfiction, and her work has appeared on The Rumpus, Pajiba and Word Riot, among others. Her book reviews and other commentary appear at Glorified Love Letters, and she is the co-manager of Electric City Creative.

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