Ahead of Vatican summit, clergy sex abuse victims to meet with church officials
A dozen victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy members will meet Wednesday with the organizers of Pope Francis’ upcoming summit on the protection of minors in the church. Chilean abuse victim Juan Carlos Cruz said his group will urge bishops to stop pleading ignorance about abuse. “Raping a child or a vulnerable person and abusing them has been wrong since the 1st century, the Middle Ages, and now,” he said. The summit itself, beginning Thursday, will bring together almost 200 church leaders and will focus on making bishops aware of their responsibilities, accountability and transparency, the Vatican said. On Tuesday, two groups representing Catholic religious orders apologized for their failure to halt sexual abuse of children by priests.
Samsung event to ‘unpack’ new Galaxy S10 phones
Samsung reportedly will make a splash with product rollouts Wednesday as it marks the 10th anniversary of its Galaxy line of phones. The tech giant is slated to introduce three new Galaxy S10 phones – plus a 5G phone, a foldable phone, new smartwatch, new fitness tracker and new wireless earbuds – at its “Unpacked” event in San Francisco. Rumors point to Samsung following Apple’s iPhone lead and unleashing a cheaper Galaxy S10E (an iPhone XR rival), Galaxy S10 (rival to the iPhone XS) and Galaxy S10+ (rival to the XS Max). Also on Wednesday, Samsung is also planning to open three new US stores.
Massive storm brings weather havoc for millions
A potent storm promises to bring heavy snow, crippling ice and torrential rain to more than 200 million Americans on Wednesday. Parts of 39 of the 48 contiguous United States will be touched by the storm, including every state east of the Mississippi River, according to AccuWeather. While snow and ice will be the main weather stories in the Midwest, mid-Atlantic and Northeast, drenching rain and flooding will plague the Deep South. Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky will see the heaviest rain Wednesday. “It’s just going to be a real mess pretty much everywhere,” AccuWeather meteorologist Elliot Abrams said.
West Virginia teachers applaud tabling of bill, but will remain on strike
West Virginia educators said they will remain on strike Wednesday to drive home their point that a bill teachers criticized should remain tabled indefinitely. State lawmakers on Tuesday shelved a bill that drew the ire of union leaders and teachers because it included provisions that would create charter schools and education savings accounts to help parents pay for private schools, among other plans. Those leaders said the provisions would damage public education in the state. The strike comes less than a year after the state’s more than 20,000 teachers and school service personnel went on nine-day strike for better pay and benefits.
Southwest apologizes, blames union, cancels more flights
Southwest Airlines, alarmed by a spike in flight cancellations and delays in the past several days due to reported maintenance issues, took the unusual step Tuesday night of publicly apologizing to customers and blaming the mess on its mechanics’ union, the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association. Southwest has already canceled nearly 300 Wednesday flights after the airline canceled 191 flights and delayed 858 more Tuesday, according to FlightAware. But Southwest hasn’t disclosed how many cancellations are due to maintenance and how many are due to another winter weather storm forecast for much of the country. Southwest COO Mike Van de Ven said the AMFA has a history of work disruptions and the airline will be investigating the “current disruption and exploring all possible remedies.”
Bonus: ‘Jeopardy!’ champs unite as show begins first team tournament
“It’s like the Mount Rushmore of ‘Jeopardy!'” Eighteen of the quiz show’s best and brightest from years past will compete as teams for the first time in the show’s history. In a series of 10 episodes that begin Wednesday, the six three-person teams will match wits for a top prize of $1 million. Team captains include Brad Rutter, whose $4.3 million ‘Jeopardy’ haul is the most won on any game show, and Ken Jennings, a 74-game winner and top moneymaker with $2.5 million won. The full teams won’t play directly against each other: One person from each team will compete in a game’s first round, another in double “Jeopardy!” and the third in the final round.