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Pope benedict XVI Celebrates Mass With Newly Appointed Cardinals At St. Peter's Basilica
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What We Know About Pope Benedict’s Resignation

In stunning news, Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday morning from the Vatican that he will resign his position as head of the Catholic Church, effective on February 28. This has already set off a flurry of speculation, largely because no pope has voluntarily done so since the year 1415.

The news is still coming in, but here's what we know so far:

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North Korea road sign
Zoonar
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North Korea Threatens Nuclear Test, Calls U.S. Its ‘Archenemy’

Sometimes—like when they call themselves "space conquerors" after launching a satellite that broke almost immediately and tumbled out of orbit—it can be hard to take North Korea seriously. Other times—like when they threaten another test of their nuclear program at a highly delicate time for their neighbors, politically—it seems wiser to keep a close eye on them.

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Firefighters
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2 Firefighters Shot and Killed at Scene of Fire in Webster, N.Y.; Gunman Dead (UPDATED)

UPDATE 4:07 p.m. EST: Authorities have identified the gunman as William Spengler, an ex-convict who spent 17 years in prison for murdering his 92-year-old grandmother in 1980.

Spengler was paroled for the crime in 1998.

Police also have not located Spengler's 67-year-old sister, who lived in the house with Spengler.

Authorities also report that a total of seven houses were destroyed in the blaze.

UPDATE 12:40 p.m. EST: Police chief Gerald Pickering says that the gunman, who was killed at the scene, either by police or from a self-inflicted wound, may have set a trap for first responders.

UPDATE 12:15 p.m. EST: The Associated Press is reporting that the gunman who killed the two firefighters is also dead. His body was found at the scene. The names of the two deceased firefighters, according to the Democrat and Chronicle, are Mike Chiapperini, 43, a volunteer firefighter and the Webster Police Department’s public information officer, and Tomasz Kaczowka. The names of the wounded firefighters are Joseph Hofsetter and Theodore Scardino.

Early Monday morning two firefighters were shot and killed when responding to a call in Webster, New York, just outside Rochester. After the firefighters arrived at 191 Lake Road, an unknown shooter fired at them as they left their truck, killing two of them and wounding two others. The wounded men are at a nearby hospital; one is in stable condition, the other is in guarded condition.

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Category: National Sports, News
Newtown church
Andrew Gombert-Pool/Getty Images
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How You Can Help Families in Newtown, Connecticut

In the wake of the horrific killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School last week, Americans across the country are wondering how they can aid the families of the victims. There are numerous methods to donate money, but you also can help in other ways, such as volunteering your time, writing a card or letter, or sending a teddy bear to a child in Newtown.

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Shooting At Elementary School In Newtown, Connecticut
Douglas Healey/Getty Images
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27 Dead, Including 20 Children, in Connecticut Elementary School Shooting (UPDATED)

NOTE: This post will be continually updated as new information comes in. Video and photos are below. All times Eastern.

UPDATE 6:30 p.m.: Originally it was thought that Adam Lanza, the gunman, shot his mother at the Sandy Hook Elementary school, where she was a teacher's aide. ABC has learned that, in fact, Nancy Lanza was killed at her home (by her son) prior to the massacre. He then drove to the school, where he killed 20 children and six adults, before killing himself.

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Category: National Sports, News
sports figures react to Newtown
Twitter / Kevin Durant, Drew Brees
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How Leading Sports Figures Reacted to the Connecticut School Massacre

When something like the horrific shooting spree at Sandy Hook Elementary School happens, the major sports we follow can suddenly feel a bit smaller. But world-class athletes who normally seem bigger than life watched today's events unfold just like the rest of us, on TV, and shared their thoughts just like the rest of us, on social media.

We read some of their reactions on Twitter and collected them here:

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