Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
1. BENEDICT'S LAST DAY AS POPE: The pope met with cardinals one by one today and was to fly to the papal retreat and into retirement by 2 p.m.
2. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT IN SEARCH FOR SUCCESSOR: A conclave of cardinals will meet in secrecy and choose a new pope. Smoke from the Sistine Chapel will let the outside world know.
3. CONGRESS STAGES HAIL MARY SHOWDOWN ON BUDGET CUTS: But lawmakers believe votes today to avert $85 billion in budget cuts by Friday are doomed.
4. WHAT AID THE U.S. PLANS FOR SYRIA REBELS: The Obama administration says it will provide the Syrian opposition with an additional $60 million in assistance.
5. MEDICARE FUNDED SUBSTANDARD NURSING HOMES: A government report today says about $5.1 billion was paid for patients to stay in nursing facilities that didn't meet quality-of-care rules.
6. TOUGH FIRST DAY AHEAD FOR LEW: The budget expert will start as Treasury secretary a day before huge automatic government cuts are to take effect.
7. IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH. AND IN SPACE: A tycoon plans to send a married couple on a privately built spaceship on a slingshot voyage around Mars.
8. WHAT FOOD SUPPLY IS THREATENED IN JAPAN: The country consumes about 80 percent of the world's Bluefin tuna, and stocks have plummeted by about three-quarters over the last 15 years.
9. VEGAS CASINOS FOLD ON POKER ROOMS: Eight rooms have closed in the past two years, as a crackdown on Internet gambling weakens the game's appeal.
10. A HANDS-FREE SMART DEVICE FOR YOUR WRIST: Smart watches can display texts, email, scan Twitter and also tell time.
5 THINGS TO KNOW TODAY IN FLORIDA
1. JURY IN FLORIDA TALIBAN CASE STILL DELIBERATING: The jury is still out for a South Florida imam charged with providing financial support to the Pakistani Taliban terror group. Thursday marks the third day of deliberations for the 12-person jury in the case of 77-year-old Hafiz Khan. Khan is charged with providing some $50,000 to the Pakistani Taliban between 2008 and 2010.
2. FLORIDA CIVIL RIGHTS HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES ANNOUNCED: Two married civil-rights activists — killed Christmas 1951 when a bomb exploded beneath their house as they slept — have been inducted into Florida's Civil Rights Hall of Fame. Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday named Harry T. and Harriette Moore of Brevard County to the hall.
3. CLOSINGS EXPECTED IN HAITI CHILD SEX ABUSE TRIAL: Closing arguments are expected in the federal trial of a Michigan man accused of sexually abusing Haitian children at a residential center he operated in the Caribbean country. Matthew Andrew Carter of Brighton, Mich., faces five counts of traveling from Florida to Haiti for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity with minors, along with one count of attempting child sex tourism.
4. SARASOTA WOMAN CHARGED WITH MURDER FOR HIRE PLOT: Sarasota police have arrested a woman for allegedly trying to hire a hit man to kill her husband and a tenant. Janeene Lea Jones was arrested Monday and charged with two felony counts of solicitation to commit first-degree murder.
5. MAN TAKES 40-YEAR DEAL FOR COLD CASE MURDERS: A man who told police that he was responsible for a pair of unsolved Lakeland homicides from the 1980s has been sentenced to 40 years in prison. As part of a deal with Polk County prosecutors, 48-year-old Anthony Jackson pleaded no contest earlier this month to two counts of second-degree murder and one count of attempted robbery.
■ TODAY AND EVERY DAY: Click here for links to recent arrest reports and mug shots in Collier and Lee counties.