BC-10 Things to Know for Thursday,Feb 28,ADVISORY

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

1. POPE LEAVES UNCERTAIN LEGACY FOR CHURCH

When Benedict XVI flies off into retirement later today, he leaves a church beset by sex scandal, internal divisions and dwindling numbers. VATICAN-POPE

2. CONGRESS STAGES HAIL MARY SHOWDOWN ON BUDGET CUTS

But lawmakers believe votes today to avert $85 billion in budget cuts by Friday are doomed. BUDGET BATTLE

3. WHAT AID THE U.S. PLANS FOR SYRIA REBELS

Allies meeting today in Rome are poised to start delivering ready-made meals and medical supplies. US-SYRIA

4. 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. NURSING HOMES-POOR CARE

5. 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. TREASURY-LEW

6. 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. HUMANS TO MARS

7. A NEW FACE FOR ACID ATTACK VICTIM

The Vermont woman's surgery comes six years after a lye attack by her estranged husband left burns over most of her body. LYE-FACE TRANSPLANT

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. JAPAN-DWINDLING TUNA

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. POKER ROOM DECLINE

10. A HANDS-FREE SMART DEVICE FOR YOUR WRIST

Smart watches can display texts, email, scan Twitter and also tell time. WHAT'S ON YOUR WRIST?

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