Dow wows. The sequester seems to be having no ill effects on the stock market. The Dow Jones industrial average reached its highest level ever this morning, 14,286, breaking the previous record set in October 2007. The Dow has now more than doubled since it hit a low of 6,547 in March 2009. To break the record for the highest ever close, which came on Oct. 9, 2007, the Dow would need to remain above 14,164.53 when trading ends this afternoon.
Korean conflict. Now that Dennis Rodman has left the country, North Korea has returned to its usual threats, announcing today it intends to no longer honor the 1953 cease-fire agreement that stopped the Korean War. As a result, North Korea says it will cut off a line of communication between it and the United States and could use “lighter and smaller nukes” against the United States. These threats come as the UN Security Council considers new sanctions against North Korea.
Picking a pope. As 115 cardinals gather to select the next man to lead the Catholic Church, an American priest and Church historian believes they’ll need to find “Jesus Christ with an MBA.” Father Thomas Reese says Pope Benedict XVI’s replacement will require exceptional evangelical and managerial skills. “What we really need is somebody who can communicate the gospel in a way that is understandable and attractive to people in the 21st century,” Reese told CBS News. “That is what we are supposed to be about, the message of Jesus and that is an attractive message but it can get all buried in our churchiness.”
Midwest monster heads east. By tonight, Chicago could see up to 10 inches of snow, while Indianapolis and Cincinnati could see up to half a foot. But the hardest hit areas could be farther east, with forecasters calling for 10 to 14 inches in Charlottesville, Va. Chris Vaccaro of the National Weather Service told USA Today that this won’t be your usual fluffy white stuff: “It will be thick, gloppy, wallpaper paste-type snow. And gusty winds will add to the stress.” The weather has already canceled airline flights in the Midwest and along the East Coast.