Sorry now. U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning apologized Wednesday for leaking classified documents about U.S. military operations and diplomatic efforts, telling an Army judge he never intended to hurt his country. Manning pleaded with the judge for leniency during the sentencing phase of his court martial. The judge convicted him of espionage and theft at the end of last month. Manning, a former Army intelligence officer stationed in Iraq, faces up to 90 years in prison. But he wants the chance to go to college and become a productive citizen. He also said he should have worked harder “within the system” to convince military leaders to consider his concerns about the way the war was waged. During a February court appearance, he condemned the actions of U.S. soldiers and the military’s “bloodlust.”
Lutheran election. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) elected its first female presiding bishop on Wednesday. The Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, who beat the incumbent by 313 votes, is considered a moderate: Although she supported the denomination’s decision to ordain homosexual clergy, she also supported giving individual congregations the right to disagree. Her husband, the Rev. Conrad Selnick, is an Episcopal priest. After her election, Eaton said, “We are a church that is overwhelmingly European in a culture that is increasingly pluralistic.” Although the ELCA is the largest Lutheran body in the United States, with about 4 million members, it has been steadily losing members, especially over its acceptance of homosexuality—nearly half a million members left in 2010 and 2011.
Deadly stunt. The British stuntman who parachuted into the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics as James Bond died Wednesday after jumping out of a helicopter and sailing through the Swiss Alps in a wing suit. Mark Sutton, 41, died instantly when he crashed into a rocky outcrop. Wing suits mimic the gliding abilities of mammals like flying squirrels, giving humans one of the closest approximations to the feeling of having wings. Swiss officials say they’re not sure what went wrong with Sutton’s jump. He was one of 20 stuntmen participating in the three-day event.
Wall Street worries. A lower-than-expected earnings outlook from Walmart and a layoff warning from Cisco Systems prompted a selloff on Wall Street this morning. The Dow dropped more than 200 points in early trading. The market jitters came even as jobless claims fell to a six-year low. Although the jobless claims number tends to fluctuate, it reached its lowest point since November 2007 after five straight months of declines. But, while companies may be laying off fewer workers, hiring is still sluggish.
Bunny bright. And from the files of “why would you do that?” comes this story out of Turkey: Scientists have developed cloned rabbits that glow in the dark. They achieved the effect by inserting a jellyfish protein gene into the rabbits’ genomes using a process called transgenesis. The protein is invisible in the daylight, when the bunnies appear fluffy, white, and perfectly normal. They only turn into something out of a horror film after dark, when exposed to ultraviolet light. Bunnicula, anyone? I can see one possibly useful application. For anyone brave enough to keep a pet rabbit indoors, it might be nice to have one that could also double as a night-light. The kids would love it.