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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri House has passed legislation that would renew tax credits for charitable causes such as food pantries and centers for pregnant woman.

The vote Wednesday by the House puts the legislation just one final step from the governor's desk. The Senate previously passed the bill and must give it another vote.

The legislation would reinstate tax credits for food pantry donations that expired in 2011 and for donations to pregnancy resource centers and child advocacy centers that expired in 2012. All three of those tax credits would be extended to 2019.

The bill also renews tax credits for surviving spouses of deceased public safety officers and for people who improve their homes to be accessible to the disabled.
Wednesday, 13 March 2013 16:19
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VATICAN CITY (AP) — Francis, the name the new pope has chosen, is a much-beloved Italian saint who is identified with peace, poverty and a simple lifestyle.

Jorge Bergoglio is the first pontiff from Latin America and the first pontiff to adopt the name of Francis, the rich young man from Assisi who renounced wealth and founded the Franciscan order of friars in 1290. The choice could foretell the pope's priorities in striving to bring a sense of serenity to the troubled church. St. Francis is said to have been called by God to repair a church in ruins.

Choosing the name of one of Italy's patron saints also ties the new pope to Italy, the homeland of all popes of the last few centuries until 1978.
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - State lawmakers are hoping that new incentives can help Missouri compete for big-time sports events.

The House gave final approval Wednesday to legislation authorizing up to $3 million annually in subsidies for cities, counties and nonprofit groups that host amateur sports events such as college basketball tournaments.

The bill is the first one of the 2013 session to make it to Gov. Jay Nixon.

Missouri has a long history of hosting sports events. Kansas City, for example, is hosting the Big 12 basketball tournament this week and games for the NCAA men's basketball tournament next week.

But supporters of the legislation say Missouri has been losing bids for future events to states offering incentives.

Missouri's bill would provide tax breaks equal to $5 for every ticket sold to the events.
Wednesday, 13 March 2013 14:10
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VATICAN CITY — ABC News Argentine Jorge Bergoglio has been elected pope, the first ever from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium. He chose the name Pope Francis.

Cardinals elected a new pope to lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics on Wednesday, overcoming deep divisions to select the 266th pontiff in a remarkably fast conclave.
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