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The big stories of 2013

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Daily Circuit Friday Roundtable
Daily Circuit illustration

This week on the Friday Roundtable, our panelists will discuss the big stories of 2013, the overlooked stories, and how the changing media landscape is shaping the way news is covered and consumed.


• Pope Francis: 2013 Politician of the Year
Beginning with his March 13 election to the papacy, Francis has been singular. He's the first Pope from the Americas — the first non-European Pope since 731 — and the first Jesuit. Jorge Mario Bergoglio chose the papal name Francis — another first — in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. It wasn't a cavalier choice of name. Like many Jesuits, Francis cares deeply about social justice. (Huffington Post)

• Edward Snowden: Person of the Year
Snowden showed that the government not only keeps records of everyone's phone calls and emails but does so with the help of social media and with every major cell phone carrier. Verizon and Sprint and ATT turn over whatever the government wants. Yahoo and AOL and Gmail are similarly acquiescent. Only Luddites escape the digital dragnet.

• 2013: The year income inequality went mainstream
The inequality gap — a measurement of the share of national wealth that goes to the top stratum of American households versus those in the middle and bottom — has resumed its growth after a short break brought on by the losses investors took after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008. (Global Post)

• The Day-care Threat
State investigators found more than 70 licensing violations at the three facilities operated by Deqo Family Centers. The violations included failure to follow safe sleep rules, failure to properly supervise children and failure to employ qualified staff. The company also failed to conduct criminal background checks on some employees and falsified records related to first aid and CPR training for employees. (Star Tribune)