Friday Forecast: Popes, Polls and Panama

Happy Friday! I hope everyone has a relaxing weekend ahead of them. I’m planning on doing a little gardening, a medium amount of cooking and a lot of watching baseball and reading on the couch with my husband. Here is what’s going to be hot this weekend:

  • Pope Francis published a new apostolic exhortation Friday morning “Amoris Laetitia,” which is Latin for “The Joy of Love.” The document addressed issues of divorce and remarriage and other Catholic, family social teachings. He encouraged priests to welcome Catholics who are divorced and remarried, gay, unwed parents or unmarried couples living together. He told Catholics and Catholic leaders not to discriminate against gays and lesbians but said gay marriage was not equivalent to marriage between a man and a woman. The document did not change dogma, but it is important and will come up everywhere from the dinner table to the campaign trail.
  • A new AP-GfK poll which measured the national “unfavorability” of each of the presidential candidates was released this week. The two frontrunners, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, both received high unfavorable marks. About 70 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of Trump; about 55 have an unfavorable view of Clinton. Expect a lot of talk from the talking heads on TV about how this is “shaping up to be a race between two of the most disliked and polarizing political figures in the country.”
  • Wyoming Democrats caucus tomorrow and Colorado Republicans hold a convention. These two states have some of the strangest and most complex primary processes of anywhere in the country. If you’re interested in what will happen tomorrow in Wyoming read this. And read this if you’re interested in what the Colorado state convention is all about.The next big contest is April 19 in New York, and that one will be interesting.
  • ISIS-affiliated militants captured 300 workers at a cement factory in Syria earlier this week, and then apparently released them on Friday. This has not yet been independently verified but the group is reported to still have control of the factory. It is a massive plant near the Syrian capital of Damascus and would be a strategic base of operations should they hold onto it. Cement factories are also convenient places to produce bombs on a large scale.
  • The Panama Papers. This weekend marks a week since the papers were released and I’d be surprised if there weren’t some big packages in the works. Expect in-depth Sunday features in all the major papers and magazines around the world with lots of explanatory reporting about what a shell corporation is. And maybe some scathing indictments of British Prime Minister David Cameron.
  • And…the Masters is this weekend. Looks like it should be a beautiful weekend in Augusta and Jordan Spieth is the favorite to take home the green jacket (again) this year.

As always, feel free to email me or leave a comment below with tips, observations, thoughts or sarcastic commentary. Keep your stick on the ice,


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