Breaking the Bubble

Pope arrives in U.S., addresses priest sex abuse scandals

Pope Benedict XVI arrived on U.S. soil for his first time as pontiff. He was the first foreign leader to be greeted at Andrews Air Force Base by Bush. Along with the president were hundreds of enthusiastic spectators.

The pope addressed a critical issue facing the Catholic Church, namely the clergy sex abuse scandal.

“It is a great suffering for the church in the United States and for the church in general and for me personally that this could happen,” Benedict said. “It is difficult for me to understand how it was possible that priests betray in this way their mission … to these children.”

The pope assured listeners that the church would do everything possible to ensure that history wouldn’t repeat itself.

According to White House press secretary Dana Perino, differences between Bush and the pope on issues such as the Iraq War and the Cuba embargo would not be a factor in their talks, which were to focus on human rights and religious tolerance.

Delta and NWA announce merger

In response to rising fuel costs and intense competition, Northwest Airlines Corp. and Delta Air Lines Inc. merged in a $17.7 billion deal to create the world’s largest air carrier.

The airline will retain the name Delta, have its headquarters in Atlanta and will continue to be led by Delta CEO Richard Anderson.

The deal marks a turnaround for two companies that are emerging from bankruptcies. Furthermore, passengers are set to benefit through more worldwide opportunities for direct international travel, according to Anderson.

The downside to this, according to some travelers, is higher pricing.

The new airline would have more than 75,000 employees in 67 countries. It would be the #1 U.S. carrier to Japan, Europe, Africa, Middle East, and India, and the #2 carrier to Asia and Latin America.