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ASSOCIATED PRESS

Worldcrunch

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI became the first Roman pontiff in six centuries to step down, boarding a helicopter outside St. Peter's on Thursday that took him to the Vatican retreat of Castel Gandolfo south of Rome where he will stay hidden from view for the forseeable future.

Earlier, the Pope pledged "unconditional obedience" to whomever will succeed him. For more details on the day's events, here's the Associated Press report .

Global press attention is squarely on Rome, where the Cardinals are gathering to begin the process of choosing the next pope. Here are some front pages from around the world Thursday saluting Benedict's departure.

Austria

Belgium


Bolivia

Brazil

China

France

Greece

India

Vatican

Poland

Spain

UK

USA

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Society

Can Men Help Breastfeed Their Children?

In a tribe in central Africa, male and female roles are practically interchangeable in caregiving to children. Even though their lifestyle might sound strange to the West, it offers important life lessons about who raises children — and how.

Photo of a marble statue of a man, focused on the torso

No milk — but comfort and warmth for the baby

Ignacio Pereyra

The southwestern regions of the Central African Republic and the northern Republic of Congo are home to the Aka, a nomadic tribe of hunter-gatherers who, from a Western point-of-view, are surprising because male and female roles are practically interchangeable.

Though women remain the primary caregivers, what is interesting is that their society has a level of flexibility virtually unknown to ours.

While the women hunt, the men care for the children; while the men cook, the women decide where to settle, and vice versa. This was observed by anthropologist Barry Hewlett, a professor at Washington State University, who lived for long periods alongside the tribe. “It is the most egalitarian human society possible,” Hewlett said in an interview.

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