March 12th, 2013
10:48 PM ET

Fire after tugboat hits gas pipeline in Gulf

A tugboat pushing a barge loaded with crude oil struck a natural gas line Tuesday evening off the Louisiana coast, causing an explosion and fire in the Gulf of Mexico, officials said.

Deano Bonano, an aide to the council chairman in nearby Jefferson Parish, said two crew members from the tugboat were hospitalized.

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Filed under: Gulf Coast Oil Spill • Louisiana
March 12th, 2013
06:36 PM ET

L.A. archdiocese settles with 4 abuse victims

Four California men allegedly molested as boys by a priest have settled their lawsuit against the Los Angeles Archdiocese and Cardinal Roger Mahony for almost $10 million, their attorneys said Tuesday.

The priest, no longer in the clergy, abused the boys on several occasions dating back to the 1970s, including during overnight trips to San Diego and Riverside counties, the attorneys said.

The archdiocese's attorney, J. Michael Hennigan, confirmed the $9.9 million settlement with the four men.

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FAA OKs plan to fix Dreamliner battery woes
March 12th, 2013
05:42 PM ET

FAA OKs plan to fix Dreamliner battery woes

The Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday approved a proposed remedy for problems that triggered battery fires and led to the grounding of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, but the company must still demonstrate its approach will ensure safety before those planes can fly again.

The agency said it had signed off on a certification plan by the world's biggest aircraft manufacturer to redesign the wide body's lithium-ion battery system.

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Filed under: Air travel • FAA
March 12th, 2013
02:47 PM ET

No new pope on conclave's first day

[Updated at 2:47 p.m. ET] In a not-so-surprising result, there will be no new pope tonight.

Black smoke has risen from a chimney over the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, indicating that no one collected enough votes Tuesday to be elected the successor to the retired Pope Benedict XVI. The Roman Catholic Church's cardinals held their first vote in the chapel today.

The cardinals will vote again tomorrow.

[Updated at 12:46 p.m. ET] The process of selecting a new pope of the Roman Catholic church has begun.

The 115 cardinal-electors have gathered in the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, and the doors to the chapel have closed, marking the beginning of today's election session.

This session is scheduled to last two hours, assuming no pope is chosen before then. The cardinals would then go at it again tomorrow.

[Updated at 7:43 a.m. ET] The wait is nearly over: It's time for the cardinals to get down to the business of choosing a pope.

The Catholic Church's cardinals are set to begin their secret election, or conclave, in Vatican City on Tuesday. The process to choose a successor to the retired Benedict XVI could take days.

We have a number of features to inform you about the process. Our full story on Tuesday's activities can be found here. But also check out:

How a pope is chosen

The contenders

Video: Papal conclave 101

Cover-up claims disturb conclave

March 12th, 2013
02:23 PM ET

Jury convicts New York cop in cannibal plot

New York police officer Gilberto Valle conspired to kidnap women, who prosecutors argued he planned to rape, torture, cook and eat, a federal jury decided Tuesday.

Valle's lawyers argued the former police officer's e-mails and online postings were just "fantasy role-play" and"dark improv theater," but prosecutors said he was "deadly serious."

Valle faces life in prison for the kidnap conspiracy conviction. He was also found guilty of illegally accessing a federal law enforcement database.

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Filed under: Courts • Crime • Justice • New York
March 12th, 2013
12:59 PM ET

Lawyers not ready to enter plea for Holmes

[Posted at 12:59 p.m. ET] A judge on Tuesday entered a standard plea of not guilty for James Holmes, the man suspected in a mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater, after he and his attorneys said they were not ready to enter a plea.

Holmes' attorneys had suggested in court documents that they might enter a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity for the shooting rampage at the theater that left 12 people dead and 58 injured on July 20, 2012.

[Posted at 1:11 a.m. ET] James Holmes, the man accused of killing 12 people in a Colorado movie theater last summer, is expected to enter a plea Tuesday.

On Monday, a judge ruled that if Holmes pleads guilty by reason of insanity, he will have to waive all medical confidentiality and turn over the name of any doctor or psychologist who may have treated him.

Judge William Sylvester also said Holmes will have to agree to a state psychiatric exam and to be drugged by doctors to assess his condition.

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Filed under: Colorado • Crime
March 12th, 2013
12:53 PM ET

Possible leak of politicians' info probed

Did sensitive information about Vice President Joe Biden and other high-profile politicians and celebrities get published to the Internet? And if so, how?

Federal investigators said Tuesday they're trying to find out.

A U.S. Secret Service spokesman said the agency was investigating how sensitive information that could be about Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and first lady Michelle Obama ended up on the Internet.

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Filed under: Crime • Hillary Clinton • Joe Biden • Michelle Obama • Politics
March 12th, 2013
09:57 AM ET

Dow sets another record, then dips

After making a brief appearance in record territory Tuesday morning, the Dow Jones industrial average might be cooling off a bit.

The Dow rose 5 points at the open to set an all-time intraday high about 14,452. But then it dipped a little into the red, taking a pause in the absence of fresh catalysts to extend a recent record-setting run.

The Dow has ended at a record for five straight days. But analysts say a pullback at this stage wouldn't come as much of a surprise and should be considered healthy.

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Filed under: Economy
Heavy snow snarls travel in northern Europe
Cars drive in Tuesday morning traffic on the N118 road around Paris during a heavy snow storm on France.
March 12th, 2013
09:13 AM ET

Heavy snow snarls travel in northern Europe

Today isn't the easiest day for travel in northern Europe.

Swaths of the region are in the grip of snow, ice and high winds Tuesday, causing serious disruption to road, rail and air travelers.

High-speed train operator Eurostar, which runs services linking Paris, Brussels and London, among other destinations, warned of serious disruption and urged passengers to stay at home.

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Report: Police made mistakes in Savile probe
Jimmy Savile sports his Order of the British Empire medal after his 1972 investiture at Buckingham Palace in London.
March 12th, 2013
05:37 AM ET

Report: Police made mistakes in Savile probe

British police made mistakes over decades in their investigation of sex abuse allegations against late BBC TV presenter Jimmy Savile, a report released Tuesday said.

The report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary said not only did police around the country fail to "join the dots," but policies made it difficult for victims to come forward to report the crimes.

Savile, who hosted popular children's TV programs including "Jim'll Fix It" and "Top of the Pops," was a household name in Britain for decades. He was also well known for his charitable work, having raised millions of pounds, and was awarded a knighthood. He died in October 2011 at age 84.

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Filed under: Crime • United Kingdom
U.N. panel: Syrians running out of havens
March 12th, 2013
05:22 AM ET

U.N. panel: Syrians running out of havens

Syrian civilians are running out of places to take cover as indiscriminate shelling and aerial bombings destroy more neighborhoods, an independent U.N. panel said.

In addition, both government and rebel fighters have reportedly recruited boys to join their forces and are accused of violating international humanitarian law, the group said.

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Filed under: Syria • United Nations
March 12th, 2013
04:39 AM ET

5 teens die in fiery collision in Texas

At the intersection of the two country roads, charred debris lies strewn haphazardly. The earth around it is scorched for yards around.

It is here, in this corner of Dumas, Texas, that a sports utility vehicle slammed into a gas tanker Sunday afternoon. The tanker's flammable cargo sent both vehicles up in flames, seriously injuring the truck driver and killing all five passengers in the Chevy SUV.

All of those who perished were teenagers.

The crash, coupled with another tragic one in Warren, Ohio, the same day, highlighted yet again how motor vehicle wrecks continue to be the number one killer of youths in the United States.

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Filed under: Accidents • Ohio • Texas
March 12th, 2013
12:31 AM ET

5 dead in Afghanistan helicopter crash

Five coalition service members died after a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan on Monday, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said.

The chopper went down in the Daman district of southern Kandahar during a rain storm, said Jawid Faisal, a government spokesman for the province.

There was no enemy activity in the area at the time of the incident, ISAF said. It has not released the nationalities of the service members.

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Filed under: Accidents • Afghanistan • Military • NATO • Uncategorized • War • World • World Update
Gun in every house? Maine town votes 'no'
The Byron, Maine, official who proposed the measure said she wants to reintroduce it after it gets reworked.
March 12th, 2013
12:16 AM ET

Gun in every house? Maine town votes 'no'

Voters in Byron, Maine, have unanimously rejected a proposed law that would have required each household in the 140-person town to own a firearm and ammunition.

Even the official who proposed the requirement Selectwoman Anne Simmons-Edmunds voted against the article, saying she did so to have it reworked and reintroduced.

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Filed under: Maine
March 12th, 2013
12:14 AM ET

South Korea keeping close watch on North

South Korea is keeping a close watch on North Korean moves "as there are possibilities that these activities could lead to provocations," South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-suk said Tuesday.

The South is also making sure its combined forces with the United States are prepared in case of such provocation, in which "we will respond in a more resolute and destructively manner," the spokesman said.

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Filed under: North Korea • South Korea