Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder will recommend that a Washington attorney become Detroit's emergency manager, a source close to the governor said Wednesday.
At 2 p.m. Thursday, the governor is expected to publicly recommend attorney Kevyn Orr step in to help Detroit manage its challenging financial situation, the source said. Members of Michigan's Local Emergency Financial Assistance Loan Board would make the official appointment.
The governor said earlier this month that Detroit lacked an adequate plan to resolve its $14 billion debt and that he would invoke a state law to appoint a manager to assume control of the city's government.FULL STORY
A fatal explosion last month in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, was caused by the accidental ignition of natural gas vapors that had accumulated inside a popular restaurant, according to a report from a joint city-federal task force.
After a gas line nearby was ruptured, firefighters asked employees at JJ's restaurant "to put the flames out on the candles, stove and hot water heater" inside, said the report.
When queried after the blast by investigators, the restaurant's manager acknowledged the initial request and said workers "only put the candles out and turned the stove off, but did not turn out the pilot lights for the stove or hot water heater," according to the report issued Wednesday.FULL STORY
[Updated at 6:25 p.m. ET] That will wrap up our live blog of Francis' debut. For more coverage, check out the links above and read our full story.
[Updated at 5:52 p.m. ET] When Pope Francis is formally installed in a Mass later this month, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will be there, leading the U.S. delegation to the event.
Biden is the first Roman Catholic to serve as vice president.
Meanwhile, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has congratulated Pope Francis – a native Argentine – and expressed hope that he will work toward justice, equality and peace for all.
As we noted earlier, the new pope has clashed with the Argentine government over his opposition to gay marriage and free distribution of contraceptives.
[Updated at 5:33 p.m. ET] We know a little more about what Pope Francis will be doing tomorrow: He and the cardinals will hold a Mass in the Sistine Chapel at 5 p.m. local time (noon ET), Vatican spokesman the Rev. Tom Rosica told CNN.
[Updated at 5:16 p.m. ET] A Vatican spokesman says Francis will be a reformer, and will call the church "back to basics."
"He knows the Curia, he's been extremely critical of the mess here," the Rev. Tom Rosica said, referring to the Vatican bureaucracy.
[Updated at 5:07 p.m. ET] Here's something that a pope has never had the chance to do before today: Shortly after Francis was elected, he placed a phone call to his predecessor, Benedict XVI, who has been staying at a papal retreat at Italy's Castel Gandolfo since he resigned February 28.
Benedict, 85, was the first pope to resign in hundreds of years.
News of the phone call came from the Rev. Tom Rosica, a Vatican spokesman.
[Updated at 4:53 p.m. ET] We've just been given confirmation about which Francis the new pope is honoring in his choice of name.
The new pope took the name Francis in honor of St. Francis of Assisi because he is a lover of the poor, Vatican spokesman the Rev. Tom Rosica told CNN.
Also, the new pope should be known as Pope Francis, not Pope Francis I, Rosica said.
[Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET] Let's take a look at what might be next for Pope Francis:
Before Francis was elected, Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said that the new pope will “very probably” say Mass this Sunday at St. Peter’s and do the traditional Angelus blessing, Lombardi said before the election.
It will take several days before there is an installation Mass, because it will take time for world leaders to arrive, Lombardi had said.
[Updated at 4:45 p.m. ET] U.S. President Barack Obama has weighed in.
Obama offered his prayers and "warm wishes" Wednesday to newly elected Pope Francis. Obama called him "a champion of the poor and the most vulnerable among us," and also said his election as "the first pope from the Americas ... speaks to the strength and vitality of (that) region."
[Updated at 4:44 p.m. ET] The pope's election has caught the attention of the Internet crowd, to put it lightly. Facebook says that its users' top terms about 70 minutes ago were:
1) Pope; 2) Jorge Bergoglio; 3) Vatican; 4) White smoke; 5) Cardinal; 6) Catholic; 7) Decision; and 8) Papal.
[Updated at 4:31 p.m. ET] Latin Americans in St. Peter's Square are thrilled.
"As a youth, and as a Catholic student, and as a Mexican, I am absolutely overwhelmed with emotion (at) the fact that we have a new pope that will represent that part of the (world)," a woman from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, told CNN. "That is something very exciting. I feel that Mexico has been a country that has suffered a lot, and so has Latin America, but it is a people that has always put trust in God, so it is absolutely wonderful to represent our part of the world this time around."
Beside her, a woman from Mexico City said her heart jumped when she heard the announcement that a pope had been picked.
"I'm so excited," she said. "It's a reason of being proud tonight, because Latin America is a very important Catholic area and now it's going to be totally represented here, so I'm so proud and I'm so happy today. ... It's going to help a lot, a Latin American pope, it's going to help. It's going to rebuild many things, and it's a new start."
[Updated at 4:22 p.m. ET] Let's take a look at some reaction to Francis' election. Here's what Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York – by some accounts a pre-conclave contender for the papacy – had to say, shortly after he participated in the conclave:
“Pope Francis I stands as the figure of unity for all Catholics wherever they reside," Dolan said in a statement released by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “Intense prayer from all around the world surrounded the election of Pope Francis I. The bishops of the United States thank God for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the inspired choice of the College of Cardinals.”
And the Church of England, the country's official church denomination, offered a prayer Wednesday for the newly elected pope.
"Guide him by by your spirit, give him grace to lead people in prayer and zeal, and to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, your son our Lord," the prayer read.
[Updated at 4:08 p.m. ET] CNN Vatican expert John Allen has reported previously, for the National Catholic Reporter, that the new pope may have been the runner-up in the 2005 election that saw Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger become Benedict XVI. Allen noted that there's no official account of that election – it is officially secret, after all – but various reports had Bergoglio coming in second in 2005.
[Updated at 3:51 p.m. ET] Choosing the name Francis is powerful and ground-breaking, CNN Vatican expert John Allen says.
As noted earlier, this is the first Pope Francis. Also, the name parallels one of the most venerated figures in the Roman Catholic Church, St. Francis of Assisi.
Allen described the name of Pope Francis as "the most stunning" choice and "precedent shattering."
"There are cornerstone figures in Catholicism" such as St. Francis, Allen said. Figures of such stature as St. Francis seem "irrepeatable – that there can be only one Francis," Allen added.
Read more about the new name, from CNN's Michael Martinez.
Authorities are looking for a man suspected of killing four people and wounding at least two others in Herkimer County in upstate New York, state police said Wednesday.
The suspect, identified by state police as Kurt Meyers, also is believed to have blown up his house in the area, located about 70 miles west-northwest of Albany, according to a federal law enforcement source briefed on the investigation.
The shootings were reported Wednesday morning in the neighboring communities of Herkimer and Mohawk, CNN affiliate WKTV reported.FULL STORY
Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll resigned Tuesday as questions arose over a company for which she previously consulted.
In a two-sentence resignation letter delivered to Gov. Rick Scott, Carroll said it was an "honor to have served."
The resignation came a day after some people were arrested "for racketeering and money laundering charges in connection with Allied Veterans of the World's illegal gambling companies," Scott's chief of staff Adam Hollingsworth said. Carroll consulted for Allied Veterans while serving in the state House of Representatives in 2009 and 2010.FULL STORY
It's been said that Roman Catholic cardinals are reluctant to ever choose an American pope, because the Vatican would then be too closely tied to Washington. President Barack Obama would beg to differ.
As cardinals participated in a conclave Wednesday to elect a new pope, Obama told ABC's "Good Morning America" that an "American pope would preside just as effectively as a Polish pope or an Italian pope or a Guatemalan pope."
"I don't know if you've checked lately but the Conference of Catholic Bishops here in the U.S. don't seem to be taking orders from me," he said, chuckling, after being asked if an American pope would take orders from the president.FULL STORY
Kurdish militants have released eight Turkish civil servants who were kidnapped in eastern Turkey and held hostage in northern Iraq, according to Turkey's semi-official Anadolu news agency.
The Kurdish separatist group PKK had kidnapped the eight in various eastern Turkish provinces on different dates, Anadolu reported.
Adil Kurt, a member of Turkey's Parliament, said Wednesday that the eight released hostages were in a convoy heading from Iraq to the Turkish border and were expected to arrive in Turkey Wednesday afternoon.FULL STORY
Roman Catholic cardinals continue their conclave to elect a new pope. Watch CNN.com Live for ongoing coverage from the Vatican.
Today's programming highlights...
Ongoing coverage - Papal conclave
10:30 am ET - Budget debate - The House Budget Committee considers the proposed 2014 budget plan released this week by Rep. Paul Ryan. Senate Democrats release their own budget proposal at 2:00 pm ET.
Will the Roman Catholic Church's cardinals elect a pope today, the first full day of their conclave? If so, they'll have to make it happen in their afternoon session.
Black smoke rose from the chimney fixed to the roof of the Sistine Chapel on Wednesday morning, indicating that the cardinals' first two votes of the day were inconclusive. The cardinals also didn't come to a conclusion on Tuesday evening, which was their first vote.
They will have two more opportunities to vote on Wednesday afternoon, after they have lunch.
We have a number of features to inform you about the process. Our full story on Wednesday's activities can be found here. But also check out:
Militants killed five Indian officers at a police training camp in Indian-controlled Kashmir province on Wednesday, police said.
It was the first attack in the city of Srinagar in at least three years, CNN's sister network IBN reported.
It comes a month after the execution in India of a militant from Kashmir, who led an attack on the nation's parliament in 2001, killing nine people.FULL STORY
Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla visited a U.N. refugee camp in Jordan on Wednesday, near the border with Syria.
The camp, run by the United Nations, UNICEF and Save the Children, is home to about 1,000 people who have fled the conflict that has raged for about two years.
About 20 children staying at the camp sang songs to the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.FULL STORY
Terrilynn Monette had no problem uprooting her life to help children.
When the California native learned of the "teachNOLA" program, which sends educators to New Orleans to teach in impoverished areas, she packed her bags and headed to Louisiana.
"I always wanted to be a teacher, and what better place to teach than New Orleans, where passionate teachers are needed most?" Monette said in a 2011 video.
Her dedication and excellence in the classroom earned her a "Teacher of the Year" nomination in her district.
But after a night celebrating the accolade with friends, the 26-year-old vanished.FULL STORY
The questions go to the heart of the issue, presenting possible scenarios some may find challenging.
The Boy Scouts of America, now considering a change in the group's longstanding policy against allowing openly gay members, has sent out surveys to leaders and parents.
The survey asks nine questions on the issue that go beyond a simple yes or no. Among them: Is it acceptable or unacceptable for a gay scout and a straight scout to share a tent on an overnight camping trip?
The five multiple-choice answers range from "totally acceptable" to "totally unacceptable."FULL STORY
When the call came in that a pickup truck had slammed into a house igniting a fire, volunteer firefighter Michael Cosgrove and his fellow firemen in the New York hamlet of Selden rushed to the scene.
It was only when their fire trucks neared the street that Cosgrove realized that the fire he'd be fighting would be at his own house.FULL STORY
There has been another confirmed case of a mysterious new SARS-like virus.
The Saudi health ministry informed the World Health Organization that a 39-year-old man was hospitalized with the novel coronavirus on February 28 and died two days later.FULL STORY
Two days after he was pulled from the bottom of a swimming pool at a Disney resort in Florida, a 13-year-old boy from Missouri has died.
Anthony Johnson passed away Tuesday morning, according to the Orange County Sheriff's office. No cause of death was given.
"We are saddened by Anthony Johnson's passing and our hearts go out to his family, friends and loved ones," a statement from Disney said. "We have reached out to his family to offer care and assistance during this difficult time."
The boy was swimming at Disney's Pop Century Resort pool on Sunday evening with family members and other guests when he was spotted in about 4 feet of water by a cousin, who pulled him out, sheriff's deputies told CNN affiliate WKMG-TV. Lifeguards were not on duty at the time of the incident.FULL STORY
The Syrian civil war has taken a massive toll on those who have no part in the fighting - children, the aid agency Save the Children said Wednesday.
More than 2 million children have been afflicted by trauma, malnutrition or disease, the group said.
In addition, one in three children have been injured, the report said.FULL STORY
All eyes will remain peeled on the chimney of the Sistine Chapel Wednesday morning, as the Roman Catholic cardinals tasked with electing the next pope convene for a second day of the papal conclave.
The 115 voting eligible church leaders file into the chapel chamber, renowned for its ceiling fresco painted by Renaissance master Michelangelo, at 10:30 a.m. local time (4:30 a.m. ET).FULL STORY