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

January 25th, 2012
10:46 AM ET

Cruise ship captain admits 'mistake' in deposition

In his answers to prosecutors, defense attorneys and a judge, the captain of the ill-fated cruise ship Costa Concordia admitted he made a "mistake" in colliding with rocks off the Italian island of Giglio.

However, in statements made during a phone conversation with a friend earlier this month, Capt. Francesco Schettino said he was pressured by managers to steer the ship to the area where the collision occurred, two Italian newspapers reported Wednesday.

Both Costa Cruises and authorities have criticized Schettino's behavior. He is under house arrest and faces possible charges of manslaughter, shipwreck and abandoning ship in the January 13 incident, when the vessel struck rocks and rolled over onto its side in the waters off the island.

A 16th body was found on the ship Tuesday. Sixteen others are still missing from the roughly 4,200 people aboard the cruise liner - 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew members - at the time of the collision.

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Violence erupts in Rome after Berlusconi survives confidence votes
December 14th, 2010
12:27 PM ET

Violence erupts in Rome after Berlusconi survives confidence votes

Angry protesters threw rocks and bottles and police lobbed tear gas canisters Tuesday in Rome's streets after Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi narrowly survived lawmakers' confidence votes.

A crowd of several hundred protesters smashed motorcycles and police vehicles as they erupted in violence and clashed with authorities following the votes. Small fires were burning in various spots, and loud explosions could be heard from firecrackers or flash-bang devices.

Police charging down the Via del Corso - one of Rome's main shopping areas - were pushing back protesters "slowly but surely," said CNN's Dan Rivers, but he noted the protesters were "clearly very angry."

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Filed under: Italy