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The red curtains on the central balcony of Saint Peter’s Basilica, called the Loggia of the Blessings, which is where the new pope will appear after being elected in the conclave, are seen at the Vatican March 12, 2013. Roman Catholic cardinals began their conclave inside the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel today to elect a new pope.
Photo credit: REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
Conclave to elect new pope to start on March 12: Vatican
Roman Catholic cardinals will start their conclave to elect a successor to Pope Benedict on the afternoon of Tuesday March 12, the Vatican said in a statement on Friday.
A total of 115 cardinals will take part in the elaborate ritual, which continues until one man receives a two-thirds majority. The vote follows Benedict’s surprise abdication last month after a troubled, eight-year reign.
READ ON: Vatican battles to maintain secrecy ahead of conclave
Bookmakers see three-cardinal race for next Pope
British and Irish bookmakers ranked Nigeria’s Cardinal Francis Arinze, Peter Turkson of Ghana and Canadian Marc Ouellet on Monday as favorites to lead the Roman Catholic Church, setting odds swiftly after Pope Benedict’s shock resignation.
William Hill, Britain’s largest bookmaker, offered odds of 3/1 against for Arinze, or a probability of 25 percent, while Ouellet and Turkson were priced at 7/2 against, meaning successful punters would win seven pounds for every two staked.
Irish bookmaker Paddy Power had the same three cardinals as leading contenders but placed Ouellet as favorite ahead of the two Africans. Britain’s Ladbrokes narrowly made Turkson its initial frontrunner.
More on the Pope’s resignation: Pope’s brother said he knew of resignation
(Correction: This post originally had an incorrect photo of the three cardinals cited by bookmakers as top contenders to be the next Pope)
Religious leaders lay on the ground and pray over a bible and a copy of the verdict on President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare overhaul law outside the Supreme Court in Washington June 28, 2012.
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld President Barack Obama’s healthcare law on Thursday in an election-year triumph for him and fellow Democrats and a stinging setback for Republican opponents of the most sweeping overhaul of the unwieldy U.S. healthcare system in about a half century. [REUTERS/Jason Reed]
Churches, as an organization, can’t endorse political figures as a condition of their tax-exempt status, but 539 ministers challenged the IRS last year by endorsing or opposing a candidate for office.
This Reuters graphic takes a look at where churches are endorsing or opposing candidates the most. [REUTERS]
This village in northwest Myanmar has the besieged air of a refugee camp. It is clogged with people living in wooden shacks laid out on a grid of trash-strewn lanes. Its children are pot-bellied with malnutrition.
But Takebi’s residents are not refugees. They are Rohingya, a stateless Muslim people of South Asian descent now at the heart of Myanmar’s worst sectarian violence in years. The United Nations has called them “virtually friendless” in Myanmar, the majority-Buddhist country that most Rohingya call home. Today, as Myanmar opens up, they appear to have more enemies than ever.
Armed with machetes and bamboo spears, rival mobs of Rohingya Muslims and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists this month torched one another’s houses and transformed nearby Sittwe, the capital of the western state of Rakhine, into a smoke-filled battleground. A torrent of Rohingyas has tried to flee Rakhine into impoverished Bangladesh, but most are being pushed back, a Bangladeshi Border Guard commander told Reuters on Thursday.
SPECIAL REPORT: Plight of Muslim minority threatens Myanmar Spring