Tuesday evening, a plume of black smoke rose out of the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican, signifying that the first round of balloting to elect a new pope had passed without any nominee receiving the necessary two-thirds majority.
The labor market—and the economy overall—is improving, albeit gradually, with employers adding 236,000 jobs in February. That gain brought the unemployment rate down a few ticks from 7.9 percent to 7.7, its lowest point in four years.
Going on right now in Big Bear, California, is a gunfight between law-enforcement officials and alleged cop-killer Christopher Dorner. Multiple officers have apparently been injured during the battle, in which hundreds of rounds have been fired.
In stunning news, Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday morning from the Vatican that he will resign his position as head of the Catholic Church, effective on February 28. This has already set off a flurry of speculation, largely because no pope has voluntarily done so since the year 1415.
The news is still coming in, but here's what we know so far:
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