Papal conclave — Cardinals took a break from maneuvering ahead of this week’s papal conclave to fan out across Rome and celebrate Sunday Mass at local parishes. The worship services provided a chance to see the cardinals up close and hear them preach two days before they enter the conclave. The cardinals said Mass in their titular churches, the parishes that according to church tradition are assigned to them as clergy of Rome, creating a symbolic bond with the pope. The conclave, with 115 cardinal-electors, is scheduled to start Tuesday.
Venezuela election — Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles on Sunday launched what many consider a doomed candidacy to replace Hugo Chavez with a no-holds-barred attack against a government he accused of coldly betraying Venezuelans’ trust. Capriles accused the socialist government of meticulously planning a campaign to assure the election of Nicolas Maduro, Chavez’s desired successor.
Korea drills — South Korea and the United States began annual military drills early today despite North Korean threats to respond by voiding the armistice that ended the Korean War and launching a nuclear attack on the U.S. After the start of the drills, South Korean officials said their northern counterparts didn’t answer two calls on a hotline between the sides, apparently following through on an earlier vow to cut the communication channel because of the drills.
Harvard cheating — Bewildered, and at times angry, faculty members at Harvard criticized the university Sunday after revelations that administrators secretly searched the email accounts of 16 resident deans in an effort to learn who leaked information about a student cheating scandal to the news media. Some predicted a confrontation between the faculty and the administration.
Drone strike — Two suspected militants were killed Sunday morning in the volatile North Waziristan tribal region by what Pakistani and Taliban officials said was a drone strike. If confirmed, the attack could be the first U.S. strike in Waziristan in two months — one of the longest operational pauses since the drone campaign started in earnest in mid-2008.
Global hacking — China issued a new call Saturday for international “rules and cooperation" on Internet espionage issues while insisting allegations of Chinese government involvement in recent hacking attacks were falsified as part of an international smear campaign. The remarks, by Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, were China’s highest level response yet to intensifying accusations that the Chinese military may be engaging in cyberespionage.
Myanmar opposition — Myanmar’s main opposition party ended a landmark congress over the weekend with the party’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, calling for a “good relationship" with the powerful military and vowing to infuse new blood into the party, which is still recovering from more than two decades of persecution under military rule.
Fatal Ohio crash — A speeding sport utility vehicle taken without permission and carrying eight teenagers crashed into a guardrail Sunday morning and flipped over into a swampy pond in northeast Ohio, killing five boys and a woman, the state highway patrol said.
New York crashes — In a marked shift of protocol, the New York Police Department has begun conducting robust investigations of traffic crashes that result in critical injuries but not certain or likely death. In the past, investigators from a specialized unit, the Accident Investigation Squad, were sent only when at least one victim had died or was deemed by first responders to be “likely to die."
India rape — A man on trial for the gang rape and fatal beating of a woman aboard a bus in New Delhi committed suicide in an Indian jail early today, raising further questions about a criminal justice system already criticized for failing to protect the nation’s women. Ram Singh, who was accused of driving the bus on which the 23-year-old student was raped by a group of six men in December, was under suicide watch at New Delhi’s Tihar Jail when he hanged himself with his own clothes, police officials said.
Iran pipeline — Pakistan’s president is traveling to Iran today for a ceremony to mark the start of construction of a controversial pipeline to bring natural gas from Iran despite American opposition to the project. The Iran-Pakistan pipeline is intended to help Pakistan overcome its mushrooming energy needs at a time when the country is facing increased blackouts and energy shortages.
Nigeria attacks — Radical Islamists in northern Nigeria have killed seven foreign construction workers who were kidnapped in February, a significant escalation of extremist violence in Nigeria’s continuing jihadist insurgency. The killings were announced Saturday by an obscure splinter group, Ansaru, and confirmed by European foreign ministries Sunday.
— From wire reports