Cardinals begin their conclave to choose next pope.
(Valdrin Xhemaj /EPA /LANDOV)
March 12, 2013

The Smoke is Black: No Pope After Cardinals’ First Vote

Update at 2:43 p.m. ET. No Pope Today: Black smoke just poured from the chimney above the Vatican. That means, as was expected, the cardinals did not choose a pope on the first vote of their conclave to name a successor to the now-retired Pope Benedict XVI.


gun shop
(Keith Srakocic/AP)
March 12, 2013

Senate Panel OKs Dems Gun Background Check Bill

A divided Senate Judiciary Committee approved a Democratic bill Tuesday expanding required federal background checks to nearly all gun purchases, giving President Barack Obama an early victory on curbing gun violence in a fight that still faces difficult odds.


Homer Village Board considers mining contract
(Jeff Bossert/WILL)
March 12, 2013

Homer Board Reverses February Vote for Coal Mine

A month after trustees in Homer rejected a water contract for a proposed coal mine, trustees have reconsidered and approved the plan with Sunrise Coal on a 4-3 vote.


March 11, 2013

SEIU: ‘Incredible’ Support from Other U of I Unions

A spokesman for striking building and food service workers at the University of Illinois says members are getting a lot of backing from other unions. The three-day strike by SEIU Local 73 started at midnight Monday– and will go on until 12 a.m. Thursday. 


Marine Lt. Phillip Baki visits with an Afghan police officer, Abdul Karim
(Sean Carberry/NPR)
March 11, 2013

With Withdrawal Looming, U.S. Troops Shift Their Aim

The NATO campaign is now in a new phase. After years of fighting the Taliban and bolstering anemic local governance, NATO troops are handing those responsibilities over to the Afghans.


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