Chatter: Papal conclave resumes




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Pope vote, day 2. The papal conclave in Rome ended its first day with black smoke, and so the secret battle to choose a new pope continues. 

GlobalPost is covering the action and reaction on our live blog. We've also gone in depth, with a special report looking into this decisive moment for a church deeply divided and tarnished by scandal.

As the cardinals meet to choose a replacement for Benedict XVI, the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has agreed to pay out nearly $10 million to four men who say they were molested by a former priest, Michael Baker. 

Recently released files show Cardinal Roger Mahony — who is at the conclave — knew the priest had abused but put him back into ministry, where he abused again.


Syria's children. Caught in the middle of a civil war, they are being used as porters, guards, informers, fighters and even human shields, the group Save the Children says in a new report.

Some two million children are in need of assistance in Syria, the report says. UNICEF has warned that a whole generation of Syrian children could be lost.

River of pigs. Chinese officials say the number of pig carcasses pulled from Shanghai's Huangpu River has risen to nearly 6,000. The pigs are believed to have been dumped by farmers upstream after dying of disease.

The local government maintains that water from the river is safe, but these claims have been met with a healthy dose of skepticism on Chinese social media.

Kashmir police attacked. At least five paramilitary police officers have been killed in an ambush in Srinagar, the main city of Indian Kashmir. Gunmen threw grenades near a school where officers were on duty and children were playing cricket.

A decades-old separatist insurgency in Indian-administered Kashmir has waned in recent years, but tensions have been high since the execution in February of a Kashmiri man over a 2001 attack on India's parliament.


Only in Australia. Heavy rain down under has impacted the supply of a popular souvenir: kangaroo scrotums. Yep. Roo sacks are tanned and used to make everything from bottle openers to coin purses and key chains. 

But constant rain and flooding has driven the kangaroos beyond the range of hunters, and now the country is facing a kangaroo scrotum shortage

One taxidermist told a Brisbane newspaper that of the kangaroos still being shot, many are younger males that "don't have the right-sized testicles." He added: "We want the big ones. The more experienced kangaroos seem to know when the weather is not in favor and they take off."