Top news: The Roman Catholic cardinals who have gathered in Rome to elect the next pope filed into St. Peter's Basilica on Tuesday for the final Mass before the conclave. There, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the college of cardinals, used his homily to appeal for unity within the Catholic Church. "St. Paul teaches that each of us must work to build up the unity of the church," the New York Times quoted him as saying. "All of us are therefore called to cooperate with the pastors, in particular with the successor of Peter, to obtain that unity of the holy church."
Unlike the last papal election, in which Cardinal Ratzinger was one of a few leading candidates, this conclave is thought to be wide open, with many of the 115 age-eligible cardinals considered to be in the running. At most one round of balloting will take place on Tuesday, however, and there is virtually no chance that any of the candidates will receive the requisite two-thirds majority to be selected in the first round.
The papal election was triggered by Pope Benedict XVI's abdication last month, the first such resignation in nearly 600 years.
Energy: A Japanese oil company reported Tuesday that it had successfully extracted natural gas from offshore methane hydrate -- or clathrate -- deposits, marking the first time in history this process has been completed. The Nankai Trough gas field, located a little more than 30 miles offshore, could provide an alternative energy source for the island nation, the BBC reports.
- Kuwait submitted a memorandum to the U.N. over a border incident in which stone-throwing Iraqi protesters prompted Iraqi security forces to fire in the air, leading Kuwaiti border guards to believe they were under fire.
- Egyptian lawmakers decided Monday to draft a new election law aimed at circumventing a court-ordered delay for upcoming parliamentary elections.
- A U.N. agency reported that the son of a BBC journalist killed last November in Gaza may have died from a Palestinian rocket, not an Israeli airstrike as originally reported.
- Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf reshuffled her cabinet on Monday, replacing her ministers of labor, commerce, and transport.
- South Sudanese President Salva Kiir ordered his soldiers to withdraw from buffer zone along the border with Sudan.
- The International Criminal Court on Monday dropped war-crimes charges against Francis Muthaura, a co-defendant in the case against Kenyan President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta.
- U.S. National Security Advisor Tom Donilon demanded Monday that China cease its cyber espionage activities and agree to "acceptable norms of behavior in cyberspace."
- Two American soldiers died Monday in a "green-on-blue" attack by an Afghan soldier in the Jalriz district of Wardak.
- Pakistan began construction Monday on a natural gas pipeline that links to Iran.
- The United States expelled two Venezuelan diplomats on Monday in retaliation for the expulsion of two U.S. military attaches from the Bolivarian Republic last week.
- A newspaper in the northern Mexican city of Saltillo announced Monday it no longer plans to cover the drug war because of threats to the paper's staff.
- Acting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and challenger Henrique Capriles kicked off the country's presidential race Monday even as the country remains in mourning for Chavez.
- Dozens of MPs from former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom party protested Monday outside the Milan courtroom where he is on trial for having sex with an underage prostitute.
- Hungary's parliament passed a controversial set of constitutional amendments despite a boycott by members of the opposition.
- A British judge sentenced former Energy Minister Chris Huhne and his wife to eight months in prison for lying about who was at the wheel during a 2003 speeding incident.