Skip to main content

Five stories you may have missed during the papal conclave

updated 9:12 AM EDT, Thu March 14, 2013
The skulls of Khmer Rouge victims on display in Cambodia. Ieng Sary, one of the regime's leaders, died Thursday while on trial.
The skulls of Khmer Rouge victims on display in Cambodia. Ieng Sary, one of the regime's leaders, died Thursday while on trial.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Xi Jinping formally named as China's new president as part of once-in-a-decade change
  • Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu forms a coalition government excluding ultra-religious groups
  • Plans to embalm the body of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez hit a snag
  • Ieng Sary, one of the leaders of the Khmer Rouge, dies while on trial for war crimes

London (CNN) -- The election of Jorge Bergoglio as Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church and spiritual leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, has dominated CNN.com's coverage over the past 24 hours.

You can read all about the first Latin American pope here. But while all eyes were on the Vatican, watching for the white smoke that signalled the announcement, there was plenty going on elsewhere. Here are five stories you may have missed while you were getting to know the new pontiff.

1. Xi Jinping was formally named as China's new president, as part of the country's once-in-a-decade leadership change. Xi, who took over as General Secretary of the Communist Party four months ago, replaces outgoing president Hu Jintao.

Xi's new role was rubber-stamped in a vote by 3,000 deputies at the National People's Congress. China's premier, Wen Jiabao, is also stepping down as part of the leadership overhaul; he will be replaced by Li Keqiang.

Xi Jinping set to take Chinese presidency
A look at Cambodia's 'killing fields'
Why were dead pigs floating in river?
Dead pigs found floating in river

2. Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu formed a new government following weeks of negotiations. Netanyahu and his conservative Likud Beitenu Party forged a coalition deal with centrists and ultra-conservatives, which excludes ultra-religious parties.

The ultra-orthodox Shas Party will join the Labor Party on the opposition benches of the Knesset, Israel's parliament, while former opposition leader and government minister Tzipi Livni makes a return to government, as the coalition's Justice Minister.

3. Plans to embalm the body of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and put it on public display like Lenin and Mao Zedong appear to have hit a snag, with acting president Nicolas Maduro admitting the process might be "quite difficult."

Maduro reported that scientists had said "the decision should have been taken much earlier," though it is not clear why. He insisted, though, that Chavez, who died earlier this month after a battle with cancer, would always remain in the country's collective memory.

4. One of the leaders of Cambodia's brutal Khmer Rouge died while on trial for war crimes at a U.N. tribunal. Ieng Sary, who served as foreign minister of the regime, was the brother-in-law of infamous dictator Pol Pot.

Ieng Sary's passing, at the age of 87, leaves just two defendants facing judgment by the tribunal investigating the actions of the Khmer Rouge, which terrorized Cambodia in the 1970s, killing more than one million people.

5. The bloated carcasses of 6,000 pigs were found in China's Huangpu River, sparking health fears over contamination, after traces of porcine circovirus were found in a water sample.

Sanitation workers, clad in masks and plastic suits, were called in to fish the bodies from the river, as Chinese state media reported that a farm had admitted dumping the dead pigs.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 12:46 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The tragic killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a bitter public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
updated 8:27 AM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
North Korea warns the United States that U.S. "citadels" will be attacked, dwarfing the hacking attack on Sony that led to the cancellation of a comedy film's release.
updated 9:51 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it's never looked better.
updated 11:21 AM EST, Sat December 20, 2014
More than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation, Unicef has warned.
updated 8:22 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Boko Haram's latest abductions may meet a weary global reaction, Nigerian journalist Tolu Ogunlesi says.
updated 5:34 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Drops, smudges, pools of blood are everywhere -- but in the computer room CNN's Nic Robertson reels from the true horror of the Peshawar school attack.
updated 9:43 PM EST, Wed December 17, 2014
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
updated 4:48 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
updated 3:27 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
updated 9:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
updated 12:01 PM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT