Tuesday evening, a plume of black smoke rose out of the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican, signifying that the first round of balloting to elect a new pope had passed without any nominee receiving the necessary two-thirds majority.
Going on right now in Big Bear, California, is a gunfight between law-enforcement officials and alleged cop-killer Christopher Dorner. Multiple officers have apparently been injured during the battle, in which hundreds of rounds have been fired.
The national unemployment rate spiked following the 2008 financial crash, and it has remained stubbornly high ever since. Unfortunately, it has been even worse for returning American servicemembers. Today, though, Wal-Mart announced a plan to hire 100,000 veterans over the next five years.
UPDATE 4:07 p.m. EST: Authorities have identified the gunman as William Spengler, an ex-convict who spent 17 years in prison for murdering his 92-year-old grandmother in 1980.
Spengler was paroled for the crime in 1998.
Police also have not located Spengler's 67-year-old sister, who lived in the house with Spengler.
Authorities also report that a total of seven houses were destroyed in the blaze.
UPDATE 12:40 p.m. EST: Police chief Gerald Pickering says that the gunman, who was killed at the scene, either by police or from a self-inflicted wound, may have set a trap for first responders.
UPDATE 12:15 p.m. EST: The Associated Press is reporting that the gunman who killed the two firefighters is also dead. His body was found at the scene. The names of the two deceased firefighters, according to the Democrat and Chronicle, are Mike Chiapperini, 43, a volunteer firefighter and the Webster Police Department’s public information officer, and Tomasz Kaczowka. The names of the wounded firefighters are Joseph Hofsetter and Theodore Scardino.
Early Monday morning two firefighters were shot and killed when responding to a call in Webster, New York, just outside Rochester. After the firefighters arrived at 191 Lake Road, an unknown shooter fired at them as they left their truck, killing two of them and wounding two others. The wounded men are at a nearby hospital; one is in stable condition, the other is in guarded condition.
Members of the Westboro Baptist Church, known for protesting the funerals of U.S. armed servicemen and women, announced that they plan to picket the upcoming funerals of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. This did not go over well on the Internet.
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