First vote on new pope inconclusive
Roman Catholic cardinals failed to elect a new pope in the first ballot of an ultra-secret conclave that has once again drawn the eyes of the world on the Vatican.
More than two hours after the 115 cardinals withdrew into strict seclusion, black smoke emerged from a chimney on the Sistine Chapel signalling that the first vote had been inconclusive.
Initially, it appeared to the 20,000 people massed on Saint Peter's Square that the first wisps were white, indicating a new spiritual leader of the 1.1 billion Roman Catholics worldwide after the death of John Paul II.
A roar went up, applause broke out, and the crowd surged forward -- "it's white! It's white!" many shouted -- only to quickly melt away when the puffs turned into thick, black smoke.
The prelates will not vote again until Tuesday, and from then on four times a day until they reach the required two-thirds consensus.