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White smoke: New pope elected

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White smokeROME (CNN) — White smoke was sent up from the chimney fixed to the roof of the Sistine Chapel Wednesday, indicating that the cardinals have elected a new pope.

Bells rang out across Vatican City shortly after 11 a.m. Pacific Time confirming that a successor to Benedict XVI has been selected. Crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square cheered the news.

The 115 voting cardinals reached a decision on the second day of the secretive conclave to elect a new head of the Roman Catholic Church.

As thousands of the faithful wait to learn his identity, the new pontiff is expected to appear on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica within the hour.

This story will be updated as additional details become available.

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