Five stories you may have missed during the papal conclave

Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 3:01pm

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.

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.

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