URGENT ¥¥¥ Conclave to elect new pope not before March 15: Vatican

The Conclave of Cardinals to elect a new pope after Benedict XVI steps down later this month will be held from March 15, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said on Wednesday.

"The beginning of the conclave cannot be before March 15. We have to expect a conclave starting on the 15th, 16th, 17th 18th or 19th," he said.