Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, a respected theologian and one of John Paul II's most trusted advisors, was appointed the Catholic Church's 265th pope. Benedict XVI, as he is now called, represents for many in the Church an attempt to restore conservative values and traditions. For others, especially those critical of the Church's standing on issues such as AIDS, women and gay marriage, the new pope reflects a turning-away from the needs and interests of a modern society.
DW-WORLD takes a look at the new pope's background, the first to come from Germany in 500 years, his rise through the Catholic Church, the issues he stands for and the criticism surrounding him.
Lufthansa and Air Berlin have announced that they are resuming flights to Israel. The German carriers had suspended service earlier in the week after a rocket fired by Islamist militants struck near Tel Aviv's airport.
The number of children in state custody has reached a record high. Refugee kids are also taken into care and should have the right to aid, says Heinz Hilgers, president of the child protection body Kinderschutzbund.
As Israel's military campaign continues in Gaza, protesters took to the streets of Berlin on Quds Day. Despite widespread fears of violence, opposing rallies supporting the Palestinians and Israelis remained calm.
A premiere not soon to be forgotten: In its fourth and final year, stage director Sebastian Baumgarten's "Tannhäuser" had an unattractive set and a technical glitch, but superb singing and an impressive conducting debut.