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.
Germany is a 16-state affair. But when it comes to working out finances, they quickly devolve into a family of squabblers. Reforming the system to reduce the number of states is long overdue, says DW's Volker Wagener.
Ukrainians are preparing to go to the polls in snap elections that are expected to dramatically change the make-up of the country's parliament. Polls put incumbent President Petro Poroshenko's bloc in the lead.
The German author and poet Jürgen Becker has been presented with the Georg Büchner Prize, one of the most important literary awards for the German language. Becker received the prize for his lifetime achievement.
The Picasso museum in Paris has reopened following a renovation which took more than twice as long as scheduled. The official ceremony took place on what would have been the famed artist's 133rd birthday.