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.
The Ukrainian crisis summit in Geneva has produced a peace plan. Gunther Krichbaum, chairman of the European Affairs Committee of the German Bundestag, welcomes the agreement, but doesn’t view it as a breakthrough.
Edward Snowden has written a response to the criticism over his question on mass surveillance put to Russian President Vladimir Putin on state television, saying he wanted to start a debate, not assist the Kremlin.
A leader among pro-Russian activists occupying government buildings in eastern Ukraine has said his side will not move until Kyiv's interim government steps down. This follows a de-escalation agreement made in Geneva.
Christians are celebrating Good Friday in honor of the crucifixion of Jesus. In the Philippines, nine men were nailed to crosses in a bloody annual spectacle before thousands of onlookers.