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.
Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico and businessman-turned philanthropist Andrej Kiska look set to contest a runoff presidential election, according to preliminary results from Saturday's 14-candidate election.
At least two people have been killed during clashes in eastern Ukraine. It comes one day before a referendum on whether the Crimea region will break away and join Russia.
Slovaks have voted in the first round of polling to choose a new president. There are concerns that a widely-tipped win by Premier Robert Fico will monopolize power in the Central European state.
The famous pianist has long since abandoned 70s jazz fusion. Today he likes to experiment with rhythms and Arabic scales. This week marks the 70th birthday of Germany's most significant jazz pianist.