The church's cardinals can start the process of choosing a new pope right after Benedict's resignation takes effect later this week — rather than wait the 15 days that rules had required. One cardinal, Keith O'Brien of Britain, has stepped down after being accused of inappropriate behavior.
Europe's telecommunications industry is lagging, despite having some of the most successful companies serving some of the most connected populations in the world. The European Union's official in charge of the digital agenda says the bloc is making a huge mistake by not investing more in this sector — depriving itself of a source of income and jobs it can ill afford to ignore.
For decades after the devastation of World War Two, Germany recoiled from any prospect of military engagement. Now the country is under pressure to get involved in foreign military conflicts as the U.S. cuts back its role as the world's policeman. Germany's growing military role is now being debated in government and academic circles.
Cuban President Raul Castro has been named to a new five-year term but says this will be his last. Parliament has named as his vice president 52-year-old Miguel Diaz-Canel, the highest-ranking official who was not part of the 1959 revolution.
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