Elected in 2013 with a brief to reform a scandal-hit Vatican, Pope Francis has launched numerous initiatives but, four years later, he is still struggling to deliver real change.
Li Nang, a young migrant worker wearing hot pants and high heels, stood before the statue of a gilt goddess garlanded with marigolds and fairy lights in Kuala Lumpur as she prayed for good business -- and her own safety.
The good news is that the United States presidential campaigns and election mercifully have come to an end.
Poland risks isolation in the European Union after its right-wing government failed in its bitter campaign to derail the re-election of its own citizen Donald Tusk as the bloc's president.
With Park Geun-hye impeached and out of office, attention has shifted swiftly to South Korea's next presidential election, which must be held by May 9, and front-runner Moon Jae-in.
Another major leak of top secret materials has again put America's top spies in hot water -- while delivering a coup for anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.
While other world leaders have been disparaged by Donald Trump or faced ire at home for trying to woo his White House, Canada's progressive Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has struck up an unlikely alliance with the U.S. president.
With South Korea's Constitutional Court stripping President Park Geun-hye of power, the country slips into a political whirlwind building up to a presidential election likely in early May.
The United States is scrambling to develop a new strategy to counter North Korea's aggressive nuclear weapon and missile programs, but tougher sanctions could provoke a diplomatic clash with China.
The American economy slipped yet again to a lower ranking in 2016 as a result of a combination of regulatory burdens, large public debt and business taxes according to a watchdog survey of global economic freedoms.