Iraqi troops launch offensive to free Anbar province; North Korea fires missiles ahead of US defense chief arrival in Seoul; China gains land through island-building in South China Sea; Norway to boost power investment in Africa; new evidence of atrocities in Ukraine; and more

 Syrian rebels may have used chemical weapons; Palestinian and Israeli leaders meet Chinese president Xi Jinping; North Korea says it won't be using imprisoned American Kenneth Bae as bargaining chip in talks with US; EU urges Africa to open up its markets; and more

Top of the Agenda: Chemical Weapons Questioned in Syria As Israel Launches Second Strike

That a New Zealander won’t be part of the papal conclave was possibly the least interesting thing to say about the shock resignation of Pope Benedict XVI

When global events happen, some in our media hit the cultural cringe button and head out to find the New Zealand angle. We can’t just be citizens of the world.

The disaster unfolding across the Horn of Africa is a man-made catastrophe that reflects decisions by developed countries about poverty, war and climate change

The harrowing images from the Horn of Africa are all too familiar – silent columns of the severely malnourished converging on refugee camps that are already overcrowded and struggling to cope. The United Nations has finally declared that parts of Somalia are suffering not just a food crisis, but a famine.