A vast security operation to protect world leaders attending the funeral of John Paul II was in top gear Thursday as US President George W. Bush paid his last respects to the late pope.
Iraqi MPs chose Kurdish former rebel leader Jalal Talabani as the country's first freely elected president, paving the way for a new government more than two months after landmark polls.
A US military helicopter went down in southeastern Afghanistan, killing at least 16 people, in the worst crash suffered by US-led forces since they toppled the Taliban in late 2001.
India's prime minister pledged that the first trans-Kashmir bus service in almost 60 years would go ahead as planned despite a bloody attack by militants on a complex housing passengers.
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams urged his party's military wing, the IRA, to take an "historic" decision to abandon the armed struggle and engage in the democratic political process in Northern Ireland.
Monaco was mourning the death of Prince Rainier, the 81-year-old leader who transformed the tiny Mediterranean state into a thriving modern economy and touched the world with his fairy-tale marriage to Grace Kelly.