Members of President Bush’s Africa team have steadily criticized President Obama's administration's approach to Sudan, even as the referendum appears to be unfolding peacefully.
In Germany, the birthplace of Pope Benedict XVI, the priest sex abuse scandal has shaken many young Catholics' trust in the church, if not their faith. The man who initially inspired a new 'Benedict generation' is now seen as out of touch.
In Jordan, Pope Benedict XVI sought to stress the importance of religion in public life as a way to find common ground with Jewish and Muslim groups.
The Vatican is trying to clarify efforts to reconcile with a sharply right-wing set of bishops excommunicated in 1988.