LONDON -- Events in May include a watershed general election in South Africa, and presidential elections in the current hotspots of Egypt and Ukraine.
Nigeria hosts the World Economic Forum on Africa, Luis Guillermo Solis is sworn in as president of Costa Rica, and Pope Francis visits the Middle East. The Cannes Film Festival takes place, a score of Rachmaninoff's Symphony No 2 is expected to fetch up to $2.5m at auction, and a new posthumous Michael Jackson album, featuring eight "new" tracks, is released.
TOKYO -- President Obama has said that disputed islands in the East China Sea are covered by a U.S.-Japanese treaty which obliges the U.S. to act if they are attacked.
OTTAWA -- Canada plans to reduce the level of protection for humpback whales in a move that could clear the way for the Northern Gateway oil sands pipeline project.
VATICAN -- The unprecedented double canonization of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II takes the number of pontiffs elevated to sainthood to 80.
LONDON -- Lana Del Rey’s "West Coast", and Bob Dylan’s 1975 protest song "Hurricane" headed the global list of the most viral Spotify tracks.
SEOUL -- North Korea could well be preparing to carry out a fourth nuclear test to coincide with a visit to Seoul by U.S. President Barack Obama.
JUBA -- Rebel gunmen in South Sudan massacred hundreds of civilians because of their ethnicity when they captured the key oil town of Bentiu.
MOSCOW -- Threats of U.S. and EU sanctions over the Ukraine crisis have resulted in investment banks in Moscow suffering a 67% fall in fees so far this year.
MOSCOW -- Oil and gas exports account for 48% of Russia's revenues. Threats to cut EU imports of Russian gas could kickstart President Putin’s Altai Project.
STRATFORD-UPON-AVON -- April 23 marks the 450th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language.
PERTH -- Hopes that the Bluefin mini-sub might soon guide searchers to wreckage of missing flight MH370 are dwindling, with no sign of the plane after eight deployments.