A string of surprising and strange events dominated the international scene this week. The death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez produced a flood of tributes and speculation about the country's future, while Dennis Rodman's visit to North Korea made him one of the most unlikely diplomats in the history of US-Korean relations. Back in the United States, Rand Paul executed a bizarrely entertaining 13-hour fillibuster of John Brennan's confirmation vote.
No matter how you cut it, it's been a big week for the world. Here's a sampling of the most important stories from GlobalPost and a look at some of the news you may have missed.
In-Depth Series: After Chavez
After a prolonged battle with cancer, the polarizing socialist leader Hugo Chavez has died. He leaves behind a country in deep economic and political crisis. What's next for the people of Venezuela?
For a Korean peace, are sports stars our only hope?
John Kerry may not think Dennis Rodman can solve the North Korea
problem. But the retired basketball star has joined a cast of musicians, artists and athletes who have helped open Asian dictatorships to the world.
After the housing boom, opportunity dries up in Fernley, Nevada
Once among the country's fastest-growing places, a town near the end of the Truckee River hit with economic drought.
Russian activists stagger under Kremlin crackdown
As the opposition flounders, protesters are seeking new ways to take a stand against the authorities.
A plague of locusts descends on Egypt (VIDEO)
Israel is on alert after a swarm of locusts hit neighboring Egypt.
On Location Video, Mongolia: Cleaning up one of the world's most polluted cities
Just breathing in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, can be as bad as smoking five
packs of cigarettes a day.
PlanetPic: Hugo Chavez joining group of famous, embalmed world leaders.
The body of the recently deceased Venezuelan leader will be preserved for the public eye in a style used for leaders like Lenin and Mao.
Video of the Day: Rand Paul 2016?
After a fiery thirteen-hour filibuster, Sen. Rand Paul sets his sights on the White House.