Prime Minister Vladimir Putin delivers a campaign speech during a rally of his supporters in Moscow, Feb. 23. Putin is mounting a vigorous campaign in the face of growing opposition but is expected to win Sunday's presidential elections.
Credit Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP/Getty Images
Russian presidential candidate and Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov addresses his supporters while campaigning in Moscow, Feb. 29. He is a three-time loser in the presidential race who is seen as a hidebound traditionalist.
Credit Ivan Sekretarev / AP
Russian billionaire and presidential candidate Mikhail Prokhorov speaks with Russian voters at the Russian Academy of Science in Moscow, Feb. 25. The 46-year-old commands the support of anti-Putin protesters and is running American-style campaign events around Russia.
When Russians go to the polls Sunday, they will have several choices for president. But none is a serious threat to Vladimir Putin, who has been the most powerful figure in Russia for the past 12 years.
Boris Makarenko, a longtime observer of Russian politics, says the candidates arrayed against Putin are all more or less part of what Kremlin leaders call "the systemic opposition."
In other words, he says, they are "the tolerable opposition ... which can never even hope of replacing them in the Kremlin."
Many religious traditions stress the importance of charity. But Mormons are remarkable for the amount and the precision with which they give to their church.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that each Mormon in good standing should tithe 10 percent of his or her income. The money goes right to church headquarters in Salt Lake City and then is distributed back to congregations around the world.
"That's written in stone, and preached from the pulpit," says Gordon Dahl, an economist at the University of California, San Diego, who is Mormon.
U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull says he will apologize to President Obama and ask for a panel of judges to investigate his conduct after a Montana newspaper reported he had sent a racially inflammatory message using his courthouse email account last month.
Portions of Alabama's strict immigration law will remain in force until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on its predecessor, the Arizona statue that ignited a national firestorm in the debate over illegal immigration.
A panel of three judges from an Atlanta federal appeals court decided Thursday to put off action on lawsuits against measures in Alabama and Georgia. Oral arguments are set for April 25 before the Supreme Court over the constitutionality of Arizona's enforcement policy.
A Colombian police officer stands guard next to seized Chinese-made AK-47 replicas on Nov. 18, 2009. The guns have become so ubiquitous around the world that Russia's planned redesign may not do much to booster sales.
Credit Henri Huet / AP
A 14-year-old Vietnamese boy points an AK-47 in 1968. The Vietnam War became the first large conflict in which both sides carried assault rifles.
Credit John Downing / Express/Getty Images
A Sudanese fighter holds his AK-47 at the ready in 1971. The gun's simple, intuitive design has made it popular among small-arms dealers, as well as insurgents, terrorists and child soldiers.
Credit Matias Recart / AFP/Getty Images
A man is arrested by a policeman armed with an AK-47 after violent clashes erupted during a 1993 general transportation strike in Managua, Nicaragua.
Credit Matias Recart / AFP/Getty Images
Young rebels in Zaire, now called the Democratic Republic of Congo, play with their AK-47s in the city of Goma in 1996.
Credit Abdelhak Senna / AFP/Getty Images
Russian commanders gave Kalashnikov rifles to Chechen militiamen who helped in the fight against Islamic militants in 1999.
An undated photo of Osama bin Laden shows him with an AK-47 in his lap.
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A Congolese fighter carries two AK-47s past burning bushes following strife in the Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2003.
Credit Mohammed Sawaf / AFP/Getty Images
Iraqi police cadets are trained to use AK-47s in Karbala, Iraq, on March 26, 2009.
Credit Keystone / Getty Images
The first time the automatic Kalashnikov, or AK-47, was used in a conflict was 1956, when the Soviet Army entered Hungary to crush a popular uprising in Budapest.
If you're a regular reader of The Salt, you've probably noticed our interest in foraging. From San Francisco to Maryland, we've met wild food experts, nature guides and chefs passionate about picking foods growing in their backyards.
Prosecutors have officially charged 17-year-old T.J. Lane in the shooting rampage at an Ohio high school.
The charges — three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of aggravated attempted murder and one count of felonious assault — were filed in juvenile court, but the AP adds that this could be the first step toward charging him as an adult.
A hearing is set next week in Geauga County to determine whether he'll be charged as an adult.
Syrian mourners in Qusayr, a few miles outside Homs, carry the body of a man killed by shrapnel, during his funeral on Tuesday. After a month-long assault by the Syrian army, rebels were forced to retreat from Homs on Thursday.
Credit Gianluigi Guercia / AFP/Getty Images
Syrians line up for bread outside a bakery in Qusayr on Thursday. After a month of heavy fighting in parts of Homs, civilians describe the conditions as miserable.
A key rebel stronghold in the central Syrian city of Homs has fallen to the Syrian army.
Residents fled as government forces bombarded the city's Baba Amr neighborhood for nearly a month. On Thursday, the rebels withdrew.
When the Syrian uprising began nearly a year ago, Baba Amr saw regular, daily protests. Then after months of being shot, detained and tortured, protesters began taking up arms. Those armed civilians were later joined by defectors from the Syrian military, and together, they called themselves the Free Syrian Army.
A teenager was charged Thursday with killing three students in a U.S. school shooting, the first step in proceedings that could see him charged as an adult and face the possibility of life without parole if convicted.
The charges accuse T.J. Lane, 17, of killing three students and wounding two others in the shooting Monday morning at Chardon High School, about 30 miles east of Cleveland.
He is charged in Geauga County juvenile court with three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of attempted aggravated murder and one count of felonious assault
The "algorithms used to command and control the International Space Station" were lost when an unencrypted NASA laptop computer was stolen in March 2011. That tidbit came in testimony Wednesday delivered by NASA Inspector General Paul K. Martin as he reported on the space agency's IT security track record.
Students hoping for a repeal of California's ban on affirmative action in college admissions protest outside of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Feb. 13. The Supreme Court will decide an affirmative action case next fall that could affect college admissions policies across the country.
College and university presidents are wringing their hands over the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to revisit the issue of affirmative action next fall. Critics of racial preferences are thrilled because the court could significantly restrict the use of race in admissions, but proponents of affirmative action say this would be a huge setback for institutions struggling to diversify their student body.
Police restrain a student protesting against education cuts during a rally in Valencia, in eastern Spain, on Feb. 20. Spaniards are beginning to feel the effects of $20 billion in austerity measures, and discontent is growing.
Credit Pedro Armestre / AFP/Getty Images
The clashes in Valencia triggered protests across Spain. Here, students protest in Madrid on Wednesday.
In life, Andrew Breitbart was the conservative blogger and provocateur whose sometimes controversial efforts against his ideological adversaries, both real and imagined, made him one of the most polarizing figures on the contemporary political scene.
In death, however, it was clear Breitbart had earned the respect not just of conservatives but of some progressives, too, who may have disagreed with his political views and tactics, but admired his energy and the entrepreneurial spirit with which he waged his campaign.
Women sit at a bus stop under election posters in Qom, about 75 miles south of Iran's capital, Tehran, on Tuesday. Iran's parliamentary elections on Friday are expected to be a contest between various conservative factions. Many candidates seeking change have been barred from running.
Credit Morteza Nikoubazl / Reuters/Landov
An Iranian man passes out election leaflets after Friday prayers in Tehran last week.
Iran holds parliamentary elections on Friday, the first since the disputed, and many believe fraudulent, presidential election in 2009.
But unlike that presidential poll, candidates seeking to take on the country's conservative rulers will not be taking part Friday; they are mostly under house arrest or have been in prison for years now.
The focus will be on which conservatives end up on top and how many votes are cast.
You might have thought that with the feds knocking on his door over what they say are numerous violations of civil rights, Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff Joe Arpaio would be busy planning his defense.
Instead, the controversial sheriff is taking the fight to them. Arpaio announced that he was ready to release the findings of his investigation into the authenticity of President Obama's birth certificate.
In Beautiful Souls: Saying No, Breaking Ranks, And Heeding The Voice of Conscience In Dark Times, journalist Eyal Press writes about "unexceptional people who took great risks" to help others.
The book profiles four individuals — a Serbian solider, a financial whistle blower, a Swiss police officer and an Israeli soldier — all unlikely resisters who end up going to great lengths to challenge authority.
Press talks with NPR's John Donvan about the things that inspire ordinary people to take a stand.