Russia is preparing for the 2014 Winter Games — turning a sleepy valley in the Northern Caucasus Mountains into an Olympic village, with brand-new facilities for every Alpine sport. Officials say it will be a world-class destination for winter-sports enthusiasts long after the Games are over. Environmentalists say it's an ecological disaster in the making.
Soldiers close the gate to the tiny West Bank outpost, right next door to a Jewish settlement, where the HaHod platoon of the ultra-Orthodox Netzah Yahuda battalion is stationed.
Credit Emily Harris/NPR
An Israeli soldier in a platoon reserved for the ultra-Orthodox leans on the doorway of the unit's makeshift synagogue. The military accommodates the religious needs of ultra-Orthodox soldiers by allowing time for Torah study and prayers three times daily.
Credit Emily Harris/NPR
A white metal trailer serves as the makeshift synagogue at the West Bank outpost of an all-ultra-Orthodox Israeli military platoon.
Credit Marco Longari / AFP/Getty Images
An Israeli police officer arrests an Ultra-Orthodox Jew during a protest against the draft law in Jerusalem on May 16.
Moshe Haim always wanted to be a soldier. The 20-year-old is now a sergeant, more than halfway through three years of service in the Israeli military.
But when he goes home on leave, he doesn't talk about his military experiences to any of his eight siblings, especially his brothers.
"I know that for my parents and my brothers, the first, best choice is to be in the yeshiva and study there," he says at a small West Bank outpost where he's stationed. "It wasn't good for me, but my brothers are still pure."
The battle for the city of Dera'a in southern Syria has become a test of an American pledge to give military support to rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad. After a string of defeats, the rebels have scored rare victories around Dera'a.
But in interviews,rebel commanders passing through neighboring Jordan say those gains could be lost without a dependable arms pipeline and promised U.S. support.
Yasser Aboud, a thin, intense former colonel in the Syrian army, commands the joint operations center for southern Syria.
Back in 2006, President Bush and Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt talked with reporters during a trip to Florida, where Bush spoke to volunteers helping seniors sign up for the Medicare prescription drug benefit.