Compared to many of the dynamic economies in Asia, development is Russia's Far East is limited. Here, men wait for a ferry to take them to Russky Island just off Vladivostok, on Russia's Pacific Coast. In the background, a bridge to the island is being built.
After a train journey of nearly 6,000 miles from Moscow, the Russian Pacific port of Vladivostok can feel like a different country. The people and the language are still Russian, but the strong Asian influence is undeniable. And many residents say the bond to the rest of Russia has been growing weaker, while the ties to Asia have been growing stronger since the Soviet breakup two decades ago. NPR's David Greene has this report as he wraps up his journey on the Trans-Siberian railway.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in December. In the past year, banks in New York and around the country have announced tens of thousands of job cuts, as there isn't the same need for some financial services as before.
It's hard to tell if the Occupy Wall Street protests had much impact on banks, but banks are doing some de-Occupying within their own ranks. It wasn't as bad as the massive layoffs following the 2008 meltdown, but last year was painful for Wall Street. Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman, Morgan Stanley — almost all the big banks — announced big layoffs, totaling more than 60,000 employees.
Richard Land, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, testifies before Congress on July 14, 2010. He thinks religious conservatives should try to rally behind a candidate other than Mitt Romney.
Rick Santorum was fresh off his surprise showing in the Iowa caucuses and fielding questions on a radio program, when a caller challenged the Republican presidential candidate on his overt religiosity.
"He said, 'We don't need a Jesus candidate. We need an economic candidate,' " Santorum recalled later, at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire. "And my answer to that was, 'We always need a Jesus candidate, right?' "
A screen shot from Ethical Oil's <a href="http://www.ourdecision.ca/">OurDecision.ca</a> campaign, which calls on Canadians to write to Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver asking him to ban foreigners and "their local puppet groups" from appearing before ongoing public hearings for a new pipeline project.
Yet another foreign government has accused Americans of meddling in its internal affairs. It says U.S. donors are bankrolling local political activists, and it may be time for a crackdown on the political influence of outsiders.
The oil industry and environmentalists are fighting over the Keystone XL pipeline, and in this election year, President Obama is caught in the middle.
The industry says the pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast, would create jobs. Environmentalists worry it will lead to more pollution. Obama has until next month to make a decision, and that has both sides lobbying heavily.
The U.S. military says it's investigating a video that appears to show Marines desecrating the corpses of Taliban fighters killed in Afghanistan. Regardless of those findings, the outrage in the Islamic world is likely to be severe, as with other disturbing images that have surfaced during U.S. wars in Muslim countries over the past decade.