World War II remains a monumental event in the collective Russian mind. It's known as the "Great Patriotic War," and Russians believe no one made greater sacrifices than the Soviet Union when it came to defeating Nazi Germany.
The end of the war is celebrated with a huge military parade in Moscow's Red Square on May 9, commemorating the millions of men and women, military and civilian, who died during the struggle.
Any criticism of the Soviet war effort is rare. But even the rare comment has Russia's lower house of Parliament, the State Duma, looking for ways to control the narrative and make sure that the Soviet role is never portrayed as anything less than selfless patriotism.
The trouble is that World War II was fought under the leadership of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, and his repressive policies continued throughout the conflict.
Eritrea's human rights record has long faced international criticism. But since the African country is so closed to the outside world, individual stories tend to come almost exclusively from those who have fled.
The IRS was in the hot seat Friday, with its outgoing acting commissioner testifying before a House committee. A Senate panel is scheduled for Tuesday. Congress is prodding to find out why the agency singled out conservative groups for special scrutiny.
Attention has focused on the IRS's flagging of these groups starting in 2010. But some liberal groups and journalism organizations say their applications for tax-exempt status also faced long delays and were closely scrutinized during the same period.
Climbing the rickety metal staircase is precarious enough if you aren't on crutches, but it's simply dangerous if you are. At the top is the office of Janbazan-e-Mayhan, one of many social councils for disabled Afghans. Men missing arms, legs or hands sit around the small room.
Afghanistan isn't an easy place for anyone to make a living. But for those with disabilities, it's a downright hostile environment. Tens of thousands have been maimed and disabled during decades of conflict. Jobs are scarce, and there's almost nothing that's handicapped-accessible.
Activists like Hussein Karimi, head of Janbazan, are demanding change.
Tesla Motors, the American maker of luxury electric cars, has been riding a wave of good publicity.
Its Model S sedan (base priced at $62,400, after federal tax credits) was just named Motor Trend Car of the Year. Reviewers at Consumer Reports gave the lithium-ion battery powered vehicle a rave.
And the company, headed by billionaire innovator Elon Musk, 41, posted a profit for the first time in its 10-year history — powered in part by zero-emission environmental credits.
But Tesla also finds itself, and its business model, under sustained attack by a formidable foe: the National Automobile Dealers Association, one of the most powerful lobbying groups in Washington with a strong network of state chapters.
The opening sequence of J.J. Abram's new entry in the Star Trek universe has all the ingredients of the classic franchise.
There's Kirk and his crew bellowing on the bridge, everyone worrying about the prime directive and our favorite Vulcan trapped in a volcano.
OK, I'm in. I may not be a fanboy anymore, but I sure was in my youth, and having these guys in their youths again is just as cool at the outset as it was last time.
Chris Pine's baby-Shatner is spitting his lines while Zachary Quinto channels his inner Nimoy. We know these characters even if the reboot resulted in some weirdness. Spock and Uhura romantically involved, for instance. Even Kirk seems perplexed by that one.
Just as TV's original Trek boldly went where '60s civics classes had gone before, Star Trek:Into Darkness, tackles issues with a contemporary ring. There's a suicide bombing, drones and some chatter about genetic engineering.