Syria has generally followed the "middle way" in Islam, but ultra-conservative Islamists have been on the rise throughout the region. Syrians are debating what role Islam might play if President Bashar Assad's regime is toppled.
Decades ago, Bloomingdale's sold goods from China to intrigued American buyers. Today, to mark the beginning of the Lunar New Year, the store is doing the opposite: selling goods that cater to the interests of affluent visitors from Asia.
Pilgrims and tourists who visit the Vatican Saturday will have a special treat, as the Knights of Malta march in procession to the tomb of St. Peter. The last of the great chivalrous orders is celebrating the 900th anniversary of its official recognition by Pope Paschal II.
The Afghan and Pakistani governments have agreed to convene a conference of Muslim religious leaders to issue an Islamic decree banning suicide bombings. But they have yet to agree on the details, such as which leaders should attend.
This week, the French National Assembly has been debating a bill on same-sex marriage and gay adoption. But a small scandal erupted after several lawmakers, who support gay marriage, were spotted playing Scrabble on their iPads during the parliamentary debate.
Tens of thousands of Tunisians gathered for the funeral of Chokri Belaid on Friday. The secular political leader was murdered by unknown assailants on Wednesday. His killing set off riots and clashes between protesters and the police in several parts of the country.
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