Russia's Orthodox Church is trying to become more relevant in Russian society. Though some 70 percent of Russians say they believe in the Orthodox Church, less than one percent go to church even once a month.
The Russian band Pussy Riot ignited a storm of controversy for its protest performance in a Russian cathedral. Arrested and eventually convicted, a trio of band members were sentenced to two year in prison. But Wednesday, a Russian court suspended the sentence of one woman.
Maria Alyokhina, 24, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, and Yekaterina Samutsevich will spend the next two years in prison after a Russian judge determined they had offended the sensibilities of religious people with an anti-Vladimir Putin protest performance in an Orthodox Cathedral.
A total of 38 world records were broken and 962 medals handed out at the London Olympics this year. The Games start and ended without a hitch, despite early concerns about security. But author and historian Kenneth Davis says that while the Games avoided any sort of incident, the tensions of international politics were still visible.
Central Asia has long been the focus of tense geopolitical battles between world powers. The latest one started more than a decade ago, when the United States turned the region into a primary staging ground for its war in Afghanistan. A three-way struggle has since emerged between the U.S., China and Russia.
Syria is increasingly wracked by violence. Government forces are using increasingly powerful weapons against rebels who are getting their own more powerful weapons. United Nations officials say the country has descended into full-fledged civil war.
Among a certain generation of Internet user, the perfect response to a well-played trick is simply "trololo" -- a reference to a very specific Soviet-era singer who became famous again when his video made it to YouTube. That man, Eduard Khil, died on Monday at the age of 77.
Regina Spektor's anticipated new album, "What We Saw From the Cheap Seats" was released Tuesday. Spektor was born in Moscow and emigrated with her family to the Bronx when she was nine. She said her newest album carries old Russian influences.
The Ukrainian people took to the streets in 2004, demanding free and fair elections in what became known as the Orange Revolution. They got what they wanted then, but over time things have reverted to the way they were. That has some in the middle class a bit disillusioned.
The Secret Service is under fire because of allegations that 11 of its agents caroused with prostitutes immediately before President Barack Obama's visit to Colombia earlier this month. Now comes word of a similar incident in El Salvador in 2011 and other questionable incidents in Argentina and Russia last decade.