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Last May, Topol-M missile launchers rumbled through Moscow’s Red Square in preparation for a military parade. Russia still has 1,800 deployed nuclear weapons and another 2,700 in storage, a total that exceeds the U.S. arsenal by 800. The number of deployed weapons on each side is slated to decline to 1,550 by 2017. Seven other nations together possess an estimated 1,125 nuclear weapons. (KARPOV SERGEI ITAR-TASS PHOTOS / NEWSCOM)

America's nuclear arsenal isn't dangerous, but getting rid of it might be.

A photographer explores Mexico’s hopeful future and heavy past.

Narendra Modi, flanked by Ford executives and government officials, promoted development in Gujarat--and some say, Hindu fanaticism. (Ford Asia Pacific)
In Essence

Don’t look to New Delhi for solutions to India’s woes.

Nene Teye Kwesi Agyeman, chief of the Shai people, flanked by tribal elders and traditional healers. (U.S. Army Africa)
In Essence

Africa is growing more democratic—so why are traditional authorities still popular?

This is Iraq? Families celebrated the Persian New Year last March at a downtown park in the Kurdish Iraqi city of Erbil. (Newscom)
In Essence

Iraq’s Kurds have gone from rags to riches—and may be poised to secede.

Scared of rats? Try reprogramming your memories! (Tatiana Bulyonkova / Flickr)
In Essence

Scientists are learning how to alter memories.

Drug-resistant MRSA bacteria, shown here with a white blood cell by an electron micrograph, have caused a large increase in hospital-related infections and highlighted the need for new breakthrough pharmaceuticals. (Photo Researchers)
In Essence

American pharmaceutical firms are producing as many breakthrough drugs as ever.

An elephant pair clasps trunks at the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand. (National Geographic Stock)
In Essence

The accounts of elephant altruism, intelligence, and feeling are too many to be ignored.

This concept car from Toyota promises to be even lighter than its featherweight predecessors. (Toyota Motor Europe)
In Essence

Accidents pitting eco-friendly cars against trucks and SUVs have increased traffic fatalities.

An 1895 map reveals the profusion of foreign languages spoken in one Chicago neighborhood, but it wasn’t long before English prevailed. (Newberry Research Library)

In the United States, imported languages are doomed.