Christian Locations Attacked by Islamists in Egypt


US Secretary of State John Kerry spent Sunday jetting around the Middle East and attempting to shore up support for a US framework plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace, calling the endeavor a challenge that could still fall apart.

John Kerry meeting in Saudi Arabia, Sunday. (photo credit: US State Department)
    
Potentially deadly H1N1 -- the influenza virus strain behind the 2009 pandemic -- continues its resurgence in Michigan, with three more deaths reported by hospital officials.

A highly magnified transmission electron micrograph shows the H1N1 flu virus. Experts say prevention is key. / 2009 photo by Cynthia Goldsmith
The world will face countless challenges in 2014, but a few nations in flux stand out in the crowd. NBC News correspondents and writers explain how the outcome of wars, negotiations and elections in these countries could have a deep impact on their own populations and regions, and sometimes the world. 

Paramilitary policemen patrol in front of Tiananmen Gate on Nov. 17, in Beijing, China. (Feng Li / Getty Images)
    
A controversial new movement wants to cooperate more closely with the Jewish state

LOOKING UP: Celebrating Christmas in Nazareth, December 2012 Reuters
Israel launched airstrikes on weapons facilities in Gaza in response to what Israel claimed were two rockets fired against it from the Palestinian territory, the Israeli military said Thursday.
    
If the People's Liberation Army went to war tomorrow, it would field an arsenal bristling with hardware from some of America's closest allies: Germany, France and Britain.

Chinese navy's guided missile destroyer Haikou (171) is seen at the Ngong Shuen Chau Naval Base.
Secretary of State John Kerry quietly presented a U.S. plan for eastern Jerusalem that calls for an international administrative mandate to control holy sites in the area, according to informed Palestinian and Israeli diplomatic sources.
    
It's the awe-inspiring pride of the United States - and it harbours a deadly power that could kill us all.

Yellowstone National Park's Grand Prismatic Spring is the largest in the United States and third largest in the world. Photo: Reuters
Russia reserves the right to use nuclear weapons in response to a conventional strike and sees them as a "great equalizer" reducing the likelihood of aggression, a senior Russian official said Wednesday.

Warhead / RIA Novosti. Sergei Kazak
    
"I don't have a microchip in my head - yet," says the man charged with transforming Google's relations with the technology giant's human users. But Scott Huffman does envisage a world in which Google microphones, embedded in the ceiling, listen to our conversations and interject verbal answers to whatever inquiry is posed.
    

"Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch."
--Mark 13:33-37

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