Parallels Many Stories, One World

An Afghan firefighter emerges from the smoke from a fire in a Kabul clothing market in 2012. The fire department is remarkably professional in a city where few institutions function. Mohammad Ismail/Reuters /Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Mohammad Ismail/Reuters /Landov

A Scottish flag and a Union flag fly outside a Scottish memorabilia shop in Edinburgh. Scotland votes Thursday on whether it wants independence from the United Kingdom. Scott Heppell/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Scott Heppell/AP

The Saltire, the flag of Scotland, flies near the Union Jack in Gretna in Scotland. Some economists say Thursday's vote on Scotland's independence could have wide-ranging economic impacts. Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images

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An Iranian security guard directs media at the Bushehr nuclear power plant in 2010. The crisis in Ukraine, the Ebola outbreak in Africa and extremist violence in Iraq all threaten to complicate the nuclear talks. Vahid Salemi/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Vahid Salemi/AP

A tourist wears a poncho decorated with the national flag of Scotland to shelter from the weather in Scotland's capital, Edinburgh, on Monday. Matt Dunham/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Matt Dunham/AP

The Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra performs in Baghdad. The concert was promoted by word of mouth to avoid being targeted by bombs. Graham Smith/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Graham Smith/NPR

The clubhouse of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews sits just off the first tee. The course itself is open to the public — women as well as men. But women have never been allowed to join the club since its founding in 1754, and are not allowed to enter the clubhouse, even as guests. Doug Tribou/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Doug Tribou/NPR

Smoke rises near Donetsk's airport on Sunday amid increased shelling. Pro-Russian forces are trying to dislodge Ukrainian troops. The renewed fighting is testing a fragile cease-fire. Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images

German driver Nick Heidfeld of Venturi Formula E Team. The all-electric cars can go from zero to 60 in under 3 seconds, and reach top speeds of over 150 mph. How Hwee Young/EPA/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption How Hwee Young/EPA/Landov

The medieval town of Pitigliano is perched atop a massive volcanic rock, looking out over vineyards and olive groves. It was once home to a vibrant Jewish community, treated with civility or cruelty depending on who was in charge of the city; now, the town works to preserve and share the cultural history of Italian Jews. Michela Simoncini/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Michela Simoncini/Flickr

Robi Damelin, left, is an Israeli whose son was fatally shot by a Palestinian in 2002. Bassam Aramin is a Palestinian whose daughter was shot dead by Israeli police in 2007. They belong to the Parents Circle, a group of mothers and fathers who have lost children and seek an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Ryan Kellman/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Ryan Kellman/NPR

This image, posted on a militant website, shows an Islamic State fighter waving a flag from a captured government fighter jet in Raqqa, Syria. The Islamic State captured the city in northeastern Syria last year and it has effectively served as its capital. Uncredited/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Uncredited/AP

A team from Honolulu, which included Jamie O'Brien of Hawaii's North Shore, won this week's surfing competition, held on one of the world's two biggest tidal bores, located in Hangzhou, China. The other is in the Amazon. Courtesy of Wabsono hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Wabsono

Migrants at a shelter in southern Mexico say that Mexico's interior checkpoints are making it harder to travel north. Some have given up on reaching the U.S. and are trying to stay in Mexico. Carrie Kahn/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Carrie Kahn/NPR

People wait for a bus in the empty streets of Donetsk on Tuesday. The city's population, which was 900,000, is now down to around 300,000. It is beginning to return to normal following a cease-fire, which was signed last week and is mostly holding. But residents are divided over the region's future. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Mai Hamada, 30, was injured by an Israeli airstrike on a home for the disabled in July in the Gaza Strip. Hamada has cerebral palsy and can't walk. Israel is investigating cases of possible illegal action by its military and may look into the attack on the group home. Emily Harris/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Emily Harris/NPR

A flag of the Islamic State — aka ISIS, aka ISIL — is seen on the other side of a bridge at the front line of fighting between Kurdish Pesh Merga fighters and Islamist militants in Rashad, Iraq, on Thursday. The group is referred to differently depending on who's talking about it. JM Lopez/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption JM Lopez/AFP/Getty Images

Many Afghans who have worked as interpreters with the U.S. and other Western governments are trying to get visas to leave. "Mohammad," an interpreter, joined two former British soldiers last year in that country to call on Britain to grant Afghan interpreters asylum. Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

A young Iraqi on Thursday stands amid the debris of a double car bomb attack in Baghdad. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. President Obama's plan to attack Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria will require help from partners on the ground in both countries. Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images

Kenyan police confront university students protesting higher fees on May 20. The police have a reputation for corruption and violence and are not well-liked. But when a popular officer was arrested and charged with a vigilante-style killing, residents took to the streets to support him. Tom Maruko/Barcroft Media/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Tom Maruko/Barcroft Media/Landov

Peat the kitten kept Scotland's Glenturret Distillery free of mice that are attracted to the grain used in production. The 6-month-old kitten was also an ambassador who was featured in public relations photos. But Peat died Monday, apparently after being hit by a car. Fraser Band/Volpa hide caption

itoggle caption Fraser Band/Volpa

President Obama has been wary of open-ended military commitments in the Middle East. But the president, shown speaking in Estonia on Sept. 3, now appears likely to expand the current bombing campaign against the Islamic State. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images