Thousands of scrapped taxis are pictured at a yard in the center of China's Chongqing city on March 4. Traffic congestion and pollution have worsened dramatically in Chinese cities as the country's long-running economic expansion has allowed increasing numbers of consumers to make big-ticket purchases such as cars. China may surpass the US this year to become the largest car market in the world. AFP/Newscom
An offensive by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to restore full control of the Qalamoun area north of Damascus is fully under way, with fierce fighting and shelling reported for the past two weeks at the northern end of the strategically located territory.