Volunteer Shiite fighters who support the government forces in the combat against the Islamic State (IS) group stand in the village of Fadhiliyah, which pro-government forces retook from IS militants the previous month, on the road leading to Fallujah, in Iraq's flashpoint Anbar province, southwest of Baghdad, on February 24, 2015.

Attacks against ISIS strongholds north of Baghdad represent the largest military operation in the region since the radical insurgency began seizing parts of northern Iraq. Some 4,500 miliitiamen are said to be participating.

AFP/Getty

Some observers think the early polls will emphasize the futility of the electoral process, and usher in more instability.

Imperatriz Samba School revellers perform in Rio’s Carnival, Brazil, February 21, 2015. YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images

Nearly one million visitors attended Rio’s Carnival, generating $782 million in revenue for the city.

A person claiming to speak for activist hacker group Anonymous is seen in a video.

Intelligence agencies have placed cyber attacks at the top of their list of threats to the country.

(Courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Life-threatening infections caused by C. difficile bacteria sicken thousands a year, say health officials.

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