Big Shots: This Week's News in Photos

Squat Team
A Twist of Caliphate

Mosul, Iraq—Iraqi federal police officers assess the damage after a suicide bomber from the Islamic State militant group attacked them with a bulldozer in the city on March 15, killing four people and injuring 12. Already in control of the eastern half of the city, Iraqi forces are making their way west through the Old City, home of Mosul’s al-Nuri mosque, where three years ago ISIS announced its caliphate. A black ISIS flag still hangs from one of the mosque’s minarets, but it may not be there for long. Laurent Van der Stockt/Le Monde/Getty Jerusalem—Police fire a water cannon at an ultra-Orthodox Jewish protester on March 15. Most Israelis are required to serve in the military, but many ultra-Orthodox Jews are granted exemptions if they can prove they’re studying at a seminary. A small faction of Haredim, as they’re known, refuse to offer that proof. Among them is Yisrael Meir Toledano, whom police arrested in March for not showing up at a military recruitment office, and his arrest sparked protests among the ultra-Orthodox. Secular Jews, however, have little sympathy for the cause, and the exemptions remain one of the country’s most polarizing issues. Oded Balilty/AP Lake Elsinore, California—Julia Lu, 5, left, and Amy Liu, 5, walk through a massive spring wildflower bloom on March 14. Such spectacular wildflower displays in California’s deserts were caused by the wet winter, and the heavy rains raised hopes for an end to the state’s historic drought. Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

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