If Western audiences are inspired by the film "Shawshank Redemption" about a solo prison escape, then Taliban sympathizers must surely be heartened by today's spectacular escape of some 500 inmates from a Kandahar prison through a 1,180-foot-long tunnel. But while character Andy Dufresne had to dig out of Shawshank prison without any assistance, the Taliban prisoners are suspected of having help from guards. This is not the first jail break that has set back the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, nor is it even the first escape from this specific prison. Here's a short list of recent prison breaks (and one near-escape) in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Bouts of sectarian fighting have worried observers many times over the past few years, but so far the worst has not come to pass.
There's some hope for a faster end to the fighting – with British Prime Minister Cameron hinting at safe passage for Assad if he decides to quit the fight. But the outlook is grim.
The claim has been made for years. Now, there's a medical report about the Iraq war that appears to back it up.
The Iraq war is over for the US, and the country is a more stable place than at the height of its civil war. But the Sunni insurgency never really died, and Syria is adding some fuel.
Naseer Mehdawi, Anthony Shadid's closest Iraqi friend and journalism colleague, recalls their friendship and how together they told the story of Iraq.