Al-Qaida operations around the world have used prison breaks as a method to beef up their ranks. Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the terrorist group's arm in Yemen, came into being shortly after a 2006 prison break. That history explains why officials are so worried about a jailbreak this week in Iraq. More than 400 prisoners are thought to have escaped, and many of them are key operatives with the group al-Qaida in Iraq.
The anti-apartheid hero has been a unifying force in South Africa, particularly for the ruling African National Congress. There's concern, however, that xenophobia, racism and political infighting may grow once the "father of the nation" dies.
Amid continuing violence in the streets of Cairo and other cities — including gun battles between supporters and opponents of the ousted Islamist president — Egypt's military chief is appealing for a "mandate to face terrorism." The general's speech and mass pro-government rallies planned for Friday have raised fears of an imminent crackdown on Mohammed Morsi's supporters in the Muslim Brotherhood.
Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is close to leaving the transit lounge of the Moscow airport after authorities issued paperwork that would allow him into Russia, his lawyer says. But Snowden hasn't actually received the certificate and must remain in place for the time being. But the news caused a flurry of interest with TV cameras trained on airport exits.
Francis celebrated mass in the town of Aparecida, where he first cemented his place as a church leader in 2007. After a mob scene on Monday, however, the subtext of today's events was that of security.
Pope Francis is in Brazil for World Youth Day. His arrival was marked by some security concerns and crowds eager for a view. Brazil is home to one-tenth of the world's Catholics, but evangelical churches are making inroads. The Washington Post's Juan Forero talks to Renee Montagne about the first Latin American pontiff's challenges in South America.
The Spanish village of Juzcar was suffering from economic hard times. But in 2011, Sony Pictures picked the little town of about 250 people to promote The Smurfs. Promoters painted the entire village the bright blue of those little cartoon creatures. After getting used to the color — and the tourists it drew — residents have voted not to repaint.
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