DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — One of two candidates challenging Bashar Assad in next month's election has almost nothing but praise for the Syrian president, saying his handling of the country's conflict has proven he is a "great leader." His only, slight criticism is that officials in Assad's government have mismanaged the economy.
By Warren Strobel WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The last U.S. prisoner of war held in Afghanistan was handed over to U.S. Special Operations forces on Saturday, in a dramatic swap for five Taliban detainees who were released from Guantanamo Bay prison and flown to Qatar. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl had been held for nearly five years by Afghan militants and his release, following years of on-and-off negotiations, suddenly became possible after harder-line factions of the Afghan Taliban apparently shifted course and agreed to back it, according to U.S. officials. The U.S. forces, who had flown in by helicopter, were on the ground very briefly, said the officials, who would not specify the precise location of the handover.