Police officers from the district of Argu swing away with long sticks to eradicate a patch of illegally grown poppies in the Badakhshan province of Afghanistan. The opium trade is a key source of funding for the Taliban — but counterterrorism experts say it will take more than shutting down opium production to crack the Taliban's finances.
Iranian authorities recently confiscated the passport of Iranian poet Simin Behbahani (shown here at a press conference in Tehran in 2007), who was scheduled to travel to Paris to read her poetry at a conference. No charges have been filed against Behbahani; her passport has not been returned.
Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images
Ben Zimmer studied linguistic anthropology at the University of Chicago. He is a consultant for the Oxford English Dictionary and the executive producer of visualthesaurus.com and vocabulary.com.