Afghan motorists pass a U.S. soldier on patrol last month in Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province. U.S. and Canadian forces have announced a major upcoming offensive against the Taliban in Kandahar, the group's stronghold and spiritual birthplace.
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An woman and a man gas up their vehicles at a station in Tehran in 2007. Iran's economic problems are linked to its extensive use of subsidies — billions of dollars a year — to keep basic necessities such as gasoline below their true market value.