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Q&A: Explaining Taliban and al-Qaida

Mad Men, featuring January Jones as Betty Draper, starts its third season Aug. 16.

AMC

Mad Men, featuring January Jones as Betty Draper, starts its third season Aug. 16.

The Taliban and al-Qaida

Could you explain in really simple terms the difference between the Taliban and al-Qaida?

The Taliban and al-Qaida are Islamic extremist groups joined in battle against the United States.

The Taliban, Arabic for religious students, ruled Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001, when they were ousted by an American-led invasion after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to a New York Times history. Their rule was characterized by strict adherence to fundamentalist Islamic law.

Al-Qaida is a terrorist network formed to drive the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan. It was created by Osama bin Laden, a Saudi Arabian native who orchestrated the Sept. 11 attacks.

During their reign over Afghanistan, the Taliban sheltered bin Laden's al-Qaida. After the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush demanded that the Taliban give up bin Laden. When they refused, the United States launched a major air and ground campaign that drove the Taliban out of major Afghan cities. U.S. forces also battled al-Qaida in the Afghan mountains, killing and capturing some of its leaders, but not bin Laden. With U.S. forces turning their main attention to Iraq, the Taliban regained strength in Afghanistan. President Barack Obama has increased the number of American troops in Afghanistan to battle the Taliban.

Seasons for cable shows vary

I'm new to shows on cable and am not sure how the season works. I found two shows that I enjoy have not been on for a while. One is Mad Men on AMC and another show is Ruby on the Style Channel. Are these shows coming back? When is the new season for cable shows?

Mad Men will begin its third season Aug. 16. Ruby begins its second season on July 5.

The seasons for cable shows vary, with some put on during the summer while the broadcast networks are resting their biggest shows, and others appearing across the course of the TV season. What throws people more with cable series is that their seasons often consist of fewer episodes than for a hit broadcast show. So the breaks between cable seasons may stretch long, and it appears that shows have been canceled when they are really just on pause.

'Flashpoint' future uncertain

I really enjoyed the new show Flashpoint. Is it coming back?

The Canadian-made series was not mentioned in CBS's announcement of its plans for the 2009-10 season. But according to published reports, CBS may air new episodes later this summer or in summer 2010. And, if CBS has a time slot to fill because other new shows falter, there's always a chance it will reappear during the coming season. It's a relatively inexpensive show for the network.

Q&A: Explaining Taliban and al-Qaida 06/22/09 [Last modified: Monday, June 22, 2009 5:33pm]
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