News President Hollande - a frustratingly minimalist domestic reformer but a bold, global statesman

The French President has been criticised for his interventions in Mali and CAR but insists it is not old-fashioned paternalism but a mission to save lives

Car bomb kills two UN peacekeepers in Mali town Kidal

A car bomb has exploded in the Malian town of Kidal, killing at least two UN peacekeepers.

Africa Express, gig review: 'Sparks are struck'

Oval Space, London

There are 400 French soldiers already on the ground in the Central African Republic

At least 30 dead after Mali boat sinks in Niger River

Sleeping passengers onboard were awoken by the sound of the boat breaking in half

Album review: Sidi Touré, Alafia (Thrill Jockey)

With a largely acoustic recording one might expect a certain amount of reserve and introspection. But that’s certainly not the case with this Malian singer-songwriter’s third album.

Album: Mulatu Astatke, Sketches of Ethiopia (Jazz Village)

Astatke’s 1970s back catalogue only gained worldwide recognition through the Ethiopiques compilations and songs featured in Jim Jarmusch’s Broken Flowers.

A man casting his vote for Mali’s next president in Timbuktu

High turnout in Mali’s first election since coup

The West African nation of Mali voted in presidential elections on Sunday just 16 months after the country descended into chaos in the wake of a coup led by mid-ranking army officials.

The French aerial display team Patrouille de France (French Aerobatic Patrol) flies in front of the Eiffel tower as part of the traditional Bastille day military parade,

Mali fighters take pride of place in annual Bastille parade

Detachments of the French and Malian troops who defeated Islamist rebels in Mali earlier this year took pride of place in France’s traditional Bastille Day military parade along the Champs Elysées  today.

Jihadists from many countries – these are from Iraq – are travelling to Syria

Theresa May urges action on 'jihad tourism'

Home Secretary leads EU discussions on how to tackle terror threat from extremists returning from combat in Syria

Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram

US offers $23m bounty for Islamists in Africa

Betraying new anxiety about the threat of Islamic militant groups in West Africa, Washington is for the first time offering rewards totalling $23m (£15m) for information leading to the capture of their top leaders in the region including Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram, based in Nigeria.

Album: Samba Touré, Albala (Glitterbeat Records)

What's sometimes missing with guitar-centred African records is a sense of air and space. But that's not so here.

President Hollande was given the first camel in February

Mali presents François Hollande with a new camel after the first one was eaten by the family caring for it

There was, finally, some good news for President François Hollande today.

France begins troop withdrawal ahead of UN peacekeeping mission in Mali

France has started withdrawing its troops from Mali after an operation to help local forces push back an offensive by Islamist rebels, an army spokesman said.

Al-Qa’ida extremists attack Timbuktu

The ancient city of Timbuktu in Mali has been hit by a prolonged battle between Islamic extremists and the Malian and French armies.

Album: Bombino, Nomad (Nonesuch)

Even though the production by Black Keys man Dan Auerbach is way too cavernous and bootleg live-sounding for my tastes, this album should satisfy anyone needing a dry blast of desert rock while waiting for the next album from Tinariwen.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project