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

Rescue workers carry the coffin of one of the hostages killed during a hostage crisis in a gas plant at the hospital in In Amenas

David Cameron says Britain faces a 'generational struggle' as Islamist terrorists switch focus to North Africa

PM argued that al-Qa'ida allies operating across a vast tract of lawless territory had to be taken on and defeated

Nicolas Sarkozy, for good reasons and bad, is partly responsible for what is happening in Mali

Why the French believed they had no choice but to intervene in Mali’s war

Sarkozy, for good reasons and bad, is partly responsible for what is happening  in Mali

Malian soldiers are triumphant as they return to Niono from Diabaly

French and Malian forces take Diabaly but there are fears Islamists will return

The rebels’ seizure of  the strategic town was audacious and had local support, writes Kim Sengupta in Niono, Mali

Aid agencies are struggling to cope with Mali refugees

Aid agencies are struggling to cope with the scale of the humanitarian crisis in West Africa caused by thousands of Malians fleeing conflict, according to a study out this week.

Under orders: French soldiers being instructed at their Malian air base last week

Don't go to war over a band of zealots

Alarming as the hostage crisis in Algeria is, memories of Iraq teach us that this is no reason to make an already volatile area more unstable

How 'Mr Marlboro' Mokhtar Belmokhtar's reign of terror struck fear into the heart of Mali

Kim Sengupta meets the ordinary people with first-hand knowledge of the one-eyed warlord

PM signals support for anti-terror action in North Africa

MPs told groups linked to al-Qa’ida represent a 'large threat' needing a 'robust response'

Villagers wave to the French military as they pass through the town of Konobougou, Mali, yesterday

‘I am not saying it’s not going to get hard, but I think we can cope’

Kim Sengupta joins the French and Malian forces at the strategic river crossing of Markala

Algeria crisis 'remains ongoing' after British hostages killed in Saharan bloodbath

Government dismay after Algerian forces attack Islamists at BP gas plant

Malians wave to French soldiers as a convoy leaves Bamako. More troops and equipment were arriving yesterday

View from Bamako: 'They cut off the man's hand with scissors. They want to destroy Mali'

In the capital refugees from the jihadist-held north tell Kim Sengupta of their suffering

Malian and French troops in Bamako’s airport

Isolated in Europe, France appeals to Gulf for help with Mali mission

Airstrikes continue as President Hollande vows to leave as soon as African relief force is mobilised

Don't forget the critical role of China in Mali

The Chinese government has given millions to the North African country, and their influence is massive

Editorial: Mali's Islamists are too dangerous to be ignored

Military involvement in foreign conflicts can never be undertaken lightly. But with Islamist extremists in Mali threatening to overrun the country, destabilise the region, and hand a vast area of the Sahel to al-Qa'ida and their like, the dangers of ignoring the West African country's plea for help were too great to be ignored. The French President's swift action is, then – reluctantly – to be welcomed.

France yesterday sent more troops and warplanes to Mali and stepped up anti-terror measures at home

Technical fault delays British military plane bound to assist French efforts to halt al-Qa’ida-linked rebels in Mali, just minutes after David Cameron hails its capabilities

Downing Street said UK troops will not engage in combat operations in Mali  but transport planes will provide logistical assistance

Britain to assist French operations in Mali

Britain is to transport foreign troops and equipment to Mali amid efforts to halt an advance by rebels.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment