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

Inhabitants of Bamako, the capital of Mali, wave a French flag following the military intervention

Britain helps France in Mali conflict

UK sends aircraft to support military campaign against Islamist rebels

'Flamenco queen' Buika

IoS Sounds of 2013: Global pop

The mind's eye is a familiar enough concept but the mind's ear less so. However, it's my mind's ear that's thrilling to the very idea of the Spanish jazz/flamenco diva Buika's emotive voice filling London's Union Chapel on 18 April. This gorgeous space is a gift to singers if they have the good sense to only bring a small acoustic ensemble with them.

UN agrees plan to oust extremists in Mali

The UN Security Council has approved an African-led military operation to oust al-Qa’ida-linked extremists from northern Mali – but not before the training of the country’s security forces and progress on political reconciliation and elections.

Algeria: Colonial past haunts François Hollande

President François Hollande has acknowledged that France’s colonisation of Algeria had been “brutal and unfair” but stopped short of making an apology to the oil-rich North African state.

Islamist police have been imposing their version of Islam across northern Mali

Islamists tighten their brutal hold on northern Mali

Al-Qa'ida-linked militants step up their campaign of atrocities, raping women and young girls and recruiting boy soldiers

Ousted premier of Mali is replaced

The interim President Diouncounda Traore has named a new Prime Minister less than 24 hours after the former premier, Cheick Modibo Diarra, was arrested and forced to resign by the military. He is Django Sissoko, a civil servant.

Mali's PM Cheikh Modibo Diarra resigns after army arrest him

Mali's prime minister has presented his resignation on state television, hours after soldiers who led a recent coup arrested him at his home in Bamako.

Amanda Dory, the Pentagon's deputy assistant secretary for Africa,

Pentagon plans for multinational operation in Mali

US military planners have begun to help organize a multinational proxy force to intervene next year in Mali, the famine-stricken, coup-wracked African country that has become a magnet for Islamist extremists, US officials said Wednesday.

Army General Carter Ham

Terror groups in Africa working with Al-Qaida, US General says

Terror groups operating in Mali, Nigeria and elsewhere in northern Africa are collaborating among themselves and receiving training from al-Qaida affiliates in the region, according to the head of the U.S. Africa Command.

Mali’s acting President Dioncounda Traore at the summit of the Economic Community of West African States on Sunday

West African states to combat Mali's rebels

West African nations have agreed to send some 3,000 troops to help Mali wrest back control of its northern half, which was seized by al-Qai'da-linked fighters more than six months ago, according to an official involved in the discussions.

QPR manager Mark Hughes

Premier League: QPR v Everton match preview

A look ahead to this weekend's Premier League fixture at Loftus Road

Mansa Musa I of Mali

Meet Mansa Musa I of Mali – the richest human being in all history

A new study has produced an inflation-adjusted list of the richest people of all time

Ansar Dine rebels near Timbuktu

Can musical Mali play on?

Islamism is on the march and threatening to wipe out the country's cultural heritage. Rose Skelton reports from Bamako

Islamist rebels from Ansar Dine fighting near Timbuktu

Timbuktu begs: save us from al-Qa’ida

Mayor of historic city calls for foreign intervention to help fight militants

Militants 'destroy tombs in Timbuktu'

Despite international condemnation, the radical Islamic faction controlling the northern Malian outpost of Timbuktu continued destroying the city's ancient tombs today, laying waste to the city's five-hundred-year-old heritage.

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