Mali

1:36pm

Tue January 22, 2013
The Two-Way

French Soldier's Skeleton Scarf Goes Viral, Military Launches Investigation

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 4:54 pm

This isn't the sort of picture of a French soldier that his commanders want to see. Photographer Issouf Sanogo says troops were protecting their faces from dust kicked up by a helicopter landing in central Mali on Sunday.
Issouf Sanogo AFP/Getty Images

The photo is quite striking, to be sure.

Agence France Press photographer Issouf Sanogo writes that when he was with French soldiers in central Mali on Sunday, "a helicopter was coming in to land and churning up tremendous dust clouds. Instinctively, all the soldiers grabbed their scarfs to avoid getting a mouthful of sand."

Sanogo started taking pictures.

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1:41am

Mon January 21, 2013
Africa

Ambassador Huddleston: U.S. Must Save Mali

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 8:01 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The dead are still being counted from last week's attack and hostage drama at a natural gas plant in the remote desert of Algeria. Among those killed are dozens of foreign workers from Britain, Japan and elsewhere, with at least one from America. To get a better understanding of what is unfolding in the region and America's role in it, we're joined by Vickie Huddleston.

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4:32am

Sat January 19, 2013
Shots - Health News

Inching Closer To The Demise Of A Stubborn Parasitic Worm

A boy with multiple Guinea worms sits outside a containment center in northern Ghana, February 2007.
Wes Pope Chicago Tribune/MCT /Landov

What's the big fuss about Guinea worm, a parasite that now infects just a few hundred people? Well, the public health community finally has the nasty bug's back against the wall.

There were only 542 cases of Guinea worm worldwide last year, the Carter Center said this week. That's 48 percent less than in 2011. And it's a mere blip compared to the 3.5 million cases back in 1986.

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5:33am

Fri January 18, 2013
The Two-Way

American Confirmed Dead In Algerian Hostage Crisis

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 6:56 pm

(We updated the top of this post at 8:55 ET.)

An American worker has been confirmed dead at the natural gas complex in eastern Algeria where Islamic extremists seized hostages, the U.S. State Department said Friday evening in a statement.

The State Department identified the man as Frederick Buttaccio, a Texas resident, but did not provide additional details on the circumstances.

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2:58pm

Thu January 17, 2013
The Two-Way

Did This Man Order The Hostage Takings In Algeria?

This image from video provided by the SITE Intel Group made available Thursday Jan. 17, 2013, purports to show militant militia leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar. News reports say he may have been responsible for the Western hostages' being taken at a gas plant in Algeria.
SITE Intel Group AP

Mokhtar Belmokhtar has had a few skirmishes in his day.

The former Algerian soldier went to Afghanistan to join Islamist fighters battling the Soviets in the 1980s. He returned home and rose to prominence among the Islamist rebels who waged a nasty war with the Algerian government in the 1990s.

For the past decade, he's remained an elusive figure. He's believed to have spent most of his time in Algeria's Sahara and has been regarded as one of the top figures in al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM.

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