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WORLD
December 9, 2012 | By Emily Alpert
From turmoil in Mali to a green gladiator in Iran, here are five stories you shouldn't miss from the past week in global news: Plan for military intervention in Mali stalls Iran's subtle, persistent voice for environmentalism U.S. gingerly expands security role in Central America Slaying of Afghan polio program worker raises questions European nations criticize Israel over E-1 settlement plan
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TRAVEL
March 30, 2014
Risks and warnings The State Department continues to warn U.S. citizens to defer all non-essential travel to Ukraine and all travel to the Crimean Peninsula and eastern areas of Kharkiv, Donetsk and Lugansk due to tensions in the region. The U.S. believes that Russia is likely to continue to take further actions in the Crimean Peninsula consistent with its claim of annexation. The State Department also warns U.S. citizens to consider carefully the risks of travel to Mali, given terrorist activity there.
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WORLD
January 14, 2013 | By Kim Willsher
PARIS  - A column of about 30 French tanks and several troop carriers, accompanied by a helicopter, crossed into Mali from Ivory Coast in an international mission to take control of the African nation's north from Islamist extremists, French media reported Monday night. About 550 French troops were in Mali on an operation that the Defense Ministry said it expects to last “several weeks.” France has 6,000 citizens in Mali and is advising them to leave, but has not organized an evacuation.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 12, 2013 | By Randy Lewis
The thought of home movies of a trip abroad can elicit groans, unless they happen to be taken by somebody like Robert Plant. Using footage from a 2003 trip to Mali to take part in the Festival of the Desert, Plant  assembled an eight-episode documentary called "Zirka," which boasts a soundtrack that features Ali Farka Touré, Tinariwen and many others. Plant's images -- yes, he did the bulk of the filming himself -- capture the people and landscape of the African nation during a trip he describes in a statement as "a journey of revelation ... one of the most illuminating and humbling experiences of my life.
WORLD
December 20, 2012 | By Emily Alpert
Aiming to reclaim the northern stretches of Mali from extremists, the United Nations Security Council on Thursday approved the deployment of African-led forces to the West African nation for a year. However, the resolution stresses that Mali has a second battle to fight: stopping the military from meddling in government affairs and reestablishing order through peaceful elections. Before forces can be sent to oust the Islamist militants, the Security Council said, steps must be taken to put the tumultuous country back on track, continue peace talks and ensure that military forces are adequately trained and equipped for the daunting task.
WORLD
August 13, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Ibrahim Boubacar Keita won Mali's presidential election after his rival, Soumaila Cisse, conceded defeat late Monday. Cisse visited Keita at his home late Monday to congratulate him, later announcing he had done so on Twitter. "My family and I went and congratulated Mr. Keita, the future president of Mali, on his victory. May God bless Mali," Cisse, a former finance minister tweeted. Cisse's concession of defeat averts the possibility of a disputed result and opens the way for donors to provide $4 billion of promised aid to rebuild the country.
NEWS
August 12, 1987 | Associated Press
President Reagan intends to nominate Robert M. Pringle to be U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Mali, the White House announced Tuesday. Pringle has been the deputy chief of mission at Port Moresby, in Papua New Guinea, since 1985.
TRAVEL
April 2, 2006
THE article "By Foot, Camel or Riverboat" [Postcard From Mali, March 26] brought back fond, if a tad bittersweet, memories of my brief trip to Mali with my late parents, who had come from L.A. to visit me while I was posted at the U.S. Embassy in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. My father, who had a sense of wanderlust since he was a child, had always wanted to visit Tombouctou (also known as Timbuktu). And we made it, despite canceled flights from Bamako. We also found the people of Mali to be among the friendliest we had met anywhere in the world.
WORLD
January 15, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - France boosted its troops in Mali on Tuesday as armored vehicles arrived in the capital, Bamako, as part of a planned 2,500-strong deployment to battle Al Qaeda-linked militants. France now has about 750 troops in Mali, said President Francois Hollande, who outlined plans to more than triple the French force to help destroy Al Qaeda-linked groups in northern Mali and restore the West African nation's territorial integrity and political stability. "We have one goal," Hollande said at a news conference in the United Arab Emirates.
WORLD
January 18, 2013 | By David S. Cloud
WASHINGTON -- After a weeklong delay while the Obama administration debated whether to assist French forces fighting in Mali, the Pentagon is planning to begin ferrying additional French troops and equipment to the West African nation in coming days aboard U.S. Air Force C-17 cargo jets, according to Air Force Maj. Robert Firman. But the Obama administration has so far balked at a French request to provide tanker aircraft for in-air refueling of French fighters, because the administration does not want to get directly involved in supporting combat operations.
WORLD
November 2, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa--Two French journalists were kidnapped and killed in northern Mali on Saturday, just days after four French hostages were freed in Niger. The French Foreign Ministry confirmed the deaths of Ghislaine Dupont, 51, and Claude Verlon, 58, who authorities said were kidnapped by four armed men Saturday afternoon in the town of Kidal. The two journalists from Radio France International had just interviewed Ambeiry Ag Rhissa, a leader with the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, known as MNLA, a Tuareg separatist group.
WORLD
August 13, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - Ibrahim Boubacar Keita won Mali's presidential election after his rival conceded defeat late Monday in a rare gesture that won praise around the continent. Soumaila Cisse, the opposition candidate, urged Malians to accept the result even as he told reporters at a news conference in Bamako, the capital, he believed there were serious irregularities and incidents of ballot-box stuffing. Cisse said he had not made plans to challenge the result. In Africa's emerging democracies, elections are often flawed and results disputed.
WORLD
August 13, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Ibrahim Boubacar Keita won Mali's presidential election after his rival, Soumaila Cisse, conceded defeat late Monday. Cisse visited Keita at his home late Monday to congratulate him, later announcing he had done so on Twitter. "My family and I went and congratulated Mr. Keita, the future president of Mali, on his victory. May God bless Mali," Cisse, a former finance minister tweeted. Cisse's concession of defeat averts the possibility of a disputed result and opens the way for donors to provide $4 billion of promised aid to rebuild the country.
WORLD
August 2, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Two former government officials will take part in a presidential runoff election in Mali after a first round of voting in which no candidate won an outright majority, according to provisional results announced Friday. The election is an attempt to usher in stability and peace after a military coup and rebellion saw half the country fall into the hands of Al Qaeda-linked militias last year. Former Prime Minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, 69, will face former Finance Minister Soumaila Cisse, 63, in the Aug. 11 vote.
WORLD
July 29, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Expectations of Mali's presidential election were so low that everyone was pleasantly surprised when the vote passed peacefully with perhaps half of eligible voters participating. With security tight at polling booths Sunday, there were no violent attacks despite threats from an Al Qaeda-linked militia, the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa. And, with the country's peace and stability at stake, the 50% turnout estimated by European Union observers was higher than past election turnouts of around 40%. Turnout in the country's troubled north, however, was lower.
WORLD
June 18, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Mali's government reached a peace deal Tuesday with Tuareg fighters who rebelled last year and seized most of the country's north. But the deal does not resolve the West African nation's conflict with separate Islamic militias linked with Al Qaeda that are still plaguing the region. After taking control of the north, the Tuareg rebels of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, or MNLA, were swiftly outflanked by the militias, which grabbed control of key northern towns last year, imposing a severe form of Islamic law, or sharia . The Tuaregs, who been struggling for decades for an independent state they call Azawad, subsequently distanced themselves from the Islamists.
WORLD
January 14, 2013 | By Shashank Bengali, Ken Dilanian and David S. Cloud, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is preparing to ferry hundreds of additional French troops to the North African country of Mali, bolstering a rapidly evolving military campaign in the latest conflict with Al Qaeda affiliates. U.S. officials said they also were making plans to send drones or other surveillance aircraft and provide help with aerial refueling of French fighter jets, which bombed columns of Al Qaeda-allied militants in northern Mali for a fourth straight day Monday.
WORLD
January 12, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - French airstrikes in Mali turned back Al Qaeda-linked militants who recently began moving south after seizing a vast northern desert region of the West African nation last year, French officials said Saturday. French forces drove the Ansar Dine militia from the city of Konna after deploying warplanes and hundreds of troops on Friday to Mali, its former colony, the officials said. A French helicopter was downed in the operation and its pilot, Danien Boiteux, was killed.
OPINION
June 5, 2013 | Doyle McManus
Who exactly is the enemy in the continuing U.S. war against terrorism? In some cases, the answer is: It's a secret. When the United States began its war against Al Qaeda after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the identity of the enemy was clear: Osama bin Laden and his followers, and the Taliban who protected them in Afghanistan. Congress quickly passed a resolution authorizing President George W. Bush to use "all necessary and appropriate force" against anyone who "planned, authorized, committed or aided" the 9/11 attacks, plus anyone who harbored them.
WORLD
May 26, 2013 | By Kim Willsher
PARIS--French anti-terrorist investigators are hunting for a man who stabbed a soldier in the throat at a busy Paris shopping and transport center. Detectives are also examining whether there is a link between the attack and the killing of a British soldier who was hacked to death in London on Wednesday. The 23-year-old French soldier, Pfc. Cedric Cordier, was patrolling the busy underground corridors beneath the La Defense arch in the French capital's business district with two other soldiers when an attacker approached him from behind shortly before 6 p.m. on Saturday, authorities said.
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