Three years after a coup nearly ripped Mali apart, militant groups continue to use parts of the country as their bases of operations. What little government exists is chaotic and corrupt. Public services are almost unheard of.
Centuries old books that were smuggled out of Timbuktu during the siege of the city by Islamist rebels are now on display at the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels. The Timbuktu Renaissance exhibition is a glimpse at what's been called one of the biggest cultural rescue operations ever carried out during a political-ideological war.
If you're being held hostage by terrorists overseas and you're French or Spanish, there's a good chance your government will find a way to free you — by paying a ransom through indirect means. If you're American or British, your best bet is to try and escape — or hope for a daring military raid.
Items in some western, fast-food chains are disappearing from the menu in China. Why? They potentially contain meat that was beyond its expiration date. Meanwhile a US Congressman gets confused over the nationality of two US government employees, and a survivor of a Taiwanese plane crash describes her ordeal — in today's Global Scan.
Here's a Geo Quiz that comes straight from a listener and someone who loves geography and Africa in just about equal measure. Bill Moseley is a former Peace Corp volunteer and now a professor of geography at Macalester College.
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