90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The Conflict In Mali

The storm over Mali. Al Qaeda in Africa. The French in Mali. And the stakes for all.

Malian soldiers helped by French troops, move a broken helicopter out a hangar to make room for more incoming troops at Bamako's airport Tuesday Jan. 15. 2013. (AP)

Malian soldiers helped by French troops, move a broken helicopter out a hangar to make room for more incoming troops at Bamako’s airport Tuesday Jan. 15. 2013. (AP)

If you can draw the African nation of Mali on a map of the continent, you’re probably in the top .01 percent of the geography-aware.  But the world is talking Mali right now.

A big, poor, arid country.  Half in the Sahara Desert, half in West Africa.  Home to Timbuktu, and the Tuareg “blue people,” who know the desert.

Home lately to Al Qaeda, fighting for a new base straight south of Europe.  Target right now of French troops fanning out across the desert to fight.

This hour, On Point:  It’s 2013 and we’re talking about battles over Timbuktu, Al Qaeda, the world, and Mali.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Adam Nossiter, reporter for the New York Time, he’s been on the ground in Mali covering the conflict.

Assoumane Maiga, native of Mali, he returned from Mali in August after a year of working in humanitarian aid. Graduate research associate in agricultural  communications at Oklahoma State University. (@assoumane)

Seth Jones, associate director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the Rand Corporation. (@sethgjones)

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “France carried out new airstrikes overnight against Islamist fighters in central Mali, as Paris pledged on Tuesday to commit more troops to a potentially protracted campaign against extremists pressing south from a jihadist state they have forged in the desert north of the country.”

Reuters “France will end its intervention in Mali only once stability has returned to the West African country, French President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday, raising the prospects of a costly, drawn-out operation against al Qaeda-linked rebels.”

The Christian Science Monitor “French airstrikes in Mali last week have jolted the West’s attention. The strikes and more planned deployments by France and other African states, are designed to halt the progress of Islamist rebels in Mali, and deny radicals an Afghan-style haven for jihad against Europe. Journalist Peter Tinti has lived in West Africa for the last three years and arrived in Bamako today. Here’s his first briefer from the capital.”

Photos From Mali

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Sep 23, 2014
Cindy Cook holds a photo of her mother, former Rep. Alice Cook Bassett, at her home in Calais, Vt., Tuesday, March 13, 2012. Cook took care of her mother in December when she decided to stop eating and drinking to put an end to her life. (AP)

A bipartisan report says medical care at the end of life needs a big overhaul. One bioethicist says, “After 75, no major interventions. Let me go.”

Sep 23, 2014
Fabiano Caruana, of Italy, was the winner of the 2014 Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis, MO. His seven straight wins in the tournament are virtually unprecedented in the history of the game. (Courtesy US Chess Champs)

A young grandmaster just did the impossible at a top chess tournament. No one paid attention. Does chess still matter?

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 22, 2014
Demonstrators make their way down Sixth Avenue in New York during the People's Climate March Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. (AP/Jason DeCrow)

Big climate protests in New York before a big UN summit. Activist and author Naomi Klein says change the economy or die. She’s with us.

 
Sep 22, 2014
President Barack Obama gestures during a statement in the State Dining Room of the White House, on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, in Washington. Obama spoke after Congress voted to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels in the fight against the Islamic State group. (AP/Evan Vucci)

A tough, critical examination of US plans to take on ISIS. Strategy in the hot seat.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: September 19, 2014
Friday, Sep 19, 2014

Lots of big, contentious topics on the show this week — from Zionism to early education, corporal punishment to development in the Grand Canyon.

More »
Comment
 
Talking Through The Issue Of Corporal Punishment For Kids
Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014

On Point dove into the debate over corporal punishment on Wednesday — as Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson faces charges in Texas after he allegedly hit his four-year-old son with a switch.

More »
5 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: September 12, 2014
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

In which you had varied reactions to the prospect of a robotic spouse.

More »
Comment