As the fighting between the Tuareg rebels of the National Movement for the Liberation of Awazad (MNLA) and the Malian army enters its third month, there are few indications that the conflict will be resolved in the near future. On a military level, the advantage lies with the well-equipped and experienced Tuareg fighters, many of whom are veterans of earlier rebellions and the Libyan civil war. Using long-range guerrilla tactics, mainly surprise attacks launched over distances of hundreds of miles with four-wheel-drive pickup trucks, they have sacked at least seven Malian garrison towns so far, including one this past weekend. […]

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The U.S. and North Korea announced Wednesday that Pyongyang had agreed to halt its nuclear and missile programs in exchange for American shipments of food aid. Some observers called the deal a diplomatic breakthrough, whereas others, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, called it a “modest first step in the right direction.” In any event, the deal hinges on the North’s need for humanitarian aid to address a food crisis whose origins “lie in 60 years of economic mismanagement by the government,” said Marcus Noland, deputy director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “This stems directly from the national […]