Syria’s refugees: Drowning in the flood

THE governments of countries abutting Syria have long worried that the civil war there may spill over the border, stirring strife across the region. Whereas refugees were leaving Syria last year in a steady trickle, now they have become a flood. In the past few weeks as many as 5,000 people a day have been coming over

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Nuclear diplomacy and Iran: Where’s the deal?

ON THE face of it, all that is needed at this stage of Iran’s nuclear diplomacy with the United States and other world powers is for the Iranians and the so-called P5+1 (the UN Security Council’s permanent members plus Germany) to agree on a time and a place for their next meeting. Instead, each side has been blaming the other for refusing to make any commitment.

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The African Cup of Nations: Boys to men

Fairy-tale islanders THE Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg holds 44,000 spectators but is barely a quarter full at kick-off. A corner of the bottom tier of the main stand is filled with orange-clad supporters of Côte d’Ivoire, one of the favourites to win the 29th Africa Cup of Nations, or Afcon, currently underfoot in South Africa. Their opponents on January 25th were Tunisia, whose team is as noisily cheered by drumbeating fans

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French intervention in Mali: Where have the jihadists gone?

WHEN French soldiers blazed into the northern city of Gao on January 26th, they won the decisive victory of a three-week-old campaign to dislodge jihadists. But only when they paraded through the mud-built streets of the mystical town of Timbuktu two days later did the triumph feel real. Rebels in remote Kidal, their last redoubt, may still hold some sway but reportedly want to negotiate.France is keen to present the intervention as a joint effort with African forces, yet its soldiers did not wait around for Nigerians, Senegalese, Ivorians and various others to arrive

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Abina and the important men: Getz and the new African history

Writing and analyzing the history of sub-Saharan Africa — especially the history prior to the decolonization of African countries and their emergence as independent nations — is especially difficult. Part of the reason of course lies with legacy. In the thrall of racism, either conscious or unconscious, historians prior to the early 1960s often imposes blatant biases and prejudices on African experience

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