Confusion over the fate of hostages held by militants in Algeria. Also, why the US is steering clear of intervention in Mali. Plus, a conversation with one of the first women appointed to serve on a key council in Saudi Arabia.
Early Thursday, the Algerian government forces launched an operation to try and free the hostages — some of whom are Americans. The operation apparently began when Algerian forces fired on a militant convoy that was carrying some of the captives. BBC Arab Affairs Editor Sebastian Usher is following the crisis from London.
Washington is keeping the conflict in the West African nation of Mali at arm’s length. American officials say they are providing intelligence to France and are considering deploying American aircraft to land in Mali for airlift or logistical support. But there are no plans to send American troops.
Malians in the US are watching and talking about the events unfolding back home and there is no shortage of opinions, especially when it comes to US involvement.
This month King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia kept his promise and appointed women to the Shura Council for the first time. The council is a non-voting, advisory body. But the inclusion of women is significant.
Immigrant rights advocates will be making their case to President Obama and Congress — they want a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living and working in the US.
Maritime smuggling of illegal immigrants is rising along the coast of southern California and so are the dangers. Jill Replogle of the Fronteras desk spoke with a man who runs a boat rescue team for abandoned or stranded boats off of San Diego. Sometimes he rescues smugglers.
The city of Granada, Spain looks set to name a square located near the iconic Alhambra in honor of the late Joe Strummer, once the frontman of British punk rockers The Clash.
Authorities in Sweden say they have cracked a multi-million dollar garlic smuggling scheme.