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From Here To Timbuktu: Myth And Reality At The World's Edge

When people refer to the ends of the earth, they invariably mention Timbuktu. The fabled West African city on the cusp of the Sahara has a mystique that has lasted for centuries, fueled by a history shrouded in mystery, wealth and intrigue.
NPR

Reports: Dozens Of Bodies Found In Syria; Young Men Apparently Executed

Activists and rebels say more than 60 bodies have been found and that the number will likely rise. Since March 2011 more than 60,000 people have died in Syria as the Assad regime has fought back against protesters and rebel militias.
NPR

Retreating Rebels In Mali May Have Destroyed Ancient Texts

French troops entered the legendary outpost of Timbuktu in Mai to push out Islamist militants. Many valuable artifacts were destroyed when militants first took the city last summer. There is now concern for the fate of tens of thousands of manuscripts, which capture the cultural history of the region. Renee Montagne talks to Shamil Jeppie, senior researcher with the University of Cape Town's Institute for Humanities in Africa, about what historical treasures were at risk in Timbuktu.
NPR

Timbuktu Freed From Islamist Fighters

In the West African nation of Mali, residents of Timbuktu were cheering in the streets Monday, after the city was liberated by French and Malian forces after months under the harsh rule of Islamist fighters. In a final act of cultural warfare before fleeing Timbuktu, the rebels are reported to have set fire to libraries housing priceless manuscripts.
NPR

Africans Must 'Own The Solution' In Mali

British troops will be supporting the French mission in Mali to drive rebels and Islamist militants out of the West African country. British Foreign Secretary William Hague says it is important to support an ally. He tells Renee Montagne the prime way of dealing with the crisis in Mali is through African governments and forces.
NPR

Tunisia's Salafis: 'A Danger' Or Preachers Of God's Law?

Critics call the country's Salafis a threat to the ideals of economic prosperity, civil liberties and gender equality. The Salafis insist that only their rigid interpretation of Islamic law can govern Muslims. Their stand puts Tunisia's moderate Islamist leaders in a difficult position.

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