August 23, 2003 |
Joseph P. Smith has a hoop dream. At age 62, he isn't expecting to play in the NBA. His dream is one part altruism and four parts business scheme. This Clifton Heights entrepreneur is sponsoring half a dozen players from Africa - most of them in their mid-20s and with NBA dreams of their own - whose raw basketball skills he hopes can be polished and purveyed to pro teams. It's a long shot, according to basketball experts, but Smith isn't dismayed to hear that. After two decades in places such as Mali and Burkina Faso looking for diamonds and gold, and still waiting for the big payoff, he is used to long odds.
November 21, 2012 |
BAMAKO, Mali - Islamist extremist rebels say they have pushed secular Tuareg rebel fighters from Menaka, their last base in northern Mali. Oumar Ould Hamaha, spokesman of the Islamists of MUJAO, said the Tuaregs were forced to retreat from Menaka on Tuesday after heavy fighting. He said Menaka was under the Islamists' control. "I do not have an accurate record of the dead, but more than 100 fighters were killed," said Hamaha. He said the Islamists were hunting for Mohamed Najim, the Tuareg military leader.
April 6, 2012 |
BAMAKO, Mali - The rebel group that recently seized control of Mali's remote north in a maneuver that effectively partitioned the country in two announced a cease-fire Thursday, saying it had reached its military goal. Moussa Ag Assarid, a spokesman for the National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad, said the group was declaring the cease-fire to allow humanitarian aid to resume in the north, where shops were looted. In Ivory Coast, the military chiefs of the nations bordering Mali met Thursday to hash out their plan for a military intervention.
April 13, 2012 |
BAMAKO, Mali - Mali's new interim civilian president took office Thursday, vowing to keep the chaotic country intact even after rebels declared an independent state in the north following a military coup three weeks ago. Hours after handing over power to Dioncounda Traore, the junta also released about a dozen politicians who had been detained since the coup, including the country's foreign minister. Traore, who heads the country's national assembly, is to serve as Mali's president for 40 days following an agreement between West African regional mediators and the leader of the junta that seized power last month.
July 2, 2012 |
BAMAKO, Mali - Islamist fighters with ties to al-Qaeda have destroyed tombs classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site in Mali's historic city of Timbuktu, a resident and U.N. officials said Saturday. Irina Bokova, who heads the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, said in a statement Saturday that the centuries-old Muslim mausoleums of Sidi Mahmoud, Sidi, Moctar and Alpha Moya have been destroyed. Resident Ali Yattara said Saturday that the Islamists began attacking the saints' tombs with shovels.
February 27, 2013 |
PARIS - France's defense minister said Tuesday that French troops were involved in "very violent fighting" in the mountains of northern Mali and that it was too early to talk about a quick pullout from the West African country, despite the growing cost of the intervention. The fighting against Islamic extremists in the Adrar des Ifoghas mountains has been going on for days. A clash in the area killed 23 soldiers from neighboring Chad on Friday, according to a letter from French President Francois Hollande expressing condolences to his Chadian counterpart.
May 24, 2012 |
BAMAKO, Mali - Mali's interim president, who was beaten by a mob of demonstrators who broke into his office this week, has left the country to seek medical treatment in France, an adviser and two French government officials said Wednesday. The unexpected, and unpublicized, departure of 70-year-old Dioncounda Traore leaves a dangerous power vacuum in the West African nation, which was thrown off course after a March coup. Contacted by telephone, an adviser to Traore said the interim president had left Mali for France to undergo medical tests on his heart because he has had a previous heart attack.
October 30, 2012 |
ALGIERS, Algeria - Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton sought Algeria's assistance Monday for any future military intervention in Mali, pressing the North African nation to provide intelligence - if not boots on the ground - to help rout the al-Qaeda-linked militants across its southern border. Clinton, on the first stop of a five-day trip overseas, met with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika as the United States and its allies ramped up preparations to fight northern Mali's breakaway Islamist republic.
January 15, 2013 |
BAMAKO, Mali - Despite a punishing bombardment by French warplanes, al-Qaeda-linked insurgents grabbed more territory in Mali on Monday, seizing a strategic military camp that brought them far closer to the government's seat of power. Declaring France had "opened the gates of hell" with its assault, the rebels threatened retribution. "France . . . has fallen into a trap much more dangerous than Iraq, Afghanistan, or Somalia," said Omar Ould Hamaha, a leader of the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, one of the rebel groups controlling the north, speaking on Europe 1 radio.