France, the former coloniser, extends a hand to Algeria
French president François Hollande is on a state visit to Algeria this week. Relations between Paris and Algiers are finally getting back on an even keel after the battle for independence 50 years ago. France wants to try to forge a partnership with its former colony to boost economic growth, in return for sharing expertise. There are also hopes that Hollande could persuade his Algerian counterpart, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, to support military intervention in Mali.
Opium and heroin trafficking in Afghanistan is a considerable source of revenue for the Taliban, but they are not the only ones who profit from it. In the meantime, the United States have radically changed their strategy in the war on drugs...
While Afghans back home vote in an election marred by violence, thousands of refugees are looking for asylum abroad. Here in a Paris park, Afghans refugees have joined Iranians and Kurds in setting up a makeshift camp.
The recent spate of deadly bomb attacks across Baghdad is seen in some quarters as an attempt to destabilise the government and undermine confidence in its ability to provide security. The attacks were the worst seen in the capital for months.