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Jan 28, 2013

BBC NEWS | Africa (29 January 2013 Last Update at 03.18 GMT).: French-led troops secure hold on Timbuktu

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French-led troops secure hold on Timbuktu

Malian soldier with French insignia watches soldiers enter house in Timbuktu. 28 Jan 2013 Malian soldiers, some wearing French insignia, are searching Timbuktu
French-led troops are consolidating their position in the historic Malian city of Timbuktu after seizing it from Islamist extremists.
French military commanders say soldiers are patrolling the streets looking to flush out any remaining militants.
Once Timbuktu is secured, troops are expected to focus on the last rebel stronghold, Kidal.
Meanwhile, an international donors' conference is due to open in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
The African Union, which has just ended a summit in the city, hopes the conference will raise funds for a multinational force to fight the rebels.
The cost of the military operation has been estimated at up to $1bn (£635bn).

At the scene

Residents were still cheering French and Malian troops when we entered the city late in the afternoon.
Both national flags can be seen all over town. The feeling that people are coming back to life after nearly a year of occupation by extremist militants is simply incredible.
There are still some reminders of the Islamist rule with banners declaring Sharia here and there.
But we have also seen people looting houses allegedly held by al-Qaeda militants. A young man was walking with a huge wooden door on his back while others fought for iron sheets and all sorts of lamps and cables.
A French commander said troops were still sweeping the town for mines, booby traps and more importantly for potential militants hiding within the population.
There is no electricity here nor phone network. The two main hotels, which have been closed for so long, have reopened to accommodate incoming journalists. Staff are delighted to welcome us and are moving heaven and earth to resume normal service.
Also on Tuesday, a conference in Brussels is due to decide on troops for an EU military training mission for Mali. The UK has already said it will contribute to the mission.
Earlier on Monday, about 1,000 French soldiers - including paratroopers - and 200 Malian troops seized Timbuktu airport and entered the city without a shot being fired.
Col Thierry Burkhard, chief military spokesman in Paris, said that although French troops spearheaded the offensive, Malian forces were on the streets of the city.
"There was an operation on Timbuktu last night that allowed us to control access to the town," he said on Monday.
"It's up to Malian forces to retake the town."
As they withdrew into the desert, the Islamist fighters set fire to several buildings including a library containing priceless manuscripts, some dating back to the 13th Century.
The Ahmed Baba institute held about 30,000 manuscripts and includes documents about centuries of life in the city, Mali and neighbouring countries.
The recovery of Timbuktu followed the swift capture by French and Malian forces of Gao on Saturday, another major northern population centre occupied by militant groups.
Islamists took advantage of a coup last year to seize the vast north of Mali and impose strict Sharia law on its inhabitants.
France - the former colonial power in Mali - launched a military operation earlier this month after militants looked to be threatening the south.
Meanwhile, reports from Kidal - home of the head of Ansar Dine, the main militant group in northern Mali - suggest that the group may have already lost control there.
Sign proclaiming Sharia in Timbuktu, 28 January 2013 Signs proclaiming Sharia law are a testament to the militants' period of control
The secular Tuareg rebel group MNLA said it had taken charge. The Agence France-Presse news agency quoted a spokesman of an Ansar Dine breakaway faction as saying that it was jointly "ensuring security" with the MNLA.
The BBC's Thomas Fessy in Timbuktu says that once Kidal is taken, the first phase of the French operation will be over.
The second phase will be to track down the militants to their desert hideouts, he adds.
Mali dominated an African Union summit which ended on Monday in Addis Ababa, with the bloc deciding to contribute $50m (£32m) to the multinational force.
An AU official said 60 to 70 donors had been invited to the international donors' conference, which has been organised at short notice.
Our correspondent says there is some unease in Africa that the continent appears unable to pay for its own peacekeeping operations.
Addressing the AU summit, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the Malian government should look beyond the current conflict if it wanted peace in the country.
"I'm urging the Malian authorities to engage in inclusive dialogue, to have a political process going on and to have national reconciliations through dialogue, so that they can have constitutional order restored, they can have a political solution, economic stability insured," he said.

More on This Story

Mali: Divided nation

BBC NEWS | Asia Business ( Last Update at 3:06 GMT).: Google in N Korea mapping push New

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29 January 2013 Last updated at 03:06 GMT

Google in N Korea mapping pushPyongyang before and after on Google maps New

Google publishes mapping information on North Korea, a country that has so far been mostly blank on the popular website Google Maps.

Two cows in a farm in Illinois 25 April 2012Japan eases US beef import curbs

Japan opens the door for increased imports of beef from the US, as it eases restrictions that have been in place for almost a decade.

Japanese auto giant Toyota Motor president Akio Toyoda displays the new model of the company's best selling car CorollaToyota reclaims number one title

Japanese carmaker Toyota regains its slot as the world's biggest vehicle maker, capping a year of a dramatic turnaround in its fortunes.
Economy

GATA | THE GATA DISPATCH ( January 28, 2013).: Jeff Thomas: The disappearing gold

Jeff Thomas: The disappearing gold

2:17p ET Monday, January 28, 2013

Financial writer Jeff Thomas today shows that central bank gold swaps and leases and the massive naked short position they underwrite are starting to get figured out. Thomas' commentary is headlined "The Disappearing Gold" and it's posted at International Man's Internet site here:
http://www.internationalman.com/global-perspectives/the-disappearing-gol...

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

GATA | THE GATA DISPATCH (January 28, 2013).: Former Fed and Treasury official endorses transparency for gold swaps and leases.

Former Fed and Treasury official endorses transparency for gold swaps and leases

11:40a ET Monday, January 28, 2013

Interviewed today by the German financial journalist Lars Schall, former Federal Reserve and Treasury Department official Edwin M. Truman seems to back away from his assertion to a World Bank and Bank for International Settlements conference last month (http://www.gata.org/node/12084) that the Washington Agreement on Gold was "the modern counterpart" of the gold price-rigging London Gold Pool of the 1960s. But Truman extends his call for greater transparency in central banking to encompass the gold swaps and leases that, according to a March 1999 report of the International Monetary Fund (http://www.gata.org/node/12016), are kept secret to facilitate secret intervention in the gold market.

The interview with Truman is posted at Schall's Internet site here:
http://www.larsschall.com/2013/01/28/is-the-washington-agreement-on-gold...

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.





NYT | Politics (January 28, 2013).: Senators Offer a Bipartisan Blueprint for Immigration.

The New York Times

January 28, 2013

Politics

Democrats Charles Schumer of New York, right, and Dick Durbin of Illinois, left, appeared with Republican John McCain of Arizona on Monday as part of a bi-partisan group of senators who have reached agreement on the principles of legislation to rewrite the nation's immigration laws.

Senators Offer a Bipartisan Blueprint for Immigration

By JULIA PRESTON
A group of senators has drafted a set of principles that includes a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants that hinges on increased border security and enforcement measures.
Political Memo

Obama Focuses on Status Quo, Not Left, in Battle With G.O.P.

By JOHN HARWOOD
Much of the president's early second-term energy seeks simply to preserve the status quo as he continues to face off with Republicans over fiscal issues.

More Politics

Eric Cantor, left, with John A. Boehner, the House speaker.

G.O.P.'s Cantor, Looking Past Politics of Debt

By JONATHAN WEISMAN
Representative Eric Cantor is reasserting himself in the House after Republican election losses, with plans to unveil softer proposals beyond reining in the debt.
President Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, the secreatary of state, made a joint appearance on CBS's

Before a Departure, a Rare Joint Interview

By PETER BAKER
President Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, his departing secretary of state, sat for an interview with CBS News's "60 Minutes" on Sunday.

Ryan Says Obama Ignores Fiscal Woes to Fight Republicans

By MICHAEL SCHWIRTZ
Representative Paul D. Ryan, the former vice-presidential candidate, said on "Meet the Press" that the president was focusing on the "political conquest" of the Republican Party.

State Dept. Closes Office Working on Shutting Guantánamo Prison

By CHARLIE SAVAGE
The announcement appeared to signal that the administration does not currently see the closing of the Guantánamo Bay prison as a realistic priority.
Ben S. Bernanke, the Fed chairman. The Fed's threshold of 6.5 percent unemployment to stop easing is disputed internally.

At Fed, Nascent Debate on When to Slow Asset Buying

By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM
The Federal Reserve has left little doubt about its immediate plans, but inside the central bank, debate is moving from whether the Fed should do more to boost the economy to when it should start doing less.
Conservative groups financed by anonymous donors are running television advertisements against Chuck Hagel, President Obama's nominee for secretary of defense.

Secret Donors Finance Fight Against Hagel

By JIM RUTENBERG
Conservative groups financed by anonymous donors are running ads against Chuck Hagel, the nominee for secretary of defense, reflecting the continuing effects of the Citizens United decision.
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Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Pennsylvania Avenue after the president's ceremonial swearing-in.

How This Got to Be a Biden Moment

By MARK LEIBOVICH
As the one major Washington figure who consistently evokes a sense of thrill in what he is doing, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has achieved a sort of cult status.

Multimedia

Video: What Obama Looks to Accomplish
The Times's Richard W. Stevenson takes a look at President Obama's second-term agenda, including priorities such as climate change and gun control.
Interactive Feature: President Obama's Inaugural Address
Reporters and editors from The New York Times offered context and analysis on President Obama's inaugural address.
Slide Show: President Obama's Second Inauguration
The second inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States and Joseph R. Biden Jr. as vice president.
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BIV | Today's Business News (January 28, 2013).: Mason surrenders fight with Telus over share conversion.



Technology

Darren Entwistle, CEO, Telus

Mason surrenders fight with Telus over share conversion

If you own non-voting shares in Telus, lucky you. They are expected to increase in value when they are converted to ... READ MORE

Mining and Energy

 

Mining in Canada’s north to double by decade’s end: report

Mining employment and output in Canada’s north will double by decade’s end, according to ... READ MORE

Hospitality and Tourism

 

Save On Meats owner opens “friendly” Gastown pub today

The Portside Pub, the latest venture by Save On Meats entrepreneur Mark Brand, opens today in ... READ MORE

More News...

   

BCSC urges mining sector to improve public reporting

Three hundred digital media students, pros get their game on

B.C. price hikes behind national average: Stats Can

 

This Week's Issue

Financing for baby-boom buys abounds

Mid-market financiers exploit window of opportunity for business buyers and sellers as ... READ MORE
PLUS: BIV's 100 top money sources lists, including B.C.'s biggest asset-based lenders ... READ MORE

 

NYT | Opinion (January 28, 2013).: Confessions of a Liberal Gun Owner

The New York Times

January 28, 2013

Opinion Today

Op-Ed Contributor

Confessions of a Liberal Gun Owner

By JUSTIN CRONIN
How a hurricane changed my mind about firearms.
Opinionator | Anxiety

A Brief History of Panic

By AMY L. FAIRCHILD, DAVID MERRITT JOHNS and KAVITA SIVARAMAKRISHNAN
The violent mob frenzies that broke out in response to epidemics of the 19th century are long gone. Now, managing panic is as challenging as fighting disease.
The Rise of the Permanent Temp Economy
Opinionator | The Great Divide

The Rise of the Permanent Temp Economy

By ERIN HATTON
To avoid union opposition, the postwar temp industry exploited cultural ambivalence about middle-class white women's work. Then it became a model for corporate America.
Opinionator | The Stone

Cambridge, Cabs and Copenhagen: My Route to Existential Risk

By HUW PRICE
The fear that technology might threaten our survival is is often dismissed as outlandish. But it is cause for concern.
Is Divestment an Effective Means of Protest?
Room for Debate

Is Divestment an Effective Means of Protest?

Calling on companies to cut their ties with certain companies may be a worthy goal, but does it bring about change?
Lincoln and the Copperheads
Opinionator | Disunion

Lincoln and the Copperheads

By JENNIFER L. WEBER
The president's greatest challenge often came not from the South, but from the Peace Democrats.
Diversionary Politics
Latitude

Diversionary Politics

By MASHA GESSEN
Has Putin's regime hijacked the Russian opposition's agenda by provoking it to protest increasingly absurd and aggressive laws?
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Editorial

Beyond Selma-to-Stonewall

President Obama's elevating inaugural message on gay rights needs legal follow-through.
Editorial

Paying Doctors for Performance

New York City's public hospital system is moving away from cost-of-living increases.
Editorial

The Cardinal and the Truth

The breadth of his cover-up of crimes committed by predator priests has been revealed with the release of seamy church records.
Editorial

Mr. Cuomo's Plan on Wrongful Convictions

Gov. Andrew Cuomo should keep pressing for statewide standards on false confessions and witness misidentification.

The Opinion Pages

Read the full opinion report, including editorials, columns, op-eds and Opinionator. Go to the Section »
From Welfare Queens to Disabled Deadbeats
The Conscience of a Liberal

From Welfare Queens to Disabled Deadbeats

By PAUL KRUGMAN
The right loses its resonance.
Weaker Global Warming Seen in Study Promoted by Norway's Research Council
Dot Earth Blog

Weaker Global Warming Seen in Study Promoted by Norway's Research Council

By ANDREW C. REVKIN
A fresh study paid for by Norway's science agency examines temperature changes in the oceans and atmosphere and concludes that global warming will be on the low side.
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