Ansar Dine, the Islamist militia that shares control of Mali's north, is just the latest in long line of zealots of many faiths who destroyed the monuments of other faiths thought to be superstitious.
ECOWAS, a West African regional group, reimposes sanctions and considers military intervention after Mali's coup leaders renege on promise to cede power to civilian rulers.
While Al Qaeda is showing signs of waning in southern and western Asia, Al Qaeda-related groups continue to make their presence felt across the African Sahel region.
Today's must reads include an interview with a mercenary in Timbuktu; Qaddafi's control of water pipelines; and how a US government policy to arm Mexican gangs may have backfired.
Matt Damon, listen up: After five years of covering Africa, our departing correspondent tells how his perceptions have changed about a complex continent, including why some Africans resent celebrity visits.