US government system, using ground sensors and satellite imagery, helped to predict this year's drought in Horn of Africa, allowing aid groups and governments to prepare relief.
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.
A Famine Early Warning System – which accurately predicted the 2011 drought in the Horn of Africa – warns that millions of West Africans may face a food crisis in 2012.
Human rights activists say the extradition of former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo is a big step for ending a decade of bloodshed and impunity, but peace will only be sustained if justice is even-handed.
Invasive species are ones that don't naturally occur in an area and may have detrimental effects. Here are some eradication success stories. Sources: Global Invasive Species Database, International Union for Conservation of Nature, National Cotton Council, US Dept. of Agriculture
The Africa Mercy, a charity-funded hospital ship docked in Sierra Leone, provides the most sophisticated medical facility in the region.
Liberian peace activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee praises Liberia for how far it has come since the civil war days of a decade ago, but warns that tribalism still divides her country.
Nobel Peace Prize winners Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee symbolize the fighting spirit among Liberian women that author Tim Butcher saw while hiking through the country, he says.