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The Two-Way
4:58 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Did This Man Order The Hostage Takings In Algeria?

This image from video provided by the SITE Intel Group made available Thursday Jan. 17, 2013, purports to show militant militia leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar. News reports say he may have been responsible for the Western hostages' being taken at a gas plant in Algeria.
SITE Intel Group AP

Mokhtar Belmokhtar has had a few skirmishes in his day.

The former Algerian soldier went to Afghanistan to join Islamist fighters battling the Soviets in the 1980s. He returned home and rose to prominence among the Islamist rebels who waged a nasty war with the Algerian government in the 1990s.

For the past decade, he's remained an elusive figure. He's believed to have spent most of his time in Algeria's Sahara and has been regarded as one of the top figures in al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM.

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Business
4:57 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Beleaguered American Airlines Looks For A Fresh Start With New Look

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 6:10 pm

American Airlines unveiled the first change to its logo and the look of its planes since 1968 on Thursday.

Africa
4:57 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Islamist Rebels Quick To Adjust To French Tactics In Mali

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 6:10 pm

Robert Siegel talks with Alan Boswell, Africa Correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers, about the fight in Mali between French forces and Islamist militants. Boswell calls Mali the new front line in the war on terror.

Africa
4:57 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

France's Hold On Former African Colonies Important To Its Sense Of Self

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 6:10 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The turmoil in Algeria, as well as in Mali, is a reminder of the complicated relationship that still exists between France and many of its former African colonies. Howard French has spent many years thinking and writing about that relationship. He's an associate professor at the Columbia University graduate school of journalism and a former long time foreign correspondent for the New York Times. Mr. French, welcome to the program.

HOWARD FRENCH: Good afternoon.

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Africa
4:57 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

U.S. Formally Recognizes Somali Government For First Time In 20 Years

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 6:10 pm

The U.S. formally recognized the Somali government for the first time in 20 years on Thursday when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mahamud at the State Department. Hassan is the first permanent Somali president since 1991 and faces a daunting task of rebuilding a nation torn by conflict and Islamist insurgencies.

Africa
4:57 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Algerian Forces Wanted To Send Firm Message To Militants With Gas Plant Raid

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 8:16 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

I'm Robert Siegel. And we begin this hour with a brazen rescue attempt in Algeria. Government forces launched an assault today on an oil and gas facility in the remote Algerian desert. There, Islamist militants had been holding hundreds of hostages, including 41 Westerners, since yesterday. The Algerian military went in swiftly and decisively, stunning Western governments, who might have handled such a hostage drama more delicately.

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Around the Nation
4:53 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Many Of Nation's Mayors Receptive To Obama's Ideas On Reducing Gun Violence

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 6:10 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

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Sports
4:52 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Notre Dame Defends Star Linebacker As Story Of Triumph Over Loss Unravels

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 6:10 pm

Manti Te'o — a linebacker for Notre Dame and a former Heisman Trophy candidate — has come under fire for allegedly making up a girlfriend who died of cancer. Robert Siegel speaks with sports correspondent Mike Pesca for more on the story.

U.S.
4:49 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Aurora Theater's Reopening Sparks Mixed Emotions

Workers dismantle the fence around the remodeled Century theater in Aurora, Colo., in preparation for the cinema's reopening Thursday. The theater's owner sent 2,000 invitations to the private event, being held for victims' families and first responders.
Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 6:10 pm

The Aurora, Colo., theater where 12 people were killed in a mass shooting last summer reopens Thursday, with a private event for victims' families and first responders.

But some families are giving the event a pass, arguing that the decision to reopen is insensitive. Jessica Watts lives just a few miles from the theater where her cousin, Jonathan Blunk, and 11 others were killed and dozens more wounded.

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Remembrances
4:46 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Woman Behind 'Dear Abby' Guided Readers Through Personal Crises

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 6:10 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Her real name was Pauline Friedman Phillips, and she was one of the most widely read advice columnists in the world. You probably recognize her as Dear Abby.

Phillips died yesterday at a hospital in Minneapolis. She was 94 and had struggled for many years with Alzheimer's.

NPR's Neda Ulaby has this remembrance.

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