1. ASSESSMENT

    French President to Visit Mali

    French troops in Northern Mali on Thursday. (Jerome Delay/AP)

    French President François Hollande will visit Mali on Saturday, his office confirmed Friday. Hollande had sent French troops into Mali earlier this month to lead an intervention against Islamic militants linked to al Qaeda. On Wednesday, French troops seized control of Kidal, the last of the militants’ holdouts. But peace talks could prove to be difficult: Malian President Dioncounda Traore said he would speak only to secular groups from the north, where the rebels are based.

    Read it at Reuters