America has lost the war against Islamist terror in Africa

After 9/11, the US built a network of military outposts across the northern tier of Africa to fight a shadow war against Islamist groups, and Niger became central to the effort. From Base Airienne 201, known to locals as ‘Base Americaine’, US drones were sent across the region to track down Islamist terrorists. The coup against President Bazoum marks another disruption in this long-running, mostly secret, war on terror. American troops in Niger are currently confined to their bases. The future of America’s two-decade counterterrorism campaign there is in doubt. In 2008, about 2,600 US military personnel were deployed in Africa, but today, there are around 6,500 troops and civilian

Portrait of the Week: Trump’s indictment, Costa’s PR fail and Niger’s new leader

Home Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, announced the granting of 100 new North Sea oil and gas licences. In Aberdeen he confirmed funding for two new carbon capture projects. Thangam Debbonaire, the shadow leader of the House, said: ‘We are not going to grant any more. It is not OK. The world is on fire.’ Sir Bob Neill, the chairman of the Commons justice committee, called for a change in rules that deduct the cost of board and lodging in jail from compensation of those unjustly imprisoned. He was responding to the case of Andrew Malkinson, 57, cleared after 17 years in prison of a rape he did not commit.

The plight of the migrant: Crossed Lines, by Marie Darrieussecq, reviewed

‘We should be living in a brave country and on a brave planet that bravely distributes its occupants,’ thinks Rose Goyenetche, a middle-class, middle-aged Parisian child psychologist and the heroine of Marie Darrieussecq’s Crossed Lines. As their hands touch, Rose feels a familiar electric ping, and their futures become linked The story unfolds on a Mediterranean cruise ship, where Rose is holidaying in a deluxe cabin (‘that is, economy class’) on an all-inclusive-without-alcohol-without-wifi package sponsored by her mother as a chance for Rose to get some perspective on her life. When the ship comes across a rickety boat full of refugees who are taken aboard, Rose gives a young Nigerien