Storified by · Thu, Feb 07 2013 08:14:54
Drones and American foreign policy
On Wednesday, the NewYork Times and The Washington Postreported that the CIA has used a secret drone base located in Saudi Arabia tolaunch strikes in Yemen. The news comesa day before John Brennan’s Senate confirmation hearing. Brennan is President Obama’s nominee forC.I.A. director and the “chief architect” of the administration’scounter-terrorism policy, which includes the use of drones to carry out targetedkillings. News organizations had knownabout the location of the base but had not reported it at the request of theObama administration, claiming it could undermine our relationship with theSaudis. We’ll talk with Middle East scholar Joseph Kéchichian, a non-Resident Fellow at theWashington-based Middle East Institute and author of Legal and PoliticalReforms in Saudi Arabia. Kéchichian is currently writing a book onthe Gulf Cooperation Council.
Malian musicians and the Islamist uprising
Perhaps in no other country is music more entwined in everyday life than in Mali, often cited as the ancestral home of the American blues. When Islamists gained control of the north, they instituted sharia law and banned music. Artists who eked out a living by performing were suddenly out of work. Bamako-based musician Rokia Traore talks about what the unrest has done to artists in Mali and the country’s social fabric. Check out her music here.