The loya jirga is a venerable Afghan institution in which representatives of Afghan tribes are summoned, in the absence of formal government, to discuss issues of concern. Afghan rulers used them to ratify their rule whenever they seized power or expanded territory, because if there is one defining characteristic of a loya jirga, it is that it rarely says no.

Roman Catholic prelates in Michoacan state at last have drawn a line against local gangsters, and the officials nurturing them, further entangling what already was one of Mexico's more intractable knots of violence. But most of the Church hierarchy still seems reluctant to take a strong stand. The bishops have jumped in as the homegrown Knights Templar gang squares off against civilian militias, rival gangsters and thousands of federal troops across the Pacific Coast state.

In a large tent shrouded in dust, Safia Lansar’s family gathers to drink tea. The 85-year-old’s grandson-in-law, Mohamed, rhythmically pours the steaming liquid back and forth from cup to cup. Mohamed's infant son lies sleeping on the ground, wrapped in a cloth swarming with flies. They sit on the land where Mohamed was born. His son was born here, too. But not Safia.

If it hadn’t been drowned out by the ongoing wars in Mali and Syria, you would have heard all about the brutal civil war that broke out in the Central African Republic (CAR) in December of 2012. I guess there's only so much war you can read about at any given time, but the one currently tearing through the bush of the Central African Republic is a significant one. One UN official is even claiming a high threat of genocide in the coming months as Christian and Muslim militias face off in a war of escalating sectarian violence.

The ministry expects tourism revenue to reach $8.8 billion by the end of the year, compared to $10.5 billion registered at the end of last year, Zaazou said on the sidelines of an economic conference in Cairo. Egyptian Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou on Monday said that Egypt had lost 95 percent of its incoming tourism within the past four months, mainly due to advisories issued by several governments against traveling to Egypt.

The Democratic Republic of Congo and defeated M23 rebels failed to sign a hoped-for peace deal Monday, after Kinshasa demanded the agreement be revised, a Ugandan government official said. The "DRC delegation has aborted the signing of agreement with M23," Ugandan government spokesman Ofwono Opondo said, adding that the meeting was "adjourned sine die (without date)."

Less than a month after Egypt publicly condemned an American decision to suspend portions of its annual military aid package, relations between the allies are back on track. Egypt’s foreign ministry announced Wednesday that Cairo now expects an “intense period” of diplomatic visits from Washington. Despite the public frostiness that hung over the alliance just a few weeks ago, analysts say the relationship below the rhetoric remains strong.

Negotiations with Marxist guerrillas are closer than ever to ending a 50-year conflict, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said in an interview after a breakthrough in talks, even as his political opponents accuse his government of selling out to the rebels. “I think this time we will reach an agreement, and we will have peace,” Santos said, appearing relaxed, the collar of his dress shirt unbuttoned, as he flew on the presidential plane to this northern city to oversee infrastructure projects. “We have never even been close to what we have already achieved.”