Our MORNING EDITION colleague Steve Inskeep is in the midst of a revolutionary road trip: a journey through North African nations at the center of the Arab Spring. Now, as Steve was preparing for his trip from Tunisia through Libya and to Cairo, he spoke with a journalist who has covered Libya for years.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Her name is Lindsey Hilsum, author of the new book, "Sandstorm," about last year's revolution that overthrew Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi. Hilsum pays particular attention to that country's women.
Using tanks and armored vehicles a militia has surrounded the Tripoli international airport in Libya. Commercial flights have been cancelled and some of them were diverted to the city's military airport.
This weekend, about 60 heads of state and government, and thousands of others will descend on Chicago to attend a NATO summit. The gathering will focus on the alliance's involvement in Afghanistan — and ensuring a long-term commitment to the country.
But the meeting comes at a time of tension within NATO. Discussions will also include the future of NATO itself, and whether it can overcome its shortfalls.
Tuareg rebels eat a meal last month near the Malian city of Timbuktu, which they recently captured. The rebels have taken control of northern Mali, raising concerns about stability in the broader region.
Credit Ferhat Bouda / DPA/Landov
Rebels from the Tuareg ethnic group now control most of northern Mali, a territory as big as France on the edge of the Sahara desert.
A column of trucks loaded with Tuareg fighters rolled into the ancient desert town of Timbuktu on Sunday, taking over the positions abandoned by fleeing government soldiers.
They include an Islamist faction that wants to impose Shariah law throughout Mali and are believed to include elements with links to al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.