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Welcome to CNN Radio News Day.
It's day three of a bloody hostage crisis in Algeria. The country's special forces have been staging an aggressive assault against Islamist militants who took hundreds of Algerian and foreign workers hostage at a remote gas field. Algerian State TV reports hundreds of the captives has been freed. Brian McFaul says his brother, Irishman Stephen McFaul, escaped while traveling in a convoy of jeeps:
"The Algerian army had bombed the jeeps. And out of five jeeps that were bombed, four of them were hit and wiped out and they were, obviously lost their lives. But lucky enough for my brother, he was in the jeep that crashed and he was able to make a break for freedom."
It's been a week since France launched a military operation in Mali. The West African nation, once a French colony, asked for help in combating Islamic militants who control an area the size of Spain in the northern part of the country. The French say it saved Mali's capital, Bamako, from a militant advance. Michael Shurkin, a political Scientist at the RAND Corporation says the fighting is likely to get worse long before it gets better:
"The French themselves know what they are doing and they calculated that going in was the least worst option. And I tend to agree with them that going in was the least worst option. "
It's a very exclusive club of four. And on Monday, we'll be introduced to its newest member, Richard Blanco. The short history of inaugural poets includes the names of Robert Frost, Maya Angelou, Miller Williams, and Elizabeth Alexander. The inaugural poem is a collision of prose and politics. Alexander, who recited her's at President Obama's first inauguration in 2009, says the biggest challenge is finding just the right words:
"You don't want your language to become dead and flat. You don't want your language to be the language of service."