US studying legal basis for assisting France in Mali
The United States takes the French fight with al Qaeda-affiliated militants in Mali "very seriously" but must evaluate French military needs and the legal basis for US action before providing aid, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Wednesday.


Panetta, speaking to reporters in Rome, said the United States already was providing information to Paris to help French forces in their effort to disrupt the advance of Islamist groups in Mali until the ECOWAS grouping of African nations can put troops on the ground. (Reuters)