Could West Africa follow Mexico's path into drugs and gang-fuelled violence? The question sounds alarmist, but has concerned international law-enforcement agencies in recent years, as countries such as Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Ghana, Benin and Nigeria have emerged as major transhipment points for the global trade in cocaine and heroin.

Could West Africa follow Mexico's path into drugs and gang-fuelled violence? The question sounds alarmist, but has concerned international law-enforcement agencies in recent years, as countries such as Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Ghana, Benin and Nigeria have emerged as major transhipment points for the global trade in cocaine and heroin. With the business increasingly a destabilising force in West Africa, G8 ministers meeting in Deauville next week will discuss a new initiative to tackle it.

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Iran nuclear talks approach conclusive deadline

Iran and its interlocutors have until 24 March to reach an agreement on the country's nuclear programme. Failure to do so would not mean an end to diplomacy, but the US Congress would likely enact new sanctions legislation.

France's nuclear conservatism

Those who were hoping that French President François Hollande would use a recent speech to break with France's nuclear traditions will have been disappointed.