Rod McLaughlin

So that's why journalists are called "hacks" (18 jan 13)

"From the north bank of the Niger River, the plains of the Malian Sahel stretch as flat as a billiard table to a distant horizon. This parched landscape..."

That's very informative, David Blair. I didn't know the Sahara desert was 'parched'. I'd always pictured it as lush and verdant. And when the land is flat, I didn't know the horizon is distant. Thanks for the geography lesson.

Update. Correction. It turns out that the Sahara is lush and verdant:

"French warplanes forced Islamist fighters to flee into the jungle." 

Portland London