Afghans set to defy the Taliban in presidential vote
There's nothing like an election when it's not certain who will win, when candidates campaign like every vote counts, and voters are engaged.
That's Afghanistan in 2014.
This third presidential race since the fall of the Taliban is also certain to be marred by rigging, recrimination and violence.
The run-up to this historic poll on 5 April has already been the bloodiest.
And fears of electoral fraud are pronounced.
Kabul guest house attack: Stories of survival
All five men were visibly shaken. Some were bloodied from scratches. But theirs is an extraordinary story of survival after a four-hour long attack on their Kabul guest house.
"I'm amazed to be alive," one survivor kept repeating as he recounted how he hid under his bed on the third floor of the guest house for more than two hours.
Kabul ushers in uncertain New Year
Kabul's Salaam Khana was once a stately palace where kings were crowned and Afghans gathered to salute their royal ruler.
This week it set the stage for a new chapter in Afghanistan's chequered history.
Lyse answers your questions on Iran
Four days in Tehran
Four days in the teeming mega-metropolis of Tehran is not enough. But it was just enough to savour what's long been special about this city.
There were also moments of surprise. And even a short stay was enough to appreciate the enduring centrality and sensitivity of Iran's engagement with the wider world.
Iranians hope for better fortunes in Persian New Year
Iranians are preparing for the Persian New Year - the Nawroz festival that symbolises happiness, health and new hope.
The country's shops and bazaars are packed with shoppers but many Iranians are experiencing the hardships caused by crippling economic sanctions.
Ashton visit to Iran sparks co-operation and controversy
A visit to explore the potential for a new relationship between Iran and Europe has also ended up highlighting the enduring sensitivity of the old.
Hardliners have been on a political warpath this week after the first visit to Tehran by the European Union's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton.
Catherine Ashton in landmark bridge-building trip to Iran
The difficult and delicate process of forging a new relationship between Iran and the West takes another step this weekend with the first visit of Europe's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, to the Islamic Republic.
It will also be a significant challenge for Baroness Ashton as she seeks to build on recent foreign policy successes to broach critical issues ranging from human rights to Tehran's role in regional conflicts including Syria.
Syria crisis: A Palestinian plea from Yarmouk refugee camp
"Please, please take us out, we are dying here," 60-year-old Wafiqa pleads, sobbing uncontrollably as she cradles her lined face in rough gnarled hands.
She stumbles toward us in her grief, toward anyone she thinks can rescue her from the punishing eight-month siege of Yarmouk, a devastated Palestinian refugee camp south of Damascus.