No place to hide for children of war in Gaza and Syria
The conflicts in Syria and Gaza are having a a devastating impact on the lives of children. The BBC's Lyse Doucet who has been following the lives of six Syrian children, and who has just returned from reporting in Gaza, reflects on how war will shape the futures of young people there for decades to come.
"When you see it on TV, it's not like it is in real life."
Twelve-year-old Syed leans into a narrow concrete wall, staring at its rough grey surface as if his eyes could drill a hole to help him escape from his life.
"When we sat in the ambulance together, I thought he was going to live so I felt a bit better."
But by the time they reached the hospital, his little brother Mohammad was dead. Three of his cousins were also killed that fateful day on 16 July, as they played near Gaza's port when Israel shelled the area twice, in quick succession.
Gaza crisis: Shejaiya assault defines grimmest day
Every day, for 12 days, the tally of casualties was grim, the details often grisly.
Every day, the rockets kept soaring in a trail of white vapour out of Gaza and Israeli air strikes pounded this blighted sliver of land along the Mediterranean.
Karzai rules out Iraq scenario in Afghanistan
Both Iraq and Afghanistan were the target of major US-led wars, both are besieged by strong insurgencies, and both are still struggling to establish solid institutions.
In Kabul this week, Afghans kept bringing up the dramatic developments unfolding in Iraq, where radical Islamist fighters stunned many with their lightning sweep into key cities.
Afghan elections: Voting for a better future
As Afghanistan stands at a crucial turning point that will determine its political future, its past still stubbornly lingers.
"We met nearly 30 years ago, during President Najibullah's time," a smiling police officer reminds me as we approach the main command centre in the heavily fortified Interior Ministry in Kabul.
The women reporters determined to cover World War Two
Seventy years ago, a group of American women journalists made history when they covered the greatest story of their generation. They called them the D-Day Dames.
"It is necessary that I report on this war," writer Martha Gellhorn fumed in an angry letter to military authorities. "I do not feel there is any need to beg as a favour for the right to serve as the eyes for millions of people in America who are desperately in need of seeing, but cannot see for themselves."
Syrian exams bring Yarmouk students siege respite
In a shattered space where even basics like bread and medicine are missing, one of life's most normal routines has finally been allowed.
At the 11th hour, safe passage was agreed to enable 120 teenagers to leave the besieged Palestinian camp of Yarmouk, in southern Damascus, to sit their exams.
Syria crisis: Rebuilding lives in the void left in Homs
It was, for many long months, one of the darkest corners of one of the worst battles of the war.
Besieged and embattled, the Old Quarter lay just beyond a desolate no-man's land around Homs's iconic new Clock Tower. The damaged edifice no longer keeps time, but it marks a defining time, still standing tall in the midst of rubble and ruin.
Syria crisis: Sounds return to shattered city of Homs
Last week rebel fighters completed their withdrawal from Homs, marking the end of three years of resistance in Syria's third city, once dubbed the "capital of the revolution".
Residents are now trickling back into the ruins of their home town, but on Tuesday UN mediator Lakhtar Brahimi said he was stepping down - with no end in sight to the three-year conflict in Syria.
Syria conflict: West criticises Assad election plan
Such is Syria's deep, dangerous divide that an election makes absolute sense for some, and is profoundly absurd for others.
President Assad has hinted for more than a year that it was his right to run again.