Yemen conflict: A passport out of war

  • 21 May 2015
  • From the section Africa
Refugees from Yemen arrive in Djibouti port - May 2015

A human tide reaches the shores of Djibouti almost every day.

Waves of Yemenis are taking to the sea in packed yachts or wooden dhows meant to ferry fishermen or livestock, not a people fleeing for their lives.

The boats dock in Djibouti's main harbour or the miniature port of Obock further north, a jumble of rocks just 30km (19 miles) across the Red Sea from its neighbour torn by war.

"Schools are closed, colleges are closed, sometimes hospitals are shut because there's no electricity. It's so dangerous," laments 22-year-old Salma al-Shabib, who crouches by a wall as she waits to clear immigration at Djibouti port.

Like almost all the women seeking shelter from the searing heat, she's completely covered in black, except for a small slit that reveals anxious brown eyes.

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Countdown to Iran nuclear deal - but resistance remains

Delegates at nuclear talks in Lausanne (02/04/15)
The so-called p5+1 and Iran agreed a framework deal this month after marathon talks

A historic deal with Iran over its nuclear programme is now within reach - but it's still uncertain whether this rare chance to resolve a major security challenge of our time through diplomacy will be grasped.

This week, the prospect of a final deal, which must be reached by the end of June, could be pulled in two different directions.

Read full article Countdown to Iran nuclear deal - but resistance remains

Syria conflict: Fighting for a future for Yarmouk

Yarmouk, 6 April
Yarmouk, once a home for 150,000 Palestinian refugees, has been devastated by Syria's war

A refugee camp which grew into the liveliest of neighbourhoods is now crumbling into the deadliest of quarters as life drains away by the day.

Never has the future of Yarmouk looked so uncertain for the community of Palestinian refugees as well as Syrians who call it home.

Read full article Syria conflict: Fighting for a future for Yarmouk

Sense of history as Iran nuclear talks go to the wire

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi at the nuclear talks in Lausanne (30 March 2015)

In a world where all too many conflicts are in search of solution there is a palpable sense history could be made here.

If a framework for an Iranian nuclear deal is agreed this week in this serene Swiss setting of Lausanne, it could pave the way for one of the most significant, but most sensitive, accords in decades.

Read full article Sense of history as Iran nuclear talks go to the wire

Tunisia museum attack tests transition

  • 22 March 2015
  • From the section Africa
Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi lays a wreath in memory of those killed at the Bardo museum attack, 22 March 2014
The president says "we need national reconciliation"

"Degage!" One word says a great deal.

Four years ago, in Tunisia, you heard this forceful command, in French, a lot. It was the rallying cry of "go away" against authoritarian rule during the unprecedented uprising that came to be known as the Arab Spring.

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Searching for light in war-torn Syria

Residents of Syria's besieged Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp, south of Damascus. File photo
Millions of people across Syria are now relying on international humanitarian aid

A dark shadow falls across Syria as a punishing war enters its fifth year.

It's not just that satellite imagery has revealed the night sky is 83% darker because so much infrastructure has been destroyed, and millions forced to flee their homes .

Read full article Searching for light in war-torn Syria

Lahore Literary Festival: Book lovers defy the bombers

  • 24 February 2015
  • From the section Asia
Crowds at the Lahore Literary Festival
The Alhamra Arts Centre hosted the third Lahore Literary Festival

A suicide bomber struck in the Pakistani city of Lahore, just two days before its annual literary festival was due to start.

The night before, the provincial government tried to stop the three-day festival from going ahead, insisting it was not safe.

Read full article Lahore Literary Festival: Book lovers defy the bombers

Ukraine conflict: Marathon in Minsk

  • 13 February 2015
  • From the section Europe
Fractures between the negotiating parties' positions were reflected in the body language on display
Fractures between the negotiating parties' positions were reflected in the body language on display

There's something about Minsk's opulent Palace of Independence. Even in the dark of night, its shimmering chandeliers and opaque windows can trick you into thinking it's still broad daylight.

Little escapes the bright glare of this cavernous complex.

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Ukraine conflict: Back to Minsk with so much at stake

  • 11 February 2015
  • From the section Europe
An elderly woman walks past vehicles destroyed in shelling between Russian-backed separatists and the Ukrainian government forces in Donetsk on 11 February 2015
Civilians have been caught up in intensifying violence in Donestk

It is five months since Minsk gave its name to a peace deal for Ukraine.

Now key players are meeting here for what has been widely called "one of the last chances" to stop a widening trail of destruction and death, which threaten the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Read full article Ukraine conflict: Back to Minsk with so much at stake

Paris attack: From 9/11 to 1/11

  • 12 January 2015
  • From the section Europe
Man holding a sign with "Je suis Charlie" in Paris
There is hope that France has found a new solidarity after the attacks in Paris

In France, many reached for the phrase recognised by all - 9/11.

"Le onze Septembre Francais" declared the banner headline in France's Le Monde newspaper. "A French September 11th."

Read full article Paris attack: From 9/11 to 1/11