Syria and the US (California)
In this edition: Max Baring reflects on what Syrian schools taught him about the Assad regime and Rajesh Mirchandani explains why he loves - and hates - LA.
Syrian schools' lessons in leadership
For decades, the idea of questioning the Assad family's right to rule used to be unthinkable. But no longer. This year, President Bashar Assad's government has been rocked by sustained opposition protests. Hundreds of people have been killed, and thousands have now fled the country.
Max Baring spent months filming life in Syria's schools before the current chaos. He remembers watching as the ruling Baath Party tried to mould the minds of its youngest citizens.
The "Golden State" loses some of its shine
For generations, for many Americans and for the rest of the world, California has depicted as a kind of promised land - a place where you can prosper in the sunshine, where dreams of fame and fortune just might come true. It seemed blessed by nature, able to offer the kind of lifestyle the whole world might aspire to.
Rajesh Mirchandani went to Los Angeles to be our West Coast correspondent. However, he soon developed doubts about the Golden State...