Pascale Harter introduces insight, wit and analysis from BBC correspondents, journalists and writers from around the world. In this edition:
A difficult and extended birth
Lebanon, with its patchwork of languages, religions and militias, has often been a barometer - or a proxy - for the competing interests vying for power in the Arab world. And now its people are beginning to feel the effects of the violence in neighbouring Syria. Tyres have been burning in Beirut neighbourhoods. There have been killings.
Jeremy Bowen looks beyond appearances to take stock of the political changes in the Middle East and North Africa. After more than a year, how much has the Arab Spring really changed in the region?
A whiter shade of sale
India's beauty industry has recently been informing women what part of their hopelessly imperfect bodies absolutely needs attention next. Skin lightening products have been a lucrative sector on the subcontinent for a long time - some estimates say they're outselling bottles of Coca Cola. But a recent TV ad underscored the social pressure to be fair-complexioned all over and Rajini Vaidyanathan found it hard to believe what she was seeing.
(Image: Victoria's Secret model Candice Swanepoel. Credit: Getty Images)