Afghanistan confronts a new threat from IS

  • 26 January 2016
  • From the section Asia
Media captionAshraf Ghani: "This could be a point of no return for Daesh"

Nine Afghan men are blindfolded, marched out of their village and made to sit on a row of bombs buried in a field. Then they are blown up.

Five villagers are decapitated, their severed heads displayed on a dirt road in eastern Afghanistan for all to see.

In a country which has witnessed decades of devastating war, the so-called Islamic State is plumbing new depths of depravity.

A BBC team which visited eastern Nangarhar province reports that IS's armed men number in the hundreds, not thousands. But they are fighting under its black flag and vowing to drag Afghanistan into a global jihad and a battle to a brutal end.

The group launched two attacks this month in the eastern provincial capital Jalalabad, its first deadly suicide bombings inside an Afghan city.

Read full article Afghanistan confronts a new threat from IS

'IS' in Afghanistan: We will bury them, says President Ghani

Media captionAfghan president Ashraf Ghani says he will 'bury' the so-called Islamic State group.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has promised to "bury" the so-called Islamic State (IS) militant group, whose local offshoot has clashed with government forces and Taliban fighters, in an exclusive interview.

Mr Ghani said IS was "not an Afghan phenomenon" and its atrocities had "alienated the people".

Read full article 'IS' in Afghanistan: We will bury them, says President Ghani

Migrant crisis: French PM Manuel Valls warns EU over influx

  • 22 January 2016
  • From the section Europe
Media captionFrench PM Manuel Valls spoke to the BBC about the migrant crisis

The French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, has warned that European society could be totally destabilised if the EU lets in every refugee who arrives.

In a BBC interview, he said the migration crisis was putting the entire EU project at risk, not only the EU's passport-free Schengen zone.

Read full article Migrant crisis: French PM Manuel Valls warns EU over influx

Madaya: Desperate wait for aid to besieged Syrian town

  • 11 January 2016
  • From the section World
Media captionThe BBC's Lyse Doucet reports from Syria's border with Lebanon: ''In Syria, food is a weapon of war''

The desperate wait for aid is a matter of life or death for the starving residents of the besieged Syrian town of Madaya .

People there are reported to have been dying of hunger, and eating pets, leaves and grass to survive.

Read full article Madaya: Desperate wait for aid to besieged Syrian town

Malala and Muzoon reunite to proclaim benefits of education

  • 23 December 2015
  • From the section World
Media captionThe girls were reunited in Newcastle, as Lyse Doucet reports

"Are two Malalas better than one?" I ask, only partly in jest, of two smiling teenagers sitting on a purple sofa in a gleaming public library in northern England.

It elicits some quiet giggles.

Read full article Malala and Muzoon reunite to proclaim benefits of education

New confidence in Damascus as Russian strikes turn the tide

Syrian civilians who volunteered to join local Self Protection Units to protect their neighbourhoods alongside the Syrian army attend training near a picture of Syria"s president Bashar al-Assad and his father Hafez al-Assad, in Damascus countryside Image copyright Reuters
Image caption There are signs of renewed certainty in Damascus, our correspondent says

You notice it on the road to Damascus.

New posters of President Bashar al-Assad hang from the centre of soaring archways that welcome you into Syria and replace the once-fading images all along this route from the border with Lebanon.

Read full article New confidence in Damascus as Russian strikes turn the tide

Syria's civilians living a 'life worse than death'

Media captionDaily life in Syria is 'worse than death', say people in Kisweh

Every year, Syria's crisis demands more of the world's aid than the last.

Every year, this crisis demands more of Syrians than the last.

Read full article Syria's civilians living a 'life worse than death'

Nuclear deal could give Iran technologies to cut pollution

  • 30 November 2015
  • From the section Asia
Media captionLyse Doucet spoke to the head of Iran's Environment Department, Vice-President Masoumeh Ebtekar

Of all the reasons why Iran needs to ensure the success of its nuclear deal with world powers, one is linked to its very survival.

The statistics are stark. On the World Health Organisation's list of the world's top 10 most polluted cities, four are in Iran.

Read full article Nuclear deal could give Iran technologies to cut pollution

Saudi suffragettes: The first steps on a long journey

Media captionThree young Saudi women share their ambitions

The change is slow and the wait long. But for Saudi suffragettes, even a vote in local elections is a step to celebrate.

And in the conservative kingdom's third round of municipal polls on 12 December, women are also allowed to run as candidates for the first time.

Read full article Saudi suffragettes: The first steps on a long journey

Russian plane crash: UK-Egypt ties take a hit

A piece of wreckage of the Russian plane in Sinai, Egypt Image copyright EPA
Image caption Most of the 224 victims on board the Airbus 321 that crashed in Sinai were Russian nationals

One week after a Russian airliner broke up in the skies over Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, there is still no official conclusion or consensus on what shattered the plane, killing all 224 passengers and crew on board.

In the urgent search for answers, relations between London and Cairo have taken a hit.

Read full article Russian plane crash: UK-Egypt ties take a hit