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Lyse Doucet

Lyse Doucet Chief international correspondent

Come here for my thoughts on places in the headlines, people who live behind or beyond front lines and who live ordinary lives in extraordinary ways

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.

Then came the ground offensive which intensified Israel's campaign. Then came Shejaiya.

Israel's assault on a densely populated neighbourhood brought the greatest fighting and the grimmest news in this, the third Gaza conflagration in just six years.

Gaza's list of the dead crossed 500 and keeps climbing, according to figures from the health ministry here. The UN says the vast majority are civilians; many are children.

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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.

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Afghan elections: Voting for a better future

Posters of candidates and their supporters
Both candidates have made surprising transformations during the contest

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.

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The women reporters determined to cover World War Two

Mary Welsh, Dixie Tighe, Kathleen Harriman, Helen Kirkpatrick, Lee Miller, Tania Long, London, England 1942’ Unknown Photographer, Lee Miller Archives, England 2014. All rights reserved.
Women correspondents accredited by the US Army: Mary Welsh, Dixie Tighe, Kathleen Harriman, Helen Kirkpatrick, Lee Miller, and Tania Long

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."

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Syrian exams bring Yarmouk students siege respite

Students being allowed out of Yarmouk
The students eventually emerged from the ruins of Yarmouk refugee camp

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.

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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.

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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.

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Lyse added analysis to:

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.

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About Lyse

Lyse has been reporting for the BBC for nearly 30 years, with posts in Abidjan, Kabul, Islamabad, Tehran, Amman and Jerusalem. In 1999 she joined the BBC's team of presenters but most of her time is spent going back to regions where she lived, and also discovering new ones too.

Lyse often presents from the field for BBC World News, and the BBC World Service's flagship Newshour programme, as well as the News Channel. She works as a correspondent too, reporting across the BBC's global and domestic TV and radio outlets. She also writes for BBC online and posts - judiciously! - on Twitter and Facebook.

Lyse feels at home in many places but is still Canadian. She was educated in Canada, at Queen's University, and the University of Toronto, and has been awarded several honorary doctorates as well as major journalism awards.

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