There's hashtag activism, and then there's actually figuring out how to rescue the Nigerian girls kidnapped last month by the Boko Haram. The latter is proving difficult and is revealing the limits of American power and the tensions in Washington's relationship with Nigeria.
Throw a dart at the map these days, and there's a pretty good chance it will land near a pro-democracy protest. Ukraine. Venezuela. Turkey. And now Taiwan, where well-organized students are trying to stop a rushed trade agreement with China.
Berkin Elvan was on an errand when he was caught in a government crackdown on widespread street protests last summer. Tuesday, he died of his injuries — and that reignited the anger of thousands in Istanbul and around the country against Turkey's prime minister and his government.
Ukrainians are worried about what's in store for their nation in the coming days. Violent clashes with protesters have left at least 25 dead. And government threats leave many fearful of an even more forceful response.
At least 1,100 people have been evacuated from Homs, a city that has been under siege for nearly three years during Syria's civil war. But twice as many are still left in the city, either too sick or scared to leave. And a UN official says those evacuated are often just "a bag of bones.
Ukraine's protesters suspend clashes to negotiate with President Viktor Yanukovich, while China's leadership scrambles to block the web and keep their secret offshore bank accounts from being revealed to Chinese citizens. Curling gets fancy at the Sochi Olympics and South Korea welcomes Canadian hockey players in its bid to qualify for the next Winter Olympics. All that and more, in today's Global Scan.
New evidence was released this week of alleged war crimes by the regime of Syrian leader, Bashar al-Assad. The evidence took the form of photos taken by the regime itself to document 11,000 deaths. They indicate widespread torture, starvation and execution of prisoners.
Turkey has democratic institutions, but they aren't working well at the moment. There is a corruption scandal, popular protests and concerns about an increasingly authoritarian government. Turkish author Elif Shafak says the problem is that Turks are conditioned to seek a strong father figure who can save them.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Egyptians are voting on a new constitution. H.A. Hellyer of the Brookings Institution says the vote is really a referendum on the military, opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood and other issues. And those who turn out will almost certainly vote "yes."
Yemen is home to some of the most radical, and effective, affiliates of al-Qaeda. The US has worked with the new Yemeni government to use drones to attack militants. Still, the latest suicide bombing targeted a military hospital in the capital, and killed more than 50 soldiers and civilians.
French troops, as part of a UN-approved peacekeeping mission, are in the Central African Republic and have just suffered their first casualties. While the violence there seems motivated by religious differences, journalist Eliza Griswold says the deeper issues involve politics, diamonds and gold, and identity.
In Syria, Islamist rebels have joined forces, some Western aid is on hold, and a peace proponent from the Syrian opposition is missing. The BBC's Lyse Doucet describes what is happening with the civil war as winter sets in.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula operates out of Yemen. And that's where BBC reporter Shaimaa Khalil found a mother whose three sons had joined al-Qaeda and now has a lonely life without her sons or a community.
Two recent bombings in Egypt raise fears that the country could be entering a new phase of violent insurgency. The military backed government is stepping up its campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters. But that has been tried before by an Egyptian government, and it didn't work.
It's been quite a week for an al-Qaeda spin-off called ISIS. Last week, ISIS took over Fallujah in Iraq. But it seems some of the local Sunni tribes abandoned the group and have joined government forces fighting against al-Qaeda. Then, rebel groups in Syria combined to attack ISIS there. Borzou Daragahi of the Financial Times explains the politics that work for and against ISIS.
Violence is spreading in Iraq's western Anbar province engulfing two key cities — Fallujah and Ramadi. Many Americans remember Fallujah and Anbar province as places where US soldiers fought and died. Retired US Army Colonel Peter Mansoor knows the area well and says the US government should re-engage.
It's cold. So cold, in fact, that all sorts of seemingly improbable things have become probable, and we share a few of them. Meanwhile, around the world, life goes on. In Turkey, police and politicians are locked in a power struggle. And in Syria, an al-Qaeda affiliate has shocked many with their quick rise to power. All that and more, in today's Global Scan.
Government and rebel forces in South Sudan threaten to plunge their young nation into civil war. Today, the two sides sat down to peace talks, and the US is working behind the scenes to support the talks.
Nearly 20,000 boys in southern Sudan were displaced or orphaned during the country's long civil war. Many were resettled in the US, starting in 2001. Jacob Atem was one and he recently returned to the new country of South Sudan, only to be caught in the renewed fighting there.