From the hilly Israeli settlement of Gva'ot, on a peak in the occupied West Bank, you can see nearby hills that are part of a 1,000-acre parcel of land that Israel this week claimed as state land, an announcement that in the wake of the Gaza cease-fire is reigniting political sparks.
Palestinians say the land should be part of their future state. Israel plans to use it to build more settlements in the West Bank, where there are now more than 350,000 settlers.
With so many members of Iraq's Yazidi religious minority killed, abducted or left homeless in recent weeks, one more death — due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound — might almost pass unnoticed. But friends and family of 33-year-old Naif Khalif Omar say his suicide is resonating in a community that sees only a bleak future ahead.
Shelling has gone on almost nonstop for months in and around Donetsk, which is the largest city in eastern Ukraine. A third of the 1 million residents have fled this regional capital.
Yet other than emptier than usual streets, life appears oddly normal here. Municipal workers who have remained are ensuring electric power and running water reach as many homes and businesses as possible. Public buses are running. Trash is picked up, and bushes in the many parks and boulevards are manicured. The flowers get watered.