"Who knows why we live, and struggle, and die?... Wise men write many books, in words too hard to understand. But this, the purpose of our lives, the end of all our struggle, is beyond all human wisdom."
—Alan Stewart Paton (1903-88) South African writer, noted for novels Cry, the Beloved Country
- VIDEO: One-minute World News Wed, 17 Dec 2014 14:39:59 GMT
- Watch the latest news summary from BBC World News. International news updated 24 hours a day.
- VIDEO: Talking Movies' top 10 films of 2014 Thu, 18 Dec 2014 01:09:41 GMT
- As the end of 2014 draws near, Talking Movies' Tom Brook picks his top 10 films that have been released in the past year.
- VIDEO: Alan Gross: 'It's good to be home' Wed, 17 Dec 2014 19:43:00 GMT
- American contractor Alan Gross, who was detained by the Cuban authorities five years ago, has described his release as ''a game changer'' in relations between Cuba and the US.
- VIDEO: New footage shows Sydney cafe raid Wed, 17 Dec 2014 10:00:54 GMT
- As new footage emerges of the Sydney cafe siege Australia's prime minister announces a review into how and why the attack happened.
- VIDEO: Female bishop on 'unexpected joy' Wed, 17 Dec 2014 10:29:40 GMT
- The Church of England's first female bishop says she is "honoured and thankful" to be given the role.
- Watch list questions over Sydney gunman Wed, 17 Dec 2014 10:02:16 GMT
- Questions mount over why the Sydney siege gunman was not being monitored more closely, by security agencies or the courts, reports the BBC's Wendy Frew.
- Erdogan battles 'parallel state' in Turkey Wed, 17 Dec 2014 01:02:16 GMT
- A media clampdown has followed allegations of corruption in a turbulent Turkey as criticism of the Erdogan regime mounts, says Mark Lowen.
- Greek vote could spark political turmoil Wed, 17 Dec 2014 01:05:01 GMT
- Greek MPs will vote on a new president on Wednesday but defeat for the government could spark jitters on the markets and a return to political turmoil.
- Can Jeb Bush avoid Mitt Romney's fate? Tue, 16 Dec 2014 22:13:54 GMT
- Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush announces he's "exploring" a presidential bid. Would he be able to navigate the Republican primaries as an establishment candidate better than the 2012 nominee?
- Russians fear return to 1998 crisis Wed, 17 Dec 2014 01:05:16 GMT
- Russia's Central Bank has raised interest rates to 17%, but the rouble has continued to plummet, prompting fears of economic crisis.
- How many attacks on schools around the world? Wed, 17 Dec 2014 15:45:55 GMT
- There have been almost 10,000 attacks on education in recent years
- VIDEO: Taliban attacks in Pakistan - in 60 secs Tue, 16 Dec 2014 18:31:57 GMT
- Tuesday's Peshawar school massacre was the Taliban's deadliest attack in Pakistan, as BBC News explains in 60 seconds.
- Picture power: A scar on the landscape Wed, 17 Dec 2014 01:56:57 GMT
- Photographer Nacho Doce's picture of Brazil's Atibainha dam, as parts of the country ensure the worst drought in 80 years.
- Couples tango for Pope in Rome Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:07:42 GMT
- Hundreds of couples dance a mass tango in Rome's St Peter's Square in honour of Pope Francis' 78th birthday.
- Squirrels are 'climate culprit' Wed, 17 Dec 2014 01:22:31 GMT
- Arctic ground squirrels could play a greater role in climate change than was previously thought, research suggests.