SHANGHAI/SHELTER ISLAND, New York Thomas Benson once ran a small liberal arts college in Vermont. Stephen Gessner served as president of the school board for New York’s Shelter Island.
BROWNSVILLE, Texas The rose-coloured border security fence starts in a dusty field on the Loop family farm in South Texas - about 15 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico and a mile north of the southern U.S. border. | Video
DHAKA Before Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury orchestrated Bangladesh's worst militant attack, he sought and won approval for it from Islamic State.
BAGHDAD In early June, two Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias under the nominal control of the Iraqi government stormed into an Iraqi military airbase north of Baghdad. Driving armoured vehicles and wielding rocket launchers, they took over a building on the base.
JAKARTA When Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama had some of the capital's sprawling slums levelled this spring, Muslim groups including the hardline "Islamic Defenders Front" (FPI) moved in quickly to help some of the city's poorest residents.
DANDONG, China A labour agent sat in his bus on a recent frigid morning, waiting to cross the "Friendship Bridge" at China's main border post with North Korea. He had come to pick up migrant workers and take them to jobs in factories and restaurants in China.
YANGON/WASHINGTON From a remote corner of northeastern Myanmar, an insurgent army sells tin ore to suppliers of some of the world's largest consumer companies.
HARARE In Zimbabwe, where worthless $100 trillion (80.36 trillion pound) notes serve as reminders of the perils of hyperinflation, President Robert Mugabe is printing a new currency that jeopardizes not just the economy but his own long grip on power.
ROME Angelo Trovato is in charge of Italy's asylum-request system, and it shows.
CONSETT, England John Mawson and his wife Sandra live in a cramped one-storey home on a hill near Consett, an old steel town in the north east of England. They have been company directors for years, and between them serve 15 firms. But John had no idea what their companies did until a few years ago, when he looked online. | Video
LONDON Britain must negotiate a staggered departure from the European Union over several years or risk banks leaving the country, the biggest banking lobby group will warn the government in coming weeks, according to sources familiar with the matter.