Wednesday 10 September 2014 Eye witness
"Over the course of one year, I have received three letters from Anders Behring Breivik", writes AFP's correspondent in Oslo Pierre Henry-Deshayes. "A quick glance at the envelope is enough to identify the sender. The neat, clean handwriting in block letters is impossible to mistake for anyone else’s. It makes my blood freeze."
Then comes a fundamental question: Should AFP disseminate the contents or not? Obviously, in this type of situation journalists run the risk of being used and abused. On the other hand, people want to know how peaceful Norway could give rise to such a monster. They want to know what that monster is made of.
(AFP Photo / Pierre-Henry Deshayes)
Wednesday 3 September 2014 Eye witness
"At 4:00am in an Ebola hot zone -- when you feel flushed, a little run-down and itchy from the prickly rash developing on your ankle -- paranoia can creep in. Did that kid touch me on the arm? Did that old guy who was spitting everywhere look sick? Did I touch my face before washing my hands after that interview? Is this a headache coming on? Is this a fever?"
Dakar-based reporter Frankie Taggart reports from Kailahun, in Eastern Sierra Leone, one of the worst-hit zones in an epidemic which has killed more than 1,500 people across west Africa.
(AFP Photo / Carl de Souza)
Wednesday 16 July 2014 Eye witness
What happens when too many journalists are trying to nab the same information at the same time? AFP's Roland de Courson gives an insight into the media scrum.
(AFP Photo/Joe Klamar)
Wednesday 16 July 2014 Eye witness
AFP Tokyo reporter Alastair Himmer tried to interview a robot. The robot apparently had other plans.
Thursday 10 July 2014 Eye witness
"As a Uruguayan, it was deeply painful to see our team lose its talisman, the explosive striker who had battled back from knee surgery to restore a glimmer of our little country's faded football glory," writes AFP's chief editor for Latin America, Maria Lorente.
Wednesday 9 July 2014 Eye witness
As China marks 77 years since the official start of the war with Japan, AFP Beijing correspondent Tom Hancock watches a Chinese dance troupe reenact past strife, highlighting China's sometimes-schizophrenic attitudes to its former adversary.
Monday 7 July 2014 Eye witness
"It's true that Russia can be a tough and frankly life-sapping place to live. The seemingly endless winter that begins in the sheer misery of the soggy November darkness; the sometimes inexplicably abrupt behaviour of people in public life; the traffic jams that turn any outing into an operation requiring military planning.
"But I realised I could not imagine anywhere more enthralling on earth."
Former Moscow correspondent Stuart Williams bids farewell to Russia after spending more than five years in the country.
Thursday 3 July 2014 Eye witness
As the countdown to apocalypse elapses, one entrepreneur in China is busy building spherical survival pods suitable for just about any impending disaster. Named in honor of the Biblical Noah, his wooden 'arks' may or may not stay afloat in stormy seas, but they can withstand the shock of head on collision with a truck. Beijing-based AFP correspondent Tom Hancock was on hand for a test drive. (AFP Photo/Ed Jones)
Wednesday 2 July 2014 Eye witness
AFP video journalist Celeste Jones found herself in a jam-packed bar in Manaus, in the heart of the Brazilian rainforest, to film English football fans the night before England’s World Cup match against Italy, on June 13. She experienced soccer sexism first-hand.
(AFP Photo/Raphael Alves)
Wednesday 25 June 2014 Eye witness
(AFP Photo/Pool/Brendan Smialowski)
"So," my neighbor asked casually on as we chatted on her lawn, "are you going with Kerry to Iraq?" My jaw dropped. This was after all three days before we were due to arrive and the visit was supposedly hush-hush. The bosses, and my husband, were the only people in my circle I'd told.
But in the days of Twitter, 24-hour news and social networking, Secretary of State John Kerry's trip to Baghdad on Monday was possibly one of the worst kept secrets in diplomatic history, writes AFP's State Department correspondent, Jo Biddle.
Tuesday 24 June 2014 Eye witness
AFP Madrid correspondent Katell Abiven has been covering Spain for the past four years, coinciding with an unprecedented slide of the Spanish economy from boom into deep crisis. As she prepares to join AFP’s Latin America team in the Montevideo regional hub, Katell looks back at the Spanish economic collapse.
(AFP Photo/Pierre-Philippe Marcou)
Friday 20 June 2014 Eye witness
"In a way, I feel almost like a sportswriter. Having covered Iraq for more than five years, I was wrapping up my story -- mentally, emotionally, socially," writes AFP's Baghdad bureau chief Prashant Rao. "I was due to leave for good in a matter of weeks, and so my match was in its metaphorical 85th minute, my story nearly written.
"Now? It feels like the losing side has suddenly scored three goals and I have no idea what just happened."
(AFP Photo/Karim Sahib)
Wednesday 18 June 2014 Eye witness
Deeply disturbing images show Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants executing soldiers or security force members somewhere in Iraq’s Salaheddin province. They were first uploaded on June 14 and soon appeared on various websites and jihadist Twitter accounts, and they have now been published by AFP and other news agencies.
"Pictures like these clearly amount to extremist propaganda, so should they have been published? For AFP, the answer is yes -- but not without first taking careful precautions to ensure they were not faked," writes AFP blogs editor Roland de Courson. "We also avoided publishing those photos depicting gratuitous violence for its own sake."
Tuesday 17 June 2014 Eye witness
The urgent call from Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service came out of the blue at around 10:00 am. Be at the airport in 30 minutes, a security agent told me," writes AFP Khartoum correspondent Abdelmoneim Abu Idris Ali.
All I knew was that NISS wanted to bring journalists to South Kordofan state, where government forces and rebels have been fighting for three years, and where access is normally tightly controlled.
Wednesday 21 May 2014 Eye witness
AFP journalist Ambre Tosunoglu is a French woman of Turkish descent. Despite her ties to the country -- and the fact that Turkish was her first language -- she said things have gotten more difficult for reporters working for foreign outlets in Turkey.
Monday 19 May 2014 Eye witness
"Before leaving for three weeks to cover the tensions in eastern Ukraine between the army and pro-Russian rebels, I had never covered conflict," writes AFP video reporter Agnes Bun. "Like everyone, I’ve seen films and read books on the subject. And before I left, I’d gotten advice from more-experienced friends and colleagues who’d been in war zones. In February, AFP sent me on a special training for journalists going to hostile environments."
"But what no one had prepared me for were the moments of grace that prevailed between episodes of violence."
Wednesday 14 May 2014 Eye witness
Camille Lepage, the young French journalist slain in the Central African Republic, died in a shoot-out between rival militia. AFP photographer Fred Dufour, who worked with Camille, pays homage to a fallen colleague.
Monday 12 May 2014 Eye witness
"It's early January, and ethnic cleansing is raging in Bangui. Each day lifeless bodies pile up on the pavements. Each day, shots ring out left and right. But today is special, because I am called upon to do a small favour to a young Frenchwoman who is waiting to adopt a child," writes AFP journalist Xavier Bourgois, who visited an orphanage in the Central African Republic. In the months after Bougois met her, the young adoption candidate disappeared.
Sunday 11 May 2014 Eye witness
AFP Montevideo correspondent Ana Ines Cibils covers a president unlike any other. Uruguay's leader shuns the typical trappings of power and has opted to live on his farm with his three-legged dog. His landmark legislation has seen cannabis legalized in the South American country.
Tuesday 22 April 2014 Eye witness
Win Tin, 84, was the country’s longest serving political prisoner and, with Aung San Suu Kyi, co-founded the National League for Democracy. He started his career in the early 1950s as a night editor for AFP in Yangon, before entering into politics after the 1962 coup. AFP's Myanmar correspondent Hla Hla Htay and the former Yangon bureau chief Didier Lauras recently met with Win Tin in his home. (AFP Photo/Ye Aung Thu)