Correspondent / behind the news

Thursday 12 March 2015

Lost in a metal shell

A French Navy HawkEye prepares to take off from the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle operating in the Gulf on February 26, 2015 (AFP PHOTO / PATRICK BAZ) A French Navy HawkEye prepares to take off from the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle operating in the Gulf on February 26, 2015 (AFP PHOTO / PATRICK BAZ)

(AFP Photo / Patrick Baz)


"How do I feel about spending a week on an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf? To be honest, as the prospect takes shape, I can feel myself tensing up," writes AFP's Valerie Leroux. "A week in a metal shell, nine storeys high, trekking up and down mile-long gangways and teetering ladders, to the non-stop soundtrack of Rafale fighters roaring into the air on the deck above? But to hell with claustrophobia, never mind deafening decibels, I decide to go all in and board a plane for Bahrain. I won’t regret it."

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Wednesday 11 March 2015

Tea in the desert with the Saudi king

Inside the palace at Diriyah farms (AFP / Jo Biddle) Inside the palace at Diriyah farms (AFP / Jo Biddle)

(AFP / Jo Biddle)


"Despite the glamorous sounding nature of flying around the world with top US diplomat John Kerry, life on the road often consists of hanging around anonymous hotel rooms or conference centres hoping for a snippet of information about closed-door negotiations," writes AFP State Department correspondent Jo Biddle. "So when the Saudis gave only limited access for the media travelling with Kerry to visit new King Salman in the ancient city of Diriyah, I jumped at the chance."

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