Muslims around the globe have begun their holiest month of the year by giving up food, drink, smoking and other physical needs from dawn till dusk each day. In many communities, large dinner gatherings are held each evening to break the fast. The month also marks a time for Muslims to reexamine their lives through the prism of Islamic teachings.
After a month of heavy rain saturated mountainsides, a fresh deluge sent landslides sweeping into Seoul last week, killing 59 people. Ten were still reported missing. In a strange compounding of the misery, the landslides and flash flooding washed away landmines buried near an air defense unit in Seoul. Soldiers were searching for those landmines as well as North Korean landmines washed away near the border. A total of 76 landslides of different severity struck after the most intense rainstorm in Korea in the last century. Ten university students lost their lives while volunteering at a summer camp for kids when a landslide struck in Chuncheon. "If it keeps raining like this, no country in the world can endure this," South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said. -- Lane Turner (25 photos total)
One of the worst droughts in a century, compounded by high food prices and unremitting political strife, is spawning an immense humanitarian crisis on the Horn of Africa. Thousands of Somalis are fleeing their homeland each week; most of those who survive the brutal journey end up in refugee camps in neighboring Kenya. Aid agencies are calling it the worst drought in 60 years. Although centered on Somalia, which lacks a functioning government and suffers from constant battles with Islamic rebels, the crisis has also affected people in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda. Reports suggest parts of Somalia may already be on the verge of famine, a repeat of the emergency situation two decades ago. Resources are woefully inadequate. "Desperate hunger is looming across the Horn of Africa and threatening the lives of millions who are struggling to survive in the face of rising food prices and conflict," World Food Programme executive director Josette Sheeran said in a release.
The country continues to mourn and investigate the loss of 68 people killed on the island of Utoya who were attending a youth summer camp of the country's left-wing Labor Party as well as eight killed by a car bomb in Oslo last Friday. Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik is accused of the shootings and attacks. Over the weekend it was reported that more than 100,00 people gathered in Oslo for a flower vigil to remember the victims. -- Lloyd Young (32 photos total)
Not really press images, but still very interesting, enjoy!
Linda married Paul McCartney in 1969, and the two had three children: Mary Anna, (fashion designer/activist) Stella, and James. Linda was a member of Paul’s band, Wings, and she also wrote/recorded music independently (Seaside woman — Suzy and The Red Stripes). Linda was house photographer at the Fillmore East concern hall and shot numerous musicians including the Stones, Doors, Frank Zappa, Kinks, the Who, the Beach Boys, the Byrds, the Beatles etc. During her days as a professional photographer, she published Linda McCartney’s Sixties: Portrait of an Era. As a vegetarian and animal rights activist, Linda wrote several cookbooks, and also created the Linda McCartney Foods company, selling ready made veggie food. Linda famously said «if slaughterhouses had glass walls the whole world would be vegetarian». Sadly, Linda passed away at age 56 from breast cancer.
With the crashes of the first half of the race behind him, Cadel Evans finally ascended to the top step of the Tour de France podium after winning the 2011 edition. Evans had twice finished second. It was a tour of firsts. Evans became the first Australian to win the world's most prestigious bike race, and the brothers Schleck, Andy and Frank, became the first siblings to share the podium, taking second and third, respectively. In an electrifying tour, Evans pulled out the win on the second to last day in the individual time trial, soundly beating both Schlecks to win the three-week race by over a minute and a half. A plucky Frenchman, Thomas Voeckler, had given French fans hope for ten days as he tenaciously clung to the overall lead, only to finally succumb on the grueling climbs of the Alps. He finished fourth overall. Defending champion Alberto Contador, perhaps weakened by his May victory in the exhausting three-week Tour of Italy, or Giro d'Italia, could do no better than fifth. Through it all, the beauty of France shone through. The Big Picture offers special thanks to Veeral Patel for making his photographs available. -- Lane Turner (34 photos total)
In Southern California, the daylight can be harsh, even when the brilliant sunshine filters through a gauzy layer of smog. But in the fleeting moments of day, as early evening melds into twilight, the light softens. This is when the photographer Tom M. Johnson wanders his neighborhood, camera in hand, in search of serendipity. In Lakewood, 20 miles outside of Los Angeles, Mr. Johnson has spent the past decade documenting a town in transition, capturing the intimate details of homes and their inhabitants for his project, “Lakewood: Portraits of a Sacred American Suburb.”
When Atlantis touched down yesterday at Cape Canaveral, Fla., the high-flying era of the space shuttles came down to earth as well. After 30 years, the shuttle program, which began on April 12, 1981 with Colombia, has ended with the 135th mission. Atlantis delivered the Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module packed with supplies and spare parts to the International Space Station, and retrieved a failed pump unit and other items for the return trip. Atlantis went aloft 33 times, logging over 125 million miles. The last shuttle will become a museum exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center. -- Lane Turner (41 photos total)
North Korea in surprising, multifaceted and nuanced views by David Guttenfelder of The Associated Press.
Everywhere I look, Communist North Korea is a world both foreign and familiar to my Korean-American eyes, a place where the men wear Mao suits and children tote Mickey Mouse backpacks, where they call one another “comrade” and love their spicy kimchi...
One hundred years ago yesterday, Hiram Bingham, an assistant professor of Latin American history at Yale University, set out on an expedition to explore the reported ruins known as Machu Picchu with the help of two local Peruvians.