Photo Essays 2011

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epa Photo Essays 2011

A newly arrived Somali refugee boy tries to drink from a cup as he waits in line with his mother at a refugee reception center at Hagadera camp, one of three refugee camps that make up sprawling Dadaab refugee complex in Dadaab town, northeastern Kenya, 05 September 2011. Although the latest figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) shows that the number of refugees arriving in Dadaab in August was slightly less than in July, the number continues to be as high as 1,200 per day.

Famine in Somalia

The UN estimated 3.7 million people, nearly half the Somali population, have been affected by drought-induced famine in addition to insecurity. The famine has now affected 12.4 million people in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. Five areas of Somalia are seeing full-scale famine, and the entire south of the country will likely fall into these most extreme conditions in the coming weeks. Thousands have fled to nearby Kenya and Ethiopia, which are themselves suffering drought. Somalia has been hit by 20 years of conflict. A major obstacle that had held up humanitarian access to Somalia's worst-hit regions in the south was removed after the Islamist militant group al-Shabaab abruptly withdrew last week.

Tibet Landscape and Culture

Tibetans live in harsh beauty on what is known as the roof of the world. The region has thin high-altitude air and a bitter cold climate. Situated north-east of the Himalayan mountain range, the earth’s highest and largest plateau is also home to the earth’s highest mountain. Tibet's people are deeply religious. They travel hundreds of kilometers to pour yak butter at temples, prostrate, circumnavigate and pray at monasteries and sacred sites. The land is also one of nomads and semi-nomads who have for centuries eked out their living depending only on their own fortitude, resilience and indigenous yak for survival.

Tibetan nomads on horse-drawn carts travel towards the Himalayan ranges on the road to the base camp of the earth's highest peak o​f Mt Everest, in the Tibet Autonomous Region, the People's Republic of China, 13 October 2011. Tibet is a vast land of harsh, arid, brown plateaus and​ majestic mountain ranges. Living in the thin air of this high altitude desert are many nomads. Religion is an integral part of life for Tibetans, and​ most partake in religious pilgrimages of hundreds of kilometers to visit the r
A girl plays piano during a Cadet Ball at the Russian Defense Ministry's Culture Center in Moscow, Russia, 20 November 2011. The girls of the Russian Defense Ministry's boarding school for girls take part in this traditional cadet ball. The school which opened on 01 September 2008 provides secondary education for the daughters of Russian servicemen/women. Besides the core curricula, many additional subjects are taught: three foreign languages, dance, sport, art and music. Today the number of pupils amounts

Russian Defense Ministry's Boarding School for Girls

The boarding school for girls was founded as part of the 'Strategy of Social Development of the Russian Federation's Armed Forces for the Period till 2020', based on the idea of the Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov. All the girls are from families of service men/women. According to the school, it provides high-quality secondary education and develops an appreciation of beauty and good taste in arts and culture. Besides the core curricula, many additional subjects are taught: three foreign languages, dance, sport, art and music.

Restoration of German Tanks from World War II

A total of 15 German tanks are being restored in the repair facilities of the Bulgarian Army. All the tanks were manufactured by 1943. One of the most valuable exhibits is a Jagdpanzer T4 L 48, which is unique in Bulgaria and is one of seven in the world. Bulgaria became a German ally in 1941 and the tanks were donated to the Bulgarian army of the Third Ukrainian Front during WWII. After the war Bulgaria became a people’s republic with a communist regime under the Soviet sphere of influence. Hundreds of German and Soviet tanks were entrenched along Bulgaria’s southeastern border with Turkey.

A military mechanic in the process of repairing a German Panzer T4 at the repair facilities of the Bulgarian Army in Sliven, some 300km from Sofia, Bulgaria, 25 November 2011. A total of 15 German tanks of the types Panzer T3 and T4 are being restored in the repair facilities of the Bulgarian Army. All the tanks were manufactured by 1943. One of the most valuable exhibits is a Jagdpanzer T4 L 48, which is unique in Bulgaria and is one of seven in the world. Once the restoration work is complete the tanks ar
A man walks by a graffiti-filled wall in the center of Athens, Greece, 14 November 2011. Graffiti is a reflection of contemporary situatio​ns and public sentiment, and the deep crisis and recession in Greece, coupled with heavy austerity, is an inspiration for street artists in the Greek ​capital. EPA/ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU

Greece Street Arts

Graffiti is a reflection of contemporary situations and public sentiment, and the deep crisis and recession in Greece, coupled with heavy austerity, is an inspiration for street artists in the Greek capital. Predominantly young artists are finding a way to vent their country’s anxieties and nervous energy on the dreary walls of run-down buildings. Politically salient pieces abound with puns on ‘debt’, ‘crisis’ and the ‘euro’ in many of the works. Despite the hard economic times, the art scene in general is reportedly thriving with high numbers of gallery visitors.

Grape Harvest in Tokaj

Most of the Tokaj wine-growing region, around twelve thousand hectares, is situated in Hungary, with close to one thousand hectares extending into neighbouring Slovakia. Consequently, the use of the 'Tokaj' name has been a source of dispute between Hungary and Slovakia. Ten pictures are from Jaroslav Ostorozovic's vineyard in the Slovakian part of the Tokaj wine-growing region near Mala Trna, Slovakia. Sixteen pictures are from the 107-hectare Royal Tokaji Wine Co. which was founded in 1989, is situated within the Hungarian part of the Tokaj wine-growing region.

A worker harvests yellow muscat grapes in the first class Nyulaszo vineyard of Royal Tokaji Wine Co. in Mad, some 219 kms northeas​t of Budapest, Hungary, 03 October 2011. The 107-hectare Royal Tokaji Wine Co. which was founded in 1989, is situated within the 12,000-hectare Hungar​ian part of the Tokaj wine-growing region, of which close to 1,000 hectares lies in neighbouring Slovakia. Consequently, the use of the 'Tokaj' name h​as been a source of dispute between Hungary and Slovakia. EPA/ATTILA BALAZS HUN
Two female members of the Knights of the Southern Cross of the Ku Klux Klan (KSCKKK) dawn their robes and hoods inside the home of a KSCKKK member just before the start of a cross lighting ceremony on private property near Powhatan, Virginia, USA, 28 May 2011. The Invisible Empire is experiencing a revival in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Three chapters of the Ku Klux Klan have reemerged in the state, holding rallies, lighting crosses, and seeking new members. Anger over gay rights, racial changes in the po

KKK: The Invisible Empire

The Invisible Empire is experiencing a revival in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Three chapters of the Ku Klux Klan have reemerged, holding rallies, lighting crosses, and seeking new members. Anger over gay rights, racial changes in the population, and a black president are frequent refrains at these rallies. Yet Klan members say they are not about hate, but about taking pride in their own race. 'The blacks have the NAACP, the Mexicans La Raza, and the Jews have the ADL,' says Stan Martin of the Rebel Brigade Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. 'We whites have the Ku Klux Klan.'

Tobacco Manufacturing

The tobacco factory of Continental Dohanyipari Zrt. (Continental Tobacco Corp.) lies in Satoraljaujhely, 247 kms northeast of Budapest, Hungary. Continental is the only tobacco company that remained in Hungarian ownership after the collapse of the communist economic system. The products manufactured by 250 workers of its 120 year old tobacco factory are exported to twelve countries in Europe.

The scent of pressed and sliced tobacco plugs is checked by production and product development manager Istvan Vincze in the tobacc​o factory of Continental Dohanyipari Zrt. (Continental Tobacco Corp.) in Satoraljaujhely, 247 km northeast of Budapest, Hungary, 20 September 2011. Co​ntinental is the only tobacco company that remained in Hungarian ownership after the collapse of the communist economic system. The products manufactu​red by 250 workers of its 120 year old tobacco factory are exported to twelve c
Sliced sugar-beet is forwarded by a conveyor belt in the sugar factory of Magyar Cukor (Hungarian Sugar) Corp., an affiliate of th​e Austrian owned Agrana Group, in Kaposvar, 180 km southwest of Budapest, Hungary, 19 September 2011. The factory, the only one remaining sugar factor​y following the privatization of the Hungarian sugar industry in the 1990s, produces 105 thousand tons of sugar from 900 thousand tons of sugar-beet. ​ EPA/GYORGY VARGA HUNGARY OUT

Sugar Beet Processing

Autumn is traditionally the season of the harvest and processing of sugar-beet in Hungary where the only one remaining sugar factory following the privatization of the Hungarian sugar industry in the 1990s functions in Kaposvar. The plant is owned by Magyar Cukor (Hungarian Sugar) Corp., an affiliate of the Austrian owned Agrana Group.

The Invasion of Afghanistan - 10th Anniversary

On 07 October 2001 the USA launched Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in response to the terrorist attacks. The stated goal was to dismantle Al Qaeda and end its use of Afghanistan as a base. The military campaign also aimed to remove the ruling Taliban regime from power and create a viable democratic state. At the end of 2001, the ISAF, which includes troops from 42 countries, was mandated to secure Kabul and its surroundings. During ten years of war over 2,000 coalition soldiers have been killed and thousands more wounded. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Afghans have lost their lives.

A file picture dated 13 January 2002 shows Afghan refugee children peer through a fence in a makeshift refugee camp in the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan. The tenth anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan is marked on 07 October 2011. On 07 October 2001 the United States of America launched Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in response to the terrorist attacks on the United States of 09 September 2001. The stated goal was to dismantle the Al Qaeda terrorist organization and end its use of Afghan
Attendants of the groom walk to the bride's home in Lesonkoyo village to pick her up, on the wedding day of the Maasai chief councillor, or 'Olaiguenani lenkashe', who represents their age group, near Kilo village, Mashuuru District, some 150km south of the capital of Nairobi, Kenya, 20 August 2011. Twenty five-year-old Lesian Ole Lasiti Maante, the leader of the Kaputei Maasai community's Il Kibulu age group, married Nelly Nkurunka from a nearby village of Lesonkoyo to enter the elderhood and start the fam

The Maasai Wedding

On 20 August 2011, 25-year-old chief councillor of the Kaputei Maasai community's Il Kibulu age group Lesian Ole Lasiti Maante married 18-year-old Nelly Nkurunka to enter the elderhood, start the family and build the wealth in form of cattle and children, in Mashuuru District, south of Nairobi, Kenya. Although the traditional Maasai wedding ceremonies involve more elaborate processes with rituals and courtesies, the modern day Maasai are opting for simpler and more contemporary ceremony styles, partly incorporating elements of Christian weddings such as the presence of bridal ministers.

Seasonal Day-Workers in Eastern Hungary

Seasonal day-workers are the worst-paid occasional labourers, paid by the day. Their workday used to be measured from sunrise to sunset, but nowadays, only the start of their working day adheres to the sun, as this is the most suitable for the agricultural industry that employs most day-workers. With most seasonal agricultural work needing extra workers being during harvesting in the summer, working days that begin at 6 am and end at 2 pm are quite suitable, avoiding the worst of the afternoon heat.

A bucket of peaches is emptied into a container by a day-worker in a peach orchard at a 150 hectare fruit-farm in Tiszadob, some ​200 km east of Budapest, Hungary, 22 August, 2011. In season, some 15 to 20 seasonal day-workers are brought here from Tiszavasvari, 18 km to the sout​h, for various seasonal agricultural work. EPA/ATTILA BALAZS
Japanese 'Taishu Engeki' theater actor Rui Birei watches a performance backstage at a theater in Kobe city, Hyogo prefecture, Japan, 20 July 2011. During a one month schedule the actors perform new routines every day, requiring the performers to know over 200 theater skits. The actors are members of a theater troupe that spends most of the year traveling around Japan performing at small theaters and hot springs resorts. 'Taishu Engeki' which literally means 'theater of the masses' is a kind of cabaret or va

Japanese Taishu Engeki Theater Group

Translated into English as 'Theater for the Masses', it is a kind of working class people's Kabuki theater. Having the same cultural origins as Kabuki, Taishu Engeki was traditionally popular with the working class people. Just as in Kabuki, male actors perform male and female roles, but Taishu Engeki is more spontaneous, lighthearted and easier to understand for the viewer than Kabuki. Similar to Western cabaret or variety theater shows, the performances consist of traditional parody, comedy, and cloak and dagger acts, followed by song and dance routines, both traditional and modern.

The Resurgence of Outdoor Baptisms in the US

One of the American South's most symbolic religious traditions is making a comeback. Outdoor baptisms, popularized in the 18th century by African slaves, had all but disappeared by the 1950s with the rise of indoor baptismal pools. Yet an increasing number of Baptist churches are forsaking the safety and convenience of these pools for nearby rivers, lakes, oceans, and even fire hoses. 'It's a re-discovery,' says Gregory Hughes, Pastor of True Life Ministries, which holds an annual ocean baptism in St. Simon’s Island, Georgia. 'It's a way to embrace tradition while renewing our spirit.'

Reverend Larry Dentler of the Bermudian Church of the Brethren baptizes Joel Miller in a creek behind their church in East Berlin, Pennsylvania, USA, 26 June, 2011. Like the Amish and Mennonites, the Brethren immigrated to central Pennsylvania in the 18th century after fleeing religious persecution in Germany. In the US they became known as 'Dunkers,' a term derived from the German tunken, 'to dip or immerse,' that characterized the church's baptismal method. One of the American South's most symbolic religi
A family of the Bajau Laut ethnic group have a meal at their stilt house just off Bodgaya Island in the Celebes Sea, near Semporna, east coast of Sabah state, Borneo, Malaysia, 30 June 2011. The Bajau, or Bajaw, are an indigenous ethnic group of Maritime Southeast Asia. Due to escalated conflicts in their native Sulu Archipelago, and discrimination suffered by Muslim groups in the Philippines with regards to education and employment, most of the Bajau have migrated to neighboring Malaysia over the course of

The Bajau of the Celebes Sea

The Bajau, or Bajaw, who live near Semporna, east coast of Sabah state, Borneo, Malaysia, are an indigenous ethnic group of Maritime Southeast Asians. Due to escalated conflicts in their native Sulu Archipelago, and discrimination suffered by Muslim groups in the Philippines with regards to education and employment, most of the Bajau have migrated to neighbouring Malaysia over the course of 50 years. Currently they are the second largest ethnic group in the state of Sabah, making up 13.4 per cent of the total population.

Surf Industry in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa

For more than 40 years the waves of Jeffreys Bay have enticed surfers from all over the world to visit the southern tip of Africa to ride the legendary Supertubes, universally acknowledged as one of the top 10 high performance surf breaks on the planet. Not only has it been a perennial contender for world's best wave status; it's seen extraordinary social development in recent decades, with massive growth of its tourist industry matched by similar growth in the importance of surfing to the local economy and the now booming surf industry.

Fursman surfboards are seen on display in the mega Quicksilver surf store in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa, 20 July 2011. The surf zo​ne known as 'J-Bay' to virtually every surfer on the planet is as complex as its name is simple. Not only has it been a perennial contender for world'​s best wave status; it's seen extraordinary social development in recent decades, with massive growth of its tourist industry matched by similar growt​h in the importance of surfing to the local economy and the now booming surf in
A blood sample is taken from Sibu to check his immunity levels at a hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal, 03 August 2011. Thirty-five year-​old Sibu Giri has been living with HIV for the last decade. Since 2003 he has been working as a board member and advocacy officer for non-governmental​ organization Nava Kiran Plus (NKP). NKP's partners include the Danish Embassy, the Japanese Embassy and the Department for International Development ​(DFID) of the UK government. EPA/NARENDRA SHRESTHA

Living with HIV in Nepal

Thirty-five year-old Sibu Giri has been living with HIV for the last decade. He contracted the virus through the use of infected needles. People used to know him as a junkie (drug user), and when he told his family members and friends that he infected, all he got in response was neglect. He was convinced he would die within two years.

Festival of the Dragon in Bodvalenke, Hungary

The village of Bodvalenke is situated close to Hungary's border with Slovakia, in a poor region stricken by unemployment and social tensions. An annual Festival of the Dragon aims to draw on the two specialties of Bodvalenke: Roma arts and culture and ecotourism in the protected wetlands surrounding the village. Following last year's success, hopes were high for the 2011 event, but the number of visitors was but a tenth of the expected. Many spent all their savings on preparing for the festival, but the mere hundred visitors were not enough to recuperate their investment.

A local woman prepares food for visitors to the Festival of the Dragon, a celebration of Roma art, painting, music and dancing, he​ld for the second time this year in Bodvalenke, some 240 kms northeast of Budapest, Hungary, 09 July 2011. The village is known for the frescoes decor​ating the walls of many of its houses. EPA/ATTILA BALAZS
A Somali mother holds her severely malnourished baby boy at a clinic run by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in Dagahaley camp, one of three camps that make up sprawling Dadaab refugee camp in Dadaab, northeastern Kenya, 17 June 2011. According to MSF, the malnutrition rate among newly arrived infants in Dadaab is nine percent, while three percent of them are severely so that they are at risk of death. The Dadaab refugee camp, the largest refugee complex in the world set up at the start of Somalia's civil war

Dadaab Refugee Camp: 20 Years On

The Dadaab refugee camp, the largest refugee complex in the world set up at the start of Somalia's civil war in 1991 with a capacity to accommodate 90,000 refugees, is now overpopulated with ever increasing influx of new arrivals from Somalia who fled their embattled homeland to seek refuge in Kenya. The UNHCR agency estimates the number of new arrivals to be more than 10,000 every month. Reports state that the overall population of the camp is close to 400,000 as of June 2011. The Kenyan government is reluctant to expand it as this may encourage more refugees to enter the country for protracted settlement.

Digging a Water Well

Nepal’s capital Kathmandu has a growing population of about one million in the total municipal area of 50.67 sq km, according to the 2010 census. With the ever increasing population in the valley, people have been facing an acute water crisis in recent years. The Nepal government plans to launch the Melmchi water supply project by 2015 that aims to relief the acute water crisis in the capital. Rishi Dev Yadav, a migrant worker from Inarwa district in eastern Nepal had to leave his wife and two sons behind in search for work opportunities. The last three years he has been digging wells in the capital of Kathmandu.

A group of people looks down as Nepalese laborer Rishi Dev Yadav (unseen), aged 28, digs a well for a water source at around 35 feet (about 10.6 m) underground in Kathmandu, Nepal, 15 June 2011. Rishi Dev Yadav, a migrant worker from Inarwa district in eastern Nepal had to leave his wife and two sons behind in search for work opportunities. The last three years he has been digging wells in the capital of Kathmandu. Rishi receives a wage of 2,500 Nepalese rupees (35 USD) for each well which is hardly enough
Foster children from the girl orphanage talk after a church service at the Nikolo-Solbinsky Convent, in Yaroslavl region, some 180​ km north of Moscow, Russia, 21 May 2011. Thirty orphans and children from problem families live in the girl orphanage of the Nikolo-Solbinsky nunnery​. The forster children study in a school of the nunnery which gives standard primary and secondary school as well as religious education. Special atte​ntion is also paid to music, arts and handiwork education. EPA/SERGEI CHIRIKOV

Solba: Nikolo-Solbinsky Girl Orphanage

The Nikolo-Solbinsky Convent opened the orphanage for girls in 2007. The nunnery is situated deep in forests of the Yaroslavl region, far from even small towns and villages, some 180 km north from Moscow. The orphanage began when an elderly faithful woman left three orphans in the care of the nuns. Thereupon more and more children were brought to the nunnery. Some of the children were orphans; others lived in families of drug addicts and alcoholics or had imprisoned parents. The convent helps the children confront their personal problems and prepare them for their life to come.

Csango Summer Lifestyle

Most of the Csango people, a Hungarian ethnic group of Roman Catholic faith, live in the Romanian region of Moldavia where they moved from Transylvania between the 12th and 17th century. A smaller group however lives in the Tatros valley in the Ghimes Mountains of Romania. From spring to late autumn, Csango families in the Ghimes move to summer cottages in the high mountain forests and pastures of the upper Tatros valley from their winter villages, where they herd animals and make dairy products. The Csango population is estimated at about 60,000 people in Romania.

A Ghimes Csango man stores cheese ready to be smoked on shelves in his summer cottage in the Ghimes Mountains in Romania, 10 June 2011. The Csango people are a Hungarian ethnic group of Roman Catholic faith, living mostly in the Romanian region of Moldavia where they moved from Transylvania between the 12th and 17th century. A smaller group, however, lives in the Ghimes Mountains of Romania, where, from spring to late autumn, they move to summer cottages in the high mountain forests and pastures of the uppe
This file picture is part of a retrospective feature package on occasion of the first anniversary of the 19 May 2010 crackdown by the Thai military on anti-government protesters in Bangkok's central shopping district Ratchaprasong. The military offensive followed more than six weeks of the area's occupation by members of the political group National United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), commonly called 'Red Shirts', who receive support from ousted Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The

Thailand Military Crackdown Anniversary

On 19 May 2010 saw a crackdown by the Thai military on anti-government protesters in Bangkok. The military offensive followed more than six weeks of occupation by members of the political group National United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), commonly called 'Red Shirts', who receive support from ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The crackdown cost the lives of dozens of people and ensued in several arson attacks nationwide. One year on, incumbent Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has dissolved the parliament, and elections are tentatively scheduled for 03 July 2011.

Hungry Ghost Festival in Malaysia

The Ghost Festival is a traditional Chinese festival and holiday celebrated by Chinese in many countries. During the festival, they prepare ritualistic food offerings, burn incense, paper-crafts offerings or joss paper and hell bank notes for the visiting spirits of the ancestors who seek food and entertainment. They believe that during the seventh lunar month, the gates of Hell are open for the ghosts to wander in and be fed in the earthly realm. These ghosts are believed to be ancestors of those who forgot to pay tribute to them after they died, or those who were never given a proper ritual send-off.

An Ethnic Chinese lights a candle during the Hungry Ghost Festival in Kajang, outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 05 August 2011. Acco​rding to Chinese tradition, the seventh month in the Chinese lunar calendar is called the ghost month, in which ghosts and spirits are believed to com​e out from hell to visit earth. EPA/AHMAD YUSNI
Thai singers and artists destroy counterfeit CD movies and cassettes at Bang Pu industrial area in the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand on F​riday 30 June 2006. Thai authorities destroyed confiscated 1.6 million pieces of counterfeit goods like video CDs, karaoke, MP3, computer programs, wa​tches, signature RTW, and others items, worth 132 millions bahts (2.75 million euros). EPA/NARONG SANGNAK

Counterfeit Goods in Thailand

Ubiquitous streets stalls do a booming trade in fake brand-name garments, bags, watches, shoes, mobile phones, electrical gadgets, cosmetics, Viagra and other bogus medicines in Bangkok, Thailand. The multi-billion dollar illicit trade in counterfeit goods, with an estimated value at 7-10 per cent of world trade, is a sophisticated, fast-moving, globalized industry, often dealing in high-quality products via well-established delivery networks including the Internet. Thailand, once a major manufacturer of counterfeits, has in recent years become more of an importer nation and regional hub for fakes.

The Living Goddess of Patan

A Kumari is a 'living goddess'. Kumaris are young pre-pubescent girls that are considered to be incarnations of the Hindu Goddess of Power, Kali. They are worshipped in Nepal by both Hindus and Buddhists. Samita Bajracharya was appointed the new Kumari of Patan City after her predecessor reached puberty, which means that she is considered ritually unclean. The Kumari is often confined to her home, but there are some days when she is allowed to appear in front of the public. Yet she has to be carried from her from home to the events, never allowing her feet to touch the ground as this is considered unlucky.

Kumari Samita Bajracharya wears makeup before attending a festival, at Kumari Ghar in Patan City, Nepal, 07 April 2011. A Kumari, or Kumari Devi, is a ‘living goddess’. The world literally means virgin in Nepali. The Living Goddesses are young pre-pubescent girls that are considered to be incarnations of the Hindu Goddess of Power, Kali. They are worshipped in Nepal by both Hindus and Buddhists. Samita Bajracharya was appointed the new Kumari of Patan City after her predecessor, Chanira Bajracharya, then ag
A worker collects salt on a salt field in Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam, 14 April 2011. Salt has been an important source of national revenue in Vietnam for centuries. In recent years, Vietnams salt industry has experienced some ups and downs that have resulted in redundancies and losses to the state budget. Due to falling domestic salt output and value, the country has to import salt to meet demand. In 2011, an expected 182,000 tons of salt will have to be imported despite inventories of salt in 2010. Khanh

Salt Harvesting in Khanh Hoa Province, Viet Nam

Salt has been an important source of national revenue in Vietnam for centuries. In recent years, Vietnam’s salt industry has experienced some ups and downs that have resulted in redundancies and losses to the state budget. Due to falling domestic salt output and value, the country has to import salt to meet demand. In 2011, an expected 182,000 tons of salt will have to be imported despite inventories of salt in 2010. Khanh Hoa Province is a coastal province located in the South Central Coast. It is also known for its agarwood production.

Desertification in China

Inner Mongolia is fighting severe desertification, much like the provinces of Xinjiang, Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Heilongjiang and Hebei. Over-grazing, logging, deforestation of land for expanding farms and population pressure, along with droughts have steadily turned vast fertile grasslands into sandy dunes. Desertification of China's land has caused grave economic losses as farmers abandon parched lands and worsened rural poverty. Winds from the desert whipped up sandstorms across the country which combined with air pollutants spreads as far as Japan and North America.

Mongolian ethnic minority farmer Mrs Gao carries poplar tree saplings for planting in the Taminchagan desert, in Kunlun Qi in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China, 23 April 2011. The farmer and her family have been planting trees around their land, buying saplings on their own, in an effort to protect their crops from the encroaching sands of the desert. Inner Mongolia, China’s third largest province, is fighting severe desertification, much like the provinces of Xinjiang, Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia
A picture made available on 14 February shows a northern red fox taking a fresh fish after looting at a winter feeding field of Japanese red-crowned cranes in Akan, northern Japan, 12 January 2010. The crane, a species of animal designated for special protection, survive at marshland of eastern Hokkaido, Japanese northern island, in spring, summer and autumn and move to feeding fields in winter as it' s difficult to take feed at frozen river and marshland in winter. About 1,000 cranes survive in the eastern

Winter Wildlife on Hokkaido

The cranes overwinter on a river that does not freeze to protect themselves from their natural enemies like foxes, weasels, crows, Steller's sea eagles, white-tailed eagles and others. The Steller’s sea eagle and the white-tailed eagle are protected and designated as National Treasure in Japan. The Steller's sea eagle lives in northeastern Russia, on the Kamchatka Peninsula, the coastal area of the Sea of Okhotsk and travels south for winter. Their population is estimated at around 5,000-7,000 all over the world. About 2,000 of them travel to northern Japan to overwinter.

Nirox Arts Foundation and Artists' Residence

NIROX, is a private foundation established four years ago to cultivate arts in South Africa. The property is set on 15 hectares of land in a private nature reserve in South Africa's Cradle of Humankind, a World Heritage Site some 50 km north of Johannesburg. The Arts Foundation directed by Benji Liebmann includes a sculpture park laid out across the natural landscape, as well as an artist-in-residence programme for locally and internationally renowned artists. NIROX artists have included, amongst others, William Kentridge, Edoardo Villa, Marlene Dumas, and Auke de Vries.

A wild monkey (R) looks through the window of the studio of Congolese artist Steve Bandoma at NIROX, a private foundation established four years ago to cultivate the arts in South Africa located in a private nature reserve in South Africa's Cradle of Humankind, a World Heritage Site some 50 km north of Johannesburg, South Africa, 11 April 2011. NIROX, directed by Benji Liebmann is open to the public for special events, exhibitions, and concerts and includes a sculpture park laid out across the natural lands
A gas mask is seen in the deserted town of Pripyat, near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine, 22 March 2011. On 26 April 1986, a nuclear accident occurred at Unit 4 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the former Ukrainian Republic of the Soviet Union. Twenty-five years after the Chernobyl disaster, the contaminated zone with the abandoned town of Pripyat has become a popular tourist destination for numerous visitors. Pripyat was built in 1970 to house employees of the nearby Chernobyl Nuclear Pow

Chernobyl 25 Years On

On 26 April 1986 an explosion occurred at Unit 4 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Ukrainian SSR, now Ukraine, causing a subsequent fire to rage through the building. Large quantities of radioactive contamination went into the atmosphere and spread over much of Western Russia and Europe. Nearby villages as well as a 30 km zone around the damaged plant had to evacuate as radiation levels reached lethal levels.
26 April 2011 marks the 25th anniversary of the disaster.

First Anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

An explosion on board the mobile offshore drilling rig Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico on 20 April 2010 had triggered the worst oil spill in US history. An estimated five million barrels of oil spewed into the Gulf from the underwater leak, killing countless birds and sea animals and bringing down fishery in the region. It took BP months to plug the leaking oil well.

A brown pelican paralyzed by the weight of heavy crude oil that has ruined habitat from the blown out BP Deepwater Horizon well is rescued by P.J. Hahn on Queen Bess Island near Grand Isle, Louisiana, USA, 05 June 2010. The Deepwater Horizon off shore oil platform exploded into flames on 20 April 2010 resulting the deaths of 11 oil workers and sank two days later. Since that day oil from the well 42 miles off the coast of Louisiana has spewed into the Gulf of Mexico. As the oil moved inland hundreds of addi
Ethnic Roma beauty contest participants wait in line to present their evening outfit during 'Miss Piranda 2011' Roma beauty contes​t, in Bucharest, 28 March 2011. The jury, composed of six local celebrities, awards points based not only the beauty of the contender girls, but on th​eir belly dancing skills too. EPA/ROBERT GHEMENT

Miss Piranda - Gipsy Queen Beauty Contest

The Miss Piranda or Gipsy Queen beauty contest takes place on a yearly basis. The 2011 edition saw 34 candidates take part. To enter the contest participants should not be married, and if under 18 year old, they need their parents approval to compete. The jury, composed of six local celebrities, awards points based not only the beauty of the contender girls, but on their belly dancing skills too. Eventually, 15 Miss Piranda hopefuls made it through to the final round. But it was finally Pucean Cristina, a 19-year-old student at the Traian Technical High School, that would win the crown of Miss Piranda 2011.

Reindeer Racing in Inari, Finland

When autumn arrives reindeers are separated. Some go to the slaughterhouse, other are kept for breeding and a few males are neutered and trained as work reindeers, mainly for pulling sledges and racing. Once that has been done, local breeder cooperatives like to find out who owns the fastest and strongest reindeer. With the onset of spring, the cooperatives hold meetings to review the events of the past year. And that is the right time to have some fun and race the reindeer and find who has got the fastest beast. Nowadays the races take place as part of the Reindeer Cup.

Reindeers race with their jockeys during the Reindeer Cup Championship Drives 2011 in Inari, Lapland, northern Finland, 19 March 2011. There are 51 Reindeer Herding Cooperatives in Finland of which 20 took part in the 2011 Cup. When autumn arrives reindeers are separated. Some go to the slaughterhouse, other are kept for breeding and a few males are neutered and trained as work reindeers, mainly for pulling sledges and racing. Once that has been done, local breeder cooperatives like to find out who owns the
Japanese tsunami survivor, Makoto Endo, 69, a scallop and silver salmon fisherman, removes mud as he helps to clean the house of his friend Hiroshi Sasaki (not pictured) in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan, 22 March 2011. Endo was preparing to work with his friends Sasaki and Watanabe on 11 March 2011 when a magnitude 9.0 earthquake hit. The men climbed to safety as a tsunami flooded the fishing town of Ishinomaki, sweeping away houses and cars. Endo's house, his four fishing boats, his cars an

Makoto Endo - Tsunami Survivor

Makoto Endo, 69, is a scallop and silver salmon fisherman in the town of Ishinomaki, about 350km north of Tokyo. With his friends Hiroshi Sasaki, 61, a shijimi (common fresh water clam) fisherman and Hiroshi Watanabe, 62, a former contractor, Endo was preparing to work when a magnitude 9.0 earthquake hit on 11 March 2011. The men climbed to safety as the tsunami flooded the harbor below, sweeping away houses and cars. Endo was joined by his wife Junko, 59, several hours later, but his house, his four fishing boats, his cars and his fishery had been all swept away by the waves.

Hungary Toxic Mud Disaster - Six Months Later

On 04 October 2010 the dam of a waste reservoir of the aluminum producer MAL AG collapsed. Around 700,000 cubic meters of a toxic red substance spilled over several localities, mainly affecting Kolontar and Devecser. Ten people died and 300 were injured, more than 350 houses were destroyed and contaminated. The toxic red substance flooded and contaminated one thousand hectares of territory. It also affected the rivers Marcal and Torna, destroying most of the wildlife.
Six months later towns remain ruined and largely deserted.

A contaminated house is seen in Kolontar, 167 km southwest of Budapest, Hungary, 05 April 2011. On 04 October 2010 the dam of a waste reservoir of the aluminum producer MAL burst AG collapsed. About 700,000 cubic meters of a toxic red substance spilled over several localities, mainly affecting Kolontar and Devecser. Ten people died and 300 were injured, more than 350 houses were destroyed and contaminated. The one million cubic meters of toxic red substance flooded and contaminated one thousand hectares of
A file photo dated 09 September 2006 shows Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi as he delivers a speech during the celebrations marking the seventh anniversary of the creation of the African Union (AU) in Sirte, Libya. Born in 1942 in Sirte, then Italian Libya, into a Bedouin family, Gaddafi went to a military academy and joined an anti-monarchy conspiracy, which brought him into power by coup d'etat against King Idris on 01 September 1969. His 41-year rule as 'Leader of the Revolution' may now come to a violent e

Muammar Gaddafi Retrospective

Muammar Gaddafi was born in 1942 in Sirte, then Italian Libya, into a Bedouin family. Gaddafi went to a military academy and joined an anti-monarchy conspiracy which brought him into power by coup d'état against King Idris on 01 September 1969. His 41-year rule as 'Leader of the Revolution' may now come to a violent end as uprisings have spread to Libya from neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt. While protesters are taking control of Libyan cities and the UN and many Western states impose sanctions, 68-year-old Gaddafi is still fighting to maintain his grip on the country.

Container Community Centre for China Migrant Children

In March 2011, China launched a campaign to improve the lives of the country's 242 million migrant workers and ensure their rights and interests. It calls for improvements in vocational training and consultation, legal and cultural services, psychological counseling and children's education for migrant workers and their families. Migrant workers in Chinese cities are generally poorly educated and are subjected to various difficulties of low pay, inadequate social security, and discrimination and their children suffer from a lack of proper schools and education resources.

A migrant girl does her homework in a newly opened community centre built by non-profit organization Compassion for Migrant Children (CMC) in a migrant community in Beijing, China, 24 March 2011. CMC started the mobile community centre for migrant children and their families from shipping containers custom made to fit as classrooms, computer labs, and offices. This is the first time the non-profit organization sets up a new container community centre to cater to the growing needs of migrant workers in the c
An exterior view of the Main Hall at the Motsuji Temple in Hiraizumi, Iwate Prefecture, northeastern Japan, 12 May 2011. Hiraizumi reached its cultural peak in the 12th century by assimilating cultural trends from the capital Kyoto into its Buddhist temples and pure land gardens to be recognized as a unique example of regional culture during Japan's medieval age. The area features several temples and ruins dating from the 11th to the 12th centuries. An advisory panel to UNESCO has recommended registering th

Iwate's Historic Hiraizumi Area

Hiraizumi reached its cultural peak in the 12th century by assimilating cultural trends from the capital Kyoto into its Buddhist temples and pure land gardens to be recognized as a unique example of regional culture during Japan's medieval age. The area features several temples and ruins dating from the 11th to the 12th centuries. The possible registration of the historic Hiraizumi area in Iwate Prefecture as the first World Heritage site in north-eastern Japan would be a boost to the region which was devastated by the 11 March quake and tsunami. The UNESCO is expected to make the announcement in June.

Pakistan 2010 Flash Floods - Retrospective

After a heavy spell of monsoon rains in Khyber Pakhtu, Punjab, Gilgit-Baltistan, Sindh and Balochistan regions at the end of July 2010, the Indus River burst its banks with devastating effects. The floods affected around 20 million people, causing widespread destruction of property and infrastructure. Half a year after the floods began, the inhabitants of the affected regions are doing what they can to rebuild and start living their lives once again. In this part of the world where poverty was already widespread before the floods, people are doing what they can to return to their previous standard of living.

A file picture dated 07 August 2010 shows flood victims as they jostle for food distributed by Army helicopters in flooded areas near Muzaffargarh in the southern Punjab province, Pakistan. More than four million Pakistanis are still homeless approximately half a year after floods devastated Pakistan. EPA/MK CHAUDHRY
An elephant walks near a waterhole in Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, adjacent to Tsavo West National Park, Coast Province, Kenya, 11 February 2011, during the Elephant Census conducted by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). More than 100 conservation officials from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Southern Sudan gathered in Tsavo to conduct a six-day aerial census of elephants and other large mammals in the Tsavo (Kenya)-Mkomazi (Tanzania) Ecosystem in an effort to establish the populations and trends of animals

Elephant Census in Kenya

More than 100 conservation officials from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Southern Sudan gathered in Tsavo, Kenya, to conduct a six-day aerial census of elephants and other large mammals in the Tsavo- Mkomazi Ecosystem in an effort to establish the populations and trends of animals to help the authorities in making conservation and management policies for the ecosystem. Nine aircrafts from KWS and other wildlife NGOs were deployed to survey an area of 46,437 sq km, divided into 43 blocks, and count the total number of elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, rhinos, lions, ostriches and such.

Ras Lanuf Junction

In February 2011 a rebellion against the 42-year-long rule of Libyan leader Gaddafi took place. The protests began peacefully but soon escalated into violent confrontation. Within a few days one town after another slipped from the Libyan leader’s grip. After a brief hiatus, important oil towns such as Ras Lanuf fell to rebels advancing from Benghazi and pledging to march on to Gaddafi’s home town of Sirte and, ultimately, the capital Tripoli. One of the hardest battles was the one of the town of Ras Lanuf where days of fierce fighting by the Libyan Army and rebels took place.

A file picture dated 09 March 2011 shows a rebel fighter holding a Koran, hand-grenade and machette as the rebel fighters held position near Bin Jawad, Libya. On 17 February 2011 a rebellion against the42-year-long rule of Libyan leader, Colonel Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi took place. The protests against began peacefully but soon escalated into violent confrontation, giving the Libyan revolt a more bloody character than those in Tunisia and Egypt. One of the hardest battles was the one of the town of Ras L
A photograph released on 26 January 2011, ahead of International Holocaust Remembrace Day, which falls on 27 January 2011, shows Holocaust survivor sititing in the garden of the Shaar Menashe Mental Health Center in Pardes Hanna, Israel, 20 October 2010, where patients are allowed to smoke cigarettes. Israel maintains the Shaar Menashe Mental Health Center solely for Holocaust survivors, which now holds some 70 patients. Most of the Israelis here suffered trauma as children during World War II and survived

Holocaust Survivors in Israeli Mental Institution

Israel maintains the Shaar Menashe Mental Health Center solely for Holocaust survivors, which now holds some 70 patients. Most of the Israelis here suffered trauma as children during World War II and survived the death camps of the Nazis to suffer mental anguish for the remainder of their lives, often going from one mental institution to another, and never establishing families after immigrating to Israel in the post World War II years. There are some 230,000 Holocaust survivors living in Israel today and it is estimated that some 10 per cent of them need some mental treatment.

Kenyan Bullfighting

Although much less known and controversial compared to its Spanish version, Kenyan bullfighting, where two bulls fight against one another, draws thousands of spectators several times a year in Kakamega district of western Kenya, the homeland of the Luhya tribe people. Because of the use of traditional brew known as 'busaa', made from fermented sorghum and maize flour, cannabis and other 'secret' recipe of mixed herbs to intoxicate the animals before the fight in order to increase their aggressiveness, the event has been a target of condemnation by animal rights groups.

A bleeding defeated bull grunts in pain after his bout during the bullfights held in Shinyalu village, near Kakamega town, Western Province, some 400km northwest of the capital of Nairobi, Kenya, 22 January 2011. Although much less known and controversial compared to its Spanish version, Kenyan bullfighting, where two bulls fight against one another, draws thousands of spectators from nearby towns and villages several times a year in Kakamega district of western Kenya, the homeland of the Luhya tribe people
A handout image released by Ronald Reagan Presidential Library dated 29 September 1982 shows US President Ronald Reagan attending a Virginia Republican Party Fundraising Rally at the Richmond Arena in Richmond, Virginia, USA. The 100th anniversary of Reagan's birth is coming up on 06 February 2011. Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States (1981–1989). As president, Reagan implemented sweeping new political and economic initiatives and during his second term oversaw the end of the col

Ronald Reagan 100th Birthday Anniversary

06 February 2011 marks late Ronald Reagan's 100th Birthday Anniversary. Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States. As president, Reagan implemented sweeping new political and economic initiatives and during his second term oversaw the end of the cold war. Reagan died at the age of 93, after been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease earlier.

Vevcani Carnival

The Vevcani Carnival is one of the most famous village festivals held in the Balkans. It is believed that the custom is over 1,400 years old. It is based on old pagan beliefs and rituals. Essentially the carnival is the ritual of calling after Saint Basil the Great, which coincides with the Twelve Days of the Orthodox Christmas and the Orthodox New Year. The festivity is held on 13 and 14 January every year. The carnival witnesses the passing of the old year and the coming of the new one. Vevcanci believe that with their masks they banish evil spirits from their lives.

The oldest participant Boris, aged 94, holds the youngest participant Martin, aged 15 months, on the second day of a carnival marking the Orthodox St. Vasilij Day in the village of Vevcani, some 170 km from the capital of Skopje, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, 14 January 2011. The Vevcani Carnival is one of the most famous village festivals held in the Balkans. It is believed that the custom is over 1,400 years old. It is based on old pagan beliefs and rituals. Essentially the carnival is the ri
A file picture dated 31 January 2010 shows a man praying at the Cathedral of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. A year after the Caribbean nation was struck by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake that killed approximately 230,000 people and left around 1.5 million survivors displaced or homeless, it is still unclear how far away Haiti is from total recovery. EPA/ULISES RODRIGUEZ

Haiti Earthquake Retrospective

On 12 January 2010 the Caribbean nation of Haiti was hit by a Magnitude 7.0 earthquake. The quake killed approximately 230.000 people and left around 1.5 million survivors displaced or homeless. Already considered one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, several parts of Haiti now laid in ruins. People had to fend for themselves against problems such as the unavailability of food and drinking water, a lack of medical supplies and facilities and widespread looting.

Sudan Life by Nile River

The Nile is about 6,650 km in length and is considered the longest river in the world. It has two major tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile. The two rivers meet near Sudan's capital Khartoum. Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, and other countries have complained about an alleged Egyptian domination of its precious water resources. A step was taken by these countries to promote peaceful cooperation through The Nile Basin Initiative in which members meet periodically and try to work out solutions. Juba inhabitants rely on the White Nile waters to bath, wash their belongings, and themselves, transport things and for fishing.

A Sudanese woman washes clothes in the Nile river in Juba, southern Sudan, 10 January 2011. Juba inhabitants rely on the White Nile waters to bath, wash their belongings, and themselves, transport things and for fishing. EPA/MOHA
A dead oak tree glows under a full moon in a salt pan on the southern end of the Salton Sea near Niland, California, USA, 20 January 2011. Erosion and high toxicity levels from farm runoff has left the Salton Sea increasingly contaminated, and lake-side towns all but deserted. EPA/JIM LO SCALZO ***PLEASE REFER TO THE ADVISORY NOTICE (epa02647473) FOR COMPLETE FEATURE TEXT***

America's Dead Sea: California's Salton Sea

Deep in the desert of southern California sits one of the worst environmental sites in America, a former tourist destination that has turned into a toxic soup: the Salton Sea. The sea was born by accident 100 years ago, when the Colorado River breached an irrigation canal; for the next two years the entire volume of the river flowed into the Salton Sink, one of the lowest places on Earth. The new lake became a major tourist attraction, with resort towns springing up along its shores. Yet with no outflow, and with agricultural runoff serving as its only inflow, the sea’s waters grew increasingly toxic.

Gwinnett County Foreclosures and Evictions

Forecloseure is the legal proceeding by which a mortgagor's rights to a mortgaged property may be extinguished if the mortgagor fails to live up to the obligations agreed to in the mortgage. As the US economy moves toward recovery from the recession that began in 2008 and the number of jobs lost each month continues to decline, relief to homeowners delinquent in their mortgage payments has been slow in coming. By some accounts there were 1.2 million repossessions of property in 2010 with even greater numbers expected in 2011.

Deputy Alan Shippey with the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office civil court division carefully checks a property for occupants while serving a foreclosure eviction notice in Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA, 25 February 2011. The Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office has a backlog of at least four weeks of foreclosures and evictions notices that a team of deputies work on every weekday. Gwinnett County leads the metro Atlanta area in foreclosure notices, according to Equity Depot, a real estate data tracking company. G