A photo blog of world events by Sacbee.com Assistant Director of Multimedia Tim Reese.
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October 3, 2013
Seven-hour trek to reach Andean ceremony

CUZCO, Peru (AP) -- Every year, thousands of faithful trek for seven hours up to the foot of Peru's Pachatusan mountain to pay homage to the Lord of Huanca -- an image of Jesus Christ, scourged and bleeding, that tradition says was painted in a cave 339 years ago.

Believers say Jesus appeared to a native who had been forced into mine work and then fled, taking refuge in a cave to escape punishment by the Spanish. The man later described his vision to an artist who painted the image in a cavern in the Huanca region near the Andean city of Cuzco.

Devotees hike up to the sanctuary at night, carrying candles and flowers.

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Faithful light candles the Lord of Huanca Sanctuary, at the foot of the Pachatusan mountain, near Cuzco, Peru on Sept. 14, 2013. AP / Rodrigo Abd
September 24, 2013
Kenyan president: Terrorists defeated

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- Kenya's president proclaimed victory Tuesday over the terrorists who stormed a Nairobi mall, saying security forces had "ashamed and defeated our attackers" following a bloody four-day siege in which dozens of civilians were killed.

President Uhuru Kenyatta said the dead included 61 civilians whose bodies have been recovered so far and six security forces, while some 175 were injured, including 62 who remain hospitalized.

At the Westgate mall, there were no immediate signs of the Kenyan Security forces closing their operation.

Two Kenyan soldiers who had recently been inside the mall told The Associated Press shortly before the president spoke that the operation was effectively finished, but they said security forces were still combing the facility and had not definitively cleared all the rooms inside. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were under orders not to speak to the media.

Kenyan forces had for two days said they were in the "final phase" of the operation, only to be battled back by the militants inside the building.

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Ramesh Vaya, center, is comforted by family members after lighting the funeral pyre for his wife Malti, who was shot dead in the attack on the Westgate Mall, at her funeral at the Hindu Crematorium in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. Ramesh and his brother both lost their wives in the attack. AP / Kate Holt
September 16, 2013
Flooded Colo. towns clean up as rescues continue

ESTES PARK, Colo. (AP) -- Colorado mountain towns cut off for days by massive flooding slowly reopened to reveal cabins toppled, homes ripped from their foundations and everything covered in a thick layer of muck. Anxious home and business owners hurriedly cleaned and cleared what they could salvage as rescuers looked for a break in the weather Monday to resume airlifting those still stranded.

Crews plowed up to a foot of mud left standing along Estes Park's main street after the river coursed through the heart of town late last week.

Emergency officials offered a first glimpse at the scope of the damage. Counties reported some 1,500 homes have been destroyed and about 17,500 damaged, according to an initial estimate released Sunday by the Colorado Office of Emergency Management.

State emergency officials reported more than 1,200 people total had not been heard from, but that number already was dropping Monday as Larimer County said it had made contact with hundreds of people previously unaccounted for.

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A field of parked cars and trucks sits partially submerged near Greeley, Colo., Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, as debris-filled rivers flooded into towns and farms miles from the Rockies. Hundreds of roads, farms and businesses in the area have been damaged or destroyed by the floodwaters. AP / John Wark
September 12, 2013
Mt. Fuji's Heritage status worries some

MOUNT FUJI, Japan (AP) -- They trudge up well-trod cinder paths by the thousands, headlamps glowing in the dark, and then settle in, shivering, to await and cheer the sun's blazing ascent over the horizon.

Climbing Mount Fuji, Japan's most iconic landmark, is a group activity: Seldom is it climbed in solitude. The recent recognition of the 3,776-meter (12,388-foot) peak as a UNESCO World Heritage site has many here worried that it will draw still more people, adding to the wear and tear on the environment from the more than 300,000 who already climb the mountain each year.

Safety is another concern. At least seven people died and 70 were hurt climbing Fuji in 2012, and traffic jams of climbers in the pre-dawn darkness can add to the risks, says Shomei Yokouchi, governor of Yamanashi, the area to the west. The official climbing season runs July to August, and the trek -- nine hours round trip in good weather -- is especially treacherous other times of the year. -- Photo essay by AP Chief Asia Photographer David Guttenfelder

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Thousands of hikers cheer from the summit of Mount Fuji in Japan as the sun rises on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2013. Mount Fuji's near perfect cone was created by an eruption thousands of years ago that buried earlier peaks, and pilgrims have been climbing it for centuries -- though women have been allowed only since 1868. It towers over the Pacific coast, ringed by lakes, national parks, temples and shrines that are also part of the World Heritage site. AP / David Guttenfelder
September 10, 2013
North Korea's leader silent at military parade

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waved to troops marching through central Pyongyang on Monday to mark the nation's 65th birthday, but made no public comments before leaving the lavish event.

Flanked by generals and senior government officials, Kim stood in a high viewing area well above and away from the sea of onlookers who cheered and held up colorful placards in unison as the troops filed passed. North Korea watchers had hoped the young leader might address the crowd to shed some light on the isolated and secretive nation's politics or diplomatic goals.

The military parade in Kim Il Sung Square featured mostly reserve troops and did not include displays of the kind of heavy artillery, tanks and missiles that the North rolled out in July to commemorate the armistice that ended hostilities on the Korean Peninsula in 1953.

Kim made no remarks at the July parade, either.

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North Korean troops march during a military parade at Kim Il Sung Square to mark the 65th anniversary of the country's founding in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Sept. 9, 2013. AP / Kim Kwang Hyon
September 5, 2013
August daily life around the globe
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A look at daily life in august as seen by the photographers of the Associated Press and its member newspapers.

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A man fishes while sitting in the Arga River on a sunny afternoon near Pamplona in northern Spain on Friday, Aug. 23, 2013. AP / Alvaro Barrientos
August 27, 2013
Cooler temps expected to aid Yosemite firefight

TUOLUMNE CITY, Calif. (AP) -- Officials say a massive wildfire burning near Yosemite National Park grew overnight, but they are still making progress in containing it.

The Rim Fire remained 20 percent contained on Tuesday morning. Officials said the fire grew to about 280 square miles, up from about 252 square miles the previous day, but back burning by crews was responsible for at least part of that increase.

California fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said crews are anticipating cooler temperatures and higher humidity this week that could allow them to gain the upper hand.

The fire is threatening thousands of structures, the main reservoir serving San Francisco and historic giant sequoias.

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A firefighter stands on top of a fire truck at a campground destroyed by the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park, Calif., on Monday, Aug. 26, 2013. Crews working to contain one of California's largest-ever wildfires gained some ground Monday against the flames threatening San Francisco's water supply, several towns near Yosemite National Park and historic giant sequoias. AP / Jae C. Hong
August 20, 2013
Floods recede in Manila as thousands evacuated

MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- Flooding caused by some of the Philippines' heaviest rains that submerged more than half the capital began receding Tuesday, but authorities evacuated thousands of residents along Manila's overflowing rivers and braced for more chaos in outlying provinces.

At least eight people have died, including four who drowned north of Manila. The dead included a 5-year-old boy whose house was hit by a concrete wall that collapsed, and a 3-year-old boy who fell into a swollen river in Mariveles town in Bataan province. Four people are missing.

Throughout the sprawling, low-lying capital region of 12 million people, offices, banks and schools were closed and most roads were impassable. People stumbled through waist- or neck-deep waters, holding on to ropes strung from flooded houses.

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Some of the Philippines' heaviest rains on record fell for a second day Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, turning the capital's roads into rivers and trapping tens of thousands of people in homes and shelters. The government suspended all work except rescues and disaster response. AP / Philippine Air Force
August 19, 2013
Wildfires plague Idaho, Utah

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Idaho authorities on Monday were slowly allowing evacuees to return to homes that just days ago were deemed at risk from a big and erratic wildfire burning near the affluent resort towns of Hailey, Ketchum and Sun Valley.

The Blaine County sheriff ended the mandatory evacuation order for up to 250 homes. Most of those residences are in subdivisions on the east side of the main highway connecting these communities and are farthest from the 160-square-mile Beaver Creek Fire.

About 1,850 homes were still affected by the evacuation as fire crews focused on protecting homes and structures that line foothills and gulches up and down the valley.

Meanwhile, persistent hot and dry weather kept conditions ripe for wildfires across the West.

In California, a wildfire forced hundreds of Butte County residents from homes some 60 miles north of Sacramento, while another blaze kept residents of a southern Sierra Nevada town on edge.

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A helicopter makes a drop on a dozer line around a home to protect it from the Beaver Creek Fire on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013 in outside of Ketchum, Idaho. Times-News / Ashley Smith
August 16, 2013
Lima's dreaded leaden skies

LIMA, Peru (AP) -- For roughly four months a year, the sun abandons Peru's seaside desert capital, suffocating it under a ponderous gray cloudbank and fog that coats the city with nighttime drizzles.

The 19th-century writer and seafarer Herman Melville called Lima "the strangest and saddest city thou can'st see."

Other writers have likened its leaden winter sky to "the belly of a burro."

Barometers often read 100 percent humidity, and rheumatoid and bronchial ailments soar in the city of 9 million. Limenos don scarfs and jackets and complain of slipping into a gloom of seasonal depression.

This year, Lima has had a particularly bad bout of winter, its coldest, dampest in 30 years, according to the state meteorological agency, with temperatures dropping to a sodden 12 degrees centigrade (about 54 degrees Fahrenheit).

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In this Aug. 12, 2013 photo, two elderly women visit the Virgen de Lourdes cemetery in Lima, Peru. For roughly four months a year, the sun abandons Peru's seaside desert capital, suffocating it under a ponderous gray cloudbank and fog that coats the city with nighttime drizzles. Limenos don scarfs and jackets and complain of slipping into a gloom of seasonal depression. AP / Rodrigo Abd