A photo blog of world events by Sacbee.com Assistant Director of Multimedia Tim Reese.
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April 30, 2012
Kenya poor cling to dump site

DANDORA, Kenya - As dawn neared and the light grew, the scene at a municipal dump outside Nairobi, Kenya, was hard to imagine.

Otherworldly sunlight filtered through biogas steam and smoke from burning chemicals and plastic. The smell of rotting debris from 4 million people, piled up over four decades in this dump, overpowered the nose and carried with it substance and density that clung deep inside the throat. Thousands of scavenging, prehistoric-like storks cawed and spread their massive wings. Pigs, brawling dogs and a menagerie of lesser birds picked through the garbage side by side with hunched-over men and women. This hardly seemed like a place for humans to live and work and eat.

I came all this way to better understand Kenya's Dandora Municipal Dump Site, the only waste site in Nairobi, East Africa's most populous city. For the people who work here, the conditions are among the worst I've ever seen. The neglect and disregard for their lives should be unacceptable. Yet the mountains of garbage that sustain them are also endangering their lives and those of their children.

To search for recyclable material to sell, Rahab Ruguru rummages through the smoldering debris with a piece of rebar she uses as a makeshift rake. Ruguru and the other pickers - an estimated 6,000 people - scavenge the sprawling 30-acre dumpsite from 5 a.m. to sundown. They make about $2.50 a day. They exist on the lowest rung of the economy, an informal chain of middlemen and women, working in horrific conditions, doing the dirty work for recycling companies. They sort and place into large sacks material that cannot be eaten, but can be sold for recycling. Metal, rubber, milk bags, plastics, bones and electronics tend to be among the most sought-after material.

Read the story by Micah Albert

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Trash pickers often represent the lowest economic class and most marginalized population in society. It's no different in Dandora, Kenya. A man from the neighboring slum of Korogocho hefts his last bag of trash for the day in hopes of selling the mostly rubber scraps for 50 cents USD. Pulitzer Center / Micah Albert
April 27, 2012
Space shuttle arrives in NYC; crowds watch in awe

NEW YORK (AP) -- In a city understandably wary of low-flying aircraft, New Yorkers and tourists alike watched with pure joy and excitement Friday as space shuttle Enterprise glided over the skyline on its final aerial journey before it becomes a museum piece.

Ten years after 9/11, people gathered on rooftops and the banks of the Hudson River to marvel at the sight of the spacecraft riding piggyback on a modified jumbo jet that flew over the Statue of Liberty and past the skyscrapers along Manhattan's West Side.

"It made me feel empowered. I'm going to start crying," Jennifer Patton, a tourist from Canton, Ohio, said after the plane passed over the cheering crowd on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid, the floating air-and-space museum that will be the shuttle's permanent home.

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In this photo provided by NASA, Space shuttle Enterprise, riding on the back of the NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, flies over New York on Friday, April 27, 2012. Enterprise is eventually going to make its new home in New York City at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. AP / Robert Markowitz
April 25, 2012
Mexico preps shelters as volcano roars, spews ash

XALITZINTLA, Mexico (AP) -- The white-capped volcano that looms over Mexico City emitted a terrifying low-pitched roar Friday and spewed roiling towers of ash and steam as it vented the pressure built up by a massive chamber of magma beneath its slopes. Authorities prepared evacuation routes, ambulances and shelters in the event of a bigger explosion.

Even a large eruption of the 17,886-foot (5,450-meter) cone of Popocatepetl is unlikely to do more than dump ash on one of the world's largest metropolitan areas. But the grit could play havoc with Mexico City's busy airport, and tens of thousands of people in the farming villages on its flanks could be forced to flee.

Popo, as it's commonly known, has put out small eruptions of ash almost daily since a round of eruptive activity began in 1994. A week ago, the eruptions started growing larger and authorities slightly elevated the alert level for people living nearby.

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A plume of ash and steam rise from Popocatepetl volcano seen from San Andres Cholula, Mexico, Wednesday April 18, 2012. Mexico's Popocatepetl volcano is continuing to spout gases and hot rock fragments and it is dusting towns on its flanks with volcanic ash. AP
April 23, 2012
Volvo Ocean Race fleet heads for Miami

ITAJAI, Brazil (AP) -- American boat Puma took a slim lead Sunday as the Volvo Ocean Race fleet headed for Miami on the 4,800-nautical mile sixth leg of the nine-stage event.

U.S. skipper Ken Read of Newport, R.I., who won the previous leg earlier this month, was just ahead of overall leader Telefonica of Spain, which slipped from first to last in an in-port race Saturday after sailing around the wrong marker buoy.

In the overall standings, Telefonica has 149 points and leads Groupama with 133, Camper (124) and fourth-place Puma (117). Abu Dhabi with 56 points and Team Sanya (25) complete the six-boat fleet.

The 39,000-nautical mile race is scheduled to finish in the first week of July in Galway, Ireland.

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Puma Ocean Racing powered by BERG and skippered by Ken Read from the U.S. heads to sea after the start of leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 from Itajai, Brazil, to Miami, U.S., on Sunday, April 22, 2012. American boat Puma took a slim lead Sunday as the Volvo Ocean Race fleet headed for Miami on the 4,800-nautical mile sixth leg of the nine-stage event. Volvo Ocean Race photo via AP / Ian Roman
April 19, 2012
Honoring the 6 million victims of Nazi Holocaust

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israelis flocked to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial Thursday to read the names of loved ones who perished at the hands of the Nazis during World War II, a rite that has become a centerpiece of the country's annual commemoration for the 6 million Jews killed in the genocide.

The ceremony, known as "Every Person Has a Name," tries to go beyond the huge numbers to personalize the stories of individuals, families and communities destroyed during the war.

Zvi Shefet, an 87-year-old survivor, carried a list of 48 names, including those of his parents, his lone sister, his grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. Having fled to the countryside, he remained not only the lone survivor of his family but also one of the few Jews to escape from the village of Slonim -- then part of Poland, today in Belarus -- where Nazi troops massacred nearly 30,000 Jews and dumped their bodies into open pits.

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Israelis stand still next to their cars on a highway as a two-minute siren sounds in memory of victims of the Holocaust in Jerusalem, Thursday, April 19, 2012. The day is one of the most solemn on Israel's calendar. Restaurants and places of entertainment shut down, and radio and TV programming focuses on Holocaust documentaries and interviews with survivors. AP / Sebastian Scheiner
April 18, 2012
Scenes of April daily life around the globe

A look at some of the beautiful images of daily life around the world captured by photographers from the Associated Press its member newspapers.

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An Afghan refugee girl, looks back while walking by a stream on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, Tuesday, April 17, 2012. AP / Muhammed Muheisen
April 16, 2012
New North Korean leader makes first public speech during celebrations

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) -- North Korea's new leader addressed his nation and the world for the first time Sunday, vowing to place top priority on his impoverished country's military, which promptly unveiled a new long-range missile.

The speech was the culmination of two weeks of celebrations marking the centenary of the birth of his grandfather, national founder Kim Il Sung -- festivities that were marred by a failed launch Friday of a rocket that generated international condemnation and cost North Korea a food aid-for-nuclear-freeze deal with Washington.

Kim Jong Un's speech took North Koreans gathered at Kim Il Sung Square and around televisions across the country by surprise. His father, late leader Kim Jong Il, addressed the public only once in his lifetime.

Appearing calm and measured as he read the 20-minute speech, Kim Jong Un covered a wide range of topics, from foreign policy to the economy. His speech, and a military parade that followed, capped the carefully choreographed festivities commemorating Kim Il Sung's birthday, which included a massive fireworks display.

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North Korean dancers perform in front of portraits of the late leaders, Kim Il Sung, left, and his son Kim Jong Il, at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea, to celebrate 100 years since the birth of the North Korean founder Kim Il Sung, Monday, April 16, 2012. AP / Vincent Yu
April 11, 2012
Peruvian miners rescued from collapsed mine

ICA, Peru (AP) -- Nine Peruvian miners were rescued Wednesday after six days trapped in an abandoned copper mine. The nine, ranging in age from 23 to 58, walked out without assistance about an hour after dawn from a reinforced tunnel that rescuers had built as they removed more than 26 feet (8 meters) of dirt and rock. The miners wore sunglasses and were covered with blankets. President Ollanta Humala greeted them. Humala had spent the night at the mine 150 miles (240 kilometers) southeast of Lima.

The miners were trapped by a cave-in triggered by an explosion they themselves had set. They had communicated with rescuers through a hose, in place before the collapse, by which they also received food and medicine during their ordeal in a horizontal shaft dug into a mountainside.

"It's pretty ugly inside," one of the rescued men, Edwin Bellido, told RPP radio. "We slept on the ground on muddy plastic."

He said the miners kept their spirits up by telling each other jokes, singing and running in the 160-foot-long (50-meter) tunnel.

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One of nine trapped miners comes to the surface at Cabeza de Negro mine in Ica 300 kilometers southern Lima on Wednesday, April 11, 2012. ZUMA24.com / Paul Vallejos
April 9, 2012
Photo exhibit documents life inside North Korea

NEW YORK (AP) -- It's a simple scene that repeats itself around the world.

A man gently lifts a small child by the arms as they reach the top of the escalator inside a modern department store. In this particular photograph, the man and the child are in Pyongyang, capital of the communist country where life's daily activities are largely a mystery to the rest of the world.

A photo exhibit that opened Thursday, March 15, at a gallery in New York includes images such as these, as well as magnificent landscapes, drab cityscapes and visits by foreign dignitaries.

"Daily life is really what I try to focus on when I'm there. ... It's unscripted, it's candid," said AP Chief Asia Photographer David Guttenfelder, who took some of the photographs in the show, and who has made who has made many reporting trips to North Korea since 2010. "For people to see their own life in other people's lives, I think it has a lot of power to break down barriers."

"Windows on North Korea: Photographs From the DPRK," is a joint exhibition by The Associated Press and the state-run Korean Central News Agency, and features a mix of archival and contemporary images.

Below are recent images made by Guttenfelder and photographer Ng Han Guan, both of whom have images in the exhibition.

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North Korean women work in a thread factory in Pyongyang, North Korea on Monday, April 9, 2012. AP / David Guttenfelder
April 6, 2012
Good Friday observed around the world
Around the world, Christians commemorated Good Friday with solemn observances, both large and small. In Jerusalem, a procession wound through the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, traditionally believed to be the burial site of Jesus. Volunteers dressed as Roman centurions drove nails through the palms of Catholic devotees in the Philippines, in a reenactment of the crucifixion of Christ. Hundreds of processions took place in Spain during Easter Week, including one in Valencia where worshippers flocked to the icon of the Santisimo Cristo de Salvador Friday to pray for those who died in the sea.
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Pope Benedict XVI, at right in background, presides over the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) procession on Good Friday in Rome, Friday, April 6, 2012. The evening Via Crucis procession at the ancient amphitheater is a Rome tradition that draws a large crowd of faithful, including many of the pilgrims who flock to the Italian capital for Holy Week ceremonies before Easter Sunday. AP / Andrew Medichini


April 5, 2012
Syrian troops attack suburb as cease-fire deadline approaches
BEIRUT (AP) -- Syrian troops launched a fierce assault on a Damascus suburb Thursday, days ahead of a deadline for a U.N.-brokered cease-fire, with activists describing it as one of the most violent attacks around the capital since the year-old uprising began.
Activists in the suburb of Douma said snipers on 20 buildings were firing at "anything that moved" and residents had endured eight hours of shelling. They said soldiers marched into a main square behind detainees used as human shields.
The operation in Douma, along with other offensives around the country, bolstered the opposition's claim that President Bashar Assad is only intensifying violence ahead of the April 10 deadline to start implementing the truce. Activists say Assad wants to make gains on the ground before the cease-fire is supposed to take effect.

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Syrian youths stand in a building damaged by tank shells in a neighborhood of Damascus, Syria, after a raid by Syrian troops killed several rebels and civilians. Syrian troops launched a fierce assault Thursday, days ahead of a deadline for a U.N.-brokered cease-fire, with activists describing it as one of the most violent attacks around the capital since the year-old uprising began. AP


April 2, 2012
Myanmar's Suu Kyi hopes victory is dawn of new era
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) -- Myanmar election officials confirmed Monday that Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party won a landslide victory in historic by-elections. The democracy icon said she hopes the vote will mark the start of a new era for the long-repressed country.
Suu Kyi spoke to thousands of cheering supporters who gathered outside her party's headquarters a day after the closely watched balloting.
"The success we are having is the success of the people," Suu Kyi said, as the sea of supporters chanted her name and thrust their hands in the air to flash "V'' for victory signs.
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate will take public office for the first time and lead the NLD in parliament, where it will hold just about 6 percent of the seats.
The victory, however, marks a major milestone in the Southeast Asian nation, which is emerging from a ruthless era of military rule, and is an astonishing reversal of fortune for a woman who became one of the world's most prominent prisoners of conscience.
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Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi waves towards her supporters from her car as she leaves after a brief visit to the headquarters of her National League for Democracy party in Yangon, Myanmar Monday, April 2, 2012. Suu Kyi claimed victory Monday in Myanmar's historic by-election, saying she hoped it will mark the beginning of a new era for the long-repressed country. AP / Altaf Qadri