A photo blog of world events by Sacbee.com Assistant Director of Multimedia Tim Reese.
Subscribe to feed Subscribe to this blog's feed
May 30, 2013
Fearful Myanmar Muslims shelter in monastery

LASHIO, Myanmar (AP) -- More than 1,000 Muslims who fled Myanmar's latest bout of sectarian violence huddled Thursday in a Buddhist monastery guarded by army soldiers as calm returned to this northeastern city, though burned out buildings leveled by Buddhist rioters still smoldered.

The army transported terrified Muslim families by the truckload out of a neighborhood in Lashio where overturned cars and motorcycles that had been charred a day earlier left black scars on the red earth.

"We heard things could get worse, so we waved down soldiers and asked them for help," said 59-year-old Khin Than, who arrived at the monastery Thursday morning with her four children and sacks of luggage along with several hundred other Muslims. "We left because we're afraid of being attacked."

The violence in Lashio this week highlights how anti-Muslim unrest has slowly spread across Myanmar since starting last year in western Rakhine state and hitting the central city of Meikhtila in March. President Thein Sein's government, which inherited power from the military two years ago, has been heavily criticized for failing to contain the violence.

(19 images)

Muslims eat a meal at a Buddhist temple following sectarian violence in Lashio, northern Shan State, Myanmar, Thursday, May 30, 2013. AP / Gemunu Amarasinghe
May 29, 2013
Felines of Houtong: Cat tourism aids former mining town

Cat lovers arrive by the dozens to fondle and photograph the felines of Houtong, one of Taiwan's former coal mining communities. Local residents welcome the unexpected rise in tourism due to the large feline population by building feeding points, lounging pedestals and have gone as far as constructing an elevated bridge for cats and visitors to roam across the passing railroad tracks. - Associated Press photographs by Wally Santana

(11 images)

A tourist stops to take a snap of one of the hundred or so resident cats resting on a walkway in the small town of Houtong, Taiwan on May 24, 2013. AP / Wally Santana
May 24, 2013
Heat wave causes power outages, anger in India

LUCKNOW, India (AP) -- A blistering heat wave has swept across most parts of north and western India, causing massive electricity cuts and leading angry residents to protest and even attack power company officials and property.

In the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, enraged citizens have set fire to a power station and held power company employees hostage for several hours. Police said Thursday that at least 21 people have been arrested for the violence and for damaging government property.

Uttar Pradesh, home to 190 million people, is India's most populous state and one of the poorest. Its inadequate energy infrastructure has been unable to cope with the high demand for electricity as temperatures have peaked above 116 degrees Fahrenheit (47 degrees Celsius) in recent days.

The power shortages have left people without air conditioning or fans -- and in some cases without water, as electric pumps failed -- for hours each day.

(23 images)

An Indian rickshaw driver sleeps on his rickshaw on a hot afternoon in New Delhi, India , Friday, May 24, 2013. AP / Manish Swarup
May 21, 2013
Crews race to find survivors of Oklahoma twister

MOORE, Okla. (AP) -- Emergency crews searched the broken remnants of an Oklahoma City suburb Tuesday for survivors of a massive tornado that flattened homes and demolished an elementary school. At least 24 people were killed, including at least nine children, and those numbers were expected to climb.

As the sun rose over the shattered community of Moore, the state medical examiner's office cut the estimated death toll by more than half but warned that the number was likely to climb again.

Spokeswoman Amy Elliott said she believes some victims were counted twice in the early chaos of the storm that struck Monday afternoon. Downed communication lines and problems sharing information with officers exacerbated the problem, she said.

(55 images)

Teachers carry children away from Briarwood Elementary school after a tornado destroyed the school in south Oklahoma City, Monday, May 20, 2013. The Oklahoman / Paul Hellstern
May 20, 2013
Oklahoma, other tornado-hit states brace for more

SHAWNEE, Okla. (AP) - When Lindsay Carter heard on the radio that a violent storm was approaching her rural Oklahoma neighborhood, she gathered her belongings and fled. When she returned, there was little left.

Sunday's tornado that tore part of the roof from Carter's frame house -- one of few such homes in the Steelman Estates Mobile Home Park near Shawnee -- laid waste to many of her neighbors' places, and killed two people and injured several others.

"Trees were all gone. I walked further down and all those houses were gone," she said of her return home to the neighborhood.

The tornado was one of several that touched down Sunday in the nation's midsection, concentrating damage in central Oklahoma and Wichita, Kan. Two people were killed in or near the mobile home park, which is outside of Shawnee, a community about 35 miles southeast of Oklahoma City. At least 39 people throughout Oklahoma were injured, according to the state's emergency management director, Albert Ashwood.

The National Weather Service was forecasting more of the same for the region -- including Oklahoma City and Tulsa -- Monday afternoon and evening, warning of the possibility of tornadoes and baseball-sized hail. Residents of Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri were also warned to watch for bad weather Monday.

(20 images)

Jerry Dirks, at right, hugs her friend Earlene Langley after a tornado hit Driks' home just south of Carney Okla., on Sunday, May 19, 2013. Dirks was in her cellar at the time the tornado hit. The Oklahoman / Bryan Terry
May 17, 2013
Daily Life May 2013

A look and daily life around the world as photographed by photographers of the Associated Press and its member newspapers.

(33 images)

A cow stands in a field behind a web early Tuesday, May 7, 2013., near Danville, Ky. The Advocate Messenger / Clay Jackson
May 14, 2013
For India's poor, a school under a railway bridge

NEW DELHI (AP) -- Their classroom is a flattened patch of dirt and rocks under the elevated rail tracks. Their blackboards are rectangles painted on a chipped concrete wall. Their teacher is a shop owner with no formal training, but a conviction that education is their only hope.

For some of these dozens of children of poor migrant workers in India's capital, this makeshift, open-air school under the rumble of mass transit is the only school they have. Others who attend overcrowded and dismal government schools come here as well -- to actually learn.

India's Right To Education Act promising free, compulsory schooling to all children ages 6 to 14 was supposed to take full effect March 31, but millions of children still don't go to school and many who do are getting only the barest of educations.

So every morning, more than 50 children gather under the bridge for two hours of lessons at Rajesh Kumar's informal school. They sweep the dirt flat and roll out foam mats to sit on, just meters (yards) from the bushes were several men had been squatting and defecating minutes earlier.

(18 images)

Rajesh Kumar Sharma, the founder of a free school for slum children, second right, and Laxmi Chandra, right, teach at a free school for impoverished children run under a mass transit bridge in New Delhi, India on April 4, 2013. Sharma, a shop owner with no formal training, says that education is their only hope. AP / Altaf Qadri
May 13, 2013
Annual Pilgrimage to Fatima's Sanctuary

Every year on May 12 and 13, thousands of Catholic faithfuls pilgrimage to Fatima's Sanctuary where it is believed the Virgin Mary was witnessed by three shepherd children, Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco, on May 13, 1917.

(20 images)

An old woman cries during a candle light vigil at the Fatima Sanctuary in Fatima, center Portugal, Sunday, May 12, 2013. AP / Francisco Seco
May 9, 2013
Russian Victory Day 2013

MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia will be a guarantor of world security, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday at the annual military parade on Red Square.

Putin made his short speech at the culmination of Victory Day, marking the defeat of Nazi Germany 68 years ago. It is Russia's most important secular holiday, honoring the huge military and civilian losses of World War II and showing off the country's modern arsenal.

Putin told 11,000 servicemen standing in tight formation on the square and the war veterans in the spectator stands that "we remember what the tragedy of war means and will do everything so that nobody will ever dare to unleash it anew, threaten our children, our homes and our land."

(24 images)

Russian marines march through the Red Square, during the Victory Day Parade, which commemorates the 1945 defeat of Nazi Germany in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 9, 2013. AP / Alexander Zemlianichenko
May 7, 2013
Ginseng, bear bile: North Koreans look to old cures

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) -- The Man Nyon Pharmacy is lined with rows of colorful packages containing everything from dried bear bile and deer antler elixir to tiger bone paste and ginseng. But the ancient "Koryo" medicine provided at this popular dispensary isn't just for minor aches and pains.

It has been integrated into the health system from the smallest village clinic all the way up to the nicest showcase hospitals in the privileged capital of Pyongyang. Both modern and traditional styles of healing have long been uniquely intertwined nationwide with doctors from both schools working in tandem under one roof.

North Korean physicians say many patients prefer traditional medicine to the Western kind, but it's difficult to determine the true situation in this closed and impoverished society where access is limited. Defectors, foreign aid workers and North Koreans agree that many Western drugs are scarce and say villagers still forage for plants in some areas to make their own herbal concoctions.

With the U.N. Security Council imposing its toughest-ever sanctions following North Korea's third nuclear test in February, patients may become even more dependent on these home-grown remedies in a country of 24 million people where government health spending ranks among the world's lowest.

(21 images)

A pharmacist at the Kaeson Clinic in the Moranbong District of Pyongyang, North Korea gathers traditional "Koryo" medicine for a patient waiting at the window on Feb. 21, 2013. Koryo medicine has been integrated into the health system from the smallest village clinic all the way up to the capital. AP / David Guttenfelder
May 2, 2013
Orb is early favorite for Kentucky Derby

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Orb has been made the early 7-2 favorite for the Kentucky Derby, with undefeated Verrazano the second choice in a full field of 20 horses.

Trained by Shug McGaughey, Orb drew the No. 16 post on Wednesday. Four horses have won from there, most recently Animal Kingdom two years ago. McGaughey is in racing's Hall of Fame, but the 62-year-old trainer has yet to win the Derby in six previous tries.

Orb comes into Saturday's big race on a four-race winning streak. He won the Florida Derby in his last start.

Wood Memorial winner Verrazano drew the No. 14 post and is the 4-1 second choice. The colt is one of a record-tying five starters trained by Todd Pletcher. He won his first and only Derby in 2010 with Super Saver.

(22 images)

Horses get ready for their morning workouts at Churchill Downs Thursday, May 2, 2013, in Louisville, Ky. AP / Charlie Riedel
May 1, 2013
Around the world on May Day

In May Day protests, parades, strikes and other demonstrations held in cities around the world, activists lashed out at political and business leaders they say have ignored workers' voices or enriched themselves at the expense of laborers. In some places, the demonstrations turned violent, with activists clashing with police.

(48 images)

People hold a banner that reads in Spanish "Proud of our work" at the front of the May Day march to Revolution Square in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, May 1, 2013. AP / Ismael Francisco