A photo blog of world events by Sacbee.com Assistant Director of Multimedia Tim Reese.
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June 26, 2013
Supreme Court gives gay marriage historic boost

WASHINGTON (AP) -- In a historic day for gay rights, the Supreme Court gave the nation's legally married gay couples equal federal footing with all other married Americans on Wednesday and also cleared the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California.

In deciding its first cases on the issue, the high court did not issue the sweeping declaration sought by gay rights advocates that would have allowed same-sex couples to marry anywhere in the country. But in two rulings, both by bare 5-4 majorities, the justices gave gay marriage supporters encouragement in confronting the nationwide patchwork of laws that outlaw such unions in roughly three dozen states.

Gay-rights supporters cheered and hugged outside the court. Opponents said they mourned the rulings and vowed to keep up their fight.

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Shelly Bailes left and her wife Ella Pontac, of Davis, Calif. react at the LGBT Sacramento Community Center to the Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act on Wednesday, June 26, 2013. The Sacramento Bee / Hector Amezcua
June 24, 2013
Super full moon shone brightly over the weekend

The biggest and brightest full moon of the year graced the sky early Sunday as our celestial neighbor swung closer to Earth than usual.

While the moon appeared 14 percent larger normal, it wasn't apparent to the naked eye.

The moon came within 222,000 miles of Earth and turned full around 7:30 a.m. EDT.

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A "supermoon" rises over Table Rock and lighted cross in Boise, Idaho on Saturday, June 22, 2013. Idaho Statesman / Kyle Green
June 21, 2013
Death toll in Indian monsoon flooding nears 600

JOSHIMATH, India (AP) -- Rescuers found bodies in the River Ganges and in the muddy, broken earth left by landslides, raising the death toll from monsoon flooding in mountainous northern India to nearly 600 Friday, officials said.

The air force dropped paratroopers, food and medicine for people trapped in up to 100 towns and villages cut off since Sunday in the Himalayan state of Uttrakhand where thousands of people are stranded, many of them Hindu pilgrims who were visiting four shrines in the area.

Uttrakhand state Chief Minister Vijay Bahguna said 556 bodies have been noticed buried deep in slush and the army was trying to recover them. He spoke to CNN-IBN television channel on Friday.

The annual monsoon rains sustain India's agriculture but also cause flooding that claims lives and damages property. Neighboring Uttar Pradesh state said 17 flood-related deaths occurred there since the heavy rains Sunday.

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Indian people rescue a pony with the help of a rope from the Mandakini river at Gauri Kund, in northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, India, Friday, June 21, 2013. AP /
June 18, 2013
Brazil protesters keep up pressure on government

SAO PAULO (AP) -- Protest leaders called for another huge demonstration in Brazil's largest city Tuesday, building on historic turnouts spawned by widespread frustration over decades of government red tape, high prices and shoddy services even as the nation's economic fortunes have risen.

With Sao Paulo girding for another march, the mobilizations have shown a rare spotlight on the growing discontent among the country's booming middle class that public infrastructure and quality of government haven't kept up with economic gains.

The protests started with a group incensed about a 10-cent hike in subway and bus fares, the Free Fare Movement, which is mostly composed of students. The demonstrations exploded Monday night, however, after images broadcast nationwide showed police attacking the fare protesters during a rally Thursday in Sao Paulo.

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A military policeman pepper sprays a protester during a demonstration in Rio de Janeiro, Monday, June 17, 2013. AP / Victor R. Caivano
June 13, 2013
2013 World Day Against Child Labor

The International Labor Organization (ILO) observes June 12 as the World Day Against Child Labor. An estimated 10.5 million children worldwide, most of them underage, are working as domestic workers in people's homes, in hazardous and sometimes slavery-like conditions, says the ILO.

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An Indian boy selling snacks sits beneath his trolley as it rains in Bhubaneswar, India, Wednesday, June 12, 2013. AP / Biswaranjan Rout
June 11, 2013
Clashes in Istanbul extend into night in Taksim

ISTANBUL (AP) -- Riot police firing tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets clashed into the early hours of Wednesday with defiant demonstrators occupying Istanbul's central Taksim Square and its adjacent park, in the country's most severe anti-government protests in decades.

The crisis has left Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan looking vulnerable for the first time in his decade in government, and has threatened to tarnish the international image of Turkey, a Muslim majority country with a strongly secular tradition, a burgeoning economy and close ties with the United States.

Thousands of police moved into the square early Tuesday, pushing past improvised barricades set up by the protesters who have swarmed through the massive square and accompanying Gezi Park in their tens of thousands for the past 12 days.

Police fired repeated rounds of tear gas that rose in stinging plumes of acrid smoke from the square in running battles with protesters hurling fireworks, bottles, rocks and firebombs. In a cat-and-mouse game that lasted all day, the police repeatedly cleared the square, only for demonstrators to return.

More than 30,000 converged on the square again as dusk fell and were repelled by water cannon, rubber bullets and tear gas after Istanbul's governor, Huseyin Avni Mutlu, said the police came under attack by "marginal groups."

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Taksim Square is flooded by tear gas as clashes between protesters and riot police continue into the night in Istanbul Tuesday, June 11, 2013. AP / Vadim Ghirda
June 6, 2013
Scenes from the Turkey protests

ISTANBUL (AP) -- The protests in Turkey that began over government plans to uproot trees in Istanbul's main square to make way for a shopping mall have entered their seventh day. The protests have grown into something much bigger than protecting trees, drawing on a deep undercurrent of discontent against what many feel is the increasing arrogance of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Though Erdogan insists he is a servant of the country, protests have spread nationwide.

In the frequent, violent clashes that have occurred with police, two people have died, another is on life support, and about 1,000 have been wounded, medical services and rights groups say.

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Turkish protesters clash with riot police at the city's main Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, Saturday, June 1, 2013. AP /
June 4, 2013
Death toll hits 10 in European flooding

BERLIN (AP) -- Germany dispatched thousands of soldiers Tuesday to help cities and towns cope with flooding from the rain-soaked Danube and other southern rivers -- reinforcements that came a day after the Bavarian city of Passau saw its worst flooding since 1501.

The death toll rose to at least 10, including seven in the neighboring Czech Republic, where a man was found dead in the water in eastern Bohemia. Another nine people have been reported missing in the floods that have also swept through Austria and Switzerland.

Some 4,000 German soldiers were called in as well as more than 2,000 federal disaster workers and 600 federal police to sandbag areas in danger of flooding and provide other assistance. Water levels were still rising in major rivers such as the Danube and Elbe as well as tributaries.

In the Czech Republic, authorities evacuated animals from the Prague zoo and closed a major bridge in the capital on Tuesday.

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Members of the Red Cross make their way by boats in the flooded street in the center of Passau, southern Germany, Monday, June 3, 2013. Raging waters from three rivers have flooded large parts of the southeast German city following days of heavy rainfall in central Europe. A spokesman for the city's crisis center said Monday that the situation was "extremely dramatic" and waters are expected to rise further by midday to their highest level in 70 years. AP / Matthias Schrader
June 3, 2013
Containment of Calif. fire doubles to 40 percent

LANCASTER, Calif. (AP) -- Firefighters working in darkness doubled containment of a massive wildfire north of Los Angeles to 40 percent overnight, as cool, moist air moved in Monday to replace torrid weather.

The fire, which has fed on old brush that hasn't burned in decades, did grow, but the moderating weather conditions gave crews the opportunity to make major gains, U.S. Forest Spokesman Matt Correlli said.

Firefighters were able halt the progress of the fire's northeastern front, which had been moving into unoccupied desert lands north of Angeles National Forest.

Crews remained in place to protect structures in the rural hamlets of Lake Hughes and Lake Elizabeth, but flames were moving away from residential areas.

The blaze has burned about 46 square miles in mountain and canyons areas, destroying at least six houses and damaging 15 more.

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A plane drops fire retardant on a wildfire in Lancaster, Calif., Monday, June 3, 2013. AP / Nick Ut