A photo blog of world events by Sacbee.com Assistant Director of Multimedia Tim Reese.
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July 31, 2013
Haiti holds mid-year Carnival-like fest

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- Tens of thousands of revelers turned the heart of Haiti's capital into a colorful party for the second "Carnival of Flowers" in Port-au-Prince.

Parade goers donned colorful costumes as they danced through the streets, while musicians played the Caribbean country's flowing rhythms.

The festival included street theater such as one piece involving a man dressed as Haitian national hero Jean-Jacques Dessalines laid out in his coffin.

The celebration is not without criticism. A few hundred protesters marched in Port-au-Prince last week, saying the $2.2 million budgeted for the festival would have been better spent elsewhere.

Officials counter that the event is employing more than 1,500 people as makeup artists, dancers and caterers.

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A group of revelers pose for a photo before the start of the "Carnival of Flowers" celebrations in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Monday, July 29, 2013. Tens of thousands of revelers poured into downtown Port-au-Prince for the Caribbean nation's second "Carnival of Flowers," a three-day celebration President Michel Martelly has revived from the Duvalier era. AP / Dieu Nalio Chery
July 29, 2013
North Korea rolls out missiles for war anniversary

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) -- North Korea marked the 60th anniversary of the truce that ended the Korean War with a lavish and painstakingly choreographed military parade through Pyongyang's main square, a solemn gathering led by leader Kim Jong Un at a newly opened war museum that features prominently the USS Pueblo spy ship captured in 1968 and a fireworks display that filled the night sky and drew huge crowds who watched from along the Pothong river.

This year's parade, which also included floats and thousands of civilians waving colorful fake flowers, appeared to offer more flash and pageant than new revelations of the secretive North's military capabilities, though one unit prominently carried kits marked with the bright yellow nuclear symbol, a reminder of the North's claims that it is preparing itself against a nuclear attack by the United States and is developing a nuclear arsenal of its own.

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North Korean veterans of the Korean War wave to their leader Kim Jong Un during a mass military parade on Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang to mark the 60th anniversary of the Korean War armistice Saturday, July 27, 2013. AP / David Guttenfelder
July 24, 2013
Pope celebrates first mass of his foreign journey

APARECIDA, Brazil (AP) -- Pope Francis urged Catholics to resist the "ephemeral idols" of money, power and pleasure in celebrating the first public Mass of his initial international foreign journey as pontiff during an emotional visit to one of the most important shrines in Latin America.

Thousands packed into the huge Basilica of the Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, tucked into an agricultural region of verdant fields halfway between Rio and Sao Paulo, and tens of thousands more braved a cold rain outside to catch a glimpse of the first pope from the Americas returning to a shrine of great meaning to the continent and him personally.

Before the Mass, Francis stood in silent prayer in front of the 15-inch-tall image of the Virgin of Aparecida, the "Black Mary," his eyes tearing up as he breathed heavily. It was a deeply personal moment for this pontiff, who has entrusted his papacy to the Virgin Mary and, like many Catholics in Latin America, places great importance in devotion to Mary.

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Pope Francis kisses a child as he arrives in his popemobile to the Aparecida Basilica in Aparecida, Brazil, Wednesday, July 24, 2013. AP / Victor R. Caivano
July 19, 2013
Froome close to tasting Champagne as Tour winner

LE GRAND-BORNAND, France (AP) -- Chris Froome can already taste the champagne and has only one more day of climbing remaining before mounting the Champs-Elysees podium steps as Britain's second consecutive Tour de France winner.

The race leader preserved his comfortable five-minute-plus lead over two-time former champion Alberto Contador on Friday's rainy 19th stage featuring four big climbs and one hair-raisingly fast descent.

Rui Costa won it with a solo breakaway on the final ascent. Froome braced himself for a big Contador attack that never materialized on any of the climbs, nor in the long downhill to the finish line on increasingly wet roads.

"I certainly feel a big sigh of relief," Froome said. "Today was a day I was nervous about, happy to put it behind us."

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The pack climbs towards Glandon pass during the nineteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 204.5 kilometers (127.8 miles) with start in in Bourg-d'Oisans and finish in Le Grand-Bornand, France, Friday July 19 2013. AP / Laurent Cipriani
July 17, 2013
Daily life, mid-summer 2013

A look at daily life as viewed by photojournalists working for the Associated Press and its member newspapers.

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Fairgoers take a spin on one of the many rides provided by Butler Entertainment at the California State Fair on July 14, 2013 in Sacramento, Calif. The Sacramento Bee / Brian Nguyen
July 11, 2013
2013 San Fermin bull run festival

PAMPLONA, Spain (AP) -- One person has been hospitalized after several thousand people tested their speed and bravery by dashing with six fighting bulls through the streets of the northern Spanish city of Pamplona.

Navarra Hospital chief Javier Sesma said the person sustained neck injuries in a fall in the fifth run of the famed San Fermin festival. However, he said no one was gored along the 930-yard (850-meter) route to Pamplona's bull ring Thursday.

There were moments of tension when a bull became separated from the pack and looked as if he would charge some of the runners. He was eventually guided into the ring without incident.

The nationally televised morning runs are the highlight of the 9-day street festival that became world famous after Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel "The Sun Also Rises."

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A cow jumps over revelers lying down on the bull ring at the end of the fifth run of the famed San Fermin festival, in Pamplona northern Spain on Thursday, July 11, 2013. AP / Alvaro Barrientos
July 9, 2013
Mexico volcano spits two-mile-high ash cloud

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- The Popocatepetl volcano just east of Mexico City has spit out a cloud of ash and vapor 2 miles (3 kilometers) high over several days of eruptions, and Mexico City residents awoke Saturday to find a fine layer of volcanic dust on their cars.

It has been years since the center of the nation's capital has seen a noticeable ash fall because prevailing winds usually blow the volcanic dust in other directions. Ash fell earlier this week in some neighborhoods on Mexico City's south and east sides.

On Thursday, at least six U.S. airlines canceled 47 flights into and out of the Mexico City and Toluca airports after the volcano spewed ash, steam and glowing rocks, airport officials said.

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The main church in the town of San Damian Texoloc, Mexico stands in front of the Popocatepetl volcano as is spews ash and vapor early Tuesday, July 9, 2013. Last Saturday, Mexico's National Center for Disaster Prevention raised the volcano alert from Stage 2 Yellow to Stage 3 Yellow, the final step before a Red alert, when possible evacuations could be ordered after the Popocatepetl volcano spit out a cloud of ash and vapor 2 miles (3 kilometers) high over several days of eruptions. AP / J. Guadalupe Perez
July 5, 2013
Now things get serious at Tour de France

ALBI, France (AP) -- When they sit down late on Saturday afternoon for the ritual they call the "apero" -- meaning nibbles and alcoholic drinks -- the French still won't know who is going to win their beloved Tour de France this year.

They, however, might have a much clearer idea of who won't win it.

Riders who don't have the legs to carry them to victory in Paris, who have been bluffing and pretending to be strong in the first third of the 2,115-mile Tour, could be cruelly exposed on Saturday when the race sharply gains altitude in the Pyrenees mountains where France and Spain meet.

Although the two climbs on the menu aren't the most brutal of this 100th Tour, they're still tough enough to make all but the strongest riders struggle. Just how decisive the ascents prove will depend on how aggressive, ambitious and confident the strongest climbers are feeling. If they want to test overall race favorites Chris Froome and Alberto Contador, or if those two want to test each other, then Stage 8 offers the first real opportunity for them to do so.

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The pack passes by during the seventh stage of the Tour de France cycling race. AP / Christophe Ena
July 3, 2013
Army tightens grip as Egypt awaits final move

CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's military moved to tighten its control of key institutions Wednesday, sending troops backed with armored vehicles to the heart of Cairo and slapping a travel ban on President Mohammed Morsi and top allies in preparation for an almost certain push to remove the Islamist president with the expiration of an afternoon deadline.

Just before the military's deadline expired, Morsi repeated a vow not to step down, and one of his top advisers decried that Egypt is experiencing a military coup.

For the second time in 2½ years of political upheaval, the powerful army appears to be positioned to remove the country's leader. But this time, it would be ousting a democratically elected president, the first in Egypt's history -- making its move potentially explosive.

Soon after the deadline passed, a military helicopter circled over the anti-Morsi crowds in Cairo's central Tahrir Square, which was transformed into a sea of furiously waving Egyptian flags. "Leave, leave," they chanted to Morsi, electrified as they waited to hear of an army move. After nightfall, fireworks went off and green lasers flashed over the crowd.

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Opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi hold a large Egyptian national flag during a protest outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, July 2, 2013. AP / Hassan Ammar
July 2, 2013
Arizona Hotshots lived the meaning of the word

PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) -- They were fathers and expectant fathers. High school football players and former Marines. Smoke-eaters' sons and first-generation firefighters.

What bound the members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots together was a "love of hard work and arduous adventure," and a willingness to risk their lives to protect others. And now, 19 families share a bond of grief.

All but one of the Prescott-based crew's 20 members died Sunday when a wind-whipped wildfire overran them on a mountainside northwest of Phoenix. It was the nation's biggest loss of firefighters in a wildfire in 80 years and the deadliest single day for fire crews since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

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George Murphy of the Yavapi Tribal Police pays his respects at a makeshift memorial outside the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew fire station, Tuesday, July 2, 2013, in Prescott, Ariz., honoring 19 firefighters killed battling a wildfire near Yarnell, Ariz., Sunday. AP / Chris Carlson