Feb 16, 2013

Stunning pictures from the World Press Photo Awards capture every extreme of human life, from Olympic glory to Indian poverty to despair in war-torn Gaza

By on Saturday, February 16, 2013

 20 November 2012, Gaza City, Palestinian Territories. Two-year-old Suhaib Hijazi and her three-year-old brother Muhammad were killed when their house was destroyed by an Israeli missile strike. Their father, Fouad, was also killed and their mother was put in intensive care. Fouad’s brothers carry his children to the mosque for the burial ceremony as his body is carried behind on a stretcher.

 21 February 2012, Mogadishu, Somalia. The Somali basketball association pays armed guards to watch over and protect Suweys and her team when they play. In Mogadishu, the war-torn capital of Somalia, young women risk their lives to play basketball. Suweys, the 19-year-old captain of a women's basketball team, and her friends defy radical Islamist views on women’s rights. They have received many death threats from not only al-Shabaab militias and radical Islamists, but some male members of their own families. "I just want to dunk," said Suweys. It is on the basketball court she feels happiest. "Basketball makes me forget all my problems.”

 3 April 2012, Nairobi, Kenya. Pausing in the rain, a woman working as a trash picker at the 30-acre dump, which literally spills into households of one million people living in nearby slums, wishes she had more time to look at the books she comes across. She even likes the industrial parts catalogs. “It gives me something else to do in the day besides picking [trash],” she said.

 22 June 2012, Da Nang, Vietnam. Phan Thi Thuy Vy and Dang Thi Bich Bay, who have been together for one year, watch television to relax after studying at school. Vietnam has historically been unwelcoming to same-sex relationships. But its Communist government is considering recognizing same-sex marriage, a move that would make it the first Asian country to do so, despite past human rights issues and a long-standing stigma. In August 2012, the country’s first public gay pride parade took place in Hanoi.

 1 June 2010, Rome, Italy. Despite her husband's life-threatening disease, Mirella devoted her life to assisting Luigi, trying to be positive and reassuring, looking after him with intense love and respect. Everyday care, usually done in a few minutes, takes hours when it concerns someone with dementia. Mirella, 71, spent 43 years of her life with the only person she loved, with all of life's difficulties, laughter, and beautiful moments. But over the last six years things changed: Mirella lived with her husband Luigi’s illness, Alzheimer’s, and devoted her life to him as his caregiver.

 19 February 2012, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. “American Girl” is a popular line of dolls that can be customized to look exactly like their owners. Kayla poses with her lookalike doll in front of a portrait of her ancestors.

 15 February 2011, Tilburg, The Netherlands. After living with his father for ten years and staying in a youth shelter, Martin, 18, returned home two years ago to live with his mother. He arrived with some clothes in a bag and no work or degree.

 17 October 2012, Conakry, Guinea. Makone Soumaoro, 30, goiter. “I don't have pain, but I am worried that my neck swells that much. I hope it it is not a tumor because I am a housewife and my man and three children need me.” Guinea is one of the least developed countries in the world. More than 60 percent of the population lives on less than one dollar per day. Three quarters of the population is illiterate. Health care is substandard and unaffordable for most people. Some get help with their health problems from NGO Mercy Ships aboard the hospital ship 'African Mercy' docked in the capital Conakry. They are treated by volunteer surgeons, doctors and nurses with such health issues as cataracts, teeth problems, and skin diseases to more complex orthopedic or tumor surgeries.

16 November 2012, Black Mountain Road, Australia. The endangered Southern Cassowary feeds on the fruit of the Blue Quandang tree. Cassowaries are a keystone species in northern Australian rainforests because of their ability to carry so many big seeds such long distances.

 17 April 2012 Heglig, Sudan. A Sudan Armed Forces soldier lies dead in a pool of oil next to a leaking oil facility. He was killed during heavy fighting with southern Sudanese SPLA troops, after they entered the northern Sudan oil town during a brief but bloody border war between the two countries.

 18 November 2011, Ross Sea, Antarctica. Even though they have evolved an incredibly advanced bubble physiology the greatest challenge they face is the loss of sea ice that supports their colonies and ecosystem. New science shows that Emperor Penguins are capable of tripling their swimming speed by releasing millions of bubbles from their feathers. These bubbles reduce the friction between their feathers and the icy seawater, allowing them to accelerate in the water. They use speeds of up to 30 kilometers per hour to avoid leopard seals and to launch themselves up onto the ice.

 This photo by Associated Press photographer Esteban Felix shows the bodies of Lesbia Altamirano and Wilmer Orbera lying on the floor of a pool hall after being attacked by unidentified masked assailants in Choloma on the outskirts of San Pedro Sula, Honduras

 This photo by Associated Press photographer Emilio Morenatti shows Mireia Arnau, 39, reacting behind the broken glass of her shop stormed by demonstrators during clashes with the police at the general strike in Barcelona

 This picture by Russian photographer Sergei Ilnitsky Nicolas Limbach of Germany (L) in action against Jingzhi Wang of China (R) during their Men's Sabre Team Placement 5-6 match for the London Games

 Palestinian woman is helped after being injured during an Israeli forces strike on a soccer field next to her house in Gaza City. This photo was one in a series of images by Associated Press photographer Bernat Armangue

 This photo by Associated Press photographer Altaf Qadrin shows underprivileged Indian children attend a free school run under a metro bridge in New Delhi, India

 This photo by Associated Press photographer Adel Hana shows Palestinian gunmen ride motorcycles as they drag the body of a man who was killed earlier as a suspected collaborator with Israel, in Gaza City

 This photo is one of a series by Associated Press photographer Bernat Armangue shows a Palestinian man kissing the hand of a dead relative in the morgue of Shifa Hospital in Gaza City

 Smoke rises after an Israeli forces strike in Gaza City. This photo was one in a series of images by Associated Press photographer Bernat Armangue

 Spanish bullfighter Juan Jose Padilla performs during a bullfight in the southwestern Spanish town of Olivenza. It is one of a series of images by Associated Press photographer Daniel Ochoa de Olza

 14 February 2012 Al-Qusayr, Syria. A child mourns her father, who was kidnapped, tortured and killed by shabiha (government militias) with other two men. Their bodies were abandoned in a main street. The civilian unrest in the Syrian Arab Republic began in March 2011 and continues to affect people, particularly in the most vulnerable segments of the population. At least 60,000 people have been killed since uprising began, according to the United Nations (UN), and the number of Syrian refugees registered by the UN in the Middle East and North Africa has surpassed half a million. The situation continues to deteriorate in villages and cities in the country, leaving people without protection, shelter, food and water and facing fear every day.

 Palestinian schoolchildren walk between debris of a damaged school in Gaza City. The school was damaged when Israeli forces struck on a nearby building. This photo was one in a series of images by Associated Press photographer Bernat Armangue

 10 March 2012, Idib, Syria. Aida cries while recovering from severe injuries she received when her house was shelled by the Syrian Army. Her husband and two children were fatally wounded during the shelling.

 31 July 2012, Aleppo, Syria. Opposition fighters regularly launched operations to seize government informants after dark. Two informants were captured, declared guilty under interrogation, and tortured throughout the night; tired soldiers had to be replaced so the torture could continue. After 48 hours, the captives were released.

 10 October 2012, Aleppo, Syria. A Free Syrian Army fighter takes up a position during clashes against government forces in the Sulemain Halabi district.

 7 March 2012, Rikuzentakata, Japan. Pine trees uprooted during the tsunami lay strewn over the beach. One year later, areas of Japan most impacted by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that left 15,848 dead and 3,305 missing, continue to struggle. Thousands of people remain living in temporary dwellings. The government faces an uphill battle with the need to dispose of rubble as it works to rebuild economies and livelihoods.

 12 February 2012, Batu Sangkar, West Sumatra, Indonesia. A jockey, his feet stepped into a harness strapped to the bulls and clutching their tails, shows relief and joy at the end of a dangerous run across rice fields. The Pacu Jawi (bull race) is a popular competition at the end of harvest season keenly contested between villages.

31 July 2012, London, United Kingdom. Alaaeldin Abouelkassem of Egypt (top) in action against Peter Joppich of Germany during their Men's Foil Individual Round 16 match. Years of training, thousands of battles, and hundreds of victories prepared fencing competitors for the opportunity to stand on the piste at the 2012 London Olympic Games to fight for gold.


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