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from Oddly Enough Blog:

Oh, the gowns! Oh, the humanity!

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PAKISTAN/

What a glittering evening this is, folks. The celebrities are arriving now for our Lux Style Awards. With us here is a man who came all the way from Hollywood to help set up our arrival festivities, and he's the best in the business. Sir, what should we call you?

lux awards vertical 240Lamar. Just Lamar.

And what do you think of our venue here, Lamar?

It's quite modern. You've got the red carpet, the whole nine yards.

Oh, I believe it's longer than that, Lamar. So give us some inside information about how you set up this arrival event.

Sure. See all those photographers? I put our brightest spotlights just over the red carpet. I tied our Klieg Lights to those decorative prongs hanging overhead.

But Lamar, that is our heat-activated sprinkler system. I hope your lights don't get very hot, or.... OH NO! Here it comes! It's gushing!

from Oddly Enough Blog:

Another fall flood of bad TV shows?

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I scour our vast photo file every day, to make sure my readers are seeing the goofiest stuff possible. Sometimes I see photos that speak so eloquently about the endurance of the human spirit that I just get goose-bumps.

You take this scene from Bangkok yesterday, where in spite of floodwaters raging through homes, at least some folks are still managing to .... watch television?

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

The skewed narrative on Pakistan flood aid: “help me or I’ll kill you”

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handsOne of the arguments that comes up frequently for helping the victims of Pakistan's floods is that otherwise Islamist militants will exploit the disaster, and the threat of terrorism to the west will rise. It's an argument that makes me wince every time I read it. 

It implies that wanting to help people simply because they are suffering from hunger, homelessness and disease is a hopelessly outdated concept; that until these hungry, homeless and diseased people turn up at a bombing near you, then there is no reason to give them money.  (For a great take on this, do read Manan Ahmed's "I am a bhains" at Chapati Mystery).

from Oddly Enough Blog:

Is a plane that different from a forklift?

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Blog Guy, I'm planning a dream vacation to China, but I'm worried. I read that China has found that nearly 200 pilots have falsified their resumés . Please assure me that's all been taken care of now.

pilotes rocket 300Of course it has. Some of those pilots lost their licenses.

Some? What about the rest of them?

It turns out they're back on the job after "remedial action."

Are you kidding me? They lied about their flight experience and now they're working again? Why on earth were they hired in the first place?

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Down the River: What Is To Be Done?

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On Friday, Sept 3, a boy stands outside a house destroyed by flood waters that swept through Mehmood Kot a month ago. Residents of Mehmood Kot have been waiting a month for relief aid, which they say they have not received. (REUTERS/Chris Allbritton)

After three days traveling the flood path down the Indus River Valley, from Nowshera in the northwest down to Multan and to the confluence of the Indus and Pakistan’s other major rivers, it’s clear the devastation is as great as everyone feared.

from Oddly Enough Blog:

We’re crashing? Can I still get Duty Free?

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There was an incredible story last week, which I can't get out of my mind.

NBA/British Airways apologized after an emergency message was played in flight by mistake, warning passengers they might be about to crash into the sea.

The plane was bound from London to Hong Kong at the time. The cabin crew realized the error, and reassured the terrified passengers.

from Photographers' Blog:

A hurricane named Katrina

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Elton Driscoll, Jr. carries a U.S. flag that he removed from a hotel down the deserted and boarded-up Bourbon Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans August 28, 2005.   REUTERS/Rick Wilking

While covering Hurricane Katrina ripping through New Orleans five years ago, it struck me how the individual events that unfolded in the aftermath echoed similar tragedies I had photographed around the globe.

Cynthia Gonzales runs through the rain with a stray dog she rescued from a destroyed gas station (background) in Gretna, Louisiana, as Hurricane Katrina hit August 29, 2005.   REUTERS/Rick Wilking

It was like several stories in one - a hurricane of course, but there was little typical hurricane damage in the city. In fact, before the levees broke and it turned into a flood story I was close to leaving to move further east along the coast to cover the near-total devastation in Mississippi.

from Photographers' Blog:

Disaster deja vu

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A view shows the landslide-hit Zhouqu County of Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province, Gansu Province August 9, 2010.  REUTERS/Aly Song

“Zhouqu” in Tibetan means the Bailong River, which runs across the once peaceful county. Surrounded by hills, this small settlement was where just over one week ago, a landslide charged through the main street. 1100 people were killed and more than 600 remain missing - who are presumed dead.

Having returned from covering this disaster, I find it difficult to resume my normal life. I think back over the last 7 days, and I cannot stop feeling how similar the towns of Zhouqu and Beichuan are. (Beichuan was almost entirely destroyed during the 2008 earthquake that left more than 86,000 people dead, and over 12,000 missing). Both these towns are similar in the following respects: landform, residents, architecture, and the arrival of thousands of rescue workers and soldiers. I can say this, because I have now been in both places covering similar disasters. The only difference is, horribly and sadly, the number of victims.

from Photographers' Blog:

Spitting into the sinkhole

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It's not the first sinkhole the size of an entire block in Guatemala City.

A giant sinkhole caused by the rains of Tropical Storm Agatha is seen in Guatemala City May 31, 2010.  REUTERS/Casa Presidencial/Handout

I had covered an even bigger one in 2007. Two seemingly bottomless, perfectly round holes, swallowed up an intersection and buildings, and in one case a family eating dinner at their dinner table. They both happened at night, both in the rain. On May 29, 2010 I was transmitting late night pictures from the last two sleepless days, covering a volcanic eruption that blanketed the city and country with a cloud of black sand-like ash. Then came Agatha, the first tropical storm of the season, which pounded Guatemala with so much rain that hillsides collapsed on villages and overflowing rivers washed houses away. More than 150 people are counted as dead so far, but they are still searching, digging through the mud to find more.

Workers clean up ash from the Pacaya volcano during tropical storm Agatha in Guatemala City May 29, 2010.  REUTERS/Daniel LeClair

The night the hole was created, it was still raining heavily. We kept the news blaring on the radio. "A giant hole has opened up in Ciudad Nueva!" Again? This time it was closer to my house -- less than 2 miles according to the city map. I jumped on the back of my wet motorbike. It would be tough to stay dry. I was there quickly but the police line was already up.

from Photographers' Blog:

Oil from all angles

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From the moment the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico made headlines, Reuters has provided extensive coverage. Below are accounts from six of our photographers who have been sent at various times to document the story.

LEE CELANO

Reuters photographer Lee Celano photographs oil in a marsh near Pass a Loutre, Louisiana, May 20, 2010.  REUTERS/Matthew Bigg

Covering the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster as a still photographer for Reuters has brought unique challenges. Although the volume of oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico is huge, relatively small patches of oil have landed along coastal Louisiana. It's like a monster who hides most of the time and lashes out quickly, withholding its full strength. But it has been important to show that oil is in fact having an ecological impact here, and to find areas with visible proof.

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