Reuters blog archive
from Photographers Blog:
By Dwi Oblo
I’ve known about the annual Hindu Kasada Festival for some time now.
For years, I've been planning to go but for the past two there have been conflicting events that I needed to cover so this was my first time attending the festival. As I wanted to provide extensive coverage, I decided to arrive a day before the festival started. Along with four colleagues, I headed to Mount Bromo from Yogyakarta. It took us nine hours to drive the 500 km (310 miles) route.
On the morning of August 15, the sunshine slowly warmed me as it reached 16 degrees Celsius (60 degrees Fahrenheit). Coming from Yogyakarta, this was cold for me.
Once arriving in Ngadisari, the last village before Mount Bromo, we decided to rent a four-wheel-drive Jeep. These vehicles were provided for visitors who wanted to reach the volcanic crater of Mount Bromo on foot. After the last eruption in December 2010, the track heading to the crater became sandier, which made it even harder for non-4WDs to navigate. I wore a mask and sealed eyeglasses as strong winds made volcanic dust fly everywhere. My photo equipment also had to be securely protected from the dust when it was not in use. This was the exact same situation I was confronted with when I covered the 2010 eruption of Mount Merapi.
Dust was everywhere! I brought two cameras, each with a wide angle lens and a standard lens. I also had a small flash with me. I assumed that this would be enough equipment. With the two cameras I could make overview pictures as well as portraits without having to change lenses all the time -- something I wanted to avoided in a dusty and sandy place like Mount Bromo.
from Photographers Blog:
By Brian Snyder
Every story and photograph that goes out on the Reuters wire has a 'slug,' which is a short, one or two word way of coordinating and categorizing pictures and stories. For example, photographs from a Red Sox baseball game are slugged BASEBALL. But the slug for a recent story I photographed, BUDDHISTS/LOBSTERS, combined two words I never thought I would see together.
Reporter Lauren Keiper and I recently joined a group of practicing Buddhists in Gloucester, Massachusetts for a ceremony to release over 500 lobsters back into the ocean. The ceremony coincided with the Buddhist holiday "Chokhor Duchen" or "Wheel Turning Day." Buddhists believe animal liberation helps them live longer, especially when performed on holidays when they believe the consequences of their actions are multiplied. The lobsters, which would have otherwise been headed to restaurants, were bought at a local wholesaler.
The ban would be the latest restriction from authorities in Chechnya, where shops can only sell alcohol during a small morning time frame, eateries are shut during the Ramadan fasting month and women must wear headscarves in state buildings.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton agreed with a major global Islamic organization on Friday to pursue new ways of resolving debates over religion without resorting to legal steps against defamation. Clinton met Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the head of the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), in Istanbul to help set up new international mechanisms both protect free speech and combat religious discrimination around the world.
from Tales from the Trail:
Don’t balance the U.S. budget on the backs of the poor and sick, religious leaders said, suggesting that their churches’ charity work is already overstretched and social havoc could result if the government’s social safety net is abandoned.
Representatives from Protestant, Jewish, Muslim and interfaith groups and churches expressed their collective disappointment with the tone of blame in the debt debate between President Obama and congressional negotiators.
Can't wait until Thanksgiving dinner to witness a pointless conversation between a pompous fundamentalist Christian and a sneering atheist? Then "The Ledge" is the movie for you.
The Episcopal Church's diocese of Nevada sought to calm an uproar over a former Benedictine monk who admitted sexual indiscretions with a parishioner before he was ordained an Episcopal priest by Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who is now leader of the 2.3 million member U.S. church.
"It looks to me like she handled the situation by the book," Bishop Dan Edwards said of Jefferts Schori's actions regarding Fr. Bede Parry, a church organist and former Episcopal priest.
U.S. donations to charity rose to $291 billion last year, but it was still more than 6 percent below a 2007 record as the nation struggles to recover from its worst recession in decades. Americans gave nearly 4 percent more in 2010 compared to 2009, the Giving USA Foundation and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University said, perking up after the recession sparked the biggest giving slump in four decades.
Where is the Arab Spring leading the Middle East? What will be the longer-term outcome of the popular protests that have shaken the region since the beginning of this year? Of course, it’s still too early to say with any certainty, even in countries such as Tunisia and Egypt that succeeded in toppling their authoritarian regimes. Some trends have emerged, however, and they’re on the agenda at a conference in Venice I’m attending entitled “Medio Oriente verso dove?” (Where is the Middle East heading?). The host is the Oasis Foundation, a group chaired by Cardinal Angelo Scola, the Roman Catholic patriarch of this historic city, and guests include Christian and Muslim religious leaders and academics from the Middle East and Europe.