Chukotka, a region revived in the last eight years by the $2.5 billion investment of Chelsea soccer club owner Roman Abramovich, produced a fifth of Russia’s gold in the first half of this year. Gold is the region’s passport to growth after Abramovich quit as governor last July.Only South Africa holds more gold than Russia, but Moscow’s fragmented industry has struggled to access vast reserves in its inhospitable Far East. The region was first mined in the 1930s by prisoners of the Gulags set up by Soviet leader Josef Stalin.Senior Commodities Correspondent Robin Paxton and Moscow-based video journalist Heleen van Geest return from the Chukchi Peninsula with a series on the revival of gold mining in the Gulag region.
Contributor Jashim Salam captures the arrival of the monsoon rains in Bangladesh with a striking view of the clouds and also two boys in Chittagong experiencing their first rainfall of the season. The monsoon season typically accounts for eighty percent of the yearly rainfall in countries like Bangladesh.
To celebrate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s exploration of the Hudson River, this year’s July 4th fireworks spectacular took place over the Hudson rather than the East River. Of course, this meant every New Yorker – and photographer – had to choose a new sight line to view the show from. Contributor Jody Kasch climbed onto a 24th Street rooftop and captured these surreal portraits as 40,000 shells were exploded at a rate of 1,500 per minute.See the rest of this week’s best contributions here.
We took a liking to this contribution from Jashim Salam, of children watching from above as firefighters work to extinguish a blaze in the Bangladeshi city of Chittagong. The fire’s smoke, normally a tad frightening, manages to seem almost whimsical as it drifts up past the kids and into the shafts of light.See the rest of this week’s top contributions here.
The sudden death of pop icon Michael Jackson was surely the biggest story of the week and his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame quickly became a go-to point for fans and media. Only there was one problem – the pop icon’s Hollywood star was hidden under a red carpet the night of his death. Contributor Daniel Dreifuss captures the confusion in this moody portrait as photographers and fans gather mistakenly around the star of Los Angeles-area radio personality Michael Jackson.