Asia – A week in Pictures 7 November 2010

November 8, 2010

A continual struggle with writing this blog is trying to keep it picture led and not wander off into the top stories from the week that may not have produced the best pictures. This week in Asia we have seen the arrival of U.S President Obama in India, U.S Secretary of State Hilary Clinton doing the rounds, the first election in Myanmar for 20 years (no prizes as to who will win though) not one, but two Qantas jets getting into engine difficulty, the continuing tensions between Japan and China, the failed bid by BHP Billiton to take over of Potash, currency woes as we prepare for G20 in Seoul later this week and let’s not forget Afghanistan and bombs in Pakistan. So where to start?  Mick Tsikas produced my favourite picture of the week, a fan at the Melbourne Cup; one can only admire the oral control it takes to shout in celebration while holding firmly onto a lit cigarette.  I thought this was a skill that died out with the passing of Humphrey Bogart.


A race-goer cheers as jockey Gerald Mosse of France rides Americain to victory in the Melbourne Cup at the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne November 2, 2010. REUTERS/Mick Tsikas

In Indonesia the stark realities of living in the shadow of an erupting volcano continue to be brought home by Beawiharta. Try as I might I could not edit out any of these four pictures.  So with cries of “overfile ovefile” ringing in my ears I will shamelessly re-publish.  Wearing a hat to protect yourself from the hundreds of tonnes of hot ash raining down, you’ve been made homeless and the air is filled with dust and smoke – what do you do? Light up – a perfect moment caught as life stoically goes on. The strong diagonal lines and planes of tone in perfect monochromatic harmony.


A man smokes a cigarette in front of temporary shelter in Jumoyo village in the city of Magelang as Mount Merapi volcano erupts November 4, 2010. Mount Merapi has killed at least 39 people since it began erupting on October 26. Over 74 have been injured and more than 70,000 people have been evacuated, according to Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Board on Wednesday.  REUTERS/Beawiharta

Aditia Surya’s brutal image of the twisted ash covered bodies of the victims brings home the speed and destructive power that the eruption of Mount Merapi has brought to Indonesia. To counter this brutality are two images of the beauty by Beawiharta; the angelic figure walking through a camp set up for those made homeless by the eruption and the sheer might of natures forces as Merapi erupts surrounded by lightening strikes.


Bodies of victims of Indonesia’s Mount Merapi eruption are seen in front of a house in Argomulyo village, Cangkringan, in Sleman November 5, 2010. Indonesia’s Mount Merapi volcano erupted with renewed ferocity on Friday, bringing the total death toll to over 100 and blanketing the area with white ash. REUTERS/Aditia Surya


A woman prays in a temporary shelter at Maguwoharjo Stadium in Yogyakarta, November 5, 2010. Indonesia’s Mount Merapi volcano erupted with renewed ferocity on Friday, killing another 54 people and blanketing the surrounding area with ash. REUTERS/Beawiharta


Lightning strikes as Mount Merapi volcano erupts spewing out towering clouds of hot gas and debris, as seen from Ketep village in Magelang, Indonesia’s Central Java province November 6, 2010. Indonesia’s Mount Merapi volcano erupted with renewed ferocity on Friday, killing another 54 people and blanketing the surrounding area with ash. REUTERS/Beawiharta

As Indonesia struggles with this latest natural disaster the wheels of government continue to turn as they prepare for Obama’s visit later this week and entertain other political guests. A goose stepping heel clicking moment frozen by Enny Nuraheni for us all to enjoy as Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard inspects the Guard of Honour. An equally enjoyable heel clicking moment is the picture shot in Shanghai by Carlos Barria.


Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard inspects a guard of honour at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta during her state visit to Indonesia November 2, 2010.     REUTERS/Enny Nuraheni


A woman wears red shoes as she walks into a subway station in downtown Shanghai November 3, 2010.  REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Continuing with Indonesia, initial reports came in that an aircraft had crashed on Batam, a small island between the city state of Singapore and Indonesia.  We then heard it was a Qantas A380 headed to Sydney. It was with our hearts in our mouths we were relieved to hear that the aircraft was actually circling Singapore, dumping fuel and preparing to land. Qantas informed us that the aircraft had suffered an engine failure but all the passengers were uninjured. David Loh’s picture showing us what engine failure means to you and me. You might be interested to know that the very next day the captain from this stricken flight QF32 was then involved in another Qantas incident when a 747, that he was a passenger in, had to return to Singapore due to engine problems.  If that had happened to me I think I might consider a career change – something like climbing the “Singapore flyer” on the outside?


Technicians look at the damaged engine of Qantas Airways A380 passenger plane QF32 after it was forced to make an emergency landing at Changi airport in Singapore November 4, 2010. The Qantas Airways A380 landed safely in Singapore on Thursday after running into engine trouble, one of the most serious incidents for the world’s largest passenger plane in its three years of commercial flight.  REUTERS/David Loh


French climber Alain Robert, also known as “Spiderman”, scales the 165-metre-high (541-feet) Singapore Flyer observation wheel in Singapore November 5, 2010.  REUTERS/Vivek Prakash 


French climber Alain Robert, also known as “Spiderman”, reacts as he scales to the top of the 165-metre (541-feet) high Singapore Flyer observation wheel in Singapore November 5, 2010.  REUTERS/Tim Chong

As Myanmar went to the polls, the first time in twenty years, opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest, protests against the Myanmar ruling party took place around the region. A simple picture of a protesters shoe on the Myanmar flag (a great insult) seemed to sum it all up for me, peaceful, effective, good colour and great design. In Myanmar itself no foreign ournalists were allowed entry into the country to cover the election. Even with such restrictions Reuters were able to run a live blog and get pictures out.


A shoe of a supporter of Myanmar’s detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is placed on the state flag of the newly named Republic of the Union of Myanmar during a demonstration outside the Myanmar embassy in Tokyo November 6, 2010. Protesters demanded the abolishment of upcoming elections scheduled for November 7 and the release of political prisoners. Myanmar will hold its first parliamentary election in two decades this weekend although critics say it will simply cement the military’s grip on power under the guise of civilian rule. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao


A man looks at the election material posted outside a polling station as others cast shadows in central Yangon November 7, 2010. Myanmar voted in its first election in 20 years on Sunday under tight security, a scripted vote that assures army-backed parties an easy win but brings a hint of parliamentary politics to one of Asia’s most oppressed states.   REUTERS/Stringer

Business pictures in Japan are a daily diet for the team. Every week Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa makes a statement and every week we have to try to get a different picture of him. Every week we seem to succeed, Kim coming up with the latest idea – never to be used again.  Same challenge with Japan’s major companies posting their earnings every quarter, Hanai-san going the extra mile to get something different for the Nissan results.


Nissan cars stop in front of a Nissan dealership in Tokyo November 4, 2010. Nissan Motor Co lifted its annual guidance and posted a doubling in quarterly operating profit as the popularity of new cars such as the March/Micra subcompact helped offset currency losses.   REUTERS/Toru Hanai


A reporter’s recorder is placed on a desk while Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa speaks at a news conference in Tokyo November 5, 2010. Shirakawa said on Friday he saw upside and downside risks to Japan’s economy evenly balanced.    REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

 Beijing based David Gray has been working on a story about the mining and production rare earth minerals in Inner Mongolia. The simple graphic imagery of steps leading down to the polluted dam waters and the sun struggling to get past the smoke stacks tell the story of pollution as China’s need for industrial growth clashes with the need to protect the environment. If you want to see more pictures and read more about rare earth minerals follow the link here.


A coal-burning power plant can be seen behind a factory in the city of Baotou, in China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region October 31, 2010. China’s $736-billion push to harness nuclear, wind, solar and biomass energy hinges on making the cleaner fuels competitive with cheap and CO2-intensive coal without derailing surging industrial growth. The world’s second-largest economy faces formidable challenges to make the plan work, with the upgrade to its rickety electricity grid needed, and the opening up of the network to alternative energy and raise tariffs to make new energy sources competitive with coal-fired power. The aim is to cut carbon intensity as much as 45 percent from 2005 levels by 2020 and increase the share of renewables to 15 percent of primary energy consumption.    REUTERS/David Gray


Stairs lead down into a vast tailings dam that contains heavily polluted water near Xinguang Village, located on the outskirts of the city of Baotou in China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in this October 31, 2010 picture.  REUTERS/David Gray

Following on with the theme of the environment I couldn’t resist this picture by Sumsul of a worker taking a break from his work in the production of coffee.  The image barely offers us any information as to what is going on. The sheer strength of the image makes us want to know more.  In Surapan’s picture from Thailand below the perfect composition of the positioning of the men in the frame lead the eye straight into the doors of the mosque; no matter that everyone is knee deep in flood water.


A worker takes a break from preparing coffee powder at Kim Guan Coffee Bean Factory in Malaysia’s northern town of Georgetown November 5, 2010.  Kim Guan Coffee Bean Factory imports coffee beans from Indonesia and produces 24 kgs (11 lbs) of coffee powder per day, to be sold in Georgetown and surrounding areas, according to the factory. REUTERS/Samsul Said


Thai Muslim men wade through floodwaters as they leave a mosque in the southern Pattani province November 4, 2010. Floods that have killed at least 12 people in southern Thailand followed the worst flooding in decades in the northeast and centre of the country. In all, 122 people have died since early October.  REUTERS/Surapan Boonthanom

Cricket – It’s not often you get a missed catch with the batsman looking on centrally placed between the hapless fielder and the fumbled ball.  To celebrate I almost want to put speech bubbles for both players and run a caption competition. I am holding my breath for Tendulkar’s 50th century which could be any day now.


New Zealand’s Jesse Ryder (R) watches as India’s Rahul Dravid drops the catch off the bat of Ryder during the third day of their first test cricket match in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad November 6, 2010. REUTERS/Amit Dave

Lastly, my self indulgence, a few pictures re-published for no other reason than I like them. Adrees Latif’s image of the boy injured in a blast in Peshawar striking and angry, the beautiful fashion picture by Bazuki Muhammad, all curves and beauty in modesty, the light unguarded moment of President Obama captured by White House photographer Jason Reed through a glass window and finally the Mayor of New York , Michael Bloomberg attending a conference on climate change and looking as proud as one of the last of the Mohicans by Tyrone Siu (a little more space on the right next time please). I am not a great fan of silhouette pictures but I like the two frames that came in from our embeds in Afghanistan, Peter Andrews and Finbarr O’Reilly.


Ajmal, 12, injured in a suicide bomb attack at a mosque, awaits treatment at the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar November 5, 2010. A suicide bomber demolished a mosque in northwest Pakistan as Friday prayers were ending, killing at least 66 people after a relative lull in militant violence, provincial government officials said. REUTERS/Adrees Latif


A model presents a batik creation by Malaysian designer Abdul Kareem of design house Khadani, at the “Islamic Fashion Festival – Beauty In Modesty” show during the Malaysia International Fashion Week in Kuala Lumpur November 3, 2010. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad


U.S. President Barack Obama reacts as he sees photographers through a door window from backstage as he waits to deliver remarks at the U.S.-India business council and entrepreneurship summit in Mumbai, India, November 6, 2010.   REUTERS/Jason Reed


New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks during a news conference at the C40 Hong Kong Workshop of the International Conference On Climate Change 2010 in Hong Kong November 5, 2010. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu


Artillery rounds of phosphorescence explode above Taliban positions during a battle in Musa Qala district in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand province November 7, 2010. REUTERS/Finbarr O’Reilly


U.S. soldiers carry a wounded Afghan prisoner to a helicopter for a Medevac flight in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand Province November 7, 2010. REUTERS/Peter Andrews


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