Asia – A Week in Pictures April 3, 2011

April 4, 2011

In case anyone is in any doubt about the volatile situation many of our staff and stringers work under in Afghanistan I want to recount what happened on Saturday. Ahmad Nadeem was covering a demonstration that was sparked by the actions of extremist Christian preacher Terry Jones, who, according to his website, supervised the burning of the Koran in front of about 50 people at a church in Florida. The mood at the demonstration changed very quickly as the crowd sought a focus for their anger. Ahmad, our stringer in Kandahar was targeted. He was beaten with sticks, his gear smashed and his hand broken. Then an armed man instructed the mob to kill him. Ahmad fled for his life escaping into a nearby house where he successfully hid from the mob. Earlier in the day a suicide attack also hit a NATO military base in the capital Kabul, the day after protesters overran a U.N. mission in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif and killed seven foreign staff in the deadliest attack on the U.N. in Afghanistan.


Bullet holds are seen on the windshield of a car used by insurgents after an attack at Camp Phoenix in Kabul April 2, 2011. Insurgents clad in burkhas attacked a coalition base in Kabul with guns and rocket-propelled grenades on Saturday, but were killed either when they detonated their explosives or by Afghan or coalition fire outside the entrance, NATO and police said.    REUTERS/Ahmad Masood


Afghans chant anti-American slogans during a demonstration to condemn the burning of a copy of the Muslim holy book by a U.S. pastor, in Mazar-i- Sharif April 1, 2011. Afghan insurgents used mass protests against Koran burning as cover to launch an attack on the United Nations building in northern Mazar-i-Sharif city, in which at least seven foreigners were killed, the governor of Northern Balkh province said. The United Nations death toll in an attack on the U.N. compound in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif could be as high as 20, U.N. officials told Reuters on Friday. REUTERS/Stringer


A U.S. soldier (R) keeps watch as the body of an insurgent lays on the ground after an attack at Camp Phoenix in Kabul April 2, 2011. Insurgents clad in burkhas attacked a coalition base in Kabul with guns and rocket-propelled grenades on Saturday, but were killed either when they detonated their explosives or by Afghan or coalition fire outside the entrance, NATO and police said.    REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

The nuclear and tsunami story in Japan is also presenting an interesting set of challenges for the photographers. The reactor is now leaking radiation into the sea with two radioactive hotspots identified to the north west of Fukushima City. The leaks in the reactors are neither better nor worse – so how close would you want to get to take a picture?  If you want to help and get really close you can get a job with TEPCO as a “Jumper” and get paid $5000 and go right inside the reactor.  We of course would be more than happy to see pictures shot by a “Jumper” and the team at work. At the scene of tsunami devastation the US and Japanese military are now searching the sea for the thousands of missing bodies as the survivors try to piece together their lives, the images of this daily struggle no less powerful even though the story is now three weeks old. What was amazing to me how much dignity and respect ooze from Kato-san pictures as the Emperor and Empress visit one of the evacuation centres. For the rest of the pictures I will let them speak for themselves, words will add nothing.


A woman reacts while using a mobile phone as she looks at her house destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami in Kessenuma town, in Miyagi prefecture March 28, 2011. Japan appeared resigned on Monday to a long fight to contain the world’s most dangerous atomic crisis in 25 years after high radiation levels complicated work at its crippled nuclear plant. REUTERS/Carlos Barria


School bags are seen at the tsunami-hit Okawa Elementary School in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan March 28, 2011. About eighty percent of the students and teachers were killed or are missing after the school was devastated by a tsunami following the March 11 earthquake.     REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao


A pupil sits alone before a graduation ceremony at Ashinome kindergarten in Kessenuma, a town affected by the earthquake and tsunami, in Miyagi prefecture March 28, 2011. One pupil and several parents from the school have been reported missing after the disaster. REUTERS/Carlos Barria


A girl cries at an evacuation shelter in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, after the area was devastated by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami March 29, 2011.   REUTERS/Damir Sagolj


A torn page with headshots of students from a class photo album lies on mud outside the tsunami-hit Okawa Elementary School in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan March 29, 2011. Only 34 students out of a total of 108 survived the disaster.   REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao


Japan’s Emperor Akihito (2nd R) and Empress Michiko (R) talk with evacuees from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, at Tokyo Budoh-kan, currently an evacuation shelter, in Tokyo, March 30, 2011. The Emperor and Empress visited the shelter on Wednesday to encourage the some 300 evacuees, mainly from Fukushima Prefecture. REUTERS/Issei Kato


An aerial view of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station is seen in Fukushima Prefecture in this photo taken by the Air Photo Service on March 24, 2011. Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said on April 1, 2011 he was ready for a long fight to bring a quake-hit nuclear plant under control but was convinced Japan would overcome the world’s worst nuclear crisis since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. REUTERS/Air Photo Service


A radiation check-up worker uses a urinal at a toilet of an evacuation centre in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, northern Japan, April 1, 2011, located about 70 km (44 miles) from the earthquake and tsunami-crippled nuclear reactor.   REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon


A broken clock is seen in a destroyed house in Rikuzentakata after the area was devastated by the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami, April 2, 2011.   REUTERS/Damir Sagolj


A man walks at a residential area destroyed by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Ishinomaki, northern Japan March 31, 2011. Pressure grew on Thursday for Japan to expand an evacuation zone round its stricken nuclear plant where radiation hit 4,000 times legal limits in nearby sea and hindered the battle to contain the world’s worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl.  REUTERS/Carlos Barria


Members of a search and rescue team look for dead bodies at an area destroyed by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Ishinomaki, northern Japan April 1, 2011. REUTERS/Carlos Barria


A Japanese flag is seen through the broken window of a damaged house in Miyako, Iwate prefecture, three weeks after the area was devastated by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami April 1, 2011.   REUTERS/Damir Sagolj


A boy helps his relatives as they recover items around a ship swept inland by the tsunami in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, twenty days after the area was devastated by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami March 31, 2011.   REUTERS/Damir Sagolj


Police officers wearing protective suits search for victims of an earthquake and a tsunami in Fukushima Prefecture in Minamisoma City in this photo taken by Yomiuri Shimbun on March 28, 2011.  Mandatory Credit REUTERS/Yomiuri Shimbun

As the region’s countries address concerns about possible radiation contaminating food and products from Japan measures have been put into place to detect it. In Taiwan, cars being imported are inspected, Nicky Loh catching a masked, orange clad worker standing in a row of gleaming vehicles from Japan. Seoul based Jo Yong-Hak, went to a fish market where similar tests are being carried out. The French, who were the first to be advised to leave Tokyo as a nuclear cloud headed to it, were the first to send a head of state to visit. Toru Hanai capturing Sarkozy’s face looking just like his caricature. Meanwhile the Japanese government struggle with mounting debt, the value of the Yen and value of  TEPCO looks uncertain – to nationalise, or not, now that is the question. Kato-san’s picture perfectly timed as Prime Minister Kan bows towards the national flag. If the Japanese didn’t have enough to worry about, a Korean pressure group called a demonstration accusing them of distorting history over the disputed volcanic islets. What I like about this picture is that the media outnumber the demonstrators about four to one. Somebody got something wrong with the timing of this one.


A worker checks a vehicle for radiation at a Nissan warehouse in Sanyi, Miaoli March 31, 2011. Nissan Motor Co’s Taiwan affiliate will check radiation levels on all car parts imported from Japan. Taiwan’s authorities have stepped up checks on Japanese products since the earthquake and tsunami caused a crisis at a nuclear power plant in the country, banning food imports from five prefectures around the stricken plant. REUTERS/Nicky Loh 


A wholesaler waits for customers at a shop in the Garak-dong agricultural and marine products market in Seoul March 29, 2011. South Korea started detailed checks on all Japanese fishery and meat products for radiation contamination on Tuesday after banning on March 25 food imports from 4 areas of Japan affected by the country’s nuclear crisis until radiation concerns are lifted.  REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak


France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy arrives at Haneda airport in Tokyo March 31, 2011. Sarkozy will be the first world leader to travel to Japan since the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, which left more than 27,500 people dead or missing. REUTERS/Toru Hanai


Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan bows to the national flag as he arrives for a news conference at his official residence in Tokyo April 1, 2011.   REUTERS/Issei Kato


South Korean activists are surrounded by the media as they hold an anti-Japan rally protesting Japan’s sovereignty claim on the Dokdo islets, in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul March 30, 2011. South Korea and Japan have a long-running territorial dispute over a remote crop of desolate volcanic islets between the two countries, which Seoul calls Dokdo and Tokyo calls Takeshima. The banner reads “Japan! Withdraw distortions of history (in Japanese history textbooks)!”  REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak

To India, and the Cricket World Cup. India must have felt they had their final beating Pakistan and if there was ever a game to raise the passion it is that match, but they went onto defeat Sri Lanka in the final and a big well done. Athar Hussain’s picture of defeated Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi as he is seen on the back of screens of cameras, the dejected captain in the background – fantastic.


Pakistan World Cup captain Shahid Afridi is photographed by fans at his residence after arriving to Karachi on April 1, 2011. Afridi has withdrawn from next month’s tour to West Indies, a source at the national cricket board told Reuters on Thursday.   REUTERS/Athar Hussain

As India marched into the final, batting legend Sachin Tendulkar was on 99 centuries. The headline writers licking their lips with the prospect of the wizard scoring his 100th century at the world cup cricket final. It was not to be as Sri Lanka spoiled the party (only a bit) and Tendulkar was out for 18.  Nothing beats a set of sporting pictures when a home team wins the final.


Cricket fans celebrate in Allahabad, after India won the ICC Cricket World Cup final match against Sri Lanka, April 2, 2011. India sparked wild celebrations among their billion supporters after beating Sri Lanka by six wickets in the World Cup final at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on Saturday. REUTERS/Jitendra Prakash


India’s Yusuf Pathan, Yuvraj Singh and Piyush Chawla (L-2nd R) celebrate after their team won the ICC Cricket World Cup final match against Sri Lanka in Mumbai April 2, 2011.                         REUTERS/Adnan Abidi


India’s players including Sachin Tendulkar (C) celebrate after India won their ICC Cricket World Cup final match against Sri Lanka in Mumbai April 2, 2011.                                      REUTERS/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds


India celebrate after winning their ICC Cricket World Cup final match against Sri Lanka in Mumbai April 2, 2011.            REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

I am saddened and at the same time intrigued by the set of Joe’s pictures of a four year old boy who weighs 62 kgs. I  almost didn’t include them as I feel slightly voyeuristic. The image I have chosen I think is a very affectionate portrait of innocence. Why he is that fat I will let you decide yourself but the second sentence in the caption seems to raise the right questions. Click on the link here to see the rest of the images. 


Lu Zhihao (R), 4, sleeps during a noon break at a kindergarten in Foshan, Guangdong province March 29, 2011. Lu, who is 1.1m tall and weighs 62 kg, put on weight dramatically since his appetite grew when he was 3 months old. His worried parents took him to several hospitals, but the reason for his obesity remains unknown, though it is possibly due to his dietary habit, according to local media. Picture taken March 29, 2011. REUTERS/Joe Tan

In almost complete contrast to Joe’s image of an overweight boy is this wonderful picture shot by Jason of women preparing to compete for the position of China Super Model. The eye zigzags through the busy composition with every inch of the image filled with activity, the harsh black and whites broken only by the soft pale skin colour of the competitors.  Also in China, Beijing based Dave Gray has been shooting a series of pictures around healthcare in China. The minds eye is almost fooled into thinking that we are looking into a mirror but we are peering into the scene through what looks like reinforced glass. I fel like I am hundreds of feet under water.


Contestants have make-up applied in a dressing room before the 6th China Super Model Final on the last day of China Fashion Week in Beijing March 31, 2011. REUTERS/Jason Lee


 Doctor Li Tongqiang (C) can be seen through a window as he walks past patients receiving treatment at his medical clinic in the village of Jianhua, located on the outskirts of the northern Chinese city of Shuangcheng in Heilongjiang province March 29, 2011. Li is one of 800 ‘country’ doctors that care for around 600,000 mostly farmers and their families who live in the rural areas surrounding the city of Shuangcheng. Li’s annual salary is around 25,000 Yuan (US$3,900), and he sees around 15-20 patients per day, visiting homes of patients if they are unable to visit his clinic. China is in the midst of overhauling the biggest healthcare infrastructure in human history and in the past month, has pledged more money to bring more people under its insurance scheme, raise the levels of reimbursements, and improve services to meet the needs of a 1.33 billion population.      REUTERS/David Gray

Strange though it may seem I have a love of pictures that portray industry throughout the region and even though this week’s blog is really busy I just had to include the following three images. The first from a coal plant in China, all the rules of composition are broken, the man and the smoke are leading you out to the right of the picture, too close to the frame for comfort. Verticals “should always be vertical”, but the chimney, which should be vertical, leans to the right but luckily the structure of the image is held in place by the fact the building is cropped out of the frame on the left and the eye is drawn to the goalpost shape and five coloured flags that are left of centre. The man, hands in pockets, trudging out of the frame seems to me to be giving up with the environment as smoke and dust drive him out. From Indonesia the fiery process of ferronickel smelting captured perfectly by Yusuf like the very doors of Hell are being opened. But look to Malaysia and the heat of Yusuf’s picture is cooled by the cold tones of Bazuki’s image of the giant warehouse doors of the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot being closed, the figures dwarfed. The doors will only open again as the UN is called to help out at another disaster.  All the rules of classic composition obeyed and applied, visual calm resumes.


A man walks past a coal plant amidst a dust storm in Lingwu, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region March 29, 2011. China, the world’s biggest user and producer of coal, may face a shortfall of 56 million tonnes of coking coal this year, the China Securities Journal reported on Tuesday, pushing Chinese steel mills to look further afield to make up the supply gap. REUTERS/Stringer 


Employees work in a ferronickel smelter owned by state miner Aneka Tambang Tbk at Pomala district in Indonesia’s southeast Sulawesi province March 30, 2011. The country accounts for roughly 7 percent of the world’s total nickel mine output , according to Reuters data. REUTERS/Yusuf Ahmad


Personnel of the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) close their temporary storehouse in Subang outside Kuala Lumpur March 31, 2011. Malaysia and World Food Programme (WFP) on Thursday launched the start of the construction of the UNHRD facility to be completed by end of 2011 and located in Subang, 30 km (19 miles) west of Kuala Lumpur. Run by the WFP, the new depot is one of five throughout the world which stores aid and relief supplies from UN agencies and international aid organisations that would be airlifted to disaster hit countries when needed. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad

In Pakistan Fayaz Aziz covered the two attacks on consecutive days that were intended to kill Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) party head Fazl-ur-Rehman. The anoymous feet of the injured man who survived the attack and those standing around them to me hint at the indiscriminate nature of suicide bomb blasts. The second image, a man weeping inconsolably for the death of his father, beyond comfort from an anonymous hand, showing the viewer just how personal the death by an indiscriminate bomb can be, I feel as if I know him and feel his pain of loss.


A man injured by a suicide bomb blast is being treated at the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar March 30, 2011.  A suspected suicide bomber blew himself up near a gathering of Islamist party Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) in the northwestern town of Swabi, killing 12 people including a policeman, police said. REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz


A man mourns the death of his father at the site of a suicide attack targeting Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) party head Fazl-ur-Rehman in Charsadda March 31, 2011. Rehman, a prominent Islamist politician, narrowly escaped the assassination attempt on Thursday when a suspected suicide bomber blew himself up near his car in Pakistan’s northwestern town of Charsadda, killing at least 11  people, government officials and aides said. REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz

Finally, no prizes for guessing what New Zealand’s bowler McCullum is thinking after being hit for a six and being told so by a giant board behind his head – nice one Phil. Bea’s picture of an activist being unceremoniously dragged away dressed in an orangutan outfit makes me think of the chain reaction of events that will happen to him in the coming hours. It’s all well and good being dressed as an orangutan as you protest over animal rights but imagine trying to get a taxi home the next day from the police station, especially in the Jakarta traffic.   Also, is that a smirk on the officer’s face on the left side of the picture? Maybe he is thinking the same thing?


New Zealand’s Nathan McCullum looks on after he was hit for a six by Sri Lanka’s captain Kumar Sangakkara during their ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 semi-final match in Colombo March 29, 2011.                 REUTERS/Philip Brown


A Greenpeace activist dressed as an orangutan is removed by security personnel during a protest against the Indonesian government in front of the Finance Ministry office in Jakarta March 31, 2011. The activists were calling for the immediate implementation of a two-year moratorium on new forest concessions to protect the rainforests, home of the endangered orangutan. The moratorium is part of a bilateral agreement with Norway, in exchange for which Indonesia will receive $1 billion in funding for Reducing Emissions From Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD-plus) activities. REUTERS/Beawiharta


all images r great. and i would like see more in Asia site. good luck to the all photographers of reuters

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