Asia – A week in Pictures 24 July 2011

July 25, 2011

China are hosting the 14th FINA World Championships in Shanghai. In my mind’s eye, aquatics is a sport of power, grace, balance and beauty but our pictures seem to add the additional factors of concentration, determination or maybe sheer fear. Against my better judgement, I just have to mention that some of the expressions on the athletes’ faces remind me of the age old tradition of gurning. What also made an impression are the angles, different points of focus and continually new shapes that compliment a file that could have been very repetitive.

Qin Kai of China perform during the preliminary round of the men’s 3m springboard diving event at the 14th FINA World Championships in Shanghai July 21, 2011.        REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Italy’s Linda Cerruti performs in the synchronised swimming solo free final at the 14th FINA World Championships in Shanghai July 20, 2011. REUTERS/David Gray

Romania’s Dimitri Goanta (R) puts pressure on Serbia’s Dusko Pijetlovic during their preliminary round men’s water polo match at the 14th FINA World Championships in Shanghai July 20, 2011. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Spain’s Ona Carbonell and Andrea Fuentes perform during the preliminary round of the synchronised swimming duet free routine at the 14th FINA World Championships in Shanghai July 19, 2011. REUTERS/David Gray

Malaysia’s Leong Mun Yee and Pandelela Rinong compete during the preliminary round of the women’s 10m synchronised platform diving event at the 14th FINA World Championships in Shanghai July 18, 2011.  REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

Brazil’s Ana Marcela Cunha swims in the women’s 25km open water race at Jingshan beach during the 14th FINA World Championships in Shanghai July 23, 2011.  Cunha won the event. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

A diver swims in the pool during the preliminary round of the men’s 3m springboard synchronised diving event at the 14th FINA World Championships in Shanghai July 19, 2011.  REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

Suriname’s Diguan Pigot, Bangladesh’s Shajahan Ali, El Salvador’s Juan Guerra and Chile’s Diego Santander (L-R) compete in the men’s 100m breaststroke heats at the 14th FINA World Championships in Shanghai July 24, 2011. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Staying in China, Shanghai-based Aly Song was quick to react when news broke of a crash involving China’s bullet train. A high speed train was struck by lightning which cut all its power, knocking out the safety system that warned other trains about stalled locomotives on the line.  A second train subsequently ploughed into it, killing at least 35 people. Aly arrived in the dark, producing this very moody and dark image of the stricken carriage hanging off a bridge. Staying up all night, Aly continued to shoot and file the mechanical diggers look like animals feeding off a metallic carcass.

Rescuers carry out rescue operations after two carriages from a bullet train derailed and fell off a bridge in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province July 24, 2011. At least 32 people died when a high-speed train smashed into a stalled train in China’s eastern Zhejiang province on Saturday, state media said, raising new questions about the safety of the fast-growing rail network. The accident occurred on a bridge near the city of Wenzhou after the first train lost power due to a lightning strike and a bullet train following behind crashed into it, state television said. REUTERS/Aly Song

 Workers and rescuers look on as excavators dig through the wreckage after a high speed train crashed into a stalled train in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province July 24, 2011. The crash occurred on Saturday after the first train lost power due to a lightning strike and a bullet train following behind crashed into it, state television said, raising new questions about the safety of the fast-growing rail network.   REUTERS/Aly Song

A combination picture shows a derailed carriage of a bullet train being removed from a bridge as workers dig through the wreckage after a high speed train crashed into a stalled train in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province July 24, 2011. The crash occurred on Saturday after the first train lost power due to a lightning strike and a bullet train following behind crashed into it, state television said, raising new questions about the safety of the fast-growing rail network.   REUTERS/Aly Song

It would be hard not to mention the wonderfully timed image of the po-faced, one-finger reaction of the worker to the photographer who has just discovered that he is not actually working for Apple but a sophisticated replica; not only the goods but the shop itself, right down to the interior decor.

An employee (R) in a fake Apple Store gestures with his middle finger to a photographer trying to take pictures of the store in Kunming, Yunnan province July 21, 2011. Chinese counterfeiters have had a field day pumping out knockoffs of Apple Inc’s best-selling iPhones and iPads, but one appears to have gone a step further — a near flawless fake Apple Store that even employees believe is the real deal. Complete with the white Apple logo, wooden tables and cheery staff claiming they work for the iPhone maker, the store looks every bit like Apple Stores found all over the world, according to a 27-year-old American blogger living in the city blogger, who stumbled upon the store and goes by the name “BirdAbroad”.      REUTERS/China Daily

The Pakistan/Afghanistan border was the scene of a brutal killing of Pakistan policemen by Taliban all captured on video. The policemen were tied up, lined up, shouted at and then shot. It’s not often that a video grab translates well into a still image but I think the terror of the moment creates a frightening and horrific still. The blurred but unmistakable image of an automatic weapon is silhouetted as 13 men are lined up and gunned down in the sunlit background – nothing is in focus, which adds to the horror and voyeuristic feel of the picture.  Also in Pakistan, this coming week will see the first anniversary of the devastating flood that displaced millions of people. Fayaz Aziz, Akhtar Soomro and Adrees Latif are in the area to report back on how those displaced are now coping. The flies and boils on the face of the child in this picture by Fayaz sums it all up for me – they are not coping all that well at all.

A still image taken from video released by Pakistani Taliban on July 18, 2011 shows masked militants shooting thirteen Pakistani security personnel in firing squad style at an unknown location near the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Pakistani army spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas said on Monday the security forces were captured during a cross-border raid by militants from Afghanistan in the northwestern Dir district on June 1, but gave no other details.   REUTERS/LiveLeak.com via Reuters TV

Flies sit on the face of two-year-old Saba Gull, whose family was displaced by heavy floods almost a year ago, outside her family tent at a camp for flood victims in Charsadda, in north west Pakistan July 24, 2011. The 2010 Pakistan floods affected 20 million people and left about 2000 dead. REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz

In Korea, the nation has hit on the idea of self-denial camps for elementary school children, where the pupils undergo military-style training. Exhausted, cold and wet they then get to shout “thanks to my parents” before collapsing asleep whereever they can. Yong-Hak’s two pictures sum it all up (and I hope my two children can maintain concentration to read this far down). If you are in any doubt about just how interesting Korea is, Yong-Hak’s underwater picture of a man practising Taekwondo surrounded by sardines should encourage you to visit.

Elementary school students shout “Thanks to my parents!” at a mud flat as they participate in a summer military camp for civilians at the Cheongryong Self-denial Training Camp run by retired marines in Ansan, about 40 km (25 miles) southwest of Seoul, July 21, 2011. Thirty seven students are in the three-day camp to strengthen their spirit and body.  REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak

Elementary school students take a nap on a floor after a morning exercise as they participate in a summer military camp for civilians at the Cheongryong Self-denial Training Camp run by retired marines in Ansan, about 40 km (25 miles) southwest of Seoul, July 21, 2011. Thirty seven students are in the three-day camp to strengthen their spirit and body.  REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak

A diver surrounded by sardines performs Taekwondo during a promotional diving performance for summer vacation visitors at the Coex Aquarium in Seoul July 22, 2011. The aquarium is running the dive performance daily during the summer season. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak

Nepal-based Navesh Chitrakar covered the festival where devotees pray for happiness for their families, producing two very strange but extremely appealing pictures. The first, a close-up portrait of a one eyed man – one can only guess at how Navesh opened the conversation to get permission to do this soul revealing image. And I still can’t fathom why I like the soles of feet picture but it seems to be a perfect to match the one-eyed portrait.

A Hindu devotee who is blind in his left eye is seen wearing a head band with a portrait of Lord Shiva during the Shrawan Sombar festival in Kathmandu July 18, 2011. The festival lasts for a month, during which devotees worship Lord Shiva and pray for happiness for their families. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar

A view shows the bare feet of Hindu devotees as they rest at the Pashupatinath temple during the Shrawan Sombar festival in Kathmandu July 18, 2011. The festival lasts for a month, during which devotees worship Lord Shiva and pray for happiness for their families. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar

Six images that are caught in my net of ”a week in pictures” purely because I like or am intrigued by them include Danish Siddiqui’s affectionate portrait of a father leading his sons into the sea after Friday Prayers, Shamil Zhumatov’s portrait of a lone child who has visited his imprisoned father in Afghanistan, Nicky Loh’s picture in Taiwan of people taking part in a mass handstand event. I feel quite nauseous from Manila-based Enrique (Erik) de Castro’s image of  a dog having its claws hand-painted (Why do people do that for their pets?). Feeling better, I love the precariously balanced piles of money in a bank in Myanmar shot by Soe Zeya Tun and lastly Toru Hanai’s picture of a multi-million dollar crash test dummy called Thor. You just can’t make it up.

A Muslim man walks hand in hand with children at a beach as monsoon clouds gather in Mumbai July 22, 2011. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

An Afghan boy, son of an inmate, walks across a prison yard in the town of Lashkar Gah in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, July 19, 2011. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

Participants flip during a mass handstand event organized by Taiwan artist Huang Ming-cheng at the Huashan Creative Park in Taipei July 24, 2011. Around 400 people took part in the art experiment by Huang who previously spent five months taking pictures of himself doing handstands in various locations around Taiwan.  REUTERS/Nicky Loh

Maggie, a poodle, gets a pedicure at a dog spa in Cainta, Metro Manila July 19, 2011. While dog grooming is becoming popular in major cities in the Philippines, local reports say about 500,000 dogs are killed as dog meat is considered a delicacy in some parts of the country. The Philippine Animal Welfare Act prohibits torturing and killing of dogs for commercial sale. REUTERS/Erik de Castro

Cashiers are seen behind piles of kyat banknotes as they count it in a private bank in Yangon July 21, 2011. Myanmar’s kyat currency has appreciated 20 percent in the past year, more than any other Asian currency that Reuters monitors daily, squeezing traders and exporters who are struggling to break even as inflation pushes up costs and the new government does nothing to tame the currency’s rise.   REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

Toyota Motor Corp’s crash-test dummies are pictured during the Toyota Safety Technology Media Tour at the company’s Higashifuji Technical Center in Susono, west of Tokyo, July 21, 2011.    REUTERS/Toru Hanai

 

 

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