Displaced Palestinian women walk in the courtyard of a Greek Orthodox church where they are taking shelter in Gaza City on July 23, 2014. For the first time in years, Gaza City’s Greek Orthodox church is packed to overflowing, having offered refuge to hundreds of Palestinians who fled their homes under Israeli bombardment, AFP reported on Wednesday. Around 600 people, mostly women and children, are sheltering in the church compound in the old sector of Gaza City, after escaping the inferno of neighbouring areas like Shuja’iyya. (Photograph credit: Marco Longari/AFP Photo/Getty Images)
Hindu pilgrims traveling on foot make their 5-days journey (yatra) through the Pahalgam-Chandanwari route to the 3,888-metre high Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas, some 141 kilometres (88 miles) from Srinagar, the capital of India’s state Jammu and Kashmir. Hundreds of thousands of devotees, trekking through dangerous mountain passes in a conflicted region along cold streams, glacier-fed rivulets and frozen lakes, visit the Amarnath cave shrine every year to see an ice stalagmite formed inside the cave, which Hindus believe is a Shiva Lingam, the symbol of Lord Shiva.
(Photograph credit: Abid Bhat/Al Jazeera)
Abid Bhat, a talented Indian photojournalist based in Srinagar, has covered the ongoing annual Hindu 44-day pilgrimage to Amarnath cave, which began on June 28 and will end on August 10. His photo-essay published on Al Jazeera.
The girlfriend of Israeli soldier Tal Yifrah mourns as she lies atop his grave during his funeral in Rishon Lezion, near Tel Aviv, July 22, 2014. Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge”, launched July 8, enters its third week on Tuesday, and the Israel Defense Force’s ground incursion into the Palestinian Gaza Strip moved into its fifth day. Nine Israeli soldiers were killed on Monday and another was killed on Tuesday morning, bringing the number of Israeli military fatalities since the operation to 28 — almost three times as many as were killed in the last Israel’s ground invasion of Gaza, in a 2008-2009 war.
(Photograph credit: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters)
The Palestinian death toll from Israel’s military operation against the Gaza Strip has risen to 635 following fresh Israeli attacks on the blockaded enclave on Tuesday, according to the Palestinian Health ministry. ”Seventy-eight people were killed in Israeli air, naval and ground attacks today, bringing the total death toll to 635,” ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qodra told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday. He said fatalities had included at least 162 children and 78 women. Al-Qodra added that nearly 4,000 Palestinians had also been injured, many seriously, in unrelenting Israeli attacks since July 8.
Indonesian presidential candidate Joko Widodo, right, smiles as he speaks to the media during his visit at a reservoir development project in Jakarta, Indonesia, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. (Photograph credit: Dita Alangkara/AP)
The 53-year-old Joko Widodo, who captured the hearts of millions of Indonesians with his common man image, won the country’s presidential election with 53 percent of the vote, final results showed Tuesday. Widodo, a former furniture exporter known to most as “Jokowi,” is the first candidate in a direct presidential election in Indonesia with no ties to the former dictator Suharto, who ruled the country for 30 years before being overthrown in 1998. Widodo, who was elected governor of Jakarta in 2012, is widely viewed as untainted by the often corrupt military and business elite that have run Indonesia for decades, the AP said, adding that despite his lack of experience in national politics, he built a reputation as being a man of the people and an efficient leader who wants to advance democratic reforms in his country. Indonesia, an archipelago of about 17,000 islands and 240 million people, has the world’s fourth-largest population and is the most populous Muslim country.
A homeless man takes a nap by the roadside under a metro station in New Delhi on July 22, 2014. Delhi has a homeless population of more than 100,000 people sleeping on streets, pavements, rickshaws, two wheel handcarts, flyovers, under the bridges and in parks across the city.
(Photograph credit: Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images)
Evo Morales has been re-elected head of the country’s largest union of coca growers and promises to expand crops if he wins a third term as the nation’s leader in presidential elections next October. Morales told union members on Sunday July 20 that Bolivia needs a new law regarding coca production. Current law allows nearly 30,000 acres of coca leaf to be grown for traditional use. One proposal would expand the permitted acreage, including in the Chapare region that is Morales’ political base, to more than 49,000 acres. The United Nations, however, has estimated Bolivia already grows more than that, with nearly 57,000 acres believed dedicated to the crop last year. Traditionally, coca leaf is used broadly by the Bolivians in religious rituals or to fight off fatigue and altitude sickness. It also can be used to produce cocaine.
Flight attendants serve meals on a Malaysia Airlines Airbus A330 flight as it cruises from Kuala Lumpur to Dubai. Malaysia’s flagship carrier operates flights to over 100 destinations across six continent, with strong presence within east and southeast Asia, and on the Kangaroo route between Australia and the UK. (Photograph credit: Tryfon Topalidis)
In the space of last five months Malaysia Airlines has lost two planes carrying 537 people: On March 8 the flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing disappeared and (probably) vanished somewhere in the Indian Ocean with 239 passengers on board, and on July 19 the flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine, causing the loss of another 298 souls. Malaysia Airlines announced on July 21 that it will provide a financial assistance of US$ 5,000 to each family of passengers of downed flight MH17. The financial assistance, which is to “ease the immediate families of the passengers with their economic needs”, will not be offset against the final compensation or affect families’ legal rights to claim, Malaysia Airlines said in a statement. “Funds have already been made available for this purpose,” it added. The airline also said that it “will be supporting the families during these trying times and will be providing them hotel accommodation, meals, and transport assistance.”
Worldwide legal claims could await Malaysia Airlines after of the downing of flight MH17, Reuters said quoting aviation lawyers. Under 1999 Montreal Convention, an airline cannot escape liability for a passenger death even when an event such as an act of war or terrorism causes a plane to crash. For each death, a carrier can be liable for up to US$ 174,000. Malaysia Airlines posted a loss of 1.17 billion ringgit in 2013 —its third consecutive year in the red. In the first quarter of 2014, it had a loss of 443 million ringgit. If the company continues to incur losses, which is widely forecast, some analysts say they expect its current cash levels to allow the airline to run operations until the end of next year, before it would need to consider seeking a capital bailout from the state. “The airline won’t be able to survive beyond the year in its current form,” an aviation analyst Mohshin Aziz said on Time magazine.
Now, the big question for the carrier’s survival is: Will passengers keep taking their flights?
A man looks at the sea before an annual memorial ceremony for the victims of Spain’s Franco regime on the San Simón Island, near Vigo, on July 20, 2014. During the Spanish Civil War, the San Simón Island, located at the end of the bay of Vigo in Spain’s northwest autonomous community of Galicia, was used between 1939 and 1944 as a concentration camp for thousands of political prisoners — republicans, communists, socialists or anarchists — hundreds of whom were executed without trial by the forces of Francisco Franco. (Photograph credit: Miguel Riopa/AFP/Getty Images)
On February 5, 2014 Pablo de Greiff, a United Nations Special Rapporteur, urged Spain to withdraw the 1977 Amnesty Law that shields any Franco era crime from being put under trial. “It is essential that the State finds ways to provide access to justice for the victims,” Mr. de Greiff said, adding that the Spanish authorities must also protect the rights that the alleged perpetrators, as well as the victims’ rights during the 1936-1939 Civil War and the Franco dictatorship which ended in 1975. The Rapporteur expressed concern about the fragmentation of existing information, mainly gathered thanks to the efforts of historians, investigators and the victims and their relatives.
A Ukrainian investigator, left, walks by charred debris as a pro-Russian fighter guards him, at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, Sunday, July 20, 2014. Rebels in eastern Ukraine took control Sunday of the bodies recovered from downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, and the US and European leaders demanded that Russian president Vladimir Putin make sure rebels give international investigators full access to the crash site. (Photograph credit: Evgeniy Maloletka/AP)
Meanwhile, Tim Clark, president of Dubai’s Emirates, has called on Sunday for an international summit of carriers to agree a response to the downing of a Malaysian airliner, including a potential rethink of the threats posed by regional conflicts. “The international airline community needs to respond as an entity, saying this is absolutely not acceptable and outrageous, and that it won’t tolerate being targeted in internecine regional conflicts that have nothing to do with airlines,” Clark told Reuters in a telephone interview.
A man lies on a heap of fodder, which was removed from a sugarcane field, on a cart pulled by a bull in Muzaffarnagar in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, July 19, 2014. With this year’s monsoon rains several weeks late, the world’s second-largest sugar and rice producer is on the verge of widespread drought. Farmers worry the impact of delayed monsoon this year could be worse than five years ago, when India suffered its worst drought in four decades, Reuters reports. The farm sector accounts for about 14 percent of India’s economy but two thirds of its 1.2 billion people depend on farming to live. (Photograph credit: Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters)
Haaretz: “Thirteen Israeli soldiers were killed on Saturday night and early Sunday in several incidents across the Gaza Strip, bringing to 18 the number of Israeli fatalities over the course of the ground operation in less than two days, not including two civilians who died in rocket attacks. Eight soldiers have been wounded. According to the Israel Defense Forces, all the [killed] soldiers were from the Golani Brigade.”
Palestinians flee their homes in Gaza’s eastern Shuja’iyya district on Sunday morning, July 20, 2014, after heavy Israeli shelling overnight that left casualties lying in the streets. (Photograph credit: Mohammed Abed/AFP photo)
Rescue teams evacuated 44 dead bodies from destroyed houses in Shuja’iyya until Sunday late morning, as the death toll is expected to rise. More than 200 injured people were taken to al-Shifa Hospital. Among the victims was photojournalist Khalid Hamid and paramedic Fuad Jabir, the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported. ”Israel on Sunday rejected a 3-hour humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza proposed by the International Committee of the Red Cross in order to evacuate the wounded and dead,” the agency said quoting a Hamas spokesman, though Haaretz later said that ”Israel has agreed to allow a 2-hour humanitarian truce in the Shuja’iyya neighborhood near Gaza City, at the request of the Red Cross. The cease-fire will begin at 1:30 p.m. and last until 3:30 p.m.” From the Israeli side, five soldiers were killed Saturday in battle with Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, bringing to seven the number of Israeli fatalities over the course of the ground operation, including two civilians who died in rocket attacks.
A picture taken on July 19, 2014 shows a flamingo chick on the Fuente de Piedra lake, 70 kilometres from Málaga, Spain, during a tagging and control operation of flamingo chicks to monitor the evolution of the species. The Fuente de Piedra lagoon, which is the most important breeding ground for flamingos in the Iberian Peninsula, is also a nature reserve and a haven for birds with over 170 different species recorded. (Photograph credit: Jorge Guerrero/AFP/Getty Images)