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View of Afghanistan
Uruzgan, Afghanistan
By U.S. Editor
19 May 2013

Children, Agriculture & Military Forces in Afghanistan

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Mook, the Teen Thai Weightlifter
Bangkok
By Biel Calderon
17 May 2013

Mook, 17, never fathomed any other way of life, an existence outside the rice fields and subsistence farming. Having lost her mother at the age of 9, she moved to Surin, one of the poorest provinces in Thailand, to live with her father's family. From then on, she was made to work in the fields, clean the house and look after her younger cousins. At 12, a friend of the family noticed her strong build and suggested she earn her way by weightlifting - which is just what she did. Before long, she had secured a scholarship from the National Youth Team in Bangkok and began a new life. Now she receives a small salary and has a safe place to stay while she pursues her high school studies. Many children and young people from poor families in Thailand are sent to this kind of program where they get a chance to study and earn a little discretionary income. Most of them choose traditional boxing, Muay Thai, but as several female Thai athletes have begun winning Olympic weightlifting medals, the sport has become more popular.

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Gay Rights Rally In Russia
St. Petersburg, Russia
By U.S. Editor
17 May 2013

Around one hundred activists in St. Petersburg participated in a rally to commemorate May 17, the day that homosexuality was removed from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1990.

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Hundreds of signatures on rebel state...
Cairo, Egypt
By U.S. Editor
16 May 2013

Activists in Egypt collected hundreds of signatures for a rebel statement campaign from Egyptian citizens against Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and Muslim brotherhood.

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MAYOTTE, THE DARK SIDE OF THE LAGOON
Mayotte Island
By U.S. Editor
16 May 2013

Behind Mayotte’s tropical paradise image lies a precarious social situation rife with slums and poverty. This island, an overseas department of France located in the northern Mozambique Channel, suffers from problems such as a chaotic migration policy, a saturated education system, and poor health care. It is also a destination for illegal immigrants from nearby Comoros. These illegal immigrants face grave danger in their journey to Mayotte in search of a better life. Once they are in the country, they often settle in the slums.

One shantytown in particular — located in the Kawéni commune — has become known to many as the “largest slum in France.” It’s a sea of undulating shacks with an exceptionally high youth population. Most of the inhabitants are from Comoros, though there are also Congolese and Rwandans as well. Youth come to the country with family, and alone – as was the case for Comorians Djof and Abdallah. For them, the hope of a promised land is nothing but a long gone memory. All they have found is an indefinite waiting game for jobs, shelter, and naturalization.

Additional information:

In a referendum on the island of Mayotte, located in the Indian Ocean, 95.2% of the population voted in favor of becoming an overseas territory of France. Shortly after, on the 31st of March 2011, Mayotte officially became the 101st overseas territory of the French Republic. With 212,645 inhabitants living in an area of 376 km2, the island is the most densely populated of France’s overseas territories.

To Read Description in French Go To: http://transterramedia.com/media/18093

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London
London, England
By U.S. Editor
15 May 2013

A selection of images from the last two years in London, United Kingdom.

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EGYPTIANS SIGN ON REBEL STATEMENT CAM...
Cairo, Egypt
By Mais Istanbuli
15 May 2013

Members of the April 6 Youth Movement and the "Tamrod campaign" collected thousands of signatures on the statement of the rebels.
This campaign is working against President Morsi's stay in power.

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Herbal High
Nairobi, Kenya
By U.S. Editor
12 May 2013

Khat, a stimulant similar to the coca leaf in South America, is heavily distributed within Nairobi, the largest city and capital of Kenya. It is cultivated in Meru and arrives in Eastleigh, a suburb of Naroibi, at 2 pm everyday. Khat is pre-ordered and bundled with the customer's name written on each sack, which local vendors then collect and sell to local chewers. Local khat vendors come to Eastleigh to sell the stimulant to Somalis who make up most of their customer base. Since it's an important cash crop for Kenyans and Ethiopians, Khat is a thriving business. It is now Ethiopia's second largest export behind coffee. Though khat has been banned by the US and other European countries, it remains legal in the UK and is shipped to the UK four days a week from Kenya.

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Tear Gas
Worldwide
By U.S. Editor
09 May 2013

A series of photos capturing clashes involving police, protesters and tear gas.

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Moscow May 6th Prisoners Rally
Moscow, Russia
By Mais Istanbuli
06 May 2013

Thousands gathered in Moscow in support of opposition activists who were arrested at last year's May 6th rally on Bolotnaya Square, in a manifestation during Putin's entrance into office.

The opposition rally on Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square marked the anniversary of an antigovernment protest that ended in mass arrests on May 6, 2012.

There are still 27 activists detained from last year’s rally that protested Vladimir Putin’s return to presidency.
A placard on the main stage read “Freedom for the Prisoners of May 6,” a phrase the crowd chanted along with “Russia will be free”.

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Gorongosa National Park
Mozambique
By Luis Miguel Rodrigues
05 May 2013

GORONGOSA IN THE XXI CENTURY

After decades of war and deprivation, Gregg Carr, an American philanthropist funded a 50 million USD project that intends to bring back the glorious days of Gorongosa National Park, which, in the late 70´s, was the biggest National Park in Africa.

Gregg Carr changed, from one of the first I.T. tycoons, that generated wealth from his invention - the voice mail - to a full time philanthropist, dedicating himself to humanitarian and sustainable development activities. One of this projects is a 30 years plan that will use 50 millions of USD from his personal wealth to restore and bring back to the wild life, elephants, rhinos, buffaloes and other species to a place that in the past was the Heaven of wild life in Africa.

Activities like planting more than 3 millions of trees, creating and subsiding a natural research center with a full time investigating team, establishing eco tourism and specially make the communities that live around the park to better levels of health, education and employment were already done. Bring back the times where 6000 elephants, 500 lions and others could be seen in Gorongosa is the next step to be done in this National Park over the next 30 years.

HISTORY OF GORONGOSA

From the beginning of the 20th century to our days Gorongosa region was most of the times seen as a sanctuary of wild life unique in Africa. Meanwhile it reached the 21th century practically depleted of its wild life due to the brutal civil war between Renamo and Frelimo, political party's in the country during cold war time. But the hope and the will of the people, the philanthropy of a millionaire and the magic of Africa is giving Gorongosa rivers, lakes, tress, grass and specially wild animals a new spirit and life is returning to the glorious days.

In 1920 Gorongosa was declared by the colonial Portuguese administrations a game reserve for its directors, governors and all the superior staff and elite at the time. From the 30´s of the past century until the 70´s, Portuguese administration turned Gorongosa into a interesting touristic place receiving around 6000 tourist a year. It can be said that before Kruger National Park in the neighbor South Africa, Gorongosa have transformed safaris and wild life observation, in Africa, a democratic to do thing for the middles classes living in this region. Wild life was abundant and its easy to find old photos where 70´s fashion cars like Mini Cooper and others were stopped near lions or elephants with the same 70´s fashion style persons inside enjoying the animals. It was the time of around 6000 elephants and 500 lions among other species.

But after 15 years of struggling for its independence from Portugal and after few years of relatively peace and high social convulsion and revolution, Mozambique started a civil war between the Soviet supported Frelimo as the ruling party and the Western counterpart, Renamo. It was 13 years of destruction, guerrilla and real war that spread all over the country. Gorongosa, centered in the middle of Mozambique and located exactly near the biggest opposition base (Renamo), have seen a disaster, day by day, happens. Most of its animals were killed for illegal hunting or feeding both sides soldiers or even due to the lack of prey, they starved and diminished in number. Ivory trade played also an important role in the death of wild life, being used as gold in exchange for weapons to support and feed the war machinery.

1994 have seen a peace deal signed but both parts, headed by Italian NGO, Vaticano and the international community. Renamo and Frelimo agreed to shake hands and share the country with the democratic institutions and real politics ruling. Free elections came and started a project of democracy in the country. The war was finally over. In 1994, with the help of African Bank and European Union, Mozambican authorities started again, slowly and with the resources that one of the poorest country's in the world could have at the time, protecting, restoring and rebuilding the Gorongosa heaven.

10 years of peace in the country and Gregg Carr, together with Mozambican authorities, plans to develop and mainly give back to the wild life the park, the necessary support, quietness, freedom and naturalism to grow and return to the past splendor.

Gorongosa have now one main touristic camp in Chitengo area with all the standard commodities and a new luxury tented style opening in July 2013. Even if the number of animals nowadays is not the same as in the 70´s of last century; lions, elephants, innumerous antelopes, hippos, crocodiles and several others species together with more than 350 different species of birds can be seen in this part of Mozambique. Easily reachable from the capital Maputo by plane or even from Johannesburg in South Africa it can be visited from May until December when is dry seasons.

GORONGOSA IN NUMBERS and DATES

1969 - 2.200 elephants / 3.000 zebras / 200 lions / around 6.000 tourists per year
1974 - 6.000 elephants / unknown / 500 lions / around 12.000 tourists per year
1975 - Mozambique Independence
1992 - End of Mozambican Civil War
1994 - 100 elephants / 6 zebras / 6 lions / tourism was insignificant

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Ancient Tradition of Lelo
Shukhuti, Georgia
By Mais Istanbuli
05 May 2013

While the rest of Georgia was celebrating Easter around dinner table on May 5th, one village in western Georgia marked the occasion with a rugby-like scramble that effectively blocked traffic for hours on the country's East-West national highway.

The traditional Georgian sport known as lelo ("goal" or "try" in Georgian), has no rules, no time-outs, and no limit to the number of people (men only) who can play. The "field" is the entire village of Shukhuti, a hamlet of about 2,000 in the western region of Guria. Two creeks, about 150 meters apart, mark the goal lines for two teams. The teams are made up of residents from the upper and lower halves of the village. The aim is simple: whichever side is the first to carry a 16-kilogram leather ball back to their creek wins the game.

Victory means dedicating the leather ball to a deceased villager and placing it on his grave after the match -- a reflection of Georgian Orthodox Church traditions of visiting cemeteries on Easter to commemorate loved ones. Lelo balls in various stages of decomposition can be seen on graves in both of Shukhuti's cemeteries.

In a Georgian village, Easter is celebrated with a Lelo fight When most of the Orthodox Christians join their families at the Easter table, one Georgian village celebrates the holiday in a cloud of dust raised by a crowd of fighting men. Shukhuti village is an inconspicuous location in Guria, a poor region in Western Georgia famous for its cultural heritage. The village is notable for two things – a highway running across the settlement and one day in a year when the road is closed. On Easter Sunday, all traffic here halts to give way to the ancient traditional game called Lelo. Predecessor of rugby Lelo (meaning “throw, try” in Georgian) has no referee. The reason is very plain – the game has no rules, time limits or player restrictions to enforce. The ritual match takes place on the field in central part of Shukhuti village between two brooks. On Easter Sunday, men from the upper and the lower village fight for a 16 kilogram ball called Burti. The goal of the game is to carry the honourable leather ball to the corresponding side of the village. The ball is thrown to the crowd by a priest in the carefully measured centre between the two brooks, and for several hours the approximately 150 metre field becomes a Lelobattlefield. The highway that runs across the field is closed and nothing can stop the fighting press – neither fences, nor gardens or road signs. The victory brings honour to the winning part of the village, while the ball is solemnly carried by the champions across the village and put on the grave of the last deceased player. Nobody knows the exact time when people began playing Lelo. There are many versions based on different sources, but a number of pagan rituals involved in the game suggest that it was played in Georgia long before the coming of Christianity. Lelo is believed to be the predecessor of the rugby, a sport now popular across the modern world. 16 kilograms of honour On the Easter Sunday morning, Shukhuti village is the calm before the storm. Men from both parts of the village are in their camps discussing strategies of the upcoming battle or spending their last quite hours of the day with their families. But soon the silence is broken as the solemn and heady ceremony of stuffing the leather ball begins. The Burti ball is made on the eve of the Lelo. The honour is bestowed on the single local family, which has stayed true to the trade of shoemaking from the ancestral times. On the festive morning, the empty ball is welcomed with toasts in the yard of the shoemaker and the ceremony of stuffing the ball with earth, sand and wine begins. It will continue well into the afternoon, but first the crowd of neighbours and priests drink toasts from the still empty leather ball using it as a vessel. Everyone in the yard must drink from the Lelo burti ball wishing victory to the players and strength to ball. Pope Saba is at the centre of the ceremony. For 13 years, the former Greco-Roman wrestler, who has fought for the Lelo honour for three decades himself, has been endowed with the upstanding privilege to bless the ball and throw it to the players. One of the old-timers of the game, the taxi driver Robinson Kobalava lifts a wine bowl and urges to drink for the tradition of Lelo: “Our village is in no way exceptional. Vehicles pass through here at high speed. But today we are the centre of the entire Georgia. The tradition of our ancestors to fight for the honour of Lelo still lives and we have to respect this heritage.” After a couple of hours of toasts, jokes and funny acquaintances, the ritual of stuffing the ball – as well as the 50 litre wine bottle sitting nearby – comes to an end. Once the ball is stuffed, it undergoes yet another weighing. An archaic scale shows almost 18 kilograms, but Kobalava assures that “once the wine evaporates, it will be exactly 16 kilograms”. A crowd of participants and spectators walk from the house of the shoemaker down the highway to the church where the ball will be consecrated. It is carried by pope Saba, but he is willing to give everyone a feel of what it’s like to catch such a ball. The ones who do catch it are hailed with applause, while the ones who trip or drop the ball are showered with laughter. The drivers stuck on the road are not mad – they also get an opportunity to touch and lift the heavy ball. The noisy crowd finally reaches the church where the ball is sanctified and left to rest for a couple of hours. Gamishvit ar vtamashob Georgy from the upper Shukhuti invites us to the yard of his house near the church to explain the history and tradition of Lelo. Once we settle in the shade, a Georgian table appears in front of us covered with food and carafes of wine. According to Georgy, wine is obligatory before the game. Toasts are said to the luck and health of the players, and to the continuing ancestral tradition. Georgy, 35, first played the game as a teenager, and assures that he is not afraid of the contest. But he persistently recommends us to memorise one Georgian phrase – Gamishvit ar vtamashob (“Let me go, I am not playing”). According to him, these words are our only escape once we are caught in the middle of the game. Escorting the ball with a shotgun The men from the lower and upper village begin flocking to the field some time before the game to chat and share their memories of the past games. According to Kobalava, the men are rivals only during the game of Lelo. He also stresses one rigorous rule of honour – no hitting. The ones who get too excited and go too far are promptly separated and placated. Each year, the match begins exactly at 5 pm. There are no limits to the length of the match – it can range from two to eight hours. Soon applause and shouting signal the appearance of pope Saba with the Burti ball accompanied by several men and a guide armed with a hunting rifle. The crowd comes to the boiling point and the gunshots announce the beginning of the match. The Burti is thrown to the players. A desperate fight Once the Burti ball is in the game, the force of several hundred people explodes. Like a whirlwind, the players move in unpredictable directions destroying everything in their path. Lelo is a masculine game, but women also get to play their part. They do not fight for the ball, but try to help their teams by pinching and distracting men from the opposing part of the village. Some men ruthlessly fight for the ball, and some watch the situation from a higher ground to prevent the opposing team from secretly smuggling the ball out of the field. One of the players wearing a T-shirt saying “Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Russia” is lumbered with patriotic ridicule. But he promptly retorts that he is only “wearing the tee so it gets torn”. Indeed, clothes of men soon turn to rags, and footwear is sent flying over the crowd. The cloud of dust keeps moving back and forth between the two brooks for a couple of hours.If anyone falls on the ground, the nearby players put their hands in the air – a signal for the game to slow down. But from the outside, the rhythm of the match is relentless, while the injured are carried to the safety beyond the chaos. Honour after death Two hours later the Lelo burti finally makes its way across the brook of the lower village. With fight still raging on, cheers and salutes start filling the air. The ball is carried to the place where it was born – the shoemaker’s porch – to be displayed to the crowd. It had been four years since the lower village last secured the Lelo victory therefore the atmosphere here is extremely jubilant. Young players proudly carry the ball down the streets towards the cemetery shouting “Long live Lower Shukhuti! Long live Lelo!” Once in the cemetery, the ball is placed on the grave of the player who had died in the game of 2008. Toasts are said and several hundred litres of wine begin to evaporate in the crowd. Many older balls can be seen on other graves – some had been placed there quite recently and still bear wine stains, some are almost rotten, but continue to sit honourably atop the graves. There is a saying that better to see once than to hear a hundred times. Lelo is hard to understand until you see it with your own eyes.

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Gorongosa National Park
Gorongosa, Mozambique
By U.S. Editor
05 May 2013

After decades of civil war Gorongosa National Park is growing again thanks to an American millionaire that is donating part of his wealth to preserve the diversity of flora and fauna living on the reserve. Around and inside Gorongosa live around 250,000 persons that continue struggling to survive from a hard daily life after decades of civil war that came after independence from Portugal

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Hefazot E Islam Rally in Bangladesh
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By Mais Istanbuli
05 May 2013

Hefazot E Islam called for a meeting on May 5th, 2013, in Motijeel, Dhaka, Bangladesh for the purpose of passing the new blasphemy law. Upon their arrival, the police began firing at the Hefazot E Islam activists with modern weaponry, leaving the activists to defend themselves with sticks and bricks.

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KENYA KIBERA INFRASTRUCTURE
Nairobi, Kenya
By Mais Istanbuli
04 May 2013

In recent years the government has resorted to upgrading the roads in Kibera due to their inhospitable conditions that reduces trade in the region. Acknowledging the problem, the government of Kenya launched the “vision 2030 project” in order to propel the trade route to the standards of developed nations. The project plans to provide the inhabitants of the local area with a clean and hospitable environment that will in time benefit the residents bringing more trade to the area.

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Bats, A Delicacy In The Mountainous R...
Igbaras, Iloilo, Philippines
By U.S. Editor
04 May 2013

Igcabuyao, a village in the province of Iloilo in the Philippines, is a three hour car ride from any main city. The terrain is tough, and transportation inaccessible. People often walk several hours to buy food, and frequently live below the poverty line, growing only peanuts to sustain themselves without outside help.
To keep hunger at bay, locals have for generations turned to an unlikely food source: bats. The village of Igcabuyao is located near six major bat caves, an important resource for their survival.

Fruit bats are considered a delicacy in this area.. Poi bat and Adobong Paniki, deep fried bat with soy sauce, are thrilling dishes for exotic food lovers. Today, bats are frequently served as appetizers in wine bars.

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The Christian death-mask Festival
Oton, Philippines
By Mais Istanbuli
04 May 2013

Katagman refers to the ancient settlers of Western Panay. These settlers have a unique burial ritual in which they placed a gold nose disc and gold eye mask on the bodies of the dead in order to protect the deceased from evil spirits. This ancient ritual has Chinese influences, as the natives had a strong trade relationship with them before the Spaniards conquered the Philippines.

Oton was once at the center of trade routes in the Panay Islands. The community was so prosperous and influenced by the Chinese presence that burial rites using gold artifacts, porcelain and carnelian beads often took place. Many such artifacts have since been discovered.

Following the Spanish conquest of the Philippines, Oton was established in 1572 by the Augustinian Friars, and soon became the center of Spanish administration in Iloilo. Once known as Ogtong, meaning reef or tidal flat, Oton was a missionary base for the conversion of the entire region. This led to the Christianization of the native Katagmans.

The Katagman Festival comprises street dancing, painting and dance theatre competitions, that highlight and showcase Oton's rich historical past.

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Buddhist Women Face Fight Over Right ...
Nakhon Pathom, Thailand
By Mais Istanbuli
01 May 2013

The first all-female temple is squaring off against a traditional ban that restricts women from their to be ordained as monks in Thailand.

Women in Thailand cannot be ordained buddhist monks. However, Chatsumarn Kabilsingh, 68, is determined to reverse this tradition. In 2000, she left her life as professor in a renowned Thai university and traveled to Taiwan to receive the bodhisattva's precept. Three years later, she was ordained a full bhikkhuni, the word for female Buddhist monks, in Sri Lanka and came back to her home country to campaign to improve the position of Thai women in religion. Known as Dhammananda Bhikkhuni, she now lives at the Songdhammakalyani Monastery, the first female temple in Thailand, located in Nakhon Pathom, near Bangkok, where she ordains new novices despite of the official ban.

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Female Monks in Thailand
Nakhon Pathom, Thailand
By Mais Istanbuli
01 May 2013

Women in Thailand cannot be ordained Buddhist monks. However, Chatsumarn Kabilsingh, 68, is determined to reverse this tradition. In 2000, she left her life as a professor in a renowned Thai university and traveled to Taiwan to receive the bodhisattva's precept. Three years later, she was ordained a full bhikkhuni, the word for female Buddhist monks, in Sri Lanka and came back to her home country to campaign to improve the position of Thai women in religion. Known as Dhammananda Bhikkhuni, she now lives at the Songdhammakalyani Monastery, the first female temple in Thailand, located in Nakhon Pathom, near Bangkok, where she ordains new novices despite the official ban.

More photos can be viewed here: http://transterramedia.com/collections/1105

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Transgender Election Candidate In Pun...
Jhelum City, Pakistan
By U.S. Editor
30 Apr 2013

"Lubna Lal is one of Pakistan’s first transgender electoral candidates, who will be running in upcoming national and regional elections.

Commonly known as Madame Lal, Lubna Lal has won considerable support from her community in the Punjab province of Jhelum. Ironically, the city is known for providing a large number of soldiers to the British and later to the Pakistan armed forces, making it known as a city of soldiers, or a land of martyrs and warriors. However, it is a former wedding dancer that has put the region back on the map.

Pakistan has an estimated 500,000 “eunuchs” - meaning homosexuals, transexuals, transvestities and castrated men. Many of these individuals resort to lives of prostitution, begging, or work as wedding dancers to support themselves.

Previously ridiculed and shunned from society, it took a landmark Supreme Court ruling in 2011 to allow transgendered people to not only vote, but also to stand as candidates. Since the campaign began, seven transgendered candidates have registered their interests, though only two remain in contention.

Lubna Lal was only 15 when she left her home, and now vows to not only stand for the transgendered community, but for everyone living in poverty. “I want to help poor people and improve education, health services, and sewerage. The poor people of this area are happy I am standing.”

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Nepal Tattoo Convention
Kathmandu, Nepal
By U.S. Editor
27 Apr 2013

Tattoo artists from around the world create and display their designs at the 3rd International Tattoo Convention held between April 26-28 in Kathmandu, Nepal.

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Poverty And Tourism In Laos
Luang Prabang, Laos
By U.S. Editor
26 Apr 2013

Although Laos has been a top ranked tourist destination in recent years, the country remains one of the world's poorest nations, and relies heavily on foreign aid and donations. People in Laos continue to struggle with severe poverty, and have extremely low life expectancy despite the country's booming tourism industry.

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Life in Rebel-Held Raqqa, Syria
Raqqa, Syria
By Transterra Editor
23 Apr 2013

Raqqa is the first Syrian provincial capital to be taken over by the rebels during the war. It offers a look into how Syria might look like after a hypothetical fall of president Bashar al-Assad. The city, still being shelled and bombed by the regime, is now under control of the Free Syrian Army and of several Islamist groups, including al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra and a group staying in the opulent governor's palace. They all have different visions for a future Syria. A Civilian Council is trying to act as a "mini-government," as they put it themselves, and a newly formed Sharia Committee had to close after hundreds protested over the arrest of two young sisters. People are enjoying their new freedom but complain about the economy, feel insecure about the future and are wary of Islamist groups. At the same time, the extremists' style is becoming 'the new cool', more young men wear beards in their style and their black bandanas are the best selling item among the rebel paraphernalia sold by street vendors.

For more photos, click here: http://transterramedia.com/collections/1319

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International Children's Day
Ankara, Turkey
By U.S. Editor
23 Apr 2013

Turkey's International Children's Day, April 23, was created in 1927. In addition to local school celebrations, many people pay their respects to the Turkish Republic's founding father, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk on this day. Atatürk, who adopted 13 children, stressed the importance of education for future success of the Republic.

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Strengthening Strategic Relations
Jerusalem, Israel
By U.S. Editor
22 Apr 2013

Israeli President Shimon Peres held a diplomatic working meeting on April 22nd with Azerbaijan FM Elmar Mammadyarov to discuss strengthening strategic relations between Azerbaijan and Israel. This is a historical first visit by an Azerbaijan FM in Israel.

PM Peres praised Azerbaijan for playing a key role in countering the influence of neighbouring Iran in the region, stressing that the small Muslim country has taken a “clear stand” against war and terrorism. Calling Azerbaijan’s geographic location “unique,” Peres said Tel Aviv considers Azerbaijan an important ally in the region.

Israel and Azerbaijan's diplomatic relationship began in 1992 when Azerbaijan separated from the communist Soviet Union, and appears to be rapidly building on a number of fronts, and not only because of their similar stances via Iran.

Reuters reports that Azerbaijan's government has signed a $1.6 billion arms trade deal with Israel, and that dozens of Israeli drones were included in the agreement. The international news agency has also reported that Israel is interested in Azerbaijan’s oil reserves.

This strategic meeting comes at a time when tension continues to mount between Israel and Iran over Iran's alleged nuclear program.

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March Against Corruption in Sao Paulo
Sao Paulo, Brazil
By Mais Istanbuli
21 Apr 2013

Day of enough corruption' or 'Dia do Basta’ in Portuguese is a social and popular movement, which promotes several initiatives to combat corruption and promote social and political participation. People went out on the streets on Sunday, April 21th, 2013, to participate in this movement.

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Coastal Lagoon Clean Up For Earth Day
Coastal Lagoon, Las Pinas, Philippines
By U.S. Editor
20 Apr 2013

Two years ago, the Coastal Lagoon, officially called the Las Piñas Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA), but popularly known as Freedom Island, was covered with garbage and rubbish. Through the efforts of the Wild Birds Club of the Philippines, the Save Freedom Island Movement and various environmental NGO’s have helped clean the coastal bay and as a result, the lagoon is now almost clean.

The clean-up event at Freedom Island on April 20, 2013, is in celebration of Earth Day, which is observed in more than 192 countries every year to promote awareness and appreciation of our environment and to demonstrate support for its protection and restoration.

Freedom Island is the last remaining mangrove frontier in Metro Manila that serves as a sanctuary for avian, terrestrial and marine species. It is home to more than 80 species of migratory and endemic birds, including the already vulnerable Chinese Egret and the Philippine Duck. The mangrove ecosystem also serves as a feeding, nesting and nursery grounds for commercially important fish, prawns, mollusks, crabs and shellfish. By this virtue, it has been declared a critical habitat by Proclamation 1412 in 2007 and has also recently been included in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.

However, threats against the bird sanctuary’s continue to exist, such as the controversial reclamation project, and continuous dumping of waste and pollution. Thus, more action from the people is needed to protect and restore it.

The coastal clean-up event is not only a campaign to inspire people to clean up their surroundings, but also a show of concern about further environmental depletion. It serves as a call to action to all citizens to take part in saving the environment, as well as a call to the government take action and to stop all disastrous reclamation projects.

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Black Bloc Protest Heats Up
Tallat Harb Square, Cairo, Egypt
By U.S. Editor
19 Apr 2013

Activists burned a Muslim Brotherhood flag in Tallat Harb square along with thousands of protesters in front of the High Court, against Mohammed Morsi and the Brotherhood.

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Economic Impact of the Explosion in W...
Texas, USA
By Mais Istanbuli
19 Apr 2013

The explosion of the fertilizer plant in West, Texas, occurred at the edge of Highway 35, a vital link for the North American economy, where the heart of Texas is booming. The loss of this plant is a blow that threatens Texas’ economic model, which is based on low taxes and low binding legislation for companies.

L'explosion de l'usine d'engrais de West, au Texas, est survenue au bord d'une autoroute vitale pour l'économie nord-américaine, au cœur d'un Texas en plein boom. Un coup dur qui questionne le modèle économique texan fondé sur des impôts faibles et des législations peu contraignantes pour les entreprises.

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March In Argentina
Buenos Aires, Argentina
By U.S. Editor
18 Apr 2013

Protesters gathered to demand security and justice in Buenos Aires on Thursday against the government of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. The protesters, estimated to have reached nearly a million, are against the president's proposed judicial reform and are calling for another election.

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Homemade Oil Refineries in Ras al-Ain
Ras al Ain, Syria
By U.S. Editor
18 Apr 2013

Photos by Jeffry Ruigendijk
For full text by Annabell Van den Berghe, click here: http://transterramedia.com/media/20137

Abu Zechariah and his two sons are farmers in the Kurdish town of Ras al-Ain that are among the many people throughout Syria who have decided to start privately refining crude oil as a way to make money. Trucks come from Ramalan to Ras al-Ain, where they then begin the process. Despite the danger of using rudimentary refinery equipment, for them, the pay-off is worth the risk.

Rival rebel groups and regime forces continue to battle for control of strategic oil and gas fields in the northeast and east of the country. Since the war began, the local demand for oil has increased dramatically because of the disruption in supply to the west, which has led to small, privately-owned refineries being built throughout Syria. Though profitable, this process of refining crude oil is unhealthy and highly volatile, with the chance of an explosion anytime during the process.

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Addiction in Paris
Paris, France
By Transterra Editor
18 Apr 2013

The number of drug addicts in France is difficult to assess. The first problem to look at is defining the addiction, and which products are most common (cocaïne, weed, crack, ecstasy...). The number is believed to be between 150 000 and 300 000. In Paris, a city project named « shoot rooms » is set to open in October where associations helping drug addicts will be able to help and assist roughly 200 drug addicts. But before this opening, in December 2012, I went to meet drug addicts to better understand their day to day life. Lot of them refused to answer questions and being photographed. Only one has accepted to be followed during the day to better understand his life. I met him at CAARUD office, an association helping drug addicts in the La Chapelle area, north of Paris. The area between the La Chapelle subway and the La Chapelle gate, is one of the most important places for drugs use in Paris. Under highways, drug users smoke cocaïne and crack every day, searching for money to pay for their drug use. Philippe is one of them. He is 58 years old and drug addict for more than 20 years.
He would like to quit, but is unable to do it. For Philippe, everyday is the same thing: smoking cocaïne and searching for money to pay for it. Over the months we spent together I better understood what being a drug addict meant. At the beginning of each month, he receives money from his Togolese family. With that money, he pays for a room in a hotel where he stays during one week. His every day is the same. He wakes up, doesn’t eat breakfast. Goes to La Boutique; the center for an association helping drug addicts. He meets other drug addicts at the center and speaks with a social assistant. The association gives Philippe some new crack pipes so that disease contamination can be avoided. He then goes to meet the dealer, buying cocaïne and going back to the hotel to smoke. He sleeps a little bit, eats a burger, and later going back to smoke more.
But after one week Philippe doesn't have enough money to pay the hotel so he has to leave the room. At this time he decides to keep small amount of money he has to buy cocaïne, and everyday he goes to Sleep-in, a drug addicts’ helping association which offers addicts a bed to sleep in. Even if he doesn't like this place because of the violence between drug addicts, he has no choice because he has to sleep there. In order to smoke his cocaine he has to go under highways, or in some squats. After few days he doesn't even have enough money to buy cocaïne. So he sells his mobile phone to the dealer and tries to buy more cocaine.
Philippe is tired of this kind of life. He would like to go in rehabilitation. He has already done so once but he failed at the end and came back in Paris where his demon took him back.
This reportage wasn't easy to do because following a drug addict is quite complicated. Rendez-vous were complicated and I had to search for him during few hours. But Philippe, like lot of drug addicts in Paris, stays in the La Chapelle Area, so I always found him. But one day I didn't. So I went back the day after and many days after that. Finally, he called to tell me that he has been arrested and is now in jail. He doesn't like it but he knows that it's also a kind of rehab, and he hopes not to fail again when he is released.

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Margaret Thatcher's Funeral
London, England
By U.S. Editor
17 Apr 2013

Onlookers watch as the flag-draped coffin with the body of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher passes by 10 Downing street in London, Britain 17 April 2013. Baroness Thatcher died after suffering a stroke at the age of 87 on 08 April 2013.

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Little Jerusalem in Italy
Pitigliano, Italy
By Mais Istanbuli
17 Apr 2013

The other name of Pitigliano is "little Jerusalem".
To Read Full Article Go to: http://transterramedia.com/media/17634

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Life in Rebel Held Raqqa, Syria - Oth...
Raqqa, Syria
By Alice Martins
16 Apr 2013

Raqqa is the first Syrian provincial capital to be taken over by the rebels during the war. It offers a look into how Syria might look like after a hypothetical fall of president Bashar al-Assad. The city, still being shelled and bombed by the regime, is now under control of the Free Syrian Army and of several Islamist groups, including al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra and a group staying in the opulent governor's palace. They all have different visions for a future Syria. A Civilian Council is trying to act as a "mini-government," as they put it themselves, and a newly formed Sharia Committee had to close after hundreds protested over the arrest of two young sisters. People are enjoying their new freedom but complain about the economy, feel insecure about the future and are wary of Islamist groups. At the same time, the extremists' style is becoming 'the new cool', more young men wear beards in their style and their black bandanas are the best selling item among the rebel paraphernalia sold by street vendors.

For more photos, click here: http://transterramedia.com/collections/1317

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North Korea - Scenes Of Daily Life & DMZ
Panmunjom, North Korea
By U.S. Editor
16 Apr 2013

Scenes from the demilitarized border zone between North and South Korea.