Chanting and flailing themselves in mourning for Imam Hussein, hundreds of thousands of Shi'ite Muslims from around the world gather in the Iraqi city of Kerbala for one of the most sacred rituals in their religious calendar. Arbain marks the culmination of a 40-day mourning period for Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed who was killed in a 7th century battle in Kerbala. Shi'ites believe his remains are entombed there. Exhausted pilgrims, including women carrying their children, marched long distances to reach the shrines. Many, arriving by air from Iran, Pakistan or Bahrain, had landed in Baghdad several days earlier. Kerbala, 80 km south of the capital, was cloaked in black because of the robes worn by pilgrims, and bedecked in a sea of flags. Groups of people build camps where they cook, share food with others, and display decorative objects. Banners featuring Imam HusseinÕs words are put up on walls and buildings. The ritual is a time for sorrow and self-reflection. Mourning Shi'ites listen to recollections of how Hussein and his family were killed. The theme of martyrdom dominates, as pilgrims gash their foreheads with swords and beat themselves with chains. Hussein's death is interpreted by Shi'ites as a symbol of the struggle against injustice and oppression. Tents have been set up in Kerbala to provide a resting place for pilgrims, where men serve them cups of free tea. Others offer free massages to those arriving on foot from different cities, while tailors work on religious flags at a market. REUTERS/Abdullah Dhiaa Al-deen
At Kinfe Abera's (not pictured) garage in Addis Ababa, cranky, 50-year-old Volkswagen Beetles enjoy a kind of life after death; their parts are never discarded but re-used to keep the city's remaining Beetles on the road. "If one is in a bad condition, we will cannibalise it and give its parts to other cars. That is how we extend their life," said Kinfe, the garage-owner who has been working on Beetles for six decades. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri 
Smiling and sitting down to bread and milk with her family, Yemeni teenager Saida Ahmed Baghili is barely recognisable a year on from the photo of her emaciated frame that came to symbolise the country's humanitarian crisis. Baghili now weighs 36kg (80 lb), according to her father, more than triple the 11kg she weighed last October when Reuters first met her at the al-Thawra hospital in Sana'a, where she was undergoing treatment for severe malnutrition. There the 19-year-old was unable to talk, let alone carry her ghostly, skeletal frame, which is now stronger after weeks of specialist care and time at home. "Saida's body got better because she's eating better, but she's still having trouble swallowing," her father Ahmed Baghili said at their home in Hodeidah this month. "She can only eat milk, biscuits and juice." Baghili's plight reflects that of many families in the Arabian Peninsula's poorest country, where a two-and-a-half-year war between a Saudi-led Arab coalition and the Iran-allied Houthi movement has claimed 10,000 lives. A quarter of the 28 million population are starving, according to the United Nations, with half a million children under the age of 5 severely malnourished and at least 2,135 people killed by cholera. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad 
Kenyan opposition lawmaker Caleb Amisi Luyai leans through the window of his car as tear gas billows out after police fired gas at a convoy of opposition politicians in the capital Nairobi on Oct. 13. Police used the tear gas to prevent the politicians from entering the centre of the capital, to enforce a ban on staging political protests there ahead of a repeat presidential election on Oct. 26. Kenya is holding the re-vote after the Supreme Court threw out the result of an election in August won by incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta. His opponent, Raila Odinga, is boycotting the repeat, arguing that it should not be held until wide-ranging reforms are adopted to prevent another failed vote. For Reuters photographer Baz Ratner, who took the image, "the main challenge is how to cover the story when the protests are moving very fast in a few different focal points around Nairobi". Ratner had ridden just ahead of the opposition convoy on his motorcycle when tear gas cannisters were fired. "I stopped on the side of the road and put on my gas mask when I noticed one of the cars was engulfed in smoke. It was moving forward slowly, while I ran towards it as I took a few photos." Ratner did not recognise the driver, Luyai, an opposition member of parliament, but saw him leaning out of the window and gesturing. "I helped him open the door. I walked to the other side where other people who were in the car were lying on the floor. Very quickly, the car drove away," Ratner said. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
For more than 1,000 years, the al-Hawza al-Ilmiyya south of Baghdad has been one of the hearts of Shi'ite Islamic scholarship, training the clerics who lead Shi'ite communities across the Muslim world. Thousands of students, from teenage boys to university graduates, study Islam at its schools in the holy cities of Najaf and Kerbala. Shi'ites, who are the majority in Iraq, were repressed under dictator Saddam Hussein, a Sunni Muslim, but now lead the Iraqi government since Saddam was overthrown in 2003. Clerics trained at the Hawza have wide social and political influence, both inside Iraq and abroad. This year, around 200 fully fledged clerics will graduate, completing a process that requires at least ten years of study. In the Najaf school, a typical day will see clerics in flowing black robes and white turbans giving lectures to groups of students sitting on the floor of a great hall, lined with pointed arches and elaborate mosaics. Students are given instruction in subjects including Islamic jurisprudence, philosophy, theology, logic and interpreting Islam's holy book, the Koran. REUTERS/Abdullah Dhiaa Al-deen
 
Her bruised eyes still swollen shut, Buthaina Muhammad Mansour, believed to be four or five, doesn't yet know that her parents, five siblings and uncle were killed when an air strike flattened their home in Yemen's capital. Despite a concussion and skull fractures, doctors think Buthaina will pull through - her family's sole survivor of the Aug 25 attack, on an apartment building, that residents blame on a Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen since 2015. The alliance said in a statement it would investigate the air strike, which killed at least 12 civilians. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah 
When Muslim elders called for a "Day of Rage" on Friday to protest at new Israeli security measures at Jerusalem's holiest site, photographer Ammar Awad knew where he had to be. A native of Jerusalem who has covered the city for Reuters for 17 years, Awad headed to Ras al-Amud, directly across the valley from the Old City, from where the Aqsa Mosque and the golden Dome of the Rock stand out in the near distance. Knowing there were likely to be clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinian worshippers, and that Muslims intended to pray in the street outside, he climbed up to the roof of a nearby mosque to gain a higher vantage point. "I know all these areas and the people know me, so it helps," said Awad, 36, explaining how he managed to gain access to the mosque, which was shut by the imam to ensure that the faithful held their prayers outside. "I was on the roof and took lots of pictures of the men praying in the street, with the Old City and the Dome of the Rock in the background," he explained. "After they finished praying, they started shouting 'Allah wa-Akbar' and some were chanting "I will sacrifice myself for al Aqsa" in Arabic. The Israeli police started to explode sound bombs to disperse the crowd. "I was going to come down, but I decided to stay and see what more pictures I could get." As the sound bombs erupted, many of those who had been praying started to run. Others were still completing their prayers as the scene turned chaotic. Awad fired off 20 frames as a tear gas canister was unleashed on the crowd. The light from the blast lit the scene, highlighting the colours as scores of men cowered from the bang. "I was lucky to get the picture," he said. "As soon as I saw it, I knew it was the picture of the day. The men were finishing prayers, there's al Aqsa and the Old City in the background - it told the whole story." REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Intensive care wards in Yemen's hospitals are filled with emaciated children hooked up to monitors and drips - victims of food shortages that could get even worse due to a reorganisation of the central bank that is worrying importers. With food ships finding it hard to get into Yemen's ports due to a virtual blockade by the Saudi-led coalition that has backed the government during an 18-month civil war, over half the country's 28 million people already do not have enough to eat, according to the United Nations. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad 

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Each night as darkness descends on Lagos, Nigeria's commercial capital, sweat drenched young men and women descend on the megacity's numerous nightclubs to dance to the latest hit songs. Much like the famous "Nollywood" film industry, music is now big business in Africa's most populous nation. As in many Nigerian cities, music is inescapable in Lagos, whose 21 million inhabitants can hear popular songs in the form of mobile phone ringtones or blaring out of speakers on the private transit buses, known as danfos, that are ubiquitous. Artists who sing and rap over electronic backing tracks, in a genre known as Afrobeats, have seen their popularity in Nigeria spill over into record sales and sold-out concerts across Africa and in both Britain and the United States. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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The world's largest cemetery, in Iraq's Shi'ite holy city of Najaf, is expanding at double its usual rate as Shi'ite militias bury their dead from the war against Islamic State. The Wadi al-Salam cemetery, Arabic for "Peace Valley" has a special place in the hearts of Shi'ite Muslims as it surrounds the Mausoleum of their first imam, Ali Bin Abi Talib, a cousin and son-in-law of Prophet Mohammad. The pace of daily burials rose to 150-200 after Islamic State, the ultra-hardline Sunni group overran a third of the country in 2014, said Jihad Abu Saybi, a historian of the cemetery. The rate was 80-120 a day previously, he said. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani 

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Douma in Syria, an area controlled by rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad, has been shelled continuously for the past three years. The injured are taken to basements and shelters transformed into field hospitals run by medical staff who have stayed in the battered neighbourhood of Damascus. REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh

Click here to see Bassam's story - GRAPHIC CONTENT

 

Pope Francis makes his first pontifical visit later this month to Africa, where Catholicism has grown rapidly over the last few decades but now faces serious competition from Evangelical and Pentecostal churches, as well as Islam. The pontiff's trip to Africa, where an estimated 1 in 5 people is Catholic, takes in Kenya, Uganda and Central African Republic. His visit to that country is fraught with security concerns after months of clashes between Christians and Muslim gangs in which dozens of people have been killed. REUTERS/Staff 

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The conflict in Sudan's Darfur region that erupted 12 years ago shows no sign of ending. But it hasn't stopped displaced youngsters, some of whom have spent their entire lives in refugee camps, from dreaming big. Twelve children aged 12 explain their hopes and dreams for the future; ambitions include becoming a doctor, an engineer and a teacher. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

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About a million grieving Chinese parents have lost the only child that the government allowed them to have. The news that China will scrap the one-child policy has cast them further adrift. Parents say government compensation they receive for the loss of a child falls far short of what they need in a country where parents traditionally rely on their children to look after them in old age. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon 

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Los Angeles is grappling with a massive homelessness problem, as forecasted El Nino downpours threaten to add to the misery of thousands of people who sleep on the streets. Mayor Eric Garcetti has proposed spending $100 million to combat the problem in the sprawling metropolis but stopped short of declaring a state of emergency. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

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In December this year, the U.N. Climate Conference takes place in Paris. Ahead of the summit, we will release a series of stories, titled “Earthprints�, that show the ability of humans to impact change on the landscape of the planet. From sprawling urban growth to the construction of new islands, each site has profoundly changed in the last 30 years. Each story has accompanying NASA satellite images that show the scale of the change. Lake Powell on the Colorado River provides water for Nevada, Arizona and California. A severe drought in recent years, combined with withdrawals that many believe are not sustainable, has reduced its levels to only about 42 percent of its capacity. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

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Around 2 million people live in the shantytowns packed in around Kenya's capital. Crime is high amid chronic unemployment levels, while basic services and sanitation are scarce. Residents try to make the best of things, eking out a living and picking up work where they can. REUTERS/Siegfried Modola 

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The problem of jigger parasites, female sand fleas that burrow their way under skin, is widespread in the eastern, northern and northeastern parts of Uganda. Left untreated, the parasite can lead to secondary infections that can be fatal. NGO Sole Hope works with local and international volunteers to treat sufferers, removing the parasites either with safety pins or razor blades. Encouraging people to cover their feet is part of the battle against the parasite; treatment includes a free pair of shoes as very few of those affected are able to afford even sandals. REUTERS/James Akena

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On August 9, 2014, a white police officer shot unarmed black teenager Michael Brwon dead in the St. Louis suburb of FergusonThat sparked violent protests with police and stoked a debate over race relations, policing and the criminal justice system in a year when the United States has become acutely aware of the deaths of civilians, especially black people, at the hands of police. A year later, Reuters photographer Adrees Latif returned to Ferguson to photograph the same locations he had documented in the past year. REUTERS/Adrees Latif 

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In 2005, Hurricane Katrina triggered floods that inundated New Orleans and killed more than 1,500 people as storm waters overwhelmed levees and broke through floodwalls. Congress authorised spending more than $14 billion to beef up the city's flood protection after Katrina, and built a series of new barriers that include manmade islands and new wetlands. After photographing events a decade ago, Reuters photographer Carlos Barria returned to New Orleans. Using photos he took 10 years ago, Barria found the same locations that he documented originally and used the photos he took in 2005 to show the contrast of inundation then and a city now still affected by the disaster. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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On August 6, 1945, the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, killing about 140,000 by the end of the year in a city of 350,000 residents, in the world's first nuclear attack. Three days later, a second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Influenced by the shadows scorched into outdoor surfaces by the heat of the blasts 70 years ago, Reuters photographer Issei Kato pays homage to survivors, residents and historic buildings in both cities in a personal project that captures the shadows of today. REUTERS/Issei Kato

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In the searing heat of summer in western Egypt, at the hottest time of the day, sufferers of rheumatism, joint pain, unfertility or impotence lie buried neck-deep in the sand of Siwa near Dakrour Mountain. Locals say taking a sand bath is a natural therapy with powers to cure many medical conditions. Patients relax in the shade before treatment, which includes massages by the feet of health workers who also submerge their patients up to their neck in the desert. Patients drink mint tea in tents following the treatment. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

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Reuters photographer Edward Echwalu spent time documenting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LBGT) people as they prepared to celebrate Gay Pride in Uganda. Homosexuality is taboo in almost all African countries and illegal in most including Uganda, where rights groups say gay people have long risked jail. Fear of violence, imprisonment and loss of jobs means few gays in Africa come out. On Saturday August 8 members of the LGBT community emerge from the shadows as they celebrate Gay Pride near the capital Kampala. REUTERS/Edward Echwalu

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A crowd lynch a man they suspect of being involved in a suicide attack on a church in Lahore. Bombs outside two churches in the Pakistani city of Lahore killed 14 people and wounded nearly 80 during Sunday services, and witnesses said quick action by a security guard prevented many more deaths. A Pakistani Taliban splinter group claimed responsibility. Reuters Photographer Mohsin Raza: "Upon my arrival on the site, I saw people running everywhere in panic. Suddenly I noticed a mob of young people shouting and beating a man whom they suspected was behind the attacks. The man was nearly dead, and the anger was peaking. "Get him, hang him on a pole", the crowd shouted. Then another group came along, pulling another man and shouting for both to be burned. The next moment, people started gathering wood from a nearby shop and set the men ablaze. My biggest challenge was passing through the furious crowd. They were very emotional and angry after the attacks on their churches. Police was present on the spot but as they were quite few in numbers they stepped back and did not take any action at all. I was also very grieved covering the women and men searching for their loved ones after the explosion. Mothers and sisters were crying out with extreme pain for their sons and brothers. It was really a heartbreaking incident to cover. While shooting pictures of the two men in flames, it was very painful but I looked intently around me. I was shocked that people were holding their mobile phones, shooting pictures and videos of the helpless men. I think the brutality and senseless violence shown towards a fellow human being is what makes this image stand out." REUTERS/Mohsin Raza

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 Iowa, with its endless farm fields and quiet towns, is gearing up for its four-yearly starring role in the U.S. presidential elections. Once again the state will become the focus of the nation as the long and sometimes quirky process of electing the next U.S. president begins. Even though the Iowa caucus is still 11 months away, potential candidates have already starting to visit the Midwestern state. Jim Young's pictures give us a glimpse into the state known as America's Heartland. REUTERS/Jim Young

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Many residents of Okuma, a village near the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant, are angry about government plans to dump some 30 million tons of radioactive debris raked up after the March 2011 nuclear disaster in a sprawling waste complex on their doorstep. Few believe Tokyo's assurances that the site will be cleaned up and shut down after 30 years. In the four years since the disaster, Japan has allocated over $15 billion to lower radiation levels around the plant. Every day, teams of workers blast roads with water, scrub down houses, cut branches and scrape contaminated soil off farmland. That radiated trash now sits in plastic sacks across the region, piling up in abandoned rice paddies, parking lots and even residents' backyards. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

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Tsukimi Ayano made her first scarecrow 13 years ago to frighten off birds pecking at seeds in her garden. The life-sized straw doll resembled her father, so she made more. Today, the tiny village of Nagoro in southern japan is teeming with Ayano's hand-sewn creations, frozen in time for a tableau that captures the motions of everyday life. Nagaro, like many villages in Japan's countryside, has been hit hard by inhabitants flocking to cities for work and leaving mostly pensioners behind. Its greying community is a microcosm of Japan, whose population has been falling for a decade. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

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Now, as in the past, there are proposals for plans to replace the Woolwich Free Ferry with either a bridge or a tunnel. However, many of the ferry workers believe there will always be a ferry service at Woolwich, which has been a place for crossing the Thames since the Saxon times. The free ferry opened in 1889, with each boat licensed to carry 1000 passengers and 15-20 vehicles. Latest figures show that on average just under 80,000 vehicles and 22,000 foot passengers use the ferry every four weeks. REUTERS/Russell Boyce

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One of the biggest battles of the Ukraine war ended in a humiliating defeat for government troops, thousands of whom pulled out of this town after a siege and onslaught by separatist fighters. Most of Debaltseve's 26,000 residents fled during the fighting. But according to the Red Cross as many as 5,000 stayed behind, many too elderly to flee. No one has attempted to tally the civilian deaths. Reuters photographer Baz Ratner photographed damaged homes in the towns of Debaltseve and Vuhlehirsk. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

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Awareness of the dangers of Beijing'sskies is on the rise, thanks to growing data on its air quality. Rising public discontent over the state of the environment has proved a powerful catalyst for change amid signs the government is starting to take the environment seriously. China will "declare war on pollution," Premier Li Keqiang told parliament in an opening address in 2014. A tougher environmental law took effect on January 1, while a new environment minister took charge on Friday. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

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On February 26, 2015, Reuters photographer Emmanuel Braun shot a picture of a Boko Haram fighter being captured by the Chadian military in Gambaru. "I was covering the Chad army offensive inside Nigeria against the insurgent group Boko Haram when I shot this picture. It shows a prisoner, believed to belong to Boko Haram, caught during the ride we had with the Chadian troops on the battle field."

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The snowy foothills of the High Atlas mountains in Morocco are home to several Berber villages where the inhabitants make their living by farming, baking bread in traditional ovens, herding cattle, and the making and selling of honey, olive oil and pottery. Extreme weather fluctuations and erosion that causes flooding and landslides have led to a drop in agricultural productivity, the United Nations said. REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal

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In a camp for displaced Rohingya Muslims, residents frequent bamboo "internet huts" where they can communicate with relatives who left the country, escaping the violence that led to 200 deaths and left over 140,000 homeless in 2012. Some arrive safely, while others are held hostage for ransom by human traffickers at jungle camps in Thailand or Malaysia. Each relative tells their own story of a family member they are still trying to keep in touch with and how they came to be separated. REUTERS/Minzayar

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Saudi Arabia's oil exports have risen in February in response to stronger demand from customers. As OPEC's top producer battles for market share Reuters photographers around the globe have been photographing oil barrels to document how they are utilised once the fuel has been used, from motorbike sidecars, jockey training aids, art installations to flood water rescue boats and many more. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

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A mysterious table-topped mountain on the Venezuela-Brazil border that perplexed 19th century explorers and inspired "The Lost World" novel is attracting ever more modern-day adventurers. Once impenetrable to all but the local Pemon indigenous people, now several thousand trekkers a year make the six-day hike across Venezuela's savannah, through rivers, and up a narrow path that scales Mount Roraima's 600-meter cliff-faces. While that is a help to Venezuela's tottering tourism industry and brings revenues to local communities, it is also scattering a prehistoric landscape with unwanted litter. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlings

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Reuters photographer Akintunde Akinleye photographed Nigerians and asked them about their views on the elections as well as their hopes and concerns for the country. Nigeria's agreement to delay this week's election on the advice of security forces creates a worrying echo for some of the annulment of 1993's democratic vote by a military government. The election in Africa's biggest economy, initially scheduled to take place this Saturday, was set to be the closest fought since the end of military dictatorship in 1999. President Goodluck Jonathan is seeking re-election in a contest with main opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari, himself a former military ruler. 

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Reuters photographers from Mali to Mexico have shot a series of new pictures of fuel stations. Whether it is plastic bottles by the roadside in Malaysia or a futuristic forecourt in Los Angeles, fuel stations help define our world. The price of crude oil has dropped by more than half in the past seven months, hitting the revenues of oil-producing nations. Motorists, though, are feeling richer as prices fall at the pump.

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Reuters multi-award winning photographers are celebrated here in a retrospective on the 30th anniversary of the service's launch. Reuters photographers have captured dramatic images illustrating the human tragedy of natural disaster and war as well as the fallout of economic events across the continents. They have brought their lenses to bear on sport, culture and show business as well as world political and economic leaders - creating iconic images recognised around the world

To see the full gallery from the last 30 years click here

 

Detroit, also known as the Motor City, is the historic hub of automobile manufacturing in the U.S. A federal judge in December 2013 formally declared the city bankrupt but it won court approval to exit bankruptcy last November. Once the proud symbol of U.S. industrial strength, Detroit fell on hard times after decades of population loss, rampant debt and financial mismanagement left it struggling to provide basic services to residents. The Detroit car show, formally the North American International Auto Show, is being held for the 26th year and represents the turn in the city's fortune with 2014 being the best year for U.S. car sales since 2006. Reuters photographer Joshua Lott documented old or damaged cars, a common element in a series of cityscapes in the former automobile industry giant. REUTERS/Joshua Lott

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Residents of Kafr Hamra, a town in the rural Aleppo countryside, refine crude oil in makeshift cottage refineries in warehouses and backyards for heating, operating bakeries and even running cars, just like most locals across rebel-held areas of Syria. The state no longer pumps gasoline to areas in rebel hands, and civilians have resorted to buying crude oil from armed groups who have taken over major oil producing areas in the east since 2012. Islamic State is currently in control of oil wells, and civilian middlemen now buy crude from the group before reselling it to locals, but the practice predates Islamic State's capture of oil wells from rival groups. REUTERS/Nour Kelze

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Thousands of Korean children dream of becoming household names like rapper Psy, whose 2012 "Gangnam Style" video was a global YouTube hit, often putting up with punishing schedules in the hope of one day making it big in the music industry. A recent survey of pre-teens showed that 21 percent of respondents wanted to be K-pop stars when they grow up, the most popular career choice. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

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As the liberation of Auschwitz approaches its 70th anniversary this month, Reuters photographers took portraits of now elderly survivors. About 1.5 million people, most of them Jews, were killed at the Nazi camp which has became a symbol of the horrors of the Holocaust and World War Two, which ravaged Europe. The camp was liberated by Soviet Red Army troops on January 27, 1945 and about 200,000 camp inmates survived.

Click here to see all the portraits by Laszlo and Kacper

 

Reuters photographers from Mali to Mexico have shot a series of new pictures of fuel stations. Whether it is plastic bottles by the roadside in Malaysia or a futuristic forecourt in Los Angeles, fuel stations help define our world. The price of crude oil has dropped by more than half in the past seven months, hitting the revenues of oil-producing nations. Motorists, though, are feeling richer as prices fall at the pump.

Click here to see the global gallery

 

Thai police opened a shipping container filled with possessions of victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami after being asked by Reuters for permission to film its contents. The three metre by 12 metre container was handed over to Thai police in 2011 and contains hundreds of plastic police evidence bags - each one holding the precious items found on the body of a victim. In Thailand, over 5,300 people were killed, including several thousand foreign tourists, when the waves swamped six coastal provinces, turning some of the world's most beautiful beaches into mass graves. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj 

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Residents of Siwa have been hurt by declining tourism in Egypt,which received 9.5 million tourists last year, down from over 14.7 million tourists in 2010, before the uprising that ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak. Nationwide, the situation is gradually improving and the government says tourism could recover to pre-crisis levels next year if regional turmoil spares Egypt. But Siwa, located just 50 km (30 miles) from war-torn Libya, still sees only a fraction of the tourists that once visited the desert oasis, the head of Siwa's tourism authority says. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

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Kabul is one of the world's fastest growing cities and its streets are increasingly blocked by cars and buses. In the city's private driving schools, students pay a $60 fee for a 45-day course, which includes oral and practical driving tests at the country's Traffic Department. Some of the women who have signed up say learning to drive is a way to escape unwanted gazes and physical harassment on the cramped, crowded minibuses that are often the only method of urban public transport. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

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Domenico Agostinelli 74, has a passion that has led him over the past 60 years to pick up and collect things of all types, from antique art to everyday objects of the past and present. His collection includes a 65-million-year-old dinosaur egg, meteor fragments, a car that once belonged to American mob boss Al Capone, a lock of hair of Italian national hero Giuseppe Garibaldi, toys, weapons, musical instruments of all kinds and many more. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

The IRA admitted killing 13 of the 16 classified as "disappeared" in the 1970s and 80s, mostly Catholics accused of collaborating with British forces, while the Irish national Liberation Army admitted one. No one has taken responsibility for the other two, or two more who went missing after 1998. Several of the bodies have never been found and, like for the vast majority of the victims of Northern Ireland's "Troubles", none of the crimes have been solved and the perpetrators remain unpunished. The families of the Disappeared are frustrated that Northern Ireland appears so reluctant to investigate its past. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton

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Hong Kong police cleared most of the main protest site in December, marking an end to more than two months of street demonstrations in the Chinese-controlled city, but many chanted: "We will be back". Protest leaders have said they will consider other forms of civil disobedience, given Beijing's continued refusal to grant any concessions. Reuters photographers captured glimpses of this defiance in the umbrella motif that appears again and again in the debris. 

The Arnhem Land reserve, closer to Bali than Sydney, covers an area of around 97,000 sq kms (37,000 sq miles), has a population of around 16,000 and access for non-Aborigines is by invitation only. Australia's aborigines are the custodians of the longest unbroken cultural tradition on earth, having migrated Down Under from Africa via Asia between 40,000 and 60,000 years ago, and connection to the land is practically written into their DNA. REUTERS/David Gray

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Women make up the bulk of Pakistan's half a million cotton producers, but labour rights activists say they are often exploited by overseers, who often withhold their wages and may subject some of them to sexual harassment. Many women work in Pakistan's cotton fields for less than $2 a day. Last year, a group of around 40 women decided their low wages could no longer cover food and clothing for their families so they did something almost unheard for poor working women in rural Pakistan - they went on strike. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro

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Reuters photographers around the world have taken portraits of police officers, and asked them at what point are they legally permitted to use force to control crowds. When the killing of an unarmed black teenager by a white policeman in FergusonMissouri, in August sparked sometimes violent protests, the response of police in camouflage gear and armoured vehicles wielding stun grenades and assault rifles seemed more like a combat operation than a public order measure. Some U.S. police departments have recently acquired U.S. military-surplus hardware from wars abroad, but there are many law enforcers around the world whose rules of engagement also allow the use of lethal force with relatively few restrictions. But for every regulation that gives police wide scope to use firearms, there is another code that sharply limits their use. 

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On the night of December 2, 1984, the factory owned by the U.S. multinational Union Carbide Corporation accidentally leaked cyanide gas into the air, killing thousands of largely poor Indians in the central city of Bhopal. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

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Wood, a form of biomass, is the sole source of energy for hundreds of millions of Africans who lack access to modern sources of power, and logging, both legal and illegal, remains a lucrative business that has contributed to the rapid shrinking of  Africa's rainforests and woodlands. Nigeria lost just over 2 million hectares of forest annually between 2005-2010 driven by agricultural expansion, logging and infrastructure development, according to U.N. data. It is also among the biggest users of solid fuel for cooking, with over 120 million Nigerians relying on firewood and charcoal for their cooking needs, according to the International Energy Agency. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye 

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Wigs, handmade by Italian-Chilean hair stylist Marcelo Avatte and his team, have helped children who have lost their hair regain their self-esteem and confidence during cancer treatment. Renowned for making customised wigs, Avatte has donated more than 300 wigs since 2009 and says he was motivated to begin the project by the pain he felt when his own son lost his hair during chemotherpy. REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido

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Reuters photographers have chronicled Kurdish refugee crises over the years. In 1991Srdjan Zivulovic documented refugees in Cukurca who had escaped a military operation by Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq aimed at "Arabising" Kurdish areas in the north. Hundreds of thousands fled into Turkey and Iran. Images shot in recent months show familiar scenes as crowds of people flee Islamic State militants in Syria. There are as many as 30 million Kurds, spread through Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran. Most Kurds are Sunni Muslims, but tend to feel more loyalty to their Kurdishness, rather than their religion.

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Reuters photographer Siegfried Modola gained access to a circumcision ceremony in rural Kenya for young girls of the Pokot tribe, in Baringo County. The traditional practice of circumcision is a rite of passage that marks the transition to womanhood and is a requirement for all girls of the tribe before they marry. More than a quarter of girls and women in Kenya have undergone genital cutting, according to United Nations data. Despite a government ban on the life-threatening practice since 2011, the long-standing tradition remains a rite of passage for girls, particularly among poor families in rural areas.

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A year-long investigation into allegations of collusion and manipulation by global currency traders is set to come to a head on Wednesday, with Britain's financial regulator and six big banks expected to agree a settlement involving around $1.5 billion in fines. The settlement comes amid a revival of long-dormant volatility on the foreign exchanges, where a steady rise of U.S. dollar this year has depressed oil prices and the currencies of many commodity exporters such as Russia's rouble, Brazil's real and Nigeria's naira - setting the scene for more turbulence on world financial markets in 2015.

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Reuters photographers Carlos Barria and Bobby Yip photographed protestors and details of life on the barricades, asking demonstrators what their role was in the Occupy movement, and what they wanted to happen next. These two elements combine to form a portrait of the protests. Student protesters galvanized Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement with their energy, bringing tens of thousands of people on to the streets in a show of defiance against Beijing. As events of the last 12 days prove, however, sustaining momentum is difficult, and whatever success protesters had in pressuring the government by disrupting city life, they will always come up against a formidable foe - mainland China. Protest numbers have dwindled markedly to a few hundred people at times, and the focus for pro-democracy activists has switched to talks scheduled for Friday with key officials in the Hong Kong administration. Already leaders among students and the "Occupy" movement, as well as tacticians in the city's pro-democracy camp, say they are doubtful of an outcome that will pacify radical and moderate demonstrators, possibly paving the way for another crackdown. 

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Reuters photographer Robert Galbraith documented people and towns along West Virginia's Route 52, or 'King Coal Highway' as it's known. Coal miners have worked in this part of the United States for over a century enjoying the best of the boom times and riding out the bad, the constant refrain being that coal would always be there, the mines would be back. But now with coal production slowing due to stricter environmental controls, the availability of natural gas and a shift to surface mining, the state's coal country has been hit hard with job losses and business closures, creating virtual ghost towns along the route REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

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UNESCO made Rabat a World Heritage Site two years ago and media and tour operators call it a "must-see destination." But it seems the tourist hordes have yet to find out. While visitors are getting squeezed through the better-known sites of Marrakesh and Fez, the old part of Rabat - with its beautiful Medina and Kasbah of the Udayas - remains an almost unspoiled oasis of calm. Smaller and more compact, its labyrinths of streets, passages and dead ends are a treasure trove of shapes and colours, of moments begging to be caught by the photographer's lens. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj 

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Venezuela's economic crisis has led to some shocking and surreal price distortions that hit people's buying power dramatically. While the government of President Nicolas Maduro calls the country's minimum wage of Bs. 4,252 the highest in the region when converted to $675 using the official exchange rate, the galloping black market for currency considers it as just $42.50 when converted at the street rate of Bs. 100 per US dollar, the rate which many importers and retail outlets must use to acquire hard currency. Venezuela's annual inflation rate of more than 63 percent is the highest in the Americas, according to official statistics. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

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Reuters photographer Carlos Barria photographed a person born in each year China's One Child Policy has been in existence; from a man born in 1979, to a baby born in 2014, and asked them if they would have like to have siblings. China, the world's most populous country with nearly 1.4 billion people, says the country's one-child policy has averted 400 million births since 1980, saving scarce food resources and helping to pull families out of poverty. Couples violating the policy have had to pay a fine, or in some cases have been forced to undergo abortions. But late last year, China said it would allow millions of families to have two children, part of a plan to raise fertility rates and ease the financial burden on a rapidly ageing population. 

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The Arch to Arc is billed as the hardest triathlon in the world. It is comprised of a 87 mile run from Marble Arch in London to Dover, a swim across the Channel to Calais, finishing with a 180 mile bike ride to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Paul Parrish, 49, a recovering alcoholic, is the oldest man to have completed the race, doing so in a time of 84 hours 44 minutes. He is among over 20 people to have completed the event. REUTERS/Neil Hall 

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Alsace, the cradle of the French oil exploration industry in the mid-18th century, is witnessing a tentative return of small oil explorers in the eastern region on the German border. With oil prices hovering around $100, a dozen of fields are pumping again, in a region that once provided 5 percent of French needs and gave birth to international oil services giants such as Schlumberger, before fading into insignificance in the 1960s when the barrel lingered around $15. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

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This package is the second part of a project where Reuters photographers who are covering the Brazil World Cup turn their cameras away from the sport to capture the quirky and creative side of life at the biggest sports event in the World. 

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Reuters photographer Cathal McNaughton spent time at an asylum center on the outskirts of Stockholm, where he took portraits of people he met and asked them where they had fled, why they left, and how they had reached Sweden. He photographed the migrants hiding their faces, partly to protect their identity because of safety concerns, and partly to focus the viewer's attention on their stories, rather than their looks. Some 15 percent of Sweden's population is foreign born, the highest level in the Nordic region. Asylum seekers in particular are drawn by Sweden's robust economy and tradition of helping refugees. The country ranks fourth in the number of asylum seekers and second relative to its population out of 44 industrialised nations, according to U.N. figures. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton 

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hough instability continues to plague Pakistan and many areas are dominated by social conservatism, some of the country's more affluent residents have worked to fashion a very different kind of lifestyle for themselves. Pictures of men and women taking part in all sorts of activities and professions - from being a pilates instructor, to a textile retail entrepreneur, to a member of a rock band - offer a different view of Pakistan to images of conflict that often make the news. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra 

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The 2014 Brazil World Cup opens on June 12 and fans around the globe are gearing up for the big tournament. But soccer lovers are not only preparing to watch the world's best professional players battle it out on the pitch; they are also out there kicking a ball about themselves. Reuters photographers on every continent, in countries from China to the Czech Republic, went out to capture images of soccer goalposts used by players to practice the 'beautiful game'.

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From the 1950s, mines and chemical plants mushroomed in the area around Heshan which is rich in realgar, or arsenic disulphide. They were shut down in 2011 due to the pollution they caused but dust and runoff from arsenic plagues Heshan to this day. In 2010, 157 villagers from Heshan, with a population of about 1,500, had died of cancer caused by arsenic poisoning in the previous two decades, and another 190 had developed cancer due to arsenic poisoning, the villagers wrote in a letter to the local government, seen by Reuters, seeking compensation and aid. REUTERS/Jason Lee

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Dropping the voting age to 16 was lauded as a nationalist masterstroke in the battle for Scottish independence, but evidence is mounting that teenage voters may prove hesitant about breaking away from the United Kingdom. Ahead of a September 18 independence referendum, the British government's campaign to keep the 307-year-old union with Scotland intact is battling to hold on to a shrinking poll lead over nationalists, who say a split would give Scotland the freedom to create a fairer and more prosperous nation. Reuters photographer Paul Hackett travelled to Scotland to shoots portraits of some of the young voters and find out what they thought about the upcoming referendum. REUTERS/Paul Hackett

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The Northern Limit Line (NLL) is a disputed maritime border between North and South Korea. It extends from the west coast of Korea where it curves northward, effectively isolating five remote South Korean islands, the furthest of which is a four hour boat ride from the mainland. One of the islands, Yeonpyeong, was shelled by North Korean rockets and artillery in November 2010 when South Korean marines were conducting artillery drills on the island. In subsequent years, the South Korean government has increased its military presence on the islands. Cliff tops are adorned with cruise missiles capable of striking Pyongyang, and the beaches are lined with barbed wire, soldiers, and mines. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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The Mother Teresa of Calcutta eating center, located in a back-street of Caracas, is frequented by the unemployed and homeless, as well as those who work but are unable to make ends meet. Shortages of basic products have become the norm in Venezuela over the last year and workers at soup kitchens face an increasingly difficult task of finding staple foods they need to provide a free hot daily meal. Opponents of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro's government say the queues are a national embarrassment and symbol of failed socialist economics similar to the old Soviet Union. But officials say businessmen are deliberately hoarding products as part of an "economic war" against Maduro. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

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Restrictions on international aid have exacerbated a growing health crisis among stateless Muslim Rohingya in west Myanmar. In February, Myanmar's government expelled the main aid group providing health to more than half a million Rohingya, Medecins Sans Frontieres-Holland (MSF-H), after the organisation said it had treated people believed to have been victims of violence in southern Maungdaw township in January. The United Nations says at least 40 Rohingya were killed there by Buddhist Rakhine villagers. The government denies any killings occurred. An attack in March on NGO and U.N. offices by a Rakhine mob led to the withdrawal of other groups providing healthcare and other essential aid to another 140,000 Rohingya. REUTERS/Minzayar 

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The General Yermolov Cadet School in the southern Russian city of Stavropol is a state-run institution that teaches military and patriotic classes in addition to a normal syllabus. The school allows its pupils to take part in field-training trips, during which they spend a night in a base and undergo physical drills and weapons training. The outings are seen as a treat for students, and those with bad grades are not allowed to go. The school is named after the Russian imperial general Alexei Yermolov and many of its students are from military backgrounds. REUTERS/Eduard Korniyenko

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Tower of David skyscraper boasts a helicopter landing pad, glorious views of the Avila mountain range, and large balconies for weekend barbecues. Yet this 45-storey skyscraper in the center of Venezuela's capital Caracas is no five-star hotel or swanky apartment block: it is a slum, probably the highest in the world. Dubbed the "Tower of David", the building was intended to be a shining new financial center but was abandoned around 1994 after the death of its developer - banker and horse-breeder David Brillembourg - and the collapse of the financial sector. Squatters invaded the huge concrete skeleton in 2007, then-president Hugo Chavez's socialist government turned a blind eye, and now about 3,000 people call the tower their home. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

Mexican capital. The "pachuco" scene is thought to date back to the 1930s and 40s in Los Angeles, where Mexican migrants would wear the snazzy outfits, partly as a symbol of defiance against discrimination. Many modern Pachucos in Mexico follow on from this custom and use the suits not only to go dancing, but also as a continuing sign of protest against the treatment of Mexican immigrants north of the border. Everything from the suit to the shoes is handmade - the shoes can cost from $60 to $120, the suits some $300, each shirt another $30, the hats between $40 and $130. REUTERS/Henry Romero

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Paris-based Reuters photographer Charles Platiau documents members of French and German historical associations, who gather annually, together visiting the battlefield of Verdun in France, the site of a bloody World War One battle that dragged on for around 10 months in 1916, claiming hundreds of thousands of lives and destroying many villages. Wearing historical uniforms, they attended a ceremony in the village of Bezonvaux, which was wiped out in the fighting, and took part in a 15-km (9-mile) walk through the forest of Verdun. The year 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War (WWI). REUTERS/Charles Platiau

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London-based photographer Neil Hall travelled to Cyprus to document the United Nations buffer zone between the Turkish Cypriot-controlled north of the island and the Greek Cypriot-controlled south. Greek and Turkish Cypriots have lived estranged for decades. A power-sharing government crumbled soon after independence from Britain in 1960 and the island has been divided since a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by a Turkish invasion of the north in 1974. Four decades on, a United Nations-controlled buffer zone splits Cyprus east to west, with Cyprus's ethnic Greeks living in the south, and its Turks in the north. The buffer zone still contains crumbling relics of times gone by - abandoned houses, businesses and even an airport. REUTERS/Neil Hall

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Many indigenous groups, including the Huni Kui, Ashaninka, and Madija, live in villages in the Brazilian rainforest near the border with Peru. Over the past three years, the Ashaninka and Madija say that they have seen more and more incursions on their territory from uncontacted tribes, defined by Survival International as groups who have no peaceful contact with mainstream society. The "Bravos," or "Braves," as uncontacted Indians are called in the region, carry out raids on other villages, putting the communities along the Envira River on permanent alert. Leaders of the Ashaninka tribe have asked the government and NGOs for help in controlling what they consider an encroachment on their area by these uncontacted indigenous groups, stating that the movement of these other tribes is the result of pressure caused by illegal logging across the border in Peru. REUTERS/Lunae Parracho 

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