Gallery Gate

A ferocious storm system that kicked up tornadoes, flash floods and hail as big as softballs rampaged across the southern U.S. over the weekend, killing at least 45 people across six states. North Carolina was the hit the hardest. North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue said she's never seen anything like the destruction caused by the storm system that has claimed at least 21 lives statewide. Annina Purdy, who was inside the Lowe's hardware store in Sanford, N.C. the previous day when a tornado destroyed the building, returned to the store's parking lot on Sunday, April 17, 2011, to reclaim personal belongings from her car. Mackayla Jones comforts a dog with a broken leg in Askewville, N.C., Sunday, April 17, 2011 after a tornado moved through the area Saturday. An aerial photo shows tornado damage at the Lowe's Home Improvement Center in Sanford, N.C. Sunday, April 17, 2011.

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Saturday, November 27th marked a milestone in Afghanistan - after that day passed, the United States and its allies have now been in Afghanistan longer than the Soviet Union had been when it withdrew in 1989. Recent announcements by the U.S. appear to show that it plans to remain at least another four years. In the south, U.S. forces are increasingly encountering abandoned buildings that are heavily booby-trapped as they pursue the Taliban, leading them to systematically destroy the structures. Arghandab district governor Shah Muhammed Ahmadi said "In some villages where only a few houses were contaminated by bombs, we called the owners and got their agreement to destroy them, In some villages like Khosrow that were completely empty and full of IED's, we destroyed them without agreement because it was hard to find the people - and not just Khosrow, but many villages. We had to destroy them to make them safe." Collected here are images of the country and conflict over the past month, part of an ongoing monthly series on Afghanistan. President Barack Obama presents the Medal of Honor to Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, who rescued two members of his squad in October 2007 while fighting in the war in Afghanistan, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010, at the White House in Washington, D.C. US soldiers of the 502nd Infantry regiment 2nd Battalion Charger company blow up a wall of a compound around Kop Ahmed camp near Kandahar city. Crowds laugh, sing and cheer as they wait for the music to start November 19, 2010 in Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan. Thousands of fans flocked to the city of Lashkar Gah for one of the biggest musical events ever known in Afghanistan. The city's Karzai Stadium played host to a concert by world-famous Afghan musician Farhad Darya, dubbed the 'Afghan Elvis', an event that could never have taken place under the regime of the music-hating Taliban.

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A powerful earthquake hit the Sichuan province of China near Ya'an city over the weekend reportedly killing some 200 people. Thousands of rescue workers have been deployed to help feed, treat, and house the displaced residents and help clear roads blocked by landslides in the remote area. The quake comes just short of five years after a massive quake in the same region killed some 70,000 people. Rescuers save an injured woman after an earthquake hit Baosheng Township in Lushan County, Ya'an City, southwest China's Sichuan Province, on April 20. Rescuers poured into a remote corner of southwestern China on Sunday. A woman whose relatives were killed in Saturday's earthquake cries while sitting on a pile of rubble in Lingguan township in Baoxing county of southwest China's Sichuan province on April 22. The earthquake in Sichuan province killed some 200 people, injured more than 11,000 and left nearly two dozen missing, mostly in the rural communities around Ya'an city, along the same fault line where a devastating quake to the north killed more than 70,000 people in Sichuan and neighboring areas five years ago in one of China's worst natural disasters. People running during aftershocks to avoid falling rocks on their way to the city of Ya'an, southwest China's Sichuan province, on April 21. Clogged roads, debris and landslides impeded rescuers as they battled to find survivors of a powerful earthquake in mountainous southwest China that has left some 200 dead.

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Surfing is riding a specially adapted board, carried by the wave of the sea front. Pierwsze wzmianki o surferach pochodza z dzienników Jamesa Cooka (trzecia ekspedycja na Pacyfiku w 1778 roku), który wspomina mieszkanców wysp, ujezdzajacych fale w zatoce Kealakekua. The first mention of surfers come from James Cook's journals (the third expedition to the Pacific in 1778), which mentions islands, ujezdzajacych waves in Kealakekua Bay. Od tego czasu surfing podzielil sie na wiele odmian. Since then, surfing was divided into many varieties. Jest zatem windsurfing (deska z zaglem), kitesurfing (surfer przypiety jest do specjalnego latawca), bodyboarding (surfuje sie glównie w pozycji lezacej) i kilka innych rodzajów. It is, therefore, windsurfing (board with a sail), kite (surfer is pinned to a special kite), body-boarding (surfing mainly in the supine) and several other types. Dzisiaj skupie sie glównie na klasycznych surferach fotografowanych w ulubionych miejscach fanów tego sportu, czyli w Australii i na Hawajach. Today I will focus mainly on classical surfers photographed in your favorite places fans of the sport, namely in Australia and Hawaii. Dla nich surfing to nie tylko dyscyplina sportowa, ale równiez sposób na zycie. For them, surfing is not just a sport, but also a way of life. Japanese surferki watch competitions organized by the Japan Pro Surfing Association. Owen Wright jumps with the board to avoid a collision with Mick Fanningiem. Timothy Norton, who lost a leg serving in Iraq, przygotwuje to sail on the waves.

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Southeast of mainland Greece in the southern Aegean Sea lies the stunning island of Santorini. A volcanic island, Santorini is an arid environment with a hot desert climate and very little rainfall, one of the only two environments of its kind in Europe. Fira, the capital, and Oia are the two main cities to visit on the island. The buildings and home of Santorini are the island’s most striking feature, consisting of whitewashed cube shaped houses, many with beautiful blue domed roofs. The hot climate and lovely black sand beaches make lounging on the beach with a delicious drink a favorite activity for visitors. Santorini is also home to wine vineyards, and a variety of world renowned vegetables, including tomatoes, white eggplants, and cucumbers. The island also has an airport which receives flights from Olympic Air, Aegean Airlines and Athens Airways. Fantastic accommodation for any budget can be found on this magnificent unique island.

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Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, the notoriously brutal leader of the Zetas drug cartel, was captured by Mexican Marines before dawn on July 14, 2013. The truck was halted by a marine helicopter on a dirt road in the countryside outside the border city of Nuevo Laredo, which has long served as their base of operations. Trevino Morales was taken into custody along with a bodyguard and an accountant, eight guns and $2 million in cash. Morales, known as Z-40, took over the Zetas leadership in October 2012 after Heriberto “the Executioner” Lazcano was killed in a firefight with Mexican marines. Presented below is a selection of photos documenting the toll of brutal violence inflicted by the Zetas in the last few years across Mexico and central America. Weapons and munitions seized during a police and military raid are displayed in Coban, province of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010. The Guatemalan military declared a monthlong state of siege Sunday in Alta Verapaz in hopes of reclaiming cities that have been taken over by Mexico's Zetas drug gang. This mug shot released by Mexico's Interior Ministry on Monday, July 15, 2013, shows Zetas drug cartel leader Miguel Angel Trevino Morales after his arrest. Trevino Morales, the notoriously brutal leader of the Zetas, was captured by Mexican Marines before dawn Monday who intercepted a pickup truck with $2 million in cash on a dirt road in the countryside outside the border city of Nuevo Laredo, which has long served as their base of operations, officials announced. Lozano, who is allegedly a financial operator for the Zetas drug cartel, was arrested in the northern city of Nuevo Laredo. He was found with a large sum of money, that was seized along with ammunition, weapons, a computer and a vehicle.

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When the woods is Brothers Grimm scary was sort of far out, fun and freaky, so here’s another peculiar collection where spectacular flocks inspired some photographers to think of Alfred Hitchcock‘s The Birds or Edgar Allen Poe‘s The Raven. Flocks can be beautiful, peaceful but then . . . when the birds are scary.

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George Steinmetz‘s new exhibition and book, Desert Air, is the first comprehensive photographic collection of the world’s “extreme deserts”, which receive less than four inches of precipitation a year. This body of work, culled from 15 years of shooting, takes the viewer from China’s Gobi Desert to the Sahara in northern Africa to Death Valley in California. Steinmetz photographs from a motorized paraglider which he describes as a “flying lawn chair”. Using the slowest and quietest powered aircraft in the world, he is not only able to take off and land without an airfield or government permission but is also likely to land in someone’s yard and be invited in for tea, becoming the talk of the town. In his thirty year career, Steinmetz has been a regular contributor to National Geographic and GEO magazines and has won numerous awards including two first prizes in science and technology from World Press Photo. Desert Air will be on view through March 3, 2013 at Anastasia Photo.

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