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Every year, thousands of faithful trek for seven hours up to the foot of Peru's Pachatusan mountain to pay homage to the Lord of Huanca -- an image of Jesus Christ, scourged and bleeding, that tradition says was painted in a cave 339 years ago. Believers say Jesus appeared to a native who had been forced into mine work and then fled, taking refuge in a cave to escape punishment by the Spanish. The man later described his vision to an artist who painted the image in a cavern in the Huanca region near the Andean city of Cuzco. Devotees hike up to the sanctuary at night, carrying candles and flowers.


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They trudge up well-trod cinder paths by the thousands, headlamps glowing in the dark, and then settle in, shivering, to await and cheer the sun's blazing ascent over the horizon. Climbing Mount Fuji, Japan's most iconic landmark, is a group activity: Seldom is it climbed in solitude. The recent recognition of the 3,776-meter (12,388-foot) peak as a UNESCO World Heritage site has many here worried that it will draw still more people, adding to the wear and tear on the environment from the more than 300,000 who already climb the mountain each year. Safety is another concern. At least seven people died and 70 were hurt climbing Fuji in 2012, and traffic jams of climbers in the pre-dawn darkness can add to the risks, says Shomei Yokouchi, governor of Yamanashi, the area to the west. The official climbing season runs July to August, and the trek -- nine hours round trip in good weather -- is especially treacherous other times of the year.


view Mt. Fuji's Heritage status worries some as presented by: Sacramento Bee

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waved to troops marching through central Pyongyang on Monday to mark the nation's 65th birthday, but made no public comments before leaving the lavish event. Flanked by generals and senior government officials, Kim stood in a high viewing area well above and away from the sea of onlookers who cheered and held up colorful placards in unison as the troops filed passed. North Korea watchers had hoped the young leader might address the crowd to shed some light on the isolated and secretive nation's politics or diplomatic goals. The military parade in Kim Il Sung Square featured mostly reserve troops and did not include displays of the kind of heavy artillery, tanks and missiles that the North rolled out in July to commemorate the armistice that ended hostilities on the Korean Peninsula in 1953. Kim made no remarks at the July parade, either.


view North Korea's leader silent at military parade as presented by: Sacramento Bee

Pope Francis urged Catholics to resist the "ephemeral idols" of money, power and pleasure in celebrating the first public Mass of his initial international foreign journey as pontiff during an emotional visit to one of the most important shrines in Latin America. Thousands packed into the huge Basilica of the Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, tucked into an agricultural region of verdant fields halfway between Rio and Sao Paulo, and tens of thousands more braved a cold rain outside to catch a glimpse of the first pope from the Americas returning to a shrine of great meaning to the continent and him personally. Before the Mass, Francis stood in silent prayer in front of the 15-inch-tall image of the Virgin of Aparecida, the "Black Mary," his eyes tearing up as he breathed heavily. It was a deeply personal moment for this pontiff, who has entrusted his papacy to the Virgin Mary and, like many Catholics in Latin America, places great importance in devotion to Mary.


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A look at daily life as viewed by photojournalists working for the Associated Press and its member newspapers. Fairgoers take a spin on one of the many rides provided by Butler Entertainment at the California State Fair on July 14, 2013 in Sacramento, Calif. A Child walks on a shadow casted on the floor at a shopping mall in Beijing, China. A cow looks out a window at the alpine dairy Bindalm near Berchtesgaden, southern Germany, Thursday, July 11, 2013. The alpine dairy is run by the Josef and Elisabeth Wurm family. Each year they work on the alpine farm from June to September and produce milk and cheese. They sell the products to visitors, hikers and mountain bikers.


view Daily Life, Mid-summer 2013 as presented by: Sacramento Bee

Rescuers found bodies in the River Ganges and in the muddy, broken earth left by landslides, raising the death toll from monsoon flooding in mountainous northern India to nearly 600 Friday, officials said. The air force dropped paratroopers, food and medicine for people trapped in up to 100 towns and villages cut off since Sunday in the Himalayan state of Uttrakhand where thousands of people are stranded, many of them Hindu pilgrims who were visiting four shrines in the area. Uttrakhand state Chief Minister Vijay Bahguna said 556 bodies have been noticed buried deep in slush and the army was trying to recover them. He spoke to CNN-IBN television channel on Friday. The annual monsoon rains sustain India's agriculture but also cause flooding that claims lives and damages property. Neighboring Uttar Pradesh state said 17 flood-related deaths occurred there since the heavy rains Sunday. People gather to watch a bridge submerged in the flooded water of the River Ganges in Rudraprayag. Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel, in uniform, help stranded pilgrims on a makeshift bridge cross a stream of gushing floodwater at Govind Ghati, in Chamoli district, in northern Indian state of Uttarakhand. Indian people use a boat to cross a Tibetan market along the banks of the Yamuna River, in New Delhi, India.


view Death Toll In Indian Monsoon Flooding Nears 600 as presented by: Sacramento Bee

One person has been hospitalized after several thousand people tested their speed and bravery by dashing with six fighting bulls through the streets of the northern Spanish city of Pamplona. Navarra Hospital chief Javier Sesma said the person sustained neck injuries in a fall in the fifth run of the famed San Fermin festival. However, he said no one was gored along the 930-yard (850-meter) route to Pamplona's bull ring Thursday. There were moments of tension when a bull became separated from the pack and looked as if he would charge some of the runners. He was eventually guided into the ring without incident. The nationally televised morning runs are the highlight of the 9-day street festival that became world famous after Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel "The Sun Also Rises." People dressed in typical San Fermin white and red clothes, dance in a street of the old city, at the San Fermin fiestas, in Pamplona, northern Spain. A cow jumps over revelers lying down on the bull ring at the end of the fifth run of the famed San Fermin festival, in Pamplona northern Spain on Thursday, July 11, 2013.


view 2013 San Fermin Bull Run Festival as presented by: Sacramento Bee

More than 1,000 Muslims who fled Myanmar's latest bout of sectarian violence huddled Thursday in a Buddhist monastery guarded by army soldiers as calm returned to this northeastern city, though burned out buildings leveled by Buddhist rioters still smoldered. The army transported terrified Muslim families by the truckload out of a neighborhood in Lashio where overturned cars and motorcycles that had been charred a day earlier left black scars on the red earth. "We heard things could get worse, so we waved down soldiers and asked them for help," said 59-year-old Khin Than, who arrived at the monastery Thursday morning with her four children and sacks of luggage along with several hundred other Muslims. "We left because we're afraid of being attacked." The violence in Lashio this week highlights how anti-Muslim unrest has slowly spread across Myanmar since starting last year in western Rakhine state and hitting the central city of Meikhtila in March. President Thein Sein's government, which inherited power from the military two years ago, has been heavily criticized for failing to contain the violence.


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