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Photo series: The tent city sheltering Seattle's homeless Reuters 17/06/2015

Seattle currently has six authorized homeless encampments, commonly referred to as tent cities, which are required to move every few months. There are also dozens of non-permitted encampments that have sprung up in city parks, under roadways and in vacant lots. This Reuters photo series depicts life in Tent City 3. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray hopes to introduce three new organized homeless encampments to be managed by nonprofits. His office believes the tent cities are essential to dealing with rising homelessness in the city. Last year's point in time count found 3,123 people living on the streets of Seattle and King County - up 15 percent from the previous year.

Photo series: Elderly in the world of graffiti Reuters 17/06/2015

Think street art is just for young people? Think again. A group of Portuguese pensioners are proving you’re never too old to get to grips with graffiti. Since 2012, a program from The LATA 65 organization has been introducing elderly people in Lisbon, Portugal to the world of graffiti and urban art. This colourful photo series from Reuters follows a group of senior street art lovers as they take to the street to create their own graffiti group mural.

Photo series: I am transgender Reuters 15/06/2015

While Caitlyn Jenner celebrates her transition on the cover of Vanity Fair, transgender men and women around the world face similar challenges in far less forgiving circumstances. Here, Reuters sheds light on the faces and experiences of transgender individuals around the world, including Canada, Pakistan, Thailand, Honduras and Kenya.

Tears as Greek state TV returns to air after austerity shutdown Reuters 15/06/2015

There were emotional scenes on set at Greece’s state television ERT when the channel aired its first broadcast in two years. The station was shut down under one of the previous government’s most drastic austerity measures. Reopening ERT was a top priority of leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who called its closure “a great wound” of his country’s bailout. Tsipras’s Syriza party called reopening the service, which costs 30 million euros a year to run, “a great victory for democracy.”

Special Report: Prayers inflame tensions over Jerusalem holy site Reuters 15/06/2015

The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem is one of the world’s holiest places, a site sacred to both Muslims, who call the compound the Noble Sanctuary, and to Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount because of the building that once stood there. After 900 years, Jews are chipping away at Muslims’ exclusive control of the site, the third holiest in Islam. The shift threatens to open a dangerous new front in the Israel-Palestinian conflict, adding religious enmity to a political struggle in the very heart of the disputed city. This Special Report was filed from Jerusalem.

Special Report: Russian fighters, caught in Ukraine, cast adrift by Moscow Reuters 08/06/2015

In the face of widespread evidence to the contrary, Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said there are no Russian soldiers in Ukraine – only volunteers who have gone to help the separatists of their own accord. But the testimonies of two injured Russian soldiers who have been captured in eastern Ukraine suggest otherwise. They claim they were sent there on active duty with Russian special forces. Disowned at home, the men stand accused by Ukrainian authorities of being terrorists. Reuters investigates in this Special Report filed from Kiev.

Israeli families fleeing rat-race revive once-doomed kibbutzim Reuters 08/06/2015

Twenty-five years ago kibbutzim, collective communities traditionally based on agriculture, seemed all but doomed in Israel. But the last few years have seen a surprising turnaround, with young families seeking to escape the high cost of living and alienation they find in cities for a cheaper, rural lifestyle in a closely knit community. "It's brought a spirit of renewal to the kibbutz. I'm happy that what my grandparents began here will go on,” says one young Israeli. Reuters investigates.

Photo series: Ilse Landers Reuters 01/06/2015

More than 1,750 migrants have perished in the Mediterranean since the start of the year – 30 times higher than during the same period of 2014, says the International Organisation for Migration. The mass deaths have caused shock in Europe, where a decision to scale back naval operations last year seems to have increased the risks for migrants without reducing their numbers. African refugees and migrants have arrived in Malta in their thousands over the past decade. During that period, Reuters photographer Darrin Zammit Lupi has been covering the story with an unwavering passion. This photo series showcases ten years of Zammit Lupi’s coverage of the crisis, which continues to intensify.

On L.A.’s Skid Row, a judge leads pack on run to recovery Reuters 01/06/2015

Dozens of recovering and homeless addicts have taken up running along to L.A.’s Skid Row help stay sober. Their five-mile early morning runs ends on a dystopian stretch, a street in Los Angeles’ Skid Row lined with destitute men and women waiting for a free breakfast. The club is organised by The Midnight Mission, and led by Superior Court judge Craig Mitchell. A passionate advocate for running in a group as a form of therapy, Mitchell estimates that 75 to 100 people have come through the club and believes it helps them stay clean. Their story will be told in the documentary, Skid Row Marathon, out next year.

Is nicotine all bad? Reuters 01/06/2015

The possibility that people can be addicted to nicotine – but not die from it – is at the heart of a growing debate in the scientific community. Scientists don’t doubt nicotine is addictive, but some wonder if a daily dose could be as benign as the caffeine many of us get from a morning coffee. Some studies show nicotine, like caffeine, can even have positive effects as a stimulant. Nonetheless, it poses potential pitfalls, such as the potential to prime the brains of young people to seek harder stimulants later in life. Specialists think it’s now time to distinguish clearly between nicotine and smoking, saying that smoking is the killer, not nicotine. Reuters investigates.

Picking strawberries in Mexico for U.S. tables leaves workers asking for more Reuters 25/05/2015

In northwest Mexico, day laborers pick strawberries, raspberries and blackberries in the Baja California peninsula for what they say is as little as $1 an hour. Since March, thousands of workers have blocked roads, staged marches and held meetings with lawmakers to express their frustration over pay and conditions and their protests are slowly pressuring companies that supply U.S. markets to make improvements. Reuters visits a strawberry field in the dusty farmlands of San Quintin to speak to workers about their working conditions, described as “near slavery” and their fears of being exposed to pesticides.

Octogenarian cobbler rescues the soles of Beverly Hills Reuters 25/05/2015

Just steps from boutique-lined Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills sits the decidedly unglamorous Arturo's Shoe Fixx, where 88-year-old Argentine immigrant Arturo Azinian toils for 13 hours a day saving the fancy footwear of the elite in the ritzy 90210 zip code. The cobbler’s A-list clients include Jennifer Aniston, Italian fashion designer Donatella Versace, Nicole Kidman, Orlando Bloom and Jodie Foster. But while handling shoes worth hundreds and thousands of dollars, Azinian is utterly clueless about the famous people to whom they belong. "I don't remember a thing. I hardly remember my name!" he laughs.

Largest U.S. needle exchange tries free meth pipes in Seattle Reuters 18/05/2015

A pioneering but illegal program launched in Seattle, USA, aims to curb infectious diseases among drug users by handing out free meth pipes. The theory is that it may steer some away from needles, a far riskier option than smoking, especially if the user is sharing with another person infected with HIV or Hepatitis C. There is little scientific evidence to support that claim, but The People’s Harm Reduction Alliance, a privately funded needle-swap group run by drug users, said it has distributed more than 1,000 pipes in Seattle in a matter of weeks and could expand to other cities in Washington state and Oregon.

Soccer eases life in Jordan refugee camp, until goal dispute Reuters 18/05/2015

The small village of Langtang, located on a popular trekking route near the base of Mount Langtang, was wiped of the face of the Earth by the first of the recent devastating Nepalese earthquakes. With an estimated 300 victims, including about 110 foreigners, believed to be buried under up to six meters (20 feet) of ice, snow and rock, it is one of the worst-hit sites in a disaster which has so far claimed more than 8,000 lives. Trapped between mountain and avalanche, terrified foreign trekkers and Nepalese villagers from the nearby area speak about surviving the disaster and their desperate struggle for rescue. “Our minds were lost. We were half-dead, half-alive.”

Survivors battle for helicopters near Nepal village that vanished Reuters 18/05/2015

The small village of Langtang, located on a popular trekking route near the base of Mount Langtang, was wiped of the face of the Earth by the first of the recent devastating Nepalese earthquakes. With an estimated 300 victims, including about 110 foreigners, believed to be buried under up to six meters (20 feet) of ice, snow and rock, it is one of the worst-hit sites in a disaster which has so far claimed more than 8,000 lives. Trapped between mountain and avalanche, terrified foreign trekkers and Nepalese villagers from the nearby area speak about surviving the disaster and their desperate struggle for rescue. “Our minds were lost. We were half-dead, half-alive.”

Connected and angry, African youth groups push for democracy Reuters 11/05/2015

Four years after launching a campaign to get young Senegalese to vote, journalist Fadel Barro found himself in a dark prison cell over 4,000 km from home in Democratic Republic of Congo, accused of fomenting insurrection. His journey and brief incarceration show how youth movements have linked up across francophone Africa to push for change in a region still dominated by "Big Men" leaders. But they face tough challenges and resistance in African nations with deeply entrenched governments that have hardened military support. Reuters reports.

Baby love: three entrepreneurial Finnish dads think inside the box Reuters 11/05/2015

Three 30-something fathers from Helsinki are hoping to create an international market for a peculiarly Finnish package – the baby box. The boxes, sent by the Finnish government, include items such as baby clothes, a sleeping bag and nipple cream, and are popular among first-time Finnish parents. Now, the service is being offered overseas. Finnish Baby Box package costs about 400 euros ($450) and are exported to more than 20 countries, with the contents chosen to suit where the baby lives. A recent recipient is new British royal baby Princess Charlotte.

Baltimore riots: A barber's half-century of clipping hair in a changing Baltimore Reuters 04/05/2015

On April 25, riots and civil unrest erupted in Baltimore, protesting the circumstances surrounding the death of Freddie Gray, who died April 19 after suffering a spinal cord injury while in police custody. Similar events occurred in 1968 after the death of Martin Luther King Jr. Local barber Lenny Clay, who opened his shop in 1961, remembers the ’68 riots and recounts a half-century of clipping hair in a changing Baltimore to Reuters journalist Emily Flitter. "In the '60s, we were fighting for equality. Now we're fighting for survival.”

Two migrant sisters from Syria, now worlds apart Reuters 04/05/2015

In a small town south of Beirut, Fawziyeh shares a three-bedroom flat with 12 others including her five children – all, like her, refugees from Syria. Almost every day she gets cellphone messages from her younger sister Rabab, in Germany. After being resettled UNHCR, Rabab, a widow, lives with her children in a comfortable house and receive free education and health insurance. They both fled their homeland three years ago, and their divergent lives capture the fates dealt to millions of Syrians forced from their country by its four-year civil war. Reuters reports.

Remote corner of Bosnia to declare itself 'Town of Twins' Reuters 27/04/2015

Residents of a Buzim, a small picturesque town in northwest Bosnia, have launched an initiative to declare it the "Town of Twins". Nedzib Vucelj, a father of twins, discovered that at least 21 sets of twins had been born in the town of 20,000 people during the 1992-95 Bosnian war. Trying to track down Buzim's twins, scattered around the world by the war, Vucelj launched a Facebook page - "Buzim - The Town of Twins". Based on initial responses, he believes he has tracked down some 200 pairs. Locals struggle to explain the phenomenon, but a tradition of large families, and possible inbreeding in an isolated rural area, may help such genes persist. Reuters reports.

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