Almost twice the size of India, the Amazon rainforest absorbs an estimated two billion tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. Its preservation is vital in the fight against global warming. Agents of the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama) are responsible for preserving the forest within their borders. Due to the country’s deep recession, a 30% drop in Ibama's budget has meant fewer operations this year, evidenced by idle helicopters and jeeps, with no fuel to power them. Reuters talks with Uiratan Barroso, one of Ibama's regional heads of law enforcement, who warns of an onslaught of deforestation. "The loggers are better equipped than we are," he says.
Deep cracks have appeared in Italy’s civil service and legal systems following the spike in migrants arriving on its shores since 2013 – 500,000 compared to 119,000 over the previous three years. Each application lands on the desks of civil servants in an office near Rome’s Trevi Fountain. With delays rife, the government has been criticised for failing in their commitment to streamline the process. Reuters speaks people in Rome on both sides of the system: those dealing with the multiple piles of applications and the people who wait apprehensively to hear the decisions that will define their future.
From above, the Serbian village of Smoljinac looks like any normal small residential area. On closer inspection, the buildings turn out to be purpose-built bungalows where the deceased are memorialised. Inside the cosy cabins are furnished rooms full of wreaths and funeral paraphernalia, with family crypts buried below. The Serbian Orthodox Church turns a blind eye to the conspicuous chapels as many of their owners are big benefactors.
Daesungdong Elementary School is located in Korea’s Demilitarised Zone – once described by former U.S. President Bill Clinton as “the scariest place on Earth”. It is where 11-year-old Lee Su-jin and her classmates get their education. Despite the political tension that hangs over Freedom Village, places at the school are coveted across South Korea as children have a rare opportunity to learn English from American soldiers based in the zone. “People are worried about us, but soldiers are with us, and we do evacuation drills. I don't think there is anything to be scared or worried about,” says Su-jin.
One of the growing consequences of Islamic State’s capture of towns and cities across the Middle East has been the number of children who’ve since been born ‘stateless’ – due in most part to new-borns being registered with authorities now considered invalid. Stateless children may miss out on their basic rights to education and healthcare. They are also more vulnerable to abuse and trafficking.
As a Reuters political correspondent covering the Asian continent for two decades, Dean Yates recorded some of the biggest stories of a generation, including the Bali nightclub bombings in 2002 and the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami while based in Indonesia. He shares how his experiences led to him being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and admitted to a psychiatric ward.
The media may have moved on following the destruction caused by October’s Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, but thousands have been left homeless and in desperate need of medical assistance following an outbreak of cholera. Reuters met victims of the storm, some of whom lost every possession they once owned.
One of the most controversial talking points of this year’s U.S. presidential campaign was Donald Trump’s pledge to build a wall between Mexico and the United States. In truth, a 2,000 mile wall already exists between the nations, spread across four states from California to Texas. A trek along the wall perimeters reveals many curiosities – including unexplained holes in the cement uprights, alien symbols and cow statues.
The U.S. manufacturing industry is currently facing a crisis – caught between bosses’ frustrations at a lack of talent to pull from and workers who believe there are too few acceptable jobs. The situation is complicated further by manufacturers refusing to raise wages to attract quality personnel, blaming low financial resources on globalisation. In a telling study across the U.S. Midwest, since the recession ended in 2009, more workers are choosing unemployment over the jobs available to them. The share of those neither working nor looking for work is at 12% - double the figures from the 1970s.
Photojournalist Vasily Fedosenk bridges 20th century Soviet war history with the modern day obsession with selfies in his photo series captured at Belarus’s Stalin Line Museum. The purpose-built museum was designed to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II. It has received a mixed reaction from the public, with some opposing its honouring of the Communist dictator.
Photos of the emaciated frame of 18-year-old Saida Ahmad Baghili – depicting the suffering caused by the 19-month civil war in her native Yemen – are a brutal wake-up call to a forgotten conflict. More than 10,000 civilians have been killed during the fighting and the United Nations says the country is now on the brink of famine. Reuters tells the story behind the shocking photos.
One of the world’s most prestigious galleries - New York’s Museum of Modern Art - is about to make room between the Picassos and Pollocks to display the first-ever emojis. The smiley faces and images of food and cats were designed 20 years ago by a Japanese phone company. Paola Antonelli, senior curator at MoMA, said part of the museum's mission had always been to collect and display timeless art and design: "Emojis as a concept go back in the centuries, to ideograms, hieroglyphics, and other graphic characters, enabling us to draw this beautiful arch that covers all of human history."
The small Canadian Northwest Territories community of Deline is adjusting to self-rule following a 20-year campaign to regulate its own laws. Its 500 inhabitants achieved independence on 1 September, allowing it to take control of its education, language use, welfare and land planning, among other laws. Northwest Territories Premier Bob McLeod said Deline was “an inspiration.”
Groups of activists last week turned pipes off in several states after breaking through low-level security fences with bolt cutters. The co-ordinated low tech attacks shone a light on the vulnerability of North America’s enormous oil and gas pipelines. Yet, the sabotage is not isolated to the U.S. Gas lines have been targeted recently by militants in Nigeria and Iraqi conflict zones - while in Mexico, thieves regularly siphon fuel from pipelines.
In the sleepy town of Melendugno, a grove of olive trees – some of which are believed to be more than 400 years old – are standing in the way of Brussels’ attempts to diversify away from a reliance on Russia for energy. They are directly in the path of a $45 billion pipeline designed to bring gas from central Asia. Developers have the approval of Rome, but are being thwarted by the local authority.
There are more than 2,000 mass burial sites estimated to lie across Spain dating from the 1936 to 1939 civil war and the ensuing dictatorship of General Francisco Franco. Eighty years after the start of the conflict, authorities are finally backing efforts to recuperate some of the more than 100,000 victims forcibly 'disappeared' during that time. In city of Valladolid, the council has paid for excavation work to start uncovering graves archaeologists believe conceal more than 1,000 men and women.
Though there have been heavier rains in the U.S. due to global warming, a new study has shown that there has been no countrywide shift in flooding patterns. It is hoped that the study will help focus resources to deal with a changing climate.
Two Ukrainian artists explain how they have turned bullets, shell cases and shrapnel into art. Daniel Green and Daria Marchenko use the “energy” of the country’s civil war to create works that are due to tour the U.S.
The fighting in Syria's besieged enclave of eastern Aleppo has killed 338 people in the past few weeks, including 106 children, while 846 have been injured, including 261 children, a senior World Health Organization official said on Friday. "We are asking for four things: stop the killing, stop attacks on health care, let the sick and wounded out and let the aid in," WHO's head of emergency risk management and humanitarian response told a U.N. briefing in Geneva. Editing by Gareth Jones
In a bid to draw attention to the plight of refugees travelling across the Mediterranean Sea, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has created controversy by hanging bright orange rubber dinghies from a Renaissance palace in Florence. Entitled "Libero" (Freedom), the artist’s installation has been criticised for spoiling harmony around the central area of the north Italian city. Motivated by his own life experiences, Ai says, "I have enormous respect for those people who fight for their freedom.”