In 2010, photographer Paula Bronstein documented a special section of the Marines working in Afghanistan - a Female Engagement Team (FET). Muslim tradition often forbids interaction between men and women, so the FET was created in order to engage with the local female population.

Yesterday, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that the Pentagon would formally open combat roles to female soldiers.

See more of Paula’s images featured on Time and NBC News.
Plibersek hits back at claims she wants 'terrorists' picnic' in Syria

Labor’s foreign affairs spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek has hit back at Julie Bishop’s accusation she is advocating for a “terrorists’ picnic” in Syria.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott appears to be laying the groundwork for Australia to extend its airstrikes against Islamic State extremists from Iraq into Syria, confirming he has been in talks with Coalition partners.

Tanya Plibersek had argued Australia’s assistance should primarily be “humanitarian”.

In Question Time, the Foreign Minister picked up on those concerns.

“I was shocked to learn that the Deputy Leader of the Opposition has broken ranks and is now attacking government policy on the fight against terrorism,” Julie Bishop told Parliament.

“The member for Sydney wants Australia’s Defence Forces to cease the airstrikes against Daesh [Islamic State] and she wants our fighter jets to drop food hampers over Syria. And guess who’ll end up feasting on them? A terrorists’ picnic.”

Ms Plibersek responded in Parliament, describing the suggestion she had advocated for food hampers as a “pathetic lie”.

“Australia can and should be doing more to help victims of Daesh in Syria, and in neighbouring countries such as Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. To say that this is calling for food drops to Daesh is a pathetic lie,” Ms Plibersek said.

Persecution: Christmas Day bombers target Christian church, reportedly kill 35 worshippers [photos]

Persecution: Christmas Day bombers target Christian church, reportedly kill 35 worshippers [photos]!/Zinvor/status/415955768882757632

Christmas has long been a day of terror for persecuted Christians in Iraq. Today was no different. Close to 40 innocent worshipers reportedly died in two separate attacks in Baghdad today at a church and nearby marketplace.!/YasirGhazi1/status/415906973305946112!/virtualactivism/status/4158956675678863…

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Left-wing guerrillas have been waging a bloody war against the Colombian government and the population for the past fifty years. To carry on this conflict, The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the National Liberation Army (ELN) and emerging right-wing armed groups have been recruiting increasing numbers of children and youths.There is no precise data on the number of child combatants in Colombia, only estimates. Human Rights Watch places the figures as high as 11,000 child soldiers. 

Photographer Juan Arredondo has been awarded a Getty Images Editorial Grant for his project ‘Born in Conflict,’ which documents the consequences of Colombia’s ongoing war. Read more about Juan and the project.

5 OF CLUBS | Card Description (No Video)

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Element: Fire

Timing: July 22 – Aug 1 Saturn in Leo

Numerology: 5

Card Counting Value: 5


Disagreement, competition, strife, tension, conflict, unrest, unease, disagreements, an internal battle, disruption, defending yourself or others, competition, being challenged, challenges, competitive sports; brainstorming and group discussions, problem solving

This card indicates that someone is in the midst of conflict, tension and competition and it is impacting their ability to move forward with their goals.

Sometimes, this type of conflict and discussion can be very positive, such as in the case of group brainstorming and problem-solving. A positive environment is suggested where someone can test their own ideas and have them challenged, and improved, by others. Usually working groups, and committees are formed or indicated here.

There may be competition where the person is up against a number of people of similar quality or experience as them.  A good example of that is a job interview, where there are too many candidates that also have a good chance of getting the job.  They are “fighting” for the position.

When it comes to dealing with different people of different cultures, this card encourages diversity and differences of opinion.

On the negative side, the 5 OF CLUBS UPRIGHT can also indicate a personal struggle and conflict. This could be related to any personal issue.


Conflict avoidance, increased focus on goals, continuation of strife, aggression, violence, physical harm, abuse, calling a truce, an end to conflict, a challenged rescinded, a delay in troubles, sporting defeat.

This card shows up whenever a constant battle and conflict has everyone left exhausted and fed up concerning an ongoing argument. There is an end to a period of conflict and/or stress.

The 5 OF CLUBS REVERSED also warns that someone may be drawing unnecessary challenges to themselves by being too hot-headed and self-opinionated.  It is time to question whether or not they are deliberately looking for a fight.

Where it concerns legal matters, this card warns for the person not to rest on his or her laurels.  Their opponent (they could be named the Plaintiff or Defendant in a litigation, for example) may look like they are ready to reach an agreement, but that is not the case; it is an attempt to lure him or her into a false sense of security before going in for the kill.  Planning to go in for the kill, meaning, they have people in hiding”, somehow having the rest of their group lying low on the other side of the hill until its time to attack.  It is suggested to tread very carefully.

Tension peaks in Italy and Macedonia over migrant crisis: Who is helping?

A standoff between Macedonian police and migrants subsided on Sunday, with thousands of men, women, and children boarding trains bound north for Serbia, after the nation just north of Greece reopened its border.

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia declared a state of emergency on Thursday, and ordered its borders closed to migrants fleeing conflict and political unrest. Police, backed up by armored vehicles, spread coils of razor wire over rail tracks used by migrants to cross on foot from Greece into Macedonia, the Associated Press reports.

Almost 39,000 migrants, most of them Syrians, have registered while passing through Macedonia over the past month, double the number from the month before, according to the AP.

Recommended: In Pictures A Journey of Hope and Hardship for Refugees

Greek authorities reported eight injuries as a result of the tumult. The AP reports at least one child was injured by what appeared to be shrapnel from the stun grenades that were fired directly into the crowd to keep people from charging the border.

A break came Saturday, when thousands of migrants were able to run past the officers and into Macedonian territory after days spent in the open without access to shelter, food, or water.

Authorities subsequently lifted the restrictions and allowed migrants to cross freely, allowing them to board trains Sunday without conflict.

The turmoil at the Macedonian border coincides with reports from Italy’s coast guard about the rescue of some 4,400 migrants in a single day, a record-setting number, as smugglers took advantage of ideal sea conditions off Libya to launch a fleet of overcrowded, unseaworthy boats, the AP reports.

The coast guard on Sunday said it carried out 22 rescue operations the previous day, with help from Norwegian and Irish vessels, which provided help to motorized rubber dinghies and fishing boats, all brimming with people trying to reach Europe.

So far this year, some 110,000 migrants have been rescued off Libya and brought to southern Italian ports, the AP reports.

On land, the so-called Balkan corridor had been penetrable from Greece into Macedonia, with limited patrols on either side. Closing it off disrupted the route of masses of migrants who begin in Turkey, take boats to Greece or walk into Bulgaria, then make their way through Macedonia and Serbia before heading farther north.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres spoke with FYR Macedonia Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki about the situation, and received assurances that the border will not be closed in the future.

The agency said it encouraged the government to work with UNHCR to establish sufficient reception capacity in the country as well as organized registration and identification. The Christian Science Monitor previously reported contributions from UNHCR and the Red Cross, as well as grassroots support from Macedonian citizens who have turned out along the 30-mile border to provide aid.

“The Red Cross has mobile medical teams in Tabanovce and Gevgelija and has provided a small amount of food, water, and packs of hygiene items, and the UNHCR is installing toilets in both locations, and has funded data entry clerks to work with police to speed up the registration of refugees and migrants, and a team that will provide psychological support. The agency also facilitated coordination meetings between the volunteers, organizations, and government entities working on the issue.

But the activists say those efforts are not enough amid a flood of arrivals, and they are working overtime to meet the needs. [Head of a civil society organization, Jasmin] Redzepi says volunteers have given out more than 70,000 meals since April, along with items like shoes, clothes, and baby wipes, though their donations have started to wane.”

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‘The whole time, I was acutely aware that ISIS positions were never very far away, sometimes less than a mile…Wherever we went, I asked where ISIS positions were. Sometimes the answers were exact. Other times the reaction was a simple shrug and a crooked smile. I kept replaying in my mind a scene I had depressingly run into twice before — I was kidnapped by Sunni insurgents in April 2004 outside of Falluja, and by Qaddafi troops in Libya in March 2011 — where the desolate horizon turned into an impromptu checkpoint, full of masked men with guns. It is a degree of terror known only through experience, the fear of driving knowingly into the arms of possible death. The masked men shoot into the air and celebrate their prey, while they decide whether they want you dead or alive. The only difference with ISIS is that I know if they capture me, there will be little negotiation for my life. They will kill me, and in the most brutal way.’

- Reportage by Getty Images photographer Lynsey Addario writes in The New York Times about her experiences covering Iraqi Yazidis fleeing ISIS. Read more.

MOZAMBIQUE - An APOPO demining company worker uses his trained African Pouch rat to detect the scent of TNT present in landmines. The rat’s acute sense of smell accelerates the demining process, making it possible to clear fields faster. Mozambique is seeking to be landmine free by the end of 2014. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for ICRC.)

Anti-personnel landmines are a scourge of the modern world, one of the few weapons of war that continues to kill and maim for years, often decades, after the war is over. Mozambique is a sobering example. A ten-year war of independence from Portugal (1964-1974), followed by fifteen years of civil war (1977-1992), left all ten provinces of Mozambique poisoned with anti-personnel and anti-vehicle mines. See more from A Legacy of War - Mozambique and hear Brent talk about the project in this video. Commissioned by ICRC.

From 1998 to 2011, photographer Jason Howe covered conflicts in Colombia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, where he took this image of a wounded British soldier who had stepped on an IED. Though he felt an obligation to document such horrors, the constant danger and stress of the job eventually led him into a deep depression. ‘My pictures hadn’t made any difference, so I couldn’t see the point to anything,’ he says. ‘Why bother getting up? Why bother washing?’

Read more and watch a short film about Howe: War Photographer Jason Howe’s battle with PTSD, via Telegraph

Ten Years in Iraq - SAN ANTONIO - AUGUST 2006: PFC Josh Stein, 22, at home with his new-born daughter Jasmine on August 23, 2006 in San Antonio, Texas. Stein lost his legs to an EFP explosion in Iraq on Easter Sunday 2006, and is now a double-amputee rehabilitation patient at Brook Army Medical Center. The explosion that took his legs ripped through the Bradley armored vehicle he was driving. Stein had the presence of mind to drive the vehicle out of the attack zone and park it before passing out. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images)

Ten Years in Iraq - BAGHDAD - NOVEMBER 2006: Seigtz, a soldier from 28 Combat Service Hospital (CSH), is in charge of transporting bodies from Baghdad CSH to checkpoint number 1 of the International Zone. This photo was taken during his first trip, of which he said: ‘It was the hardest experience of my life, the smell of death was terrible.’ (Photo by Alvaro Ybarra Zavala/Reportage by Getty Images). See more iconic images from the Iraq War here.


Photographer William Daniels was awarded a 2014 Getty Images Editorial Grant for his project CAR in Crisis. After winning the grant he returned to Central African Republic to continue his story and further examine the conflict as it unfolded.

Is it more difficult to work in CAR now than in early 2014, when you began the project? What has changed about the situation?

The situation is very different than when I started in late 2013. At this time it was relatively easy to work in the sens that I felt a vast majority of the population (mostly the Christians) were happy to see a foreign journalist. It was under the reign of the Seleka (the mostly Muslim rebel group that took power in March 2013) and people were suffering robbery, torture, rape and murders. People wanted to bear witness and their life to be told and there weren’t many foreign journalists at this time. It was also relatively easy to be in touch with Antibalakas, the Christian militias. It was nearly impossible to work with the Seleka though. On December 5, the situation changed as the AntiBalakas decided to attack Bangui, the capital city. Some days later, Seleka had to resign and then started a general revenge against the Muslim population, who they accused of being too supportive to the Seleka. This was the start of mass killings, a huge humanitarian crisis and exodus for several months. During this time, first, it was quite possible to work. But slowly both Antibalakas and one part of the population became more aggressive with foreign journalists, and this got worse until now. I find it more difficult to work there. Many people see the photographer as a vulture making money out of their problems. Antibalakas are aggressive with us, maybe because they finally understand that we also document their own atrocities, as well as we did for Seleka. Today, It is even better to not meet them as many became simple bandits, robbing anyone. They recently started kidnapping. I found also some aggression from the general population.

Your newer work has more of a focus on everyday life. Was that a conscious decision, or was it based on the situation on the ground?

Both actually. It was a real wish to have some more contextual pictures, which can explain the roots of the crisis in the country, but also the pasts ones and the future ones (CAR experienced 5 coups since its independence), which is what I plan to document now. But still I was keeping myself available in case of news to cover, as long as it is accessible. But now, when there is an event to cover, it usually happens in the countryside and for a short time, a few days maximum, so basically it is very difficult to cover.

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A woman prays while her sister, Lamung Kailing, is treated for injuries sustained from mortar shrapnel December 27, 2012 in Laiza Hospital, Burma.  Lamung Kailing, a mother of two, was working on a watermelon plantation when two Burmese Army mortar grenades landed near her and three other villagers. 

In 2011, the Burmese army ended a 17-year ceasefire and launched an offensive against rebels in northern Kachin state.  Since then, around 100,000 Kachins have been displaced. 

See more images from Kachin Conflict, by Christian Holst, here.

When the conflict began in the town, we stayed at home, and the shooting increased. The next day, we got the message that we would each have to find a way to leave on our own. We left and were trying to go to a village, and when we stopped to rest along the way, we saw Jeanne, who was by herself. There was no one there. At first we thought she was just a child like the others…by evening we noticed that no one had come to get her, and that was when we realized that she was alone, and I decided to take her with us. I paid the porters $40 so that she could cross over from the other side of the river. Before coming back down here, we walked around showing Jeanne to different groups of displaced people to see if they recognized her and if they were her family, or knew them. That was how I decided to keep her with me, as my daughter.

In wartime, children panic, and if you’re not careful, they may run away from home and not return.’

 - Carine, a mother of four in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who is also caring for Jeanne, an orphan

See the full feature: Effects of Conflict in The DRC, by Alvaro Ybarra Zavala for ICRC

Ten Years in Iraq - SADR CITY, BAGHDAD - MARCH 2008: Pieces of scrap metal and boxes mark graves in a makeshift cemetery for victims of sectarian killing, on the eastern outskirts the poor Shia slums of Sadr City. The bodies, shot by Shia militiamen, are collected from a nearby killing ground called al-Sadda, and buried by locals. (Photo by Ghaith Abdul-Ahad/ Reportage by Getty Images). See more iconic images from the Iraq War here.


“The city of Mostar, which now lies in the southern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, still shows signs of war, both physically and psychologically. Bullet-riddled and half-leveled buildings remain untouched and un-repaired, standing as de facto monuments to the lives lost in the region’s ethnic clashes. Official monuments to the war have been destroyed, pointing to lingering tensions.‘It’s still divided,the government is still the same people from 20 years before.’”

Reportage Featured Photographer Giles Clarke recently visited Mostar to explore the unrest that still simmers there. See more from his series for Business Insider - 'People Still Hate Each Other’: Inside A Bosnian City That Hasn’t Recovered From The Civil War.