Europe is in crisis and especially the weaker Southern economies are feeling the pain. They over extended themselves in the fat years and now the lean ones have arrived they have now piggy bank to raid. Cuts are being made all over the place and in Spain one of the industries affected is mining. Protests and violence have been going on for weeks and their are no signs it will stop any time soon.
When the weather is hot, dry and windy and the earth has been waiting for rain to come for months, it will only take a little spark to set a whole area of land a blaze. Colorado is experiencing some really bad wildfires right this moment and my guess is we’ll see these images emerge from hot and dry parts of Europe before soon too.
The European Grand Prix is run on the city circuit of Valencia, Spain. It hasn’t produced a very memorable race since it was first held in 2008, but the 2012 edition was very exciting. We had a run away leader in Sebastian Vettel, but a safety car and a technical defect brought his race to an end. We had an up and coming star in Lotus driver Grosjean, who also saw his race ended through mechanical problems whilst driving in second place. And we had Lewis Hamilton who was knocked out of the race by Pastor Maldonado whilst driving in third place and only 2 laps to go. So who won? Well, local driver Fernando Alonso raced it home to the chequered flag in a very emotional win for him. Kimi Raikonnen finished the race in second and the old war horse Michael Schumacher finished in third, scoring his first podium since his come back. It meant the European Grand Prix was blessed with a podium featuring three former world champions.
A glimpse of daily life around the world through the lenses of photographers of the Associated Press and their member newspapers.
It’s quarter final stage at Euro 2012 and the first to face each other were the Czech Republic and Portugal. It was an exciting game with Portugal having the upper hand for most of it. At one point it threatened to turn into the Cristiano Ronaldo show and all it was missing was a goal. The man answered his fans with a brilliant header with 10 minutes to go. It was the only goal of the game and Portugal are the first country to progress to the semi finals..
The last quarter final, between England and Italy, was by far the most entertaining. During the first 30 minutes the game was very fast paced and both Italy and England had some good chances the open the score. Neither did, and the more the game progressed the further back England dropped and the more Italy started camping out in the England half of the pitch. Pirlo and the Italian midfield ruled the waves and the England defense was very busy. Italy failed to score, however, giving England another chance in overtime. Rooney had the winner on his boot, but failed in front of goal and so the game went to a penalty shoot out. Montolivo missed for Italy, giving the English the hope they could progress to the semi finals, but Ashley Young and Ashley Cole missed theirs too, giving Italy a deserved win and England another penalty trauma.
The second Euro 2012 quarter final was between Germany and Greece. The media made it into a economic powerhouse vs bankrupt nation game, but for the 22 players on the field only scoring or preventing goals were of any importance. Germany were the heavy favorites and throughout the 90 minutes they showed us why. Slick passing, excellent positional play and 4 goals scored against a very stubborn Greek defence. To be fair, the Greeks were never in with a shout in this game. They’re just too poor to make it count against a young and hungry team such as this Germany, who could go on to win it in my opinion.
The Spain vs France quarter final was a game many looked forward to, but let’s be honest, it dissappointed. Sure, Spain were brilliant in their passing and keeping the ball, but it got very boring very quickly. There seemed to be no real purpose to it other then tiring out the French players and trying to put them to sleep. It worked, with all their potential France a class below the Spanish. Two goals by Xabi Alonso settled this game. France go home and Spain play their neighbors Portugal in the semi final.
The 24th annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest is in full swing. The entry deadline has been extended until July 11. The four categories include: Travel Portraits; Outdoor Scenes; Sense of Place and Spontaneous Moments. Last year's contest drew nearly 13,000 images from all over the world. The pictures are as diverse as their authors, capturing an assortment of people, places and wildlife - everything that makes traveling so memorable, evoking a sense of delight and discovery. The following post includes a small sampling of the entrant's work, taken from the editor's picks in each of the categories. (The captions are written by the entrants, some slightly corrected for readability.) And for fun, take a look back at the winners from 2011 at National Geographic Traveler.
Today marks the halfway point of the 70-day Olympic Torch relay through the United Kingdom. Since arriving in Cornwall on May 18, the flame has been carried through villages and cities, across lakes and mountain ranges, on foot, by train, on horseback, and through the air, from Cornwall to the Shetland Islands. By the time it reaches London to launch the 2012 Summer Olympics in 35 days, the torch will have passed through the hands of 8,000 torchbearers.