The Sith Lord, or at least an unnamed protester dressed up as him who has often been seen on Kiev’s Independence Square during the winter protests flanked by his loyal Stormtroopers, announced he was running for president as the official candidate of the Ukrainian Internet Party (UIP). Ukraine is holding a snap presidential election on May 25, 2014 after parliament ousted pro-Moscow leader Viktor Yanukovych following months of protests.
The “Tower of David” skyscraper boasts a helicopter landing pad, glorious views of the Avila mountain range, and large balconies for weekend barbecues. Yet the 45-story skyscraper in the center of Venezuela’s capital Caracas is no five-star hotel or swanky apartment block: it is a slum, probably the highest in the world. Dubbed the “Tower of David”, the building was intended to be a shining new financial center but was abandoned around 1994 after the death of its developer – banker and horse-breeder David Brillembourg – and the collapse of the financial sector. Squatters invaded the huge concrete skeleton in 2007, then-president Hugo Chavez’s socialist government turned a blind eye, and now about 3,000 people call the tower their home.
It may not be the case for Washington D.C. just yet (give it just a couple more days), but the cherry blossoms are in full bloom in Tokyo.
The Japanese Meteorological Agency tracked the Sakura (cherry blossom front) northward last week, peaking in Tokyo on March 30. Thousands of people have gathered across Tokyo to take part in ‘Hanami’ (Flower-viewing parties) the centuries old tradition of picnicking under a blooming Sakura tree. The blossoming begins in Okinawa in January and moves north through February peaking in Kyoto and Tokyo at the end of March and lasts just over a week.
Thousands of people who evacuated Chile’s low-lying coastal areas returned home on Wednesday morning after authorities called off a tsunami alarm as damage from a massive overnight earthquake seemed mostly limited.
Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani campaigns in Kabul ahead of the presidential elections on Saturday, residents of the Miyakoji area of Tamura return home for the first time since Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster more than three years ago, Jean-Marc Ayrault takes over as the new prime minister of France, and more in today’s daily brief.
U.S. Marines from the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force, Battalion landing team participate in a joint landing operation with South Korean Marines on March 31, 2014 in Pohang, South Korea.
The Melasti ritual is held annually ahead of the Nyepi Day of Silence, a ceremony intended to cleanse and purify the souls of the Balinese Hindu participants. Nyepi is a Hindu celebration observed every new year according to the Balinese calendar. The national holiday is one of self-reflection and meditation and activities such as working, watching television or traveling are restricted between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Hindus pray on the beach in order to clean themselves and environment from all the past bad deeds and throw it overboard into the sea with offerings to the gods.
Nigeria’s film industry, colloquially called Nollywood, is one of the largest in the world. Most movies are produced in local languages – including Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo – while others are made in English. Nollywood also has an increasing audience among Africans who live abroad and are keen for a taste of home. Reuters photographer Akintunde Akinleye went on location with a few movie shoots to take a look inside the business.