In a poor city in a poor country on a poor continent, there is a group of people with a singular purpose: to look rich.
Or, rather, to look good — and to fully embody the suave, elegant style that a wardrobe of three-piece suits, silk socks, fedoras and canes might suggest.
They are called sapeurs or members of the Societe des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Elegantes (the Society of Tastemakers and Elegant People). And when they go out, they turn the streets of Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of the Congo, into a fashion runway.
Photo Credit: Hector Mediavilla/Picturetank
‘With the headlines about a five-year-old using a gun marketed as “My First Rifle” barely faded, the NRA invited attendees to “[s]hare the excitement with spectacular displays and fun-filled events for the entire family”. The grade schoolers present shared the organization’s attitude towards the products that have caused the deaths of more American children in two years than the very tragic US military casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan. “I like guns because guns are fun,” said 9-year-old Kaykay Mace’ - Top 10 things you missed at the National Rifle Association Convention
Last Saturday, a destructive earthquake struck China’s Sichuan province, near the epicenter of the devastating 2008 earthquake, damaging thousands of structures and triggering landslides in the mountainous region. As of yesterday, the death toll stood at more than 200, with nearly 12,000 injured, 23 still missing, and tens of thousands made homeless. The quake was measured at magnitude 7.0 by China’s earthquake administration and magnitude of 6.6 by the U.S. Geological Survey. Rescue teams and government aid personnel have struggled to reach the affected area, as many roads were damaged.
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“Currently one rhinoceros is killed by poachers every 16 hours in South Africa,” writes National Geographic reporter Peter Gwin.
Over the last three years, more than a thousand of the animals have been slaughtered. In response, police gunned down 22 poachers and arrested more than 200 last year. At the bloody heart of this conflict is the rhino’s horn, a prized ingredient in traditional Asian medicines. Though black market prices vary widely, as of last fall dealers in Vietnam quoted prices ranging from $33 to $133 a gram, which at the top end is double the price of gold and can exceed the price of cocaine.
Today, the Overseas Press Club of America announced that this story, “Rhino Wars,” earned Mr. Gwin and Reportage photographer Brent Stirton the Whitman Bassow award for environmental reporting. Read the full story on the National Geographic Web site and see more of Mr. Stirton’s photos here.
CAPTION: TUGELA PRIVATE GAME RESERVE, COLENSO, NATAL, SOUTH AFRICA - NOVEMBER 9: A female rhino (left) who 4 months ago survived a brutal dehorning by poachers who used a chainsaw to remove her horns and a large section of bone in this area of her skull in Natal, South Africa on November 9, 2010. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images)