Nowhere To GoJune 18: A group of male Rohingya refugees sit under the gun of the Bangladeshi Border Guard at Teknaf, a town in southeastern Bangladesh bordering the Myanmar state of Arakan. Muslim Rohingya have been fleeing western Myanmar since waves of ethnic violence broke out on June 8. The approximately 500,000 Rohingya that live in Myanmar are stateless since the Myanmar government does not recognize their citizenship. Hundreds of thousands in past years have fled out of the country, many to India and Malaysia, but the predominant number, some 250,000, have gone to neighboring Bangladesh. The government of impoverished Bangladesh has resisted admitting the new wave of migrants and has denied refugee status to new Rohingya incomers since 1992.
A Boat To Call HomeJune 19: A young Rohingya girl clears a waterlogged boat near the shore at Teknaf, a town in southeastern Bangladesh bordering the Myanmar state of Arakan.
Waiting For FamilyJune 12: A woman waits for her relatives on shore at Teknaf, a town in southeastern Bangladesh bordering the Myanmar state of Arakan.
Unjust ConditionsJune 15: A Rohingya demonstrator faints in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Some 2,000 Rohingya protested outside the Myanmar Embassy in Malaysia on the mistreatment of their people. Muslim Rohingya have been fleeing western Myanmar since waves of ethnic violence broke out in area on June 8.
Picking Up The FlagChinese President Hu Jintao picked up a small Chinese flag after a June 18 group photo session with other world leaders at the G20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico. Hu, the only one of the 20 world leaders to do so, then proceeded to carefully fold up the flag before placing it in his pocket so as not to walk over it. Heads of state were shown positions of where to stand for the photo by flags of their nations placed on the ground. Images of Hu's actions appearing on Chinese media drew admiration from patriotic Chinese, who praised him for showing respect and concern for the national symbol. Did the difference with other leaders represent a greater concern for detail? Do the actions show a psychology more disposed to nationalism? Was it awkward being the only person in the room to show such a concern? Was he simply removing something stuck to his shoe? Plenty of guesswork is afoot among the Chinese Internet community.
A Laugh Among FriendsIndian Foreign Minister S. M. Krishna and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shared a laugh as they were swarmed with questions from the press last Wednesday. The State Department hosted the Third U.S.-India "Strategic Dialogue" June 13. Officials of the two countries working in foreign policy, education, and science and technology have met over the past week to discuss greater levels of cooperation and exchange. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called India the "linchpin" in the U.S.' new efforts to re-engage with the Asia-Pacific on his first trip to the country from June 5 to 6. The two governments describe their relationship as based on a convergence of values. But major challenges remain. The Bush presidency's nuclear deal with India has largely ended in a whimper, India has rejected buying U.S. fighter jets for a major defense contract, and Washington is concerned about Indian relations with rogue regimes like Iran. Western analysts such as George Gilboy and Eric Heginbotham make a compelling case that in terms of investment into places like Iran, Sudan, Myanmar, Cuba, and Syria, New Delhi has more in common with Beijing than Washington.
Show Of ForceHeavily armed helicopters fire at mock targets representing North Korean forces. The South Korean military and the U.S. forces stationed within the country conducted an exercise on June 22 to commemorate the 62nd anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War (1950-1953). The live-fire drill involved some 2,000 soldiers, the largest of its kind since the end of the Korean War. The exercises are designed to intimidate North Korean forces and demonstrate the resolve and strength of allied forces to resist any future acts of Northern aggression.
North Korea On The MindBombing targets painted with the star of North Korea and in the shape of tanks on a hill near the town of Pocheon, located northeast of Seoul, between the capital and the DMZ. The South Korean military and the U.S. forces stationed within the country conducted an exercise on June 22 to commemorate the 62nd anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War (1950-1953). The live-fire drill involved some 2,000 soldiers, the largest of its kind since the end of the Korean War. The exercises are designed to intimidate North Korean forces and demonstrate the resolve and strength of allied forces to resist any future acts of Northern aggression. Pyongyang warned on Friday that the "reckless" exercise would bring the Peninsula to the "brink of war."
Troubles In PapuaRioting and violence flared up in the town of Jayapura in the Indonesian state of Papua -- the western half of the island of New Guinea, located just north of Australia at the eastern end of the Indonesian archipelago. Papua residents set vehicles ablaze after the killing of a prominent independence leader by local police forces. Eyewitnesses leaving the area told Indonesian media that locals were arming themselves with crude weapons and knives. Heavily armed police and military personnel were ultimately deployed in order to quell the uprising. Although predominantly Muslim Indonesia has a population of over 230 million people, numerous ethnic groups are spread throughout its myriad of islands. Between 50 and 60 percent live on the island of Java, home of the Javanese ethnic group. The entire country is composed of over 17,000 islands, of which only 6,000 are inhabited. No surprise then, that it is a place long troubled by indigenous independence movements and local demands for greater autonomy from Jakarta.
A Wave Before TakeoffLiu Yang, China's first woman in space, is making headlines around the world. A major in the Chinese air force, she is participating in China's 4th human piloted rocket flight into space. While she is certainly taking the spotlight for the moment, the bigger impact may be the leaps and bounds by which her nation's space program is growing. Plans are in the works for a future space station to rival the ISS, which China has not been invited to join, as well as putting a man -- and/or woman -- on the moon by 2020.
This week's images highlight:
1. The plight of Muslims minorities fleeing Myanmar;
2. World leaders being themselves;
3. A show of force on the Korean Peninsula;
4. A crisis in Eastern Indonesia;
5. China's first woman in space.