12 Images

Global Pictures from July 29 - August 4

With a shudder and a thundering crack, an eight-lane bridge collapsed in Minneapolis during the Wednesday evening rush hour, plunging dozens of cars and people into the Mississippi River below. The steel-and-concrete Interstate 35W span buckled and swayed, creaked, and then, in a terrifying instant, crumbled. Green girders and huge chunks of concrete crashed more than 60 feet into the water. One portion of the interstate caved into a jagged V, trapping several cars and drivers. “Boom, boom, boom, and we were just dropping, dropping, dropping,” Jamie Winegar told the Associated Press. One dazed soul sits amid twisted strands of rebar on the collapsed deck of the bridge, a tanker on its side behind her. (Bruce Bisping / AP Photo)
The massive effort to figure out what caused the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis to collapse began Thursday morning. Officials cautioned that the investigation and the recovery of bodies would be a slow, painstaking and difficult process. And they were categoric on one point: An inspection report that deemed the bridge “structurally deficient” did not mean that the bridge was unsafe. “A bridge in America just shouldn’t fall down,” said U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Officials also said that investigators planned to rebuild the bridge piece by piece off-site to try to reconstruct what happened, much as the agency does in plane crashes. (Scott Takushi / AP Photo)
By some accounts, Montana has the most wildfire activity in the country, and on Thursday, among its more than 100,000 incinerating acres were nearly 20,000 in Glacier National Park. This image of the Skyland Fire burning near Marias Pass is from Monday; by Thursday, more than 600 people working to extinguish the blaze had it about 5% contained. (Robin Loznak / AP Photo)
Adm. Michael G. Mullen, the White House’s nominee to head the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate panel Tuesday that the U.S. troop buildup in Iraq was beginning to improve security, but the Iraqi central government was making little headway toward the political reconciliation that is key to stabilizing the country. Mullen, currently chief of naval operations, said that unless a political reconciliation can be worked out, “No amount of troops and no amount of time will make a difference.” Mullen appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee and these antiwar protesters. (Win McNamee / Getty Images)
In a country with a 40% unemployment rate families will borrow money and spend as much as $30,000 for a proper wedding. Business is booming. In a city of pot holes, beggars and donkey-powered carts, six white limousines ply the roads of this war-torn country’s capital, a surreal scene in a country where a lot of people still go without power or running water. This decorated limousine waited for business Tuesday as an Afghan woman begged for money. Shams Limousine service is busy on most days during the wedding season; cars rent for $150 for 10 hours. The owner says his cars, shipped from Los Angeles rent for what he believes is the lowest rate in the world. (Paula Bronstein / Getty Images)
An unidentified firefighter straps on his breathing apparatus amid swirling clouds of smoke while helping fight a fire in the Chick-Fil-A restaurant in Decatur, Ala., Wednesday. The fire heavily damaged the eatery, but no injuries, apart from some overcooked chicken, were reported. (Gary Cosby Jr. / AP Photo)
Happy endings are not the norm in Chinese mine stories. Last year, according to the government, 4,746 people died in mine accidents in China, an average of about 18 each workday. And those are the official statistics. All indications are that the number is higher. But on Wednesday, one tale of disaster had a happy ending when all 69 trapped workers at a coal mine near Zhijian were rescued, emerging one by one, filthy and weak, with black blindfolds protecting their eyes from the sun. The accident occurred Sunday when aboveground floodwaters, which have ravaged vast swaths of China, caused the collapse of an abandoned aluminum mine adjoining the coal operation. (Zhu Xiang Xinhua / AP Photo)
It was a day Iraqis will remember for years to come. Millions watched Sunday evening as the underdog Iraqi national soccer team won their first Asian Cup, beating three-time champions Saudi Arabia 1-0 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Fans took to the streets to celebrate across Iraq--in Kurdish areas in the north, Shiite holy cities to the south and several neighborhoods in the capital. These celebrants in Najaf reflect the sentiment of one Shiite Muslim who said the team “showed us what the real Iraq is and how we can work hard to be something.” (Hussein Al-Mousawi / EPA)
The annual South Asia monsoons swamping much of the subcontinent expressed their fury last week in Bangladesh, where as many as 5 million people, by some reports, have been marooned. As of Tuesday, half of the country was submerged. Wading through floodwaters on Monday, this Bangladeshi family shifted their house piecemeal to higher ground; thousands of others abandoned their homes to seek relief in shelters. (Abir Abdullah / EPA)
Iraqi Red Crescent Society workers on Wednesday prepared to bury 40 bodies left unclaimed for the last two months at the central morgue in Baqubah, about 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, Iraq. (AP Photo)
In the latest in an escalation of arrests and executions in Iran, these five men convicted of rape were hanged in public Wednesday in Mashad, northwest of Tehran. Two others were hanged in Zahedan, in the southeast. The state-run television news also showed the group of five hanging from the gallows under a banner that said, “Carrying out justice equals increasing security.” (Halabisaz / AP Photo)
Chinese armed policemen check a civilian’s digital camera to see if they’re ready for their close-up during a ceremony Tuesday marking the anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army in Beijing. The PLA, the world’s largest standing army with 2.3 million members, celebrated its 80th anniversary August 1. (Guang Niu / Getty Images)