President Barack Obama is on vacation. Again. And with the slew of photos from his recent visit to the Gulf, we couldn't help but reach back into the archives and bring you our favorite pictures of world leaders taking some time off. Some spent their time industriously, others frivolously and of course, others played golf.
In a recent Newsweek report, the United States was ranked as the eleventh-best country in the world, much to the chagrin of the U.S. But Americans aren't alone at the very periphery of the top ten. Here are eleven other such entities that nearly made it into the ten best of their league.
With a probable long-term hold on the position of the second-largest economy in the world and increased fears over the scope of its military, China's legitimate and perceived power is all over the news. GDP and military figures are telling, but sometimes just a picture can reveal all there is to know about international attitudes. In an intriguing welcoming ceremony for visiting heads of state, China's Prime Minister Wen Jiabao escorts visitors along a stretch of military honor guard. The reactions range from awkward glances to attempted indifference in the face of what could be deemed subtle intimidation.
Palestinian children bounced basketballs in an attempt to break the Guinness world record of 7,500 basketballs bounced simultaneously, in an event organized by the the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in the southern Gaza town of Rafah on July 22, 2010.
(Photos by Stephen Shaver. Story by Xixi Quan, UPIU contributor)
July 20th marked China’s largest environmentally-friendly funeral, during which the remains of 281 people were buried in biodegradable urns in Tianjin, southeast of Beijing. The funeral was held at Yongan Memorial Park and hosted by the Bureau of Civil Affairs of Beichen.
Tianjin city officials began promoting the urns in March. Several other cities have hosted funerals to promote the urns, and Chinese officials say they expect the practice to spread.
The patented urns are made of silver sand and look like earthenware jars. Each urn degrades after a few hours submerged in water, or after a few months buried underground. In a country which has 1/5 of the world's population and has a death rate of up to 10 million a year, the practice of eco-burials are designed to contribute to the protection of the environment as space at cemeteries has become a serious issue.
NEW YORK, July 4 (UPI) -- Competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi was arrested Sunday when he stormed the stage at a New York hot dog-eating contest, an event organizer said.
Kobayashi, 32, didn't compete in the annual Nathan's Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest because of a contract dispute, the New York Daily News reported.
Kobayashi, a 128-pound Japanese who uses the nickname "Tsunami," was handcuffed after he allegedly tried to reach the stage during the awards ceremony at Coney Island by climbing over people. He was taken to a police station pending charges.
"He tried to jump on stage during the awards ceremony to disrupt it," the Daily News quoted contest organizer Richard Shea as saying. "It's unprofessional and unsavory and, frankly, rather frustrating."
The event was won for the fourth year in a row by Joey "Jaws" Chestnut (pictured below), 26, who wolfed down 54 hot dogs in 10 minutes. That was nine more than the second-place finisher.
Kobayashi had won the title several years in a row, beginning in 2000, but had finished second to Chestnut in recent years.
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