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MediaStorm: Rape of a Nation by Marcus Bleasdale: “The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is home to the deadliest war in the world today. An estimated 5.4 million people have died since 1998, the largest death toll since the Second World War, according to the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

IRC reports that as many as 45,000 people die each month in the Congo. Most deaths are due to easily preventable and curable conditions, such as malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia, malnutrition, and neonatal problems and are byproducts of a collapsed healthcare system and a devastated economy.

The people living in the mining towns of eastern Congo are among the worst off. Militia groups and government forces battle on a daily basis for control of the mineral-rich areas where they can exploit gold, coltan, cassiterite and diamonds.

After successive waves of fighting and ten years of war, there are no hospitals, few roads and limited NGO and UN presence because it is too dangerous to work in many of these regions. The West’s desire for minerals and gems has contributed to a fundamental breakdown in the social structure.”

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Getty Images – News Blog » Blog Archive » The Assassination of Benazir Bhutto: “As the former prime minister’s car surged forward, I pushed out of the way, ahead of her vehicle. I needed to adjust my camera. In the melee, the shutter setting had been bumped down to 1/15th and 1/8th of a second, giving the photos an unintended impressionistic look.

I turned on my flash, but just before resetting the lens, I turned and glanced back at her car.

That’s when I heard three shots. I knew from the sound that they were fired close to her car. I watched her drop down through the sunroof. Instinctively, I raised my camera, my finger pressed down on the shutter, starting to shoot without looking.

Just as the camera came up in front of my face, the bomb went off.”

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