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Sony World Photography Awards 2018: Incredible photographs depicting war, cries and celebration.

Shikha Singh




Images of five Indian origin photographers are shortlisted. Another 14 images received a special recognition in Sony World Photography Awards 2018.

Sony World Photography Awards 2018 shares some stunning photographs of wild animals, cuddly pets to heart-wrenching shots of civil wars and refugee crisis. The contest received more than 320,000 submissions from over 200 countries. The contest was categorized into professionals, amateurs, youth, and students.

The contest entering in its 11th year had a difficult time in finalizing with 40% increase in the entries from a previous year. From 32,0000 shots, judges shortlisted 200-odd photographs.

Professional photographers are judged on their series of work. However, amateur photographers are judged on a single image for review.

Images of five Indian origin photographers are shortlisted. Another 14 images received a special recognition in Sony World Photography Awards 2018. Although the themes of their work were wide-ranging, the stunning landscape and wildlife were in common.

‘Predator Alert’, by Swapnil Deshpande. A blackbuck is seen sprinting after being warned by a deer about a predator. © Swapnil Deshpande, India, Shortlist, Open, Wildlife (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.


‘Patterns of Glacial River’, by Manish Mamtani. An aerial view of the glacial river in Iceland. © Manish Mamtani, India, Shortlist, Open, Travel (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.


Photograph by Martyn Aim, from the series ‘Near Dark – The Battle for Mosul’.© Martyn Aim, New Zealander, Shortlist, Professional, Current Affairs & News (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.


The Photograph by Ana Amado is from the series ‘Down Dance’ which focuses on people with Down Syndrome. © Ana Amado, Spain, Shortlist, Professional, Contemporary Issues (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.


‘Black and White’ by Valentine Morrone emphasizes on racism.© Valentina Morrone, Italy, Shortlist, Open, Portraiture (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.


‘Cenote II’ by James Monnigton depicts a freediving instructor in Mexico. © James Monnington, United Kingdom, Shortlist, Open, Landscape & Nature (2018 Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.


‘Very Impressive Starling Murmurations’ by Daniel Biber shots an impressive picture of Starling murmuration looking like a giant bird © Daniel Biber, Germany, Shortlist, Professional, Natural World & Wildlife (2018 Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.


‘Redivine’, © Sphiwo Hlatshwayo, South Africa, Shortlist, Open, Portraiture (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.

Submissions for this context are categorised into many sections including current affairs or news, nature and wildlife, architecture, travel, contemporary issues, portraits, still life, culture, street photography. 2018 Sony World Photography Awards introduced two additional categories of creative and discovery.

Photographers in the professional category will now fight for the title of Photographer of the Year and a whopping cash prize of $25,000. The shortlisted images depict a different array of categories ranging from raw emotions of Rohingya refugees to quirky portraits.The winners from four broad categories will be announced on April 19, 2018  in London.

‘Like owner, like dog’ © Krister Sørbø, Norway, Shortlist, Professional, Portraiture (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.


‘The Toaster’ (self-portrait), from series ‘Our Life In The Shadows’. © Tania Franco Klein, Mexico, Shortlist, Professional, Creative (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.


‘Horsestyle’ © Wiebke Haas, Germany, Shortlist, Professional, Natural World & Wildlife (2018 Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.


‘Walking’ U-Bein Bridge, Myanmar. © Suphakaln Wongcompune, Thailand, Commended, Open, Travel (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Award.


‘Rohingya Refugees flee into Bangladesh to escape genocide’, by Kevin Frayer. The photograph shots a Rohingya refugee boy asking for aid cries for help © Kevin Frayer, Canada, Shortlist, Professional, Current Affairs & News (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards






India, Pakistan foreign ministers’ meeting in New York terrific news: US





Washington | The US on Friday termed as a “terrific news” the proposed meeting between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York, expressing hope that the conditions will be set for a “good” and “strong” relationship between the two neighbours in the future.

The meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj with her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi will be the first such high-level engagement since suspension of dialogue between the two nations after the Pathankot air base terror attack in 2016. India, however, made it clear that it was not the resumption of the Indo-Pak dialogue.

“We saw that (reports of meetings between Indian and Pak leaders). I think that’s a terrific news for the Indians and Pakistanis to be able to sit down and have a conversation together,” State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters at her daily news conference. Nauert also welcomed the exchange of messages between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan.

“We saw the reports about the positive messages being exchanged between Prime Minister Khan and also Prime Minister Modi. And we hope that the conditions will be set for a good strong relationship, a good strong bilateral relationship in the future,” she said.

The last meeting between the two foreign ministers was held during Swaraj’s visit to Islamabad in December 2015 to attend the Heart of Asia Summit, where she had met he then Pakistan foreign minister Sartaj Aziz.

After the meeting, the two sides had announced resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue under the comprehensive bilateral format, but the initiative did not take off after Pakistan-based terror groups attacked the Pathankot air base.

The Indo-Pak ties have nose-dived since then in view of a number of terror strikes by Pakistan-based groups, which India retaliated by carrying out ‘surgical strikes’ in September 2016 across the LoC. India has been maintaining that terror and talks cannot go together.

The US has traditionally welcomed any talks between India and Pakistan, the pace of which, it has noted would depends on the leadership of the two countries.

“In general, the United States supports dialogue between India and Pakistan that can reduce tensions, and we understand and had frequent conversations with the Indian partners on the expectations that there would be demonstrable reduction in cross-border terrorism or infiltration that will help create the confidence for dialogue to take place,” Alice Wells, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, had told reporters during a conference call last week.

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US ready to negotiate with North Korea ‘immediately’: Mike Pompeo




North Korea

Washington | US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed Pyongyang’s “Important commitments” made by Pyongyang during Wednesday’s inter-Korean summit, adding Washington was ready to begin negotiating immediately to achieve the denuclearization of North Korea “by January 2021”.

In a statement, Pompeo said he spoke with his North Korean counterpart on Wednesday morning and invited him to meet in New York next week on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. The statement came after the North’s leader Kim Jong Un agreed to make a historic visit to Seoul soon and close a missile testing site in front of international inspectors in a meeting with the South’s President Moon Jae-in.

Progress on the key issue of the North’s nuclear arsenal was limited, but the two signed a document to strengthen ties between the two halves of the divided peninsula. Building on a growing rapprochement, they agreed to create a facility to hold family reunions at any time, work towards joining up road and rail links, and mount a combined bid for the 2032 Olympics.

“On the basis of these important commitments, the United States is prepared to engage immediately in negotiations to transform US-DPRK relations,” said Pompeo.

In addition to Pompeo’s meeting with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, “we have invited North Korean representatives to meet our Special Representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, in Vienna, Austria at the earliest opportunity,” the statement continued.

“This will mark the beginning of negotiations to transform US-DPRK relations through the process of rapid denuclearization of North Korea, to be completed by January 2021, as committed by Chairman Kim, and to construct a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.”

Kim’s trip to Seoul would be the first by a Northern leader since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, when hostilities ceased with an armistice rather than a peace treaty, leaving them technically in a state of war.

In their agreement, the North also said it would “permanently close” a missile engine testing site and launch facility in Tongchang-ri “in the presence of experts from relevant nations.”

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Ex-PM Najib Razak faces new corruption charges in Malaysia




Najib Razak

Kuala Lumpur | Police and Malaysia’s anti-graft agency stated that the detained former Prime Minister Najib Razak will face at least two dozen fresh charges of abuse of power and money laundering over the multimillion-dollar looting of a state investment fund.

Najib will be brought to court on Thursday. The police have taken his custody after he was detained by the anti-graft agency on Wednesday over the transfer of 681 million into his bank account.

National deputy police chief Noor Rashid Ibrahim said, 21 of the charges involve the receiving, using and transferring of illicit funds. The anti-graft agency said Najib will face charges under a section of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act that involves abuse of power.

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