Playing in Traffic. Friday Photo #25, Saigon

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Photography is not for the faint of heart. Don’t try this at home. Or at least without a bellyful of good Vietnamese beer. Saigon. At night. In the holiday season. On a crosswalk.

Click photo to enlarge. Vietnam is a completely enchanting, engrossing and picturesque land. Have a look at 442 other photos from all over the country in the Vietnam Gallery at EarthPhotos.com. And see all the Friday Photos.

Post Soviet Politics Never Stops

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A rift has opened up across post Soviet Europe in the wake of the Riga Summit, (that’s Riga across the Daugava River, above) with all the former Soviet states lining up according to their perceived interests. Armenia and Belarus resist the final declaration in Riga, each beholden to Moscow for various protections, while Georgia, the Baltics and Ukraine clamor to camp under the EU umbrella.

The best way to decide what you think is to listen to respected scholars, but they line up equally on both sides. Andrew Michta and Judy Dempsey call the EU feckless while Stratfor and Brian Whitmore put President Putin on the back foot.

Who’s right? And with the injection of the US instigated FIFA controversy and the opportunity it affords the US to scold Russia and vice versa, what’s next? 

Friday Photo #24, Ethiopia

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This is an overflow crowd worshipping in the courtyard of St. Mary’s Church on Mt. Entoto near Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Click the photo to enlarge. See also the Ethiopia Gallery and 576 other HDR Photos at EarthPhotos.com, and see all the Friday Photos.

Friday Photo #22, Havana

With news this week that the U.S. has approved ferry routes to Cuba, Havana won’t be like it is now, very much longer. Americans who want to experience Havana the way it has been during the embargo should act soon. Whatever you do, get down there before the Invasion of the American Franchises. Please don’t wait until Havana has its own Bed Bath and Beyond. That would pretty much be missing the point.

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Here is just a random, kind of unkempt Havana balcony across the street from the big capitol building. Click it to enlarge it and enjoy the detail. See more photos from our March 2012 visit to Havana in the Cuba Gallery at EarthPhotos.com. And see all the Friday Photos.