Photospeak from last week

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Here's a selection of some of the best photo stories, handpicked by the thREAD team, from India and around the world from Nov 15-21, 2015

From Kolkata that witnessed vibrant scenes by its rivers during the Chhath Puja to the highest saltwater lake in the world that is also a place for an annual pilgrimage for thousands, we bring you last week's Photospeak. Oh, and did you celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau Day?


Water birds at paddy field at Kannady near Palakkad on Nov. 15. Many water birds are fighting a battle for survival as they are hunted down by locals for meat. Hunting of wetland birds is rampant in many parts of the state. ~Photo: K.K. Mustafah/The Hindu


Sergey Shubenkov, the 2015 World Champion in the 110 metres hurdles, Yelena Isinbayeva, a Russian pole vaulter, a two-time Olympic gold medallist and a three-time World Champion, and Anna Chicherova, Russian high jumper, gold medalist at the 2012 London Olympics, attend a press conference in Moscow Russia, Monday, Nov. 16, 2015. Russia's athletics federation was provisionally suspended by the IAAF on Friday, just days after the country was accused of operating an extensive state-backed doping program in a report by a World Anti-Doping Agency independent panel. Russia said on Sunday it would ask the world athletics body to allow its athletes to compete under an Olympic banner rather than the Russian flag to circumvent a ban, but the idea was quickly brushed aside by the International Olympic Committee. ~Photo: Pavel Golovkin/AP


The logo of the upcoming COP21 Climate Change Conference is seen on a Gobi reusable bottle without Bisphenol-A at the Gobilab headquarters in Paris, France, November 16, 2015. French start-up Gobilab will provide 36,000 bottles to 2015 Paris climate conference. ~Photo: Benoit Tessier/Reuters


A set of commemorative Catalan euro coins are seen displayed by a Catalan coin and stamp collectors' guild in Barcelona, Spain, November 16, 2015. According to the guild, the coins, issued as a commemorative collector’s item, are a prototype of Catalonia's possible future money. ~Photo: Albert Gea/Reuters


Three wax figures of German Chancellor Angela Merkel stand at Madame Tussauds on November 16, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. The figures, brought together from Madame Tussauds across Germany, have been united to mark the 10th anniversary of Merkel as Chancellor. Merkel is currently under fire from politicians across the political spectrum, including from within her own party, over her refugee policy. ~Photo: Carsten Koall/Getty Images


Cotton grows in a field around a home in Florence, Alabama, October 23, 2015. Fields along the Mississippi River Delta once gleamed white in the autumn with acre upon acre of cotton ready to be picked. This year U.S. farmers planted the fewest acres of cotton since 1983, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. ~Photo: Brian Snyder/Reuters


A Hindu woman steps over a child in a ritual seeking blessings for the child from the Sun god Surya during the Hindu religious festival of Chhath Puja in Kolkata, November 17, 2015. ~Photo: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters


Holy water being poured on the 'Ranga Vimanam' at the Sriranganathar temple in Srirangam during the Samprokshanam on November 18, 2015. The temple, the largest of its kind in Asia by area, underwent a consecration after a 28-year gap, with its entire complex restored to its original architectural design and all extra construction made over the previous years demolished. Photo: M. Srinath/The Hindu.


Different species of butterflies mud-puddling at Kambalakonda Eco Tourism Park in Visakhapatnam on November 18, 2015. Scientists say they do this to extract Sodium from the soil for reproduction. ~Photo: K.R. Deepak/The Hindu


A Tibetan woman carries a child as they visit Namtso Lake in the Tibet Autonomous Region, China, on November 18, 2015. Located four hours' drive from Lhasa at an altitude of around 15, 479 ft above sea level, Namtso Lake is not only the highest saltwater lake in the world but also considered sacred, attracting throngs of devotees and pilgrims. ~Photo: Damir Sagolj/Reuters


A model wears a bazin dress made by designer Fadi Maiga in Bamako, Mali, October 21, 2015. Gasps of delight filled the convention hall as models, decked out in Mali's signature bazin fabric in crimson reds, indigoes and neon greens, strutted the catwalk while musicians from across the West African nation provided the soundtrack. Bazin, a polished, heavy cotton fabric with a distinctive sheen, is extremely popular across the region and is worn at almost all formal occasions in Mali. “If you show up to a marriage without wearing bazin, you might as well not show up at all,” said Baba Sereme, a designer known for his bazin suits for men, with hand-dyed elaborate color schemes. ~Photo: Joe Penney/Reuters


A woman drinks wine in a hot bath with coloured water representing wine at the Hakone Kowaki-en Yunessun spa resort during an event marking Beaujolais Nouveau Day in Hakone west of Tokyo, November 19, 2015. The Telegraph has this to say about this one-of-a-kind wine party: “Beaujolais Nouveau is a fruity, very young red wine that is released for sale every year on the third Thursday of November, on the stroke of midnight. The uncorking of the bottles in France is marked by parties, fireworks and other festivities. In the 1960s and 70s, the wine began to become popular outside of France, with canny marketing gurus turning the race to export the newly bottled wine into an event itself (Le Figaro, the French newspaper, has called the rush ‘the greatest marketing stroke since the end of World War Two’). Means of transport have allegedly included elephant, Concorde, and a hot-air balloon.” ~Photo: Thomas Peter/Reuters


Children, wearing red neckerchiefs, a symbol of the Pioneer Organization, salute while posing for a picture during a ceremony for the inauguration of 18 newly adopted members at a local school in the southern settlement of Kazminskoye in Stavropol region, Russia, November 19, 2015. Early pro-communist youth movements, which appeared in Russia after the 1917 Bolshevik revolution, were reformed into the Pioneer Organization of the Soviet Union. While the organization lost its dominance among students in post-Soviet Russia, some educational institutions and families still carry on this tradition. ~Photo: Eduard Korniyenko/Reuters


In this photo made from video taken from Russian Defense Ministry official website made available on Friday, November 20, 2015, Russian navy ships launch cruise missiles at targets in Syria from the Caspian Sea, according to information released by the Defense Ministry. Russia's Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu says that the military has destroyed a number of oil facilities and tankers controlled by the Islamic State group, cutting its income. ~Photo: AP via Russian Defense Ministry Press Service


A Hindu widow adjusts her clothing after offering prayers at a temple on the first day of the five-day long Panchuka festival in Bhubaneswar, in the eastern Indian state of Orissa, Friday, November 20, 2015. Widows from across the state gather to perform rituals for their salvation and for the souls of their departed husbands during this auspicious festival. ~Photo: Biswaranjan Rout/AP


This photo provided by NASA shows NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft capturing Pluto rotating over the course of a full “Pluto day,”in an unprecedented flyby in July 2015. The space agency released a series of 10 close-ups of the frosty, faraway world on Friday, November 20, 2015, representing one full rotation, or Pluto day. A Pluto day is equivalent to 6.4 Earth days. ~Photo: NASA


Mison Sere smiles after winning the 2015 edition of the Mr Ugly competition, in Harare, Saturday, Nov. 21.2015. Sere who controversially dethroned former Mr. Ugly William Masvinu to scoop the top prize of $500 in a contest marked by allegations of cheating. Masvinu has had it relatively easy over the past 3 years when the contest struggled to draw more than 10 contestants. This year's competition attracted 35 contestants with organisers saying they were looking for people with natural ugliness. ~Photo: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP

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