Correspondent / behind the news

Fashion Week a window into what makes New York tick

Monday 17 February 2014 - Behind the image

Anna Wintour, actresses Lupita Nyong'o and Naomi Watts attend the Calvin Klein Collection show during Fashion Week. Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week/AFP

AFP's Jennie Matthew recently moved to New York after 10 years reporting and editing news in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Here she reports from this year's Fashion Week in the Big Apple. (Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week/AFP)

Continue reading...

From car bombs in Karachi to exploding toilets in NY

Thursday 19 December 2013 - Eye witness

A bus in Karachi, September 2013 (AFP Photo / Asif Hassan) A promotional event for New York tourist buses. October 2013. AFP / Getty / Craig Barritt)











"After 10 years with AFP reporting and editing news in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan, I was exhausted by the unrelenting violence, cycles of pessimism and religious hatred," says AFP correspondent Jennie Matthew. Moving to the New York bureau, in other words, was a welcome change. But it was also a culture shock.

Continue reading...

Decades on, ageing POWs face their past in Japan

Tuesday 26 November 2013 - Eye witness

American prisoners of war, held by the Japanese in the Philippines in May 1942. (AFP Photo)

What could they be feeling? What was going on in their elderly heads? Questions swirled through my mind as I made my way through a heavy October rain to attend a dinner with former US prisoners-of-war who’d escaped Japanese camps in World War II and who only now were coming to the Japanese mainland for the first time.

Jacques Lhuuillery, AFP's Tokyo bureau chief attended an emotional pilgrimage for former POWs visiting Japan. "I forgive but I don’t forget,” one of them tells him.

Continue reading...

An abandoned kingdom of insanity

Friday 27 September 2013 - Eye witness

Tour guides dressed as nurses welcome visitors to the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. (AFP Photo / Eva Hambach)

On her way to a jazz festival in West Virginia, photographer Eva Hambach from AFP's Washington bureau came across this huge 19th century building. It's the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, a former facility for insane people which housed up to 2,000 patients before shuttering in 1994. Workers in nurses uniforms are still there to welcome anyone who stops by.


Continue reading...

Prisoners of a presidential vacation

Tuesday 20 August 2013 - Behind the image

US President Barack Obama reacts to a missed putt on the first green at Farm Neck Golf Club in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, August 11, 2013 during the Obama family vacation to Martha's Vineyard. AFP Photo/Jim Watson.

Prisoners of a presidential vacation


On August 10, US President Barack Obama and his family traveled to Martha’s Vineyard for a nine-day vacation. The White House press corps travel pool went along too, to cover the president as he golfed, ate dinner with his family – and reacted to global events including the violence across Egypt. Jim Watson, one of AFP’s five-member team of photographers covering the White House, put together this video showing what it’s like to go on holiday with the president.

Continue reading...

On the road with the 'rock star diplomat'

Friday 27 July 2012 - Eye witness

Hillary Clinton tours Laos' Ho Phra Keo temple. She is the first US Secretary of State to visit the nation in 57 years.

Hillary Rodham Clinton became the most traveled US Secretary of State in history – 102 countries in less than four years – earlier this month after touching down for meetings in nine nations during a two-week tear across the globe. AFP’s newly-appointed State Department correspondent Joanna Biddle describes what it’s like trailing a ‘rock star diplomat’ whose batteries always seem to be fully charged.

Continue reading...