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Musical discoveries on 1,300-band week

Wednesday 5 November 2014 - Debriefing


Bass player and vocals, Paula Cullen, of the Irish Band September Girls (AFP Photo / Don Emmert)

"I'm an obsessive music-lover, someone who would rather be at a concert than almost anywhere else (with a few exceptions)", writes New York-based reporter Shaun Tandon. "But even for me the five days of CMJ offer daunting choices".

CMJ is a 33-year-old annual institution in New York in which dozens of clubs across the city transform into testing grounds for up-and-coming (or hoping-to-be up-and-coming) bands that want to gain notice. Here are a few highlights that, in Shaun's opinion, stood out.

(AFP Photo / Don Emmert)


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Je t'aime : Kerry's love affair with France

Tuesday 21 October 2014 - Eye witness


Kerry arrives for a meeting at the Quai d’Orsay, the French Foreign Affairs ministry, on September 15, 2014 in Paris (AFP Photo / Brendan Smialowski)

Secretary of State John Kerry may be the champion-in-chief of American values abroad and who once ran to be US president, but who in his heart of hearts is constantly called back to Paris.

"Kerry's French roots run deep", writes AFP's State Department correspondent Jo Biddle. "His mother Rosemary Forbes was born in Paris in the 1920s and served as a nurse in the French capital during World War II (...) Once sneered at in America for being a fluent French speaker during his failed 2004 bid for the White House, the top US diplomat has been liberated in his new job, frequently chatting in French".

(AFP Photo / Brendan Smialowski)


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Chasing shadows: Kim and Kanye in France

Tuesday 3 June 2014 - Decoding


Kim Kardashian stands in front of a vehicule with a stroller as she leaves her hotel on May 23, 2014 in Paris (AFP / Kenzo Tribouillard)

More accustomed to covering riots, trials and drug stories in the Parisian suburbs than tracking VIPs, AFP reporters Estelle Emonet and Nathalie Alonso suddenly found themselves hunting for Kim Kardashian and Kanye West when speculation reached fever pitch that the celebrity couple would celebrate their wedding in France.

(Photo: AFP / Kenzo Tribouillard)


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Diplomacy on the fly: The Kerry-go-round

Tuesday 1 April 2014 - Behind the image

John Kerry waves while he boards his plane in Amman on March 27, 2014. (AFP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin/Pool)

"Life on the road with Kerry is a whirlwind of fast-changing schedules, nail-biting last minute decisions and complex logistics, requiring quick-thinking, immense wells of patience and above all flexibility from his loyal and dedicated staff," writes AFP's US State Department correspondent Jo Biddle. "But it's also a rare fly-on-the-wall privilege to witness diplomacy in the making, with an almost front-row seat as Kerry helms his own path into the foreign policy annals."

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Obama and the Night Watch

Tuesday 25 March 2014 - Behind the image

US President Barack Obama speaks in front of Rembrandt's masterpiece "The Night Watch

News conferences with the US president don't normally get attention because of the backdrop, but when Obama met with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte this week in front of one of the world's most famous paintings, photographers had a little fun.

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Lavrov steals some limelight from Kerry

Sunday 15 September 2013 - Eye witness

Detail of cartoon portrait of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov done by  Fox News television correspondent James Rosen.

"For almost two hours we'd been waiting for US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to reveal whether they had a deal on Syria's chemical weapons," reports AFP's Jo Biddle. "And then in one extraordinary moment, Lavrov slipped unannounced into the back of a ballroom in a Geneva hotel where the world's press was camped out Saturday and stole a bit of thunder from his 'good friend' Kerry."

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"Welcome to Guantanamo Bay"

Wednesday 28 August 2013 - Behind the image

A feeding chair in Guantanamo. August 7, 2013. AFP Photo / Chantal Valery

"Welcome to Guantanamo Bay"


This is one of the chairs the US military uses to force feed hunger-striking prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. AFP's justice and security correspondent Chantal Valery this month visited the infamous military base to learn more about the feeding process that strikers say is agonizingly painful. (AFP Photo / Chantal Valery)

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Marijuana on my mind

Friday 12 July 2013 - Eye witness

Marijuana plants grow at Perennial Holistic Wellness Center, a not-for-profit medical marijuana dispensary in operation since 2006, on September 7, 2012 in Los Angeles.

The Paris-based editor of AFP's Correspondent blog, Marlowe Hood, took advantage of a recent trip to his native Los Angeles to investigate -- first-hand -- the city's rapidly evolving (and confusing) medical marijuana scene. (AFP Photo/David McNew/Getty Images)

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Whirlwind peace drive: Kerry in job of his life

Sunday 7 July 2013 - Decoding

US Secretary of State John Kerry makes a statement to the press regarding his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the US Embassy in Bandar Seri Begawan on July 2, 2013.

AFP's Washington-based Shaun Tandon tagged along with John Kerry on the US Secretary of State's most recent road trip, this one to the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Watching Kerry in action makes one wonder: has the former presidential hopeful found his true calling? (AFP Photo/pool/Jacquelyn Martin)

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Viva Lucha VaVOOM!

Wednesday 15 May 2013 - Behind the image

Performers prepare backstage during the Lucha VaVOOM's Cinco de Maya show at the Mayan Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, California, on May 5, 2013.
AFP Photo/Joe Klamar

Viva Lucha VaVOOM!


"Most events nowadays – especially in L.A., where I am based – limit photographer access and impose restrictions on what we can do. Not a lot of fun," says AFP photographer Joe Klamar. "But 'Lucha VaVOOM' – a no-holds-barred Cinco de Mayo festival with Mexican roots featuring masked wrestlers, comedy routines and striptease – is exactly the opposite: a welcoming atmosphere and unfettered creative freedom."

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Armstrong: The Bernie Madoff of sport

Monday 6 May 2013 - Behind the image

A stencil graffiti depicting cyclist Lance Armstron - in a Tour de France yellow jersey - attached to an IV drip is pictured on the side of a building on January 23, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.
AFP Photo/Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Armstrong: The Bernie Madoff of sport


"Armstrong cheated the Tour de France, the fans, the media, all those who believed his performances were for real and, worst of all, he betrayed his sport." So writes former Tour de France director Jean-Marie Leblanc in a new book, published this week, on the event he oversaw from 1989 to 2005. "He will go down as the Bernard Madoff of sport."

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A harmonic interview with Ozawa

Wednesday 24 April 2013 - Eye witness

JAPAN-ENTERTAINMENT-MUSIC-OZAWA

AFP’s Tokyo bureau chief Jacques Lhuillery heads to the French ambassador’s home to meet famed Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa, who is returning to the musical scene after a long absence to fight cancer. (AFP Photo/Yoshikazu Tsuno)

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When pictures save lives

Tuesday 23 April 2013 - Eye witness

Fatima Khatun 25,  kisses the head of her eighteen month old daughter, Roona Begum, suffering from Hydrocephalus,  at their hut in Jirania village on the outskirts of Agartala, the capital of northeastern state of Tripura on April 13, 2013.

It happens all the time: a newspaper publishes a photo of a child living in hard-scrabble poverty who is stricken by a disfiguring, possibly life-threatening condition or injury. The image is heart-rending, and people around the world ask: “How can I help?” CORRESPONDENT editor Marlowe Hood looks at recent photos from the AFP archives that have made a difference. 

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Boston bombings on the e-diplomacy hub

Friday 19 April 2013 - Debriefing

Photographs of one of two suspects wanted in the Boston Marathon bombings are released by the FBI at a press conference April 18, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts.

"#boston", "#watertown" and '#bostonmarathon" are among the top hastags cited on 'the e-diplomacy hub', an application that follows real-time conversations among top-tier officials, experts and activists in the realm of digital diplomacy. Here's what they are saying. (AFP Photo/Stan Honda)

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North Korea goes ballistic

Monday 25 March 2013 - Behind the image

This video grab taken on March 22, 2013 from North Korea's official website, Uriminzokkiri.com, shows a scene from the four-minute video titled "A Short, Three-Day War
AFP Photo/Uriminzokkiri.com

North Korea goes ballistic

Nobody would call North Korean propaganda understated. For decades it has pumped out inflammatory attacks on US "imperialists" and their "scum puppets" in South Korea. Several years ago, its efforts went multi-media with a new video format which, in the past few months, has come up with a series of products that have taken the anti-US invective to new heights. (screen grab from North Korean video)

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SXSW: When Austin becomes awesome

Monday 18 March 2013 - Eye witness

Flying Lotus performs at the Myspace Secret Shows at 2013 SXSW Presented by Chevrolet at the Copper Tank Events Center on March 15, 2013 in Austin, Texas.

Once a modest showcase for local bands – we’re in Austin, Texas – SXSW has morphed into a mega-, multi-mashup of movies, music and cutting-edge digitalia. Part I: hungry app developers by day, indie documentary geeks by night. Then the performers take over. Wall-to-wall madness + cheap beer. AFP lifestyle correspondent Robert MacPherson took it in and is still digesting. (J. Kempin/Getty Images for Myspace/AFP)

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The movie maker and the manuscript

Thursday 14 March 2013 - Eye witness

Photo of Tay Garnett's star on Hollywood Blvd.

Tay Garnett. The name may not ring a bell, but you've surely seen at least one of the dozens of movies he made during Hollywood's golden age. "The Postman Always Rings Twice", perhaps? During a five-decade career, Garnett worked with Dietrich, Harlow, Heywood, Monroe, Bogart, Gable, Taylor, Mitchum and dozens of other single-name stars. And as a swan song, he compiled testimonials from the 20th century's greatest directors in a book as remarkable for what's between the covers as its back-story. (Photo/Tiela Garnett)

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NY 'cannibal cop' skewered, but where's the beef?

Thursday 28 February 2013 - Decoding

A newspaper reader in New York scanning stories about the so-called 'cannibal cop' on February 28, 2013.

The case of New York’s would-be ‘cannibal cop’ is an all-you-can-bleat feast for the city’s hardboiled headline writers: “Cop Fantasy: She’s Kebab”, “Chef of Police,” “Knaw and Order,” “Finest Young Cannibal” are some of the morsels served up so far. But there's a legal conundrum too: can one be tried & convicted for a fantasy, no matter how twisted? AFP correspondent Sebastian Smith taste tests the story. (AFP Photo)

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Cued by US, France’s pro-lifers shift tactics

Thursday 21 February 2013 - Decoding

Screenshot of French abortion information website www.ecouteivg.org.

Stumbling across websites in French on the highly-charged subject of abortion that seemed to be neutral but were anything but led AFP reporters Julie Charpentrat and Isabelle Tourne to dig deeper into the increasingly sophisticated tactics of France’s anti-abortion activists, who have clearly taken a page from the playbook of their US counterparts. 

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Inauguration Day (in less than a minute)

Wednesday 23 January 2013 - Eye witness


Nearly one million people gathered in the heart of Washington D.C. on Monday to witness the inauguration of President Barack Obama. This time-lapse video of the crowd taking shape and then dispersing is composed of more than 4,000 still images shot over a period off six hours and compressed into less than a minute.

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