President Barack Obama is dispatching an additional 13,000 US troops to Afghanistan, beyond the 21,000 he publicly announced in March. The additional forces consist of engineers, medical personnel, intelligence experts and military police - support forces for the 21,000 combat forces. The build-up has raised the number of US troops deployed to the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan above the peak during the Iraq "surge" that former president George W Bush ordered. At the start of this month, some 65,000 US forces were in Afghanistan and about 124,000 in Iraq, compared to around 26,000 US troops in Afghanistan and 160,000 in Iraq at the height of the Iraq surge.
Picture above shows US marines pouring petrol on bags of confiscated poppy seeds in the Salaam Bazar in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
Picture below shows an Afghan gunshot victim being attended to en route to a US military station in Aghanistan. Note the "All American" patch on the soldier in front and the "Jolly Roger" patch on the helmet of the guy at the back.
Picture below shows US soldiers in Kunar province, Eastern Afghanistan (The patch on their left arm shows that they belong to the US 4th Infantry Division). Gen McChrystal, commander of US and coalition forces in Afghanistan, has urged Washington to commit a further 60,000 American troops in the country or face a serious risk of failure.
A bloody drug war in Rio De Janeiro is causing concerns about safety issues for the 2016 Olympics. Rio was chosen over Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo on October 2 to host the games but a recent drug gang violence has plunged the city into chaos just two weeks after it was picked as host.
On Saturday, a gunfight between rival drug trafficking gangs in a Rio slum killed a dozen people, including two police officers when their helicopter was shot down. Gunfire on the ground killed at least 10 suspected gunmen and wounded four bystanders.
Picture above shows a couple with child leaving Macacos slum on Saturday as the police attempt to subdue rival drug traffickers engaged in the vicious gang battle.
Buses burn as an armoured truck moves in to prevent more violence.
Once dubbed by Esquire magazine as "the worst building in the history of mankind" and seen as a symbol of the country's failure, the 105-storey Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea now has one side fully covered in glass. 22 years after the first brick was laid and then left unfinished due to building problems and funding shortage, the unfinished hotel has become a source of embarrassment for North Korea's leaders.
Closer to home, this highway billboard using a saluting Adolf Hitler to advertise a Thai wax museum was covered up after complaints from the Israeli and German ambassadors. The Thai words read "Hitler is not dead" created public outcry and protests from both German and Israeli ambassadors.