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WPE Awards 2020

***EXCLUSIVE*** PARIS, FRANCE: The winners of the WPE International Photography Awards 2020 First Half have been announced. In a photograph taken by silver-badge winner, Avi Gal, a Dalmatian pelican was captured casting a menacing look down the lens of the camera at Lake Kerkini National Park, Greece. Alex Fung’s silver-badge winning photo showed a skywards look at Hong Kong’s mesmerising concrete architecture. The WPE Awards Foundation began life in 2014 and five years later, the first photography competition was launched. The foundation now has thousands of members, forming a photography network across Europe, although the competition attracts worldwide talent. Open to both professional and amateur photographers, the WPE Awards aims to encourage photographers to „adhere to their art form” and achieve their very best work - awarding the winner with a £1,803 cash prize ($2,000). Brit photographer, Tracey Lund, earned a gold-badge and took first place prize in the animals category for her image. The photo was taken on Bempton Cliffs, Yorkshire, and shows two gannets diving to catch a fish. Also amongst the leading entries was an image created by photography duo, Ddiarte Ddiarte, which earned both a gold-badge and first place prize in the photo-manipulation category. Hailing from Portugal, the duo combine photographs with mythological influences. Peter Lik’s image earned him a silver-badge and the second place prize in the Landscape category. Peter has been capturing landscapes for 35 years. This particular serene scene was taken in the lavender fields of Valensole in south-eastern France. Other standout images include a stunning view of the northern lights captured by Bulgarian photographer, Valiko Karachiviev, and a photograph of Myanmar’s chilli fields taken by photographer, Konyi Calisto.

 

Mother who decided to stop steroid cream for facial eczema after it permanently damaged one eye reveals how the years-long withdrawal left her covered in agonising itchy skin and it even hurt to breathe

***EXCLUSIVE*** AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND: This woman reveals how steroid creams left her with SIGHT LOSS in one eye and pain so severe that it HURT TO BREATHE. Full time mum of two, Anita Wong (36) from Auckland, New Zealand, was first diagnosed with eczema when she was five-years-old and felt embarrassed growing up as she didn’t know how to explain her skin condition to her peers, who feared it was contagious. Anita had countless trips to doctors, dermatologists, and allergy specialists to try to keep her eczema at bay with the use of emollient, topical steroid, anti-fungal and immunosuppressant creams, oral steroids, antibiotics, and antihistamines. As well as this, Anita tried natural remedies – all of which would work for a short while before her eczema returned with a vengeance. When she fell pregnant with her first child, Kingsley (9) Anita decided to stop using steroids to treat her skin which caused her skin to flare on her face. In May 2011, whilst adjusting to being a new mum, Anita went back to her doctor for her eczema and was prescribed a topical steroid to use on her face which helped clear her skin. In July 2013, Anita was shocked to be diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes due to overuse of steroids. She had her cataracts operated on in January 2014 and has been left with permanent damage in her right eye where she has aphakia, the absence of a lens due to surgery. Upset that her eyesight was in jeopardy, Anita decided to ditch medicine to treat her eczema and within days her skin started to go through the painful topical steroid withdrawal (TSW) process which caused cracking, flaking, redness and weeping which kept Anita awake at night and on the worst days made it painful to even breathe. By January 2018, Anita’s skin started to look normal again and now she is proud to have the skin she’s always dreamt of since childhood and it’s thanks to the years long detox she has put herself through.

The first customer car in the DB5 Goldfinger Continuation programme left the production line last week

***EXCLUSIVE*** The ‘Job 1’ DB5 represents not only another significant design and engineering success, but also becomes the first new DB5 to be built by Aston Martin in more than half a century as the British luxury sports car maker’s Continuation programme once again makes history. Dubbed ‘the most famous car in the world’ and renowned as being among the most desirable and sought-after classic Aston Martin models, the DB5 has become a byword for timeless style and sports car desirability. Fewer than 900 saloon examples were built between 1963 and 1965, with by far the most famous of the original owners being the world’s best-known secret agent – James Bond – who first drove the car that is today inextricably linked with him in the 1964 film, Goldfinger. Now, 55 years after the last new DB5 rolled elegantly off the production line at Aston Martin’s then global manufacturing base in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, work is ongoing there on a strictly limited number of new DB5 models. The new cars include an array of functioning devices created by Bond film special effects supervisor Chris Corbould OBE.

Children under coronavirus lockdown in Egypt

Egypt, Cairo: For more than three months schools, sports clubs, amusement parks and gardens have been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The majority of children suddenly got stuck at home where they are trying to come up with activities to kill their time, however, they still have hopes that soon enough they can spend their leisure time in open spaces instead of home confinement.

Scrapping squirrels

***EXCLUSIVE*** HUNGARY: The hilarious moment a rowdy ground squirrel appeared to launch a right-hook attack on its unsuspecting friend has been captured in a series of side-splitting snaps. Action-packed images showed the pair of nine-inch long rodents as they engaged in a game of rough and tumble, with one squirrel appearing to do a karate chop whilst suspended in mid-air. Other shots captured the tussling pair rolling on the floor and engaging in one last stare off before calling a truce. The pictures of the scrap which lasted just 10 minutes were taken in Pusztaszer, Hungary by wildlife photographer Hannah Assil (29) from Graz, Austria.

Wave building

***EXCLUSIVE*** SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA: THIS AMAZING piece of art is making a splash with locals. Installed in „K-POP Square” in Seoul, South Korea, it was created by design company d’strict. It comprises a giant LED screen, measuring 260 feet wide and 65 feet high, giving the illusion that the glass building is filled with water. The art which resembles a huge fish tank is displayed around the SM Town Coex Artium building, a complex created for fans of the Korean Pop stars on the SM Entertainment label. According to its creators, the owners of the building in the South Korean capital wanted a piece that would bring joy to those walking through the park. The anamorphic illusion which wraps all the way around the building is unsurprisingly the largest outdoor high definition advertising screen in South Korea and surely has to be the most impressive.

A rare bottle of sunken Scotch salvaged from the shipwreck which inspired Whisky Galore could fetch £10,000 at auction

***EXCLUSIVE*** The bottle was recovered from the wreck of the SS Politician off the shores of Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides after it ran aground in bad weather in 1941. There were 28,000 cases of whisky on board the cargo ship as it broke up and fell beneath the waves, with many of the remaining bottles on board going down with it. The salvage operation by islanders was immortalised by Compton Mackenzie in his 1947 novel Whisky Galore and was adapted for cinema in 1949 and again in 2016.

Bobbing for alligators

***EXCLUSIVE*** ORLANDO, FLORIDA, USA: A British photographer spent SIX months capturing this rare picture of a bobcat catching a baby alligator. In one image, the eight-inch baby alligator seemed to be clinging on to life as it hung out of the mouth of the devious bobcat. In another, the two-foot bobcat was seen plodding along with the baby alligator safely tucked in its mouth ready to eat. Photographer, Ross Merrigan (41), from Watford, Hertfordshire UK, has been living in Orlando, Florida, USA, for a number of years. Just outside of Orlando at Lake Apopka, Ross spotted this hunting bobcat just 25-feet away after a lengthy six-month search. Bobcats are incredibly elusive animals and tend to stay away from humans despite living in populated areas across the United States. There are thought to be around 1,000,000 bobcats living in the USA. These stealthy hunters can leap up to 10-feet when catching their prey and will usually feed on mice, birds, rabbits, and other small creatures. Bobcats are around twice the size of a domestic housecat and get their name from their stumped tail.

Not laughing now: Hyena is ripped to pieces by a lion

***EXCLUSIVE*** GREATER KRUGER PARK, SOUTH AFRICA: This lion was captured taking down a one-hundred-and-forty-pound hyena before leaving it for dead. In one image, the hyena is captured crying out as the 418-pound lion grabbed it by the neck and dragged it to the ground causing blood to spill out. In another, the neck of the hyena lay twisted to the side as the lion bit down causing the hyena to suffocate. Photographer and ranger, Chad Cocking (36), from Johannesburg, South Africa, was in the country’s Tanda Tula Safari Camp, Greater Kruger Park, when just 80-yards away from Chad’s vehicle, a lion proved to an unlucky hyena who was top of the food chain. Lions are known for stealing prey from other predators - including hyenas - which has created a rivalry between the two species. Lions will share their spoils with the entire pride although it is the males who get the first bite. Surprisingly, lions are the laziest species of big cat - sleeping for up to 20-hours a day. They are their most active at dusk which is when they will hunt. Lions can go for five days without drinking water due to the moisture they take on from their prey.

Turtle-y misjudged that! Painful moment fisherman discovers kissing a 22lb snapping turtle is a BAD idea

***EXCLUSIVE*** VERMONT, USA: LOVE HURTS: This man almost had his face ripped off when he gave this cute twenty-two-pound turtle a peck on the lips. Footage captured a man tickling a common snapping turtle on its tummy before going in for a kiss. However, he clearly misread the signals after the reptile clamped its jaws around his lip and left him screaming in agony.   The funny footage was filmed on an iPhone by construction project manager and electrician Mike Ganley (28) from Massachusetts, USA. His electrician mate Matt (28) was the unfortunate victim of the video shot in, Burlington, USA. Mike’s friend was lucky, and has since made a swift recovery. The 17-second clip has amassed an amazing 183,000 views on Instagram as of July 2020. While both survived the incident unscathed, perhaps the turtle will have the last laugh as research suggests the large freshwater turtle can live for over 100 years.