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Street Fight

In September 2010 U.S. President Barack Obama officially announce the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom, prior to the announcement the last U.S. combat troops had left Iraq. However, some 50,000 U.S. troops remained to train and support Iraqi security forces. By December 2011 the last of these U.S. soldiers were also withdrawn, ending finally the presence of large numbers of foreign troops on Iraq soil.

U.S. and allied forces were simply not prepared, nor equipped for this type of conflict and as a result, great efforts were made to address urgent operational requirements by fielding large amounts of new equipment,

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Strand: M A N D I RESTAURANTS

We take a look at some of the most interesting foodie trends in town.

Mandi is the traditional cuisine of the Arabian peninsula, where, for generations, the one-pot dish of meat and rice was slow-cooked underground, with a combination of spices. The dish, typically eaten shared from an oversized platter, is seeing something of a resurgence in restaurant circles, being recreated in different avatars, whether it’s as a food court outlet, or in a five star hotel — opening up the cuisine to the uninitiated. According to F a y e z All Nusari, owner of Mandilicious, «there are around

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Story behind the shot.

Photographer James Sheppard lets us in on the secrets behind his beautiful flower shot.

What made you decide to take this lovely photo?

I went for a day out at Exbury Gardens in Hampshire back in May. I had heard that the spring flowers were in full bloom, so I took my camera to get some colourful floral shots. I came across these pink azaleas, and decided that they would make a great macro subject due to the beautiful detail on the petals and in the centre of the flower.

What camera and settings did you use to get these

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Story behind the medals

Coin and medal specialist Naomi Wilson knows a thing or two about medals, having worked with one of the UK’s oldest auction houses, Fellows, for 7 years in their Coins & Medals Department. Now Head of Department, she picks out her favourite medals (in no particular order) from the thousands she has seen and valued. «They’re not the most famous or the most expensive», she says, “but they are definitely some of the most interesting and quirky I’ve come across.»

Waterloo Medal

Archibald Clark led a colourful life. Fie was born in the parish of Kilminver, Country Argyle in Scotland.

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Stormy compositions

Photographer and Photoshop Elements artist Steve Jagger reveals the core techniques behind his image ‘Guiding.

Steve Jagger has an eye for good images, and he calls upon his experience as a photographer to capture all the stock photos himself. He then carefully pieces everything together using the tools and adjustments available in Photoshop Elements.

‘Guiding Light’ was composed using selections and layering techniques, which are shown in the steps below. What makes this image stand out the most is Jagger’s application of Blur filters and lighting effects, all of which make you feel as though you’re really part of scene.

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STOP MOTION ANIMATION, THE EASY WAY

Stop motion animation, one of the oldest special effects, makes the impossible seem real. But the tedious process — move the model, take a picture, repeat thousands of times — discourages citizen film makers with non-obsessive patience levels.

I recently discovered iStopMotion, Mac software that automates the process and works with any camera that can capture QuickTime. iStopMotion features a transparent preview that lets you superimpose the previous frame over the current one before you shoot. This alone helps enormously. The Time Lapse feature shoots frames continuously at a specified interval, and Speech Recognition lets you say “Capture” instead of

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Storm-related work generating opportunities.

Most remodelers who respond to storms find business booming despite associated risks.

Hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes, and other natural disasters accounted for more than $110 billion in damages in 2012, one of the costliest years on record, according to the National Climatic Data Center.

This spring, Moore, Okla., was destroyed by a massive EF5 tornado, which took the lives of more than 20 people. Nearly 91,000 Oklahoma residents have filed claims since the storm, and insurance payouts have topped $1 billion. In comparison, Hurricane Sandy caused approximately $70 billion in losses and hundreds of millions in insurance claims in 2012.

This

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STOCKHOLM ARLANDA AIRPORT

Sweden’s largest and busiest airport, Stockholm Arlanda (ARN), is the main gateway to the capital city and the country. However, proposals to cap emissions and ban approaches to one of its runways could jeopardise its long-term future. Built to supplement the space-constrained Bromma Airport close to the city centre, Arlanda quickly grew to become the home base of Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS). Today it is a thriving airport with important worldwide links while Bromma has also continued to flourish and is popular with business travellers. AVIATION IN STOCKHOLM By the 1930s Stockholm was eager to join the world of aviation

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Steve Youngs Birdwatch logbook

The cuckoo’s rhythmic call is arguably one of the most recognisable bird sounds. Made famous in clocks and by the earliest spring reports in newspapers, everyone knows the cuckoo’s voice, but could you identify one?

I’ve photographed cuckoo on a few occasions, and when I’ve shown images to non-birding people I’ve nearly always had the same response: ‘I didn’t know a cuckoo looked like that, it looks more like a bird of prey.’ And to a certain extent it does, with its long wings and tail, raptor-like flight and slightly down curved bill, indeed, even experienced birdwatchers have often mistaken

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Stile Council: The Monday Group

Harold Rowling МВE has spent every Monday since 1961 making the country footpaths of Sussex accessible. Harold founded the Monday Group 51 years ago to give walkers access to the many legally recognised footpaths in the area by building and installing wooden stiles and occasionally bridges. Now in his 90s — though you certainly wouldn’t guess it — Harold still runs the 35-strong volunteer group and actively partakes in the work, from the designing of stiles to their installation and maintenance. We spent a wintry Monday morning with Harold and two of his team to see them at work.

Harold

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