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GALLERY: 18 brilliant winning images from the World Press Photo contest

Photojournalism at its absolute best.

CONFLICT, TERRORISM, DOMESTIC violence, death, natural wonders and the power of sport are just some of the themes portrayed spectacularly in the winning images of the World Press Photo contest 2013.

Split into the nine themed categories, including contemporary issues, observed portraits, staged portraits, daily life, sports action, general news, sports feature, nature and spot news, the pictures reflect global life as it was in 2013.

Here are 18 of the best, showing everything from the strength of cancer patients to the devastation of the Syrian war.

The overall winner, an image of African migrants searching for phone signal, can be seen here. And check out more entries on the World Press Photo Contest’s website.

GALLERY: 18 brilliant winning images from the World Press Photo contest
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  • 1st Prize Nature Stories

    02 March 2013, Los Angeles, USA: A cougar walking a trail in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park is captured by a camera trap. To reach the park, which has been the cougar’s home for the last two years it had to cross two of the busiest highways in the US. Cougars are among the most adaptable and widespread terrestrial mammals in the Western Hemisphere, with a range that extends from the tip of Chile to the Canadian Yukon. They are increasingly being seen in and around towns and cities, including Los Angeles and in the Hollywood Hills. Fear of these secretive cats, combined with a lack of adequate public knowledge, tends to justify the thousands of cougars killed every year. Scientists in Wyoming’s Teton National Forest are outfitting them with GPS collars and camera trapping to learn more about basic behaviors and to lift the veil of mystery surrounding them.Source: Steve Winter, USA, for National Geographic
  • 3rd Prize Nature Stories

    25 January 2011, Congo: A five-year-old bonobo turns out to be the most curious individual of a wild group of bonobos near the Kokolopori Bonobo Reserve, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Despite being humans’ closest living relatives, little is known about Bonobos and their behavior in the wild in remote parts of the Congo basin. Bonobos are threatened by habitat loss and bush meat trade.Source: Christian Ziegler, Germany, for National Geographic Magazine
  • 1st Prize People – Staged Portraits Single

    25 September 2013, West Bengal India: A group of blind albino boys photographed in their boarding room at the Vivekananda mission school for the blind. This is one of the very few schools for the blind in India today.Source: Brent Stirton, South Africa, Reportage by Getty Images
  • 2nd Prize People – Staged Portraits Stories

    03 February 2011, Cairo, Egypt: Ali, a young Egyptian bodybuilder, poses with his mother.Source: Denis Dailleux, France, Agence Vu
  • 1st Prize People – Observed Portraits Single

    13 December 2013, Pretoria, South Africa: A woman reacts in disappointment after access to see former South Africa President Nelson Mandela was closed on the third and final day of his casket lying in state, outside Union Buildings.Source: Markus Schreiber, Germany, The Associated Press
  • 1st Prize People – Observed Portraits Stories

    19 July 2012, Merkenbrechts, Austria: Hannah and Alena, two sisters living in the rural village. Source: Carla Kogelman, the Netherlands
  • 1st Prize Daily Life Stories

    10 August 2013, San Salvador, El Salvador: The North Central American Triangle (Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador) is one of the most violent regions in the world. In many cases, clothes that are found become the only means to identify victims. These were found on 1 February 2013. Time 3:45pm. Location: a sugar plantation in Apopa. Sex: Female. Age: Between 17 and 18 years old. Time of disappearance: not available.Source: Fred Ramos, El Salvador, El Faro
  • 1st Prize Daily Life Single

    15 March 2013, Burma: Kachin Independence Army fighters are drinking and celebrating at a funeral of one of their commanders who died the day before. The city is under siege by the Burmese army.Source: Julius Schrank, Germany, De Volkskrant
  • 1st Prize Contemporary Issues Stories

    17 November 2012, USA: As the fight continued to rage, Shane told Maggie that she could choose between getting beaten in the kitchen, or going with him to the basement so they could talk privately. Source: Sara Naomi Lewkowicz, USA, for Time
  • 3rd Prize Contemporary Issues Single

    08 March 2013, Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico: Police arrive at a crime scene where two bodies hang from a bridge; another three are on the floor. They had been killed by organised crime gangs in Saltillo, Coahuila, in retaliation against other criminal groups. Source: Christopher Vanegas, Mexico, La Vanguardia/El Guardían
  • 1st Prize Sports Feature Stories

    19 December 2013, Lidingö, Sweden: Swedish athlete Nadja Casadei has participated in the World and European Championships in heptathlon. In autumn 2013, she was diagnosed with cancer and by January 2014 she completed her chemotherapy. She has continued to train throughout her illness, hoping to be healthy and ready by the summer for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Here, Nadja is feeling better just before her last treatment. Source: Peter Holgersson, Sweden
  • 2nd Prize Sports Action Single

    24 March 2013, Szczyrk, Poland: Competitor at a slalom contest.Source: Andrzej Grygiel, Poland, for PAP-Polska Agencja Prasowa
  • 3rd Prize Sports Action Stories

    27 April 2013, Adelaide, Australia: Daniel Arnamnart of Australia competes in the men's 100-metre backstroke during day two of the Australian Swimming Championships at SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre. Source: Quinn Rooney, Australia, Getty Images
  • 1st Prize Spot News Stories

    30 January 2013, Damascus, Syria: Syrian rebel fighters take cover amid flying debris and shrapnel after being hit by a tank shell fired towards them by the Syrian Army in the Ain Tarma neighborhood of Damascus. That day, a Syrian rebel group planning an attack on government forces was hit by sniper fire in Damascus. After evacuating their comrade, who was shot in the chest and would later die from injuries, the rebels return to attack the checkpoint with rocket fire. Subsequently, government forces fired tank shells at the rebels. The rebels eventually retreated for the day to mourn the death of their comrade.Source: Goran Tomasevic, Serbia, Reuters
  • 2nd Prize Spot News Stories

    21 September 2013, Nairobi, Kenya: A woman and children hiding in the Westgate mall. They escaped unharmed after gunmen had opened fire at the upscale Nairobi mall. At least 39 people were killed in one of the worst terrorist attacks in Kenya’s history.Source: Tyler Hicks/The New York Times
  • 1st Prize Spot News Single

    18 November 2013, Tolosa, the Philippines: Survivors of typhoon Haiyan march during a religious procession in Tolosa, on the eastern island of Leyte. One of the strongest cyclones ever recorded, Haiyan left 8,000 people dead or missing and more than four million homeless after it hit the central Philippines.Source: Phillipe Lopez, France, Agence France-Presse
  • 1st Prize General News Single

    21 November 2013, Sofia, Bulgaria: Military Ramp, an emergency refugee center, was opened in September 2013 in an abandoned school in Sofia, Bulgaria. The centre provides housing for about 800 Syrian refugees, including 390 children. Bulgaria, already hard hit by the economic crisis and heightened political instability, is confronting a refugee crisis that appears to coincide with increased efforts by Greece to close off its border with Turkey. Bulgaria, however, is totally unprepared to face a refugee crisis.Source: Alessandro Penso, Italy, OnOff Picture
  • 2nd Prize General News Stories

    17 November 2013, Central African Republic: Demonstrators gather on a street in Bangui to call for the resignation of interim President Michel Djotodia following the murder of Judge Modeste Martineau Bria by members of Seleka. Source: William Daniels, France, Panos Pictures for Time

See: Image of African migrants searching for phone signal is the best press photo of the year

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