Armed rebels in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa (map) inspect the newly charred home of opposition leader Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar, head of the Hashid tribal confederation on Tuesday. Over the past few weeks, clashes between government and dissident forces have killed hundreds in the city.
On Friday mass demonstrations erupted again, led in part by al-Ahmar and spurred by news that President Ali Abdullah Saleh—currently in Saudi Arabia receiving treatment for wounds sustained during an attack on his palace—plans to return to Yemen soon.
Why it's a Nat Geo pick: The composition takes you "farther and farther into the picture—it's not just what it appears to be at first."—Katel LeDu, director of photography, National Geographic Digital Media
Photograph by Ahmad Gharabli, AFP/Getty Images
In the wake of a deadly E. coli outbreak in Europe, a farmworker empties a case of cucumbers onto a waste pile at an agricultural facility near Bucharest (map), Romania, on Monday.
The outbreak of the bacteria, centered in Germany, has killed at least 29 people and sickened more than 3,000, according to the Associated Press, citing the World Health Organization, which says that 97 people have fallen sick in 12 other European countries, in addition to 3 people in the United States.
The source has been traced to locally grown sprouts in Germany, according to announcements made Friday and reported by the AP.
Why it's a Nat Geo pick: "You get a sense for the vast waste. … It leaves room for you to imagine just how big [the mound] is."—Alexa Keefe, photo editor, National Geographic Digital Media
Photograph by Robert Ghement, European Pressphoto Agency
Against the Odds
UPDATE: Getty Images asked us to remove this picture because of concerns about the welfare of the people depicted.
One in eight Afghan mothers dies in pregnancy or childbirth—the worst such rate of any country, according to UNICEF. Among the disadvantages cited by the agency: pregnancy at an early age, extreme poverty, a dearth of midwives, and a culture that discourages women from leaving home without a male, resulting in vitamin D deficiencies, due to lack of sun exposure, and poor access to medical care.
Why it's a Nat Geo pick: "There's an intimacy to it. You get a sense for the frailty of the babies, and also ... you can tell it's not easy."—Alexa Keefe, photo editor, National Geographic Digital Media
After an ominous series of earthquakes on the morning of June 4, the volcano erupted that afternoon, convincing authorities to evacuate some 3,500 area residents. Eruptions over the course of the weekend resulted in heavy ashfalls, including in Argentine towns 60 miles (a hundred kilometers) away.
Throughout the week, ash clouds from the volcano grounded flights at airports in neighboring Argentina and Uruguay, according to the Associated Press.
Why it's a Nat Geo pick: "It's very textural. The umbrella 'pops' in a landscape of gray."—Sarah Polger, photo editor, National Geographic Digital Media
Photograph by Ian Salas, European Pressphoto Agency
Crossing the Threshold
Stepping out of a portable cage, Heidi the cross-eyed opossum takes a googly gander at her new tropical enclosure at Germany's Zoo Leipzig on Thursday. A Facebook sensation, Heidi follows in the paw prints of the Berlin Zoo's late, lamented star polar bear, Knut, who died at four in March.
Found abandoned in the United States, Heidi is thought to be cross-eyed due either to a poor diet as a youngster or to fat deposits behind her eyes—the marsupial, since slimmed down, was overweight when she arrived in Leipzig about a year ago, according to the Australian Associated Press. (See a picture of a tiny opossum.)
Why it's a Nat Geo pick: "What's not to like about a cross-eyed opossum?"—Alexa Keefe, photo editor, National Geographic Digital Media
Photograph by Jan Woitas, European Pressphoto Agency