Photos of the Week.
Financial crisis this week in oil-rich Dubai evoked thoughts of the Persian Gulf emirate's boom, which saw construction of the landmark 60-story Burj Al Arab (Tower of the Arabs), world's second-tallest hotel at 1,060 ft. British architect Tom Wright was commissioned to design a structure "synonymous with the name of the country," much like the Sydney Opera House or the Eiffel Tower. Built between 1994 and 2000, the hotel - actually quite modest in size, with only 202 rooms - was built to resemble the sail of a dhow, a type of Arabia vessel. More recently, local developers were caught off-guard by the sharp decline in the world oil price, and one of the emirate's biggest conglomerates, Dubai World, rocked global financial markets Thursday by arbitrarily declaring a six-month moratorium on debt payments it cannot make.
Above: Australia's Kevin Rudd and Britain's Gordon Brown exchange greetings at the opening of the annual Commonwealth Heads of Government summit, beginning late in the week in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. Rudd, in the catbird's seat, has reason to smile. Back in Canberra, the a large rump in the oppposition Liberal caucus was engaging in self-destruction by balking at their leader's support of a carbon-trading trading scheme Rudd tried to rush through Parliament this week ahead of next month's Copenhagen summit. In doing so, to the point of threatening to replace their leader, the dissident Aussie Liberals were threatening to trigger a general election in which the popular Rudd's Labour Party was sure to make huge gains. Brown, by contrast, faces near-certain defeat to David Cameron's Conservatives in a general election next year. (Photo: Carlos Barria, Reuters.) The summit brought together leaders of 53 Commonwealth nations...and one French president (!). Below, Queen Elizabeth II greets the summiteers Friday. Stephen Harper, the Canadian PM, is seated behind Her Majesty. (Photo: AP.) On the sidelines, a gatecrashing Nicolas Sarkozy lunches with Indian PM Mammohan Singh, hosted just days earlier at the Obama White House's first official state dinner. Sarkozy was in the Trinidad and Tobago capital to convey his sense of urgency about climate-change progress - the sole topic of the summiteers' first full day of discussions. (Photo: Agence France-Presse.)
Dianne Perry hugs her husband, Master Warrant Officer Edward Perry, at the Edmonton Barracks. On Tuesday, the last group of Edmonton-based Canadian Forces in Afghanistan returned home. (Photo: Dan Riedlhuber, Reuters.)
On Wednesday, "Inflation Day," Kermit the Frog and other stars of the 83rd annual Macy's Thanksgiving Parade prepare to be inflated with helium for their appearance in next morning's parade down New York City's Broadway and onto 7th Avenue. Planners of the first Macy's parade, in 1926, consulted with Toronto-based T. Eaton Co., whose annual Christmas Parade debuted in 1905.
Sasha Obama, younger of the U.S. First Couple's two daughters, stares at "Courage," the turkey to be pardoned in a ceremony dating from the Truman administration, and made official in G.H.W. Bush's tenure. A contemplative Sasha appears here to be a budding vegan, or so it seems to me. "What are you doing with that innocent bird?" (Photo: Alex Wong, Getty Images.)
A raid on the Toronto Humane Society's headquarters Thursday by the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals uncovered what the OSPCA lead inspector described as"a house of horrors." Sick animals were left to die without veterinary treatment or even pain medication. Feral cats ran rampant through the basement and inside the walls of the Toronto facility, and staff were both in short supply and inadequately trained. Investigators found the mummified remains of a cat, shown in lower photo, left to die in a trap in the ceiling of the building. Arrests of administrators were made late last week. Not least among the outrages about the misnamed "Humane" Society is that complaints about conditions there have gone unheeded for years. (Lower photo, David Cooper, Toronto Star. The photo above, Carlos Osorio, Toronto Star.)
Ella Fitzgerald performs at New York nightclub Downbeat in 1948. Watching are Duke Ellington and, seated behind the Duke, bandleader Benny Goodman (in glasses). The photo accompanys a glowing NYT review this week of a just-released Verve boxed set, "Twelve Nights in Hollywood," of Fitzgerald singing 76 never-released songs at the Crescendo, a small jazz club in L.A., in 1961-62. (Photo: Herman Leonard, CTSimage.com.)
These last three photos are among the finalist submissions to National Geographic's annual international photography contest. Above is a Mike Matas shot of the edge of an iceberg floating just off the coast of Antarctica. H/T Andrew Sullivan.com. (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Cesare Naldi photographs Rajan out for a swim with his mahout (elephant driver), Nazroo, in front of Radha Nagar Beach in Havelock, Andaman Islands. Rajan is one of the few elephants in Havelock who can swim, and enjoys a dip when not dragging timber in the forest.
The Canadian Prairies don't have a monopoly on "big sky country." In this New Zealand barley field, Gemma Collier photographs her grandmother lovingly adjusting the hat of her husband of 60 years, for whom this will be the last harvest before he passes away.