Photos courtesy of World Press Photo

This year’s winner is, inevitably, a stunner: José Víctor Salazar Balza, 28, on fire after a motorbike petrol tank exploded amid violent clashes with riot police during a protest against President Nicolás Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela. The cameraman was a local pro, Ronaldo Schemidt.

There are many other eye-openers: bodies hurled in the air when a white supremacist sends a car into protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA; “breast ironing” of maturing girls in Cameroon in the belief this will delay maturity and help prevent rape or sexual advances; victims of missile explosions in Iraq; dead Rohingya refugees in Burma; the wounded after a car deliberately targets pedestrians in London; a mother in Mosul, Iraq, alongside the blood of her son who had been killed in a mortar attack; another African-American shot dead by police; Nigerian girls kidnapped to be suicide bombers.

For sure, there is a lot of bad news: civil war, deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil; a bloodied juvenile grey-headed penguin after being attacked by invasive mice in the South African Antarctic Territory; a Rohingya child crying for aid; four of the 50,000-plus women selling sex to make ends meet in St. Petersburg, Russia.

In the good news ledger are a young rhino ready to be released into the wild in Botswana to save it from poachers in South Africa; a US bald eagle, whose species is making a big comeback after being near extinction; Colombian guerillas playing football while awaiting demobilisation after laying down their arms; innovative agricultural practices in the small and densely populated The Netherlands; an elephant orphanage.

And the unusual: Spanish boys aged 10-16 years practising in a bullfighting school; the seven-day, 250-kilometre Marathon of the Sands in Morocco in temperatures up to 50 Celsius; dozens and dozens of workers processing meat in China; jumping penguins; a plume of steam from a rugby scrum; child jockeys racing in Indonesia; and a Japanese macaque, or snow monkey, in a Donald Trump mask – don’t ask, just go see.

Being a world press photographer would be a glamorous and a dangerous occupation. It also takes a dispassionate disposition to stand next to dead, burning and bleeding people and take their photograph.

Marathon des Sables by Erik Sampers The Boys and the Bulls by Nikolai Linares

Waiting for Freedom by Neil Aldridge Waiting for Freedom by Neil Aldridge

Car Attack by Ryan Kelly Car Attack by Ryan Kelly

Rohingya Crisis by Patrick Brown Rohingya Crisis by Patrick Brown

Mideast Crisis Iraq Mosul by Goran Tomasevic Mideast Crisis Iraq Mosul by Goran Tomasevic

Dumpster Diver by Corey Arnold Dumpster Diver by Corey Arnold

Marathon des Sables by Erik Sampers Marathon des Sables by Erik Sampers

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