This Week in Pictures: Aug. 13-19

  • Zhong Tianshi of China waits to compete in the women’s keirin second round cycling event at the Rio Olympic Velodrome during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 13, 2016.
  • Resident Taina holds her brother Ysaque in the hallway outside their apartment in an occupied building in the Mangueira ‘favela’ community on Aug. 13, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Much of the Mangueira ‘favela’ community sits about a kilometer away from Maracana stadium, the site of the opening and closing ceremonies for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The Morar Carioca plan to urbanize Rio’s favelas, or unplanned settlements, by 2020, was one key social legacy project heralded ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The plan has mostly failed to materialize. Around 1.4 million residents, or approximately 22 percent of Rio’s population, reside in favelas which often lack proper sanitation, health care, education and security due to gang and police violence.
  • Rafael Nadal of Spain looks on during the Men’s Singles Semifinal Match against Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina on Day 8 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Tennis Centre on Aug. 13, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • People cool off at a swimming pool in Daying county, Sichuan Province, China, Aug. 14, 2016.
  • Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates after winning the gold medal in the Men’s 100m sprint final at the Summer Olympics in Rio, Aug. 14, 2016.
  • Mariel Zagunis of the United States reacts after losing to Yana Egorian of Russia during the Women’s Sabre Team Semifinal 1 Russia vs United States at Carioca Arena 3 on Aug. 13, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Danielle Blount kisses her 3-month-old baby Ember as she feeds her while they wait to be evacuated by members of the Louisiana Army National Guard near Walker, La., after heavy rains inundating the region, Aug. 14, 2016.
  • Men carry a dog, wearing a costume and seated on a stool, as a form of respect as they believe that dogs found water for their ancestors, during a local festival for the Miao ethnic minority in Jianhe county, Guizhou Province, China, Aug. 14, 2016.
  • Syrian children sit on the back of a pickup in the northern Syrian town of Manbij as civilians go back to their homes on Aug. 14, 2016 more than a week after the Arab-Kurdish alliance, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), pushed the Islamic State (IS) group out of the city. The last remaining IS fighters abandoned the city of Manbij near the Turkish border on August 12, 2016 after a rout the Pentagon said showed the extremists were “on the ropes”. The retreat from the city which IS captured in 2014 was the jihadists’ worst defeat yet at the hands of the SDF backed by US air power.
  • A home burns near the town of Lower Lake, Calif., Aug. 14, 2016. Flames continue to burn out of control in the area. Cal Fire spokeswoman Suzie Blankenship said the fire was creating its own weather pattern and shifted direction Sunday afternoon into populated areas.
  • The Men’s 470 class sail back to shore after competing on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Marina da Gloria on Aug. 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • A person walks up the ramp to take their seat for the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 14, 2016.
  • Riders compete in the Women’s Omnium Scratch Race 1/6 on Day 10 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Rio Olympic Velodrome on Aug. 15, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • A boy prays next to a crowd of community members during the funeral service of Imam Maulama Akonjee and Thara Uddin in Queens, New York, Aug. 15, 2016.
  • James McCauley weeps as he views the burned out remains of his home in Lower Lake, Calif., Aug. 15, 2016. McCauley traversed a creek by boat and foot for a half mile to see the property.
  • Palestinians put out a fire caused by flares shot by Israeli soldiers as Israeli troops set explosives to partially blow up the family house of Palestinian assailant Mohammad Tarayra in the West Bank village of Bani Naem, east of Hebron Aug. 15, 2016.
  • Rodrigo Diego of Mexico hits the water after a dive during the Men’s 3m Springboard Preliminary at the Rio Summer Olympics, Aug. 15, 2016.
  • A casket is seen floating in flood waters in Ascension Parish, La., Aug. 15, 2016.
  • Children play in a camp for internally displaced people near Sanaa, Yemen, Aug. 15, 2016.
  • A man watches the Olympic games on his tv in the basement of a shop on Aug. 15, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Brazil is currently hosting the 2016 Summer Olympic games despite the dismissal of President Dilma Rousseff, pollution concerns, ongoing crime problems and a failing economy. Around 1.4 million residents, or approximately 22 percent of Rio’s population, reside in favelas which often lack proper sanitation, health care, education and security, for many of these residents watching the Olympic games on tv is their only access to the event.
  • Ri Se Gwang of North Korea celebrates after winning gold in the Gymnastics Men’s Vault at the Rio Olympic Games, Aug. 15, 2016.
  • Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas (L) wins the gold medal in the Women’s 400m Final ahead of silver medalist Allyson Felix of the United States and bronze medalist Shericka Jackson of Jamaica on Day 10 of the Rio Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on Aug. 15, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
  • Mohamed Flissi of Algeria is struck by his opponent in the Men’s Fly (52kg) Boxing Preliminary, Aug. 15, 2016. Flissi ultimately won the bout.
  • The Australian Men’s water polo teammates stand on the tribunes during the Women’s Water Polo Quarterfinal that Australia played against Hungary, which Australia won, at the Rio Summer Olympics, Aug. 15, 2016.
  • Celeste Nurse, the biological mother of Zephany Nurse, gestures to the photographer after the woman who kidnapped her baby Zephany in 1997 was sentenced to ten years imprisonment at the Cape Town High Court, South Africa, Aug. 15, 2016.
  • Festival goers throw confetti at each other at the 24th Sziget (Island) Festival on Shipyard Island, Northern Budapest, Hungary, Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. The festival is one of the biggest cultural events of Europe offering art exhibitions, theatrical and circus performances and above all music concerts over eight days. More than 1,500 programs, and performers from over 60 countries, entertain the expected 450,000 visitors representing 98 countries.
  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses the nation from the historic Red Fort during Independence Day celebrations in Delhi, India, Aug. 15, 2016.
  • Indians get themselves photographed infront of a photo of Taj Mahal at a food and culture festival being held near the India Gate war memorial as part of Independence Day celebrations in New Delhi, India, Aug. 15, 2016. India gained its independence from British colonial rule on this day in 1947.
  • Hundreds of area muslims attend a mass prayer for Imam Maulama Akonjee and his assistant, Thara Uddin, 64, who died in a fatal shooting outside of the Al-Furqan Jame Masjid mosque on Aug. 13 in the Queens, New York on Aug. 15, 2016 in New York City. Hundreds gathered near the mosque to hold a mass prayer service for the victims and to demand justice for the murders. The New York Police Department (NYPD) is currently questioning a ‘person of interest’ in the murders.
  • A supporter of Brazil screams in support at the Water Polo Women’s Quarterfinal against USA at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 15, 2016.
  • Simone Biles of the United States competes in the Balance Beam Final on day 10 of the Rio Olympic Games at Rio Olympic Arena on Aug. 15, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Karem Achach and Nuria Diosdado of Mexico compete in the Synchronised Swimming Preliminary Duets Technical Routine at the Rio Olympic Games, Aug. 15, 2016.
  • Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton welcomes Vice President Joe Biden as he disembarks from Air Force Two for a joint campaign event in Scranton, Pa., Aug. 15, 2016.
  • People watch as sheep farmers gather at Lairg auction for the great sale of lambs on Aug. 16, 2016 in Lairg, Scotland. Lairg market hosts the annual lamb sale, which is the biggest one day livestock market in Europe, when some twenty thousand sheep from all over the north of Scotland are bought and sold.
  • Cattle huddles together in the water, caused by flooding after the heavy rains in Ascension Parish, in St. Amant, south of Baton Rouge, La., Aug. 16, 2016.
  • A firefighter prepares to battle a wildfire in the Cajon Pass in San Bernardino county, Calif., Aug. 16, 2016. The wildfire that began as a small midmorning patch of flame next to Interstate 15 in the Cajon Pass had by Tuesday’s end turned into a 28-square-mile monster that burned an untold number of homes. 
  • Mine workers sing as they wait for the commemoration to get under way near Marikana in Rustenburg, South Africa, Aug. 16, 2016. On August 16, 2012, police shot and killed 34 Lonmin striking miners, apparently while trying to disperse them and end their strike. Ten people, including two police officers and two Lonmin security guards, were killed in the preceding week.
  • Kashmiri mourners shout anti-Indian and pro-freedom slogans during the funeral of four civilians at Aripanthan Magam village in Budgam district on the outskirts of Srinagar on Aug. 16, 2016. Four people were killed in after residents took to the streets to protest what they said were aggressive tactics by security forces during an overnight patrol to enforce a curfew. One resident said a protester was killed immediately after members of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) opened fire and another three died of their injuries. Authorities have imposed a curfew in large parts of Kashmir, India’s only Muslim majority state, since July 9, 2016.
  • Actor Simon Pegg takes a selfie with fans during a promotional event for his latest film “Star Trek Beyond” in Seoul, South Korea, Aug. 16, 2016. The film be released in South Korea on Aug. 18.
  • A protestor holds a bunch of flowers as police stand by during a demonstration against the introduction of bond notes by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, in Harare, Aug. 17, 2016. Several protestors were beaten as they took to the streets in a peaceful demonstration aimed at venting their anger and frustrations at the imminent introduction of the notes, which the country’s Central Bank says will be equivalent to the United States dollar.
  • Eunuchs apply make-up before Raksha Bandhan festival celebrations in a red light area in Mumbai, India, Aug. 17, 2016.
  • An Indian paramilitary soldier is reflected in a pool of water on a road strewn with stones thrown during earlier protests as curfew continues in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Aug. 17, 2016. Curfew and protests have continued across the valley amidst outrage over the killing of a top rebel leader by Indian troops in early July, 2016.
  • In this frame grab taken from video provided by the Syrian anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center (AMC), a child sits in an ambulance after being pulled out of a building hit by an airstrike,  Aug. 17, 2016,  in Aleppo, Syria.
  • Palestinian relatives mourn over the body of Mohammed Abu Hashhashi, 17, during his funeral in the West Bank refugee camp Fawwar, near the West Bank city of Hebron, Aug. 17, 2016. Abu Hashhashi was killed by live fire during clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinians the day before.
  • Embers from a wildfire smolder along Lytle Creek Road near Keenbrook, Calif., Aug. 17, 2016. Firefighters had at least established a foothold of control of the blaze the day after it broke out for unknown reasons in the Cajon Pass near Interstate 15, the vital artery between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Five years of drought have turned the state’s wildlands into a tinder box, with eight fires currently burning from Shasta County in the far north to Camp Pendleton just north of San Diego.
  • A firefighter sprays water as a wildfire races along Lytle Creek Road near Keenbrook, Calif., Aug. 17, 2016. Firefighters had at least established a foothold of control of the blaze the day after it broke out for unknown reasons in the Cajon Pass near Interstate 15, the vital artery between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
  • Brianna Rollins of the United States celebrates after winning the gold medal in the Women’s 100m Hurdles Final at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Aug. 17, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Silver medallist Nia Ali of USA celebrates with her son Titus after the Women’s 100m Hurdles Final at the Rio Summer Olympics, Aug. 17, 2016.
  • Young Hindu priests take a holy bath together as part of a ritual during the Janai Purnima (Sacred Thread) festival at Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal, Aug. 18, 2016. Hindus take holy baths and change their sacred thread, also known as Janai, for protection and purification, during the festival.
  • A passerby looks at a statue depicting republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in the nude on Aug. 18, 2016 in San Francisco. Anarchist collective INDECLINE has created five statues depicting Donald Trump in the nude and placed them in five U.S. cities on Thursday morning. The statues are in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Cleveland and Seattle.
  • A girl peers from her house as a member of the security forces patrols a street in Srinagar as the city remains under curfew following weeks of violence in Kashmir Aug. 19, 2016.
  • Bryce Richard and Blake Waguespack help load a boat with items they are salvaging from a friends flooded home on Aug. 18, 2016 in Sorrento, La.
  • Katy Bueche waits for a boat ride to check in on her flooded home on Aug. 18, 2016 in Sorrento, La. Last week Louisiana was overwhelmed with flood water causing at least thirteen deaths and thousands of homes damaged by the flood waters.
  • Syrian refugee girl Housaida rests inside the Spanish rescue vessel Astral after being rescued by the Spanish NGO Proactiva off the Libyan coast in the Mediterranean Sea, Aug. 18, 2016.
  • Kashmiri Muslim protesters throw rocks and exploded tear gas shell at Indian paramilitary soldiers in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Aug. 19, 2016. The Himalayan region has been under curfew for almost six weeks as the largest street protests in years erupted after Indian troops killed a top rebel leader.
  • Alison Cerutti of Brazil celebrates winning the gold medal in Beach Volleyball against Italy at the Summer Olympics in Rio, Aug. 19, 2016.

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The news desks of the world this week were, of course, dominated by the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The athletes from the United States, despite a few hiccups, have proved to be a powerful force, leading all countries both in gold medals and total medals. The Rio Olympic Games have been incredibly colorful, not just in their pools, but throughout the entire surrounding atmosphere. However, the stark contrasts between the events and the marginalized communities in the region continued to surface. Unfortunately for the IOC, the attendance at the Olympics appeared to be underwhelming, even though the athletes have shown impeccable form, beating several records.

A wildfire sparked in California and ripped across the landscape, leaving countless families without homes. Meanwhile, in Louisiana, massive rainfall caused an enormous flood, claiming the homes of more countless families and the lives of at least 13 individuals.

In New York, the seemingly random shooting of a much-loved Imam left an entire community shaken and grieving. Many of the mourners took to the streets to show their anger and sadness in the wake of the tragic killing, and to affirm the true humanity of the Muslim community.

In South Africa, the case of the 1997 kidnapping of Zephany Nurse finally came to a close after the unnamed suspect was sent to jail for ten years. Celeste Nurse’s newborn was kidnapped in the maternity ward. Only when Celeste Nurse’s second child, Cassidy, attended a new school, she appeared to look incredibly similar to another student who was four years older than her. They quickly became friends and not too long later, DNA tests were ordered, ultimately leading to this week’s conclusion.

On Tuesday, India celebrated its independence from colonial rule. While celebrations were jubilant and colorful, it was not so in Indian-ruled Kashmir. After four civilians were killed during an enforcement of a curfew, which was set in place after a top rebel leader was killed, massive protests began to break out.

Despite these deaths, mournings and horrors of climate change, the Olympic Games continue to shine a light towards the beauty and magnificence of humanity. Be sure to see our most recent highlights from Rio in this slideshow.

For more feature photography, go to msnbc.com/photography.

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