A combine harvester cuts rye in a field in the eastern German city of Rathenow on Aug. 2. Farmers in the region are expecting a worse than average harvest this year. Michael Urban/AFP/DDP/Newscom
Local Chinese farmers carry their harvest of green vegetables out of the farmland near the Three Gorges Dam in Zigui county of central China's Hubei Province, on July 29. Zheng Jiayu/Xinhua/Sipa Press/Newscom
A farmer gathers wheat in Baiding Village of Caigongtang Township in Chengguan District of Lhasa, in southwest Tibet, on Aug. 12. Since Tibet was hit by a rare drought in the first half of 2009, governments at all levels have taken active measures to fight against the drought and minimize the damage brought to the region's agricultural industry. Presently farmers all over Tibet are rushing to harvest the crops. Purbu Zhaxi/Xinhua/Sipa Press/Newscom
Farmers in the rural city of Jecheon, South Korea spread out their crop of chili peppers to dry in the sun on Aug. 6. Sun-dried chili peppers, known as 'taeyangcho' in Korean, are considered to be of the highest quality, and fetch high prices at local markets. Yonhap/Newscom
Seasonal grape-pickers in the Mas de Madame vineyard in Frontignan, France hand-pick the fruit on Aug. 13. Newscom
A Palestinian farmer holds grapes after cutting them off the vine during harvest on a farm in al-Sheikh Ejleen in the southern part of Gaza City on Aug. 9. This month is the harvest season for grapes in Gaza. Mohammed Salem/Reuters
A worker carries palm fruits on his shoulder during harvest time at a plantation in the Luwu district of Indonesia's South Sulawesi province on August 11. Indonesia and Malaysia, the world's top palm oil suppliers, ship 34 millions tons of the vegetable oil globally. Yusuf Ahmad/Reuters
A farmer gathers wheat in Baiding Village of Caigongtang Township in Chengguan District of Lhasa, in southwest Tibet, on Aug. 12. According to Chinese state-run media, almost $13 billion has been allocated for Tibetan drought releif. Purbu Zhaxi/Xinhua/Sipa Press/Newscom
Seasonal grape-pickers in the Six Terres vineyard hand-pick the fruit which will be made into white Muscat wine. According to the Associated Press, the difficult economic climate in France is raising concerns about a lack of demand for expensive wine. Newscom
A young girl holds picks blueberries in Blueberry Hill, Maine on August 11. Newscom
Farmers pick chrysanthemum flowers in Yanpu Village of Xiuning County, in eastern China's Anhui Province on Aug. 2. Local farmers in Xiuning gained a harvest of almost 3,300 acres of Huangshan florists chrysanthemum this summer. Ni Shoubing/Zuma/Newscom
Today's announcement of restored diplomatic ties between Cuba and the US comes after five decades of antagonism, including the 54-year-old US trade embargo against the Communist island. The Christian Science Monitor covered the embargo from the start.
ByBertram B. Johansson, Latin America Writer
Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff/File
Today, President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced that the United States and Cuba are restoring diplomatic ties after five decades of antagonism. The US has maintained a trade embargo against Cuba since Oct. 19, 1960. Below is The Christian Science Monitor's story from that day.