In New York City's Financial District, hundreds of activists have been converging on Lower Manhattan over the past two weeks, protesting as part of an "Occupy Wall Street" movement. The protests are largely rallies against the influence of corporate money in politics, but participants' grievances also include frustrations with corporate greed, anger at financial and social inequality, and several other issues. Nearly 80 people were arrested last weekend in a series of incidents with the New York police as the protesters attempted to march uptown. Most are now camped out in nearby Zucotti Park. Demonstrations also took place yesterday in San Francisco, and an "Occupy Boston" protest is planned for tonight, September 30. Collected here are a handful of images of the protesters occupying Wall Street from the past two weeks.
On October 4, 2010, the retaining wall of a caustic waste reservoir at the Ajka alumina plant near Kolontar, Hungary, collapsed, releasing more than one million cubic meters (38 million cubic feet) of highly alkaline red sludge. The thick wave of waste material flooded several nearby villages, killing 10 people, injuring more than 120, and leaving many with chemical burns on their skin. The sludge eventually found its way into local rivers, killing many animals. One year later, damaged buildings have been razed, much of the land has been cleaned up, and MAL Hungarian Aluminum has been fined $647 million (472 million euros) for environmental damages. Today, monitoring shows lower toxicity than many had feared, but the levels are still dangerous. Gathered here are older and recent images from the disaster, including five before-and-after photo pairs (starting with photo number 15) that you can click to see the difference a year can make.
Some seven months after the start of Libya's revolution and one month after the taking of Tripoli, anti-Qaddafi fighters continue to face resistance in two remaining Qaddafi strongholds, the towns of Sirte and Bani Walid. Just today, ant-Qaddafi forces reportedly seized control of the port in the eastern part of Sirte as another group of fighters pressed in from the west. Over the course of this evolving conflict, reporters have repeatedly changed the terminology they use to describe these fighters -- from "protesters" (in February) to "anti-government fighters" to "rebels" to "revolutionaries." Now that the leadership they support controls most of Libya's state affairs, they are being called "National Transitional Council (NTC) fighters", and even "government fighters." Meanwhile, progress has been made toward rebuilding and reopening businesses in Tripoli, as residents look forward to the next phase in Libyan history with a wary eye toward Qaddafi's still-dangerous supporters.
Sebastian Vettel is just one point removed from becoming the youngest ever back to back Formula 1 World Champion after his win in Singapore. The Singapore grand prix is run under spotlights, gving it a special vibe. The race was exciting to watch, but never really special. Vettel lead from start to finish and was never really threatened.
Humans have been marking their skin permanently for thousands of years. A tattoo can be a remembrance, a constant prayer, a warning, or simply an amazing work of art. The reasons behind them can be intensely personal, decorative, whimsical, or utilitarian. They can signify tribal allegiance, personal history, or nothing at all. Collected below are recent images of skin art and a few glimpses into the owners of these tattoos and their reasons for modifying their own bodies.
From late 1942 until early 1945, Allied forces in the Pacific Theater took the war to the Japanese across vast ocean battlefields and on tiny island beaches. By the end of 1942, the Japanese Empire had expanded to its farthest extent, with soldiers occupying or attacking positions from India to Alaska and on islands across the South Pacific. The U.S. Navy, under Admiral Chester Nimitz, adopted a strategy of "island-hopping", rather than attacking Japan's Imperial Navy in force. The goal was to capture and control strategic islands along a path toward the Japanese home islands, bringing U.S. bombers within range, and preparing for a possible invasion. Japanese soldiers fought the island landings fiercely, killing many allied soldiers, sometimes attacking suicidally in desperate last-ditch attacks. At sea, Japanese submarine, bomber and kamikaze attacks took a heavy toll on the U.S. fleet, but they were unable to halt the island-by-island advance. By early 1945, leapfrogging U.S. forces had advanced as far as Iwo Jima and Okinawa, within 340 miles of mainland Japan, at a great cost to both sides. On Okinawa alone, during 82 days of fighting, approximately 100,000 Japanese troops and 12,510 Americans were killed, and somewhere between 42,000 and 150,000 Okinawan civilians died as well. At this point, U.S. forces were nearing their position for the next stage of their offensive against the Empire of Japan. (This entry is Part 15 of a weekly 20-part retrospective of World War II)
Hindus around the world -- from South Asia to Britain and beyond -- observe many colorful holidays throughout the year. Recent festivals include the Ganesh Chaturthi, celebrating the birth of the elephant-headed deity, and Janamashtami, the birth anniversary of the god Krishna. The range of experiences at these celebrations runs from joyfully loud and spectacular to solemn and contemplative. Each devotee celebrates in a distinct, personal way even while joining the larger community. Hinduism is the world's third-largest religion; the majority of its one billion adherents are concentrated in India, but sizable communities exist all over the globe. I hope you enjoy these vivid, intriguing glimpses of Hindu festivals photographed over the past few months.
New Zealand, home to some 4.3 million residents, is currently hosting the 2011 Rugby World Cup, the largest sporting event ever held in the island nation. Citizens of Christchurch are still recovering from the February earthquake, with some returning to their homes and parts of the business district being rebuilt. In August, the Winter Games NZ were held on several mountaintops and other venues, featuring skiing, snowboarding, and more. Runners in Dunedin tackled the "Steepest Race in the World," and groups of rugby fans organized a male-female naked match. Collected below are photographs of some of these events and more from all around New Zealand over the past few months.
One year ago, Pakistan suffered the worst flooding in its history, a slow-moving disaster that left some 2,000 dead and another 11 million homeless. Nearly one million are still without permanent shelter, and meanwhile, the flooding has returned. Though it's not on the same scale as last year's flood, this summer's damage is still significant. High water from monsoon rains has killed more than 200 people since early August, damaging or destroying some 670,000 homes and affecting more than 5 million people, according to the government and the United Nations. The disaster has once again overwhelmed the capacity of the government to assist, and the UN has asked for $357 million in international aid. Gathered here is a handful of recent images from Pakistan, where residents are once again coping with flooding on a massive scale.
On Saturday, the 178th Oktoberfest opened in Munich, Germany, with the traditional tapping of the first keg of beer by Munich's mayor, Christian Ude, shouting "O'zapft is!" ("It's tapped!"). The Bavarian festival takes place over 17 days, and some 6 million people are expected to attend. Last year, visitors drank more than 7 million one-liter mugs of beer. Attendance is free, but the beer will cost you: The price of a mug at any of the 14 tents this year comes to €9.20 ($12.60 U.S.). Gathered here are some of the scenes from Oktoberfest 2011's first weekend.