From Headbutts to Hanging Chads
The decade was still young, the world still unaware of what a perfectly executed terror attack looked like, when two planes slammed into the World Trade Center towers in New York in an assault broadcast live on television.
It was a horrific crime — some 3,000 innocents died in New York that day. And in Washington D.C. And in a Pennsylvania field. They are images which the world will likely never forget, and they are included in the press photos of the decade just released by Reuters.
The attack triggered a chain of violence that has defined the decade. Soon after Sept. 11, 2001, NATO launched an attack on Afghanistan and US President George W. Bush kicked off his war on terror — a war that before long included the invasion of Iraq.
Pictures from those events are powerful testimonies to the suffering of war. But conflict made for impressive images in other ways as well. Zinadine Zidane headbutting Marco Materazzi in the World Cup final. The too-close-to-call 2000 elections between Al Gore and George W. Bush. The plague of the locusts in Africa in 2005.
Other photos depict the death of a Pope, the melting of the Arctic ice or stars Michael Jackson and Paris Hilton. Then there’s French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s chummy photo with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, as Angela Merkel smiles, or the iconic image of then-Russian President Vladimir Putin shirtless and fishing.
The US finally managed to capture the object of the Iraq invasion, dictator Saddam Hussein, in December 2003. He was eventually tried and sentenced to death-by-hanging by the Iraqi interim government. The sentence was carried out in 2006.
The US wasn’t the only terrorist target this decade. Nearly 200 people were killed on March 11, 2004 when explosions ripped through rush-hour commuter trains in Madrid, just three days before general elections there.
In November 2008, Mumbai was attacked by a team of terrorists. At least 167 people were killed and over 290 wounded in the attack, which lasted for 60 hours. Here, eerie red smoke rises from the Taj Hotel.
But the decade got started with the disputed election between George W. Bush and Al Gore. Here, Judge Robert Rosenberg tries to determine whether the ballot he is inspecting was adequately marked.
Eventually, the Supreme Court stepped in and Bush landed in the White House. Here, he meets “Liberty” the turkey at Thanksgiving 2001. A better name for the bird may have been “Taking Liberty.”
Full article and photos: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,657880,00.html