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.
In 2008, the US spent the year watching as Obama-mania grew and grew. Here, he bumps fists with his wife Michelle at a rally in St. Paul, Minnesota. Obama fans have emulated the bump, while Fox News labeled it a “terrorist fist jab.”
Russia too was visited by terror. Here, a police officer carries a baby from a shool that had been seized gunmen in the town of Beslan in North Ossetia, not far from Chechnya, on Sept. 2, 2004.
Vladimir Putin has spent much of the decade at Russia’s helm, first as president and now as prime minister. Here, he is on a fishing trip in Siberia with Prince Albert II of Monaco in 2007.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi getting intimate with French President Nicolas Sarkozy while German Chancellor Angela Merkel discretely looks away.
Senegalese children run as locusts spread in the capital Dakar on Sept. 1, 2004 during the worst locust plague in 15 years.
Full article and photos: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,657880,00.html