Rena Effendi / INSTITUTE for National Geopgraphic
By Mikko Takkunen
June 17, 2013

Features and Essays

Moscow warned that an attack on Russian "interests" could prompt a Kremlin-backed military response, less than a day after Ukraine announced it would resume "anti-terrorist" organizations against pro-Russia militia in its eastern cities. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the Kremlin’s satellite news network Russia Today that any attack on Russian interests amidst the tumult in eastern Ukraine would be considered an attack against Russia, comparing Russia's stance to its military incursion in the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia. “If we are attacked, we would certainly respond," Lavrov said. "If our interests, our legitimate interests, the interests of Russians have been attacked directly, like they were in South Ossetia for example, I do not see any other way but to respond in accordance with international law." Acting Ukrainian President Alexander Turchinov directed security forces to resume military operations in the restive east of the country Tuesday, following an "Easter truce" with pro-Russian separatists who have occupied government buildings in various cities there. Lavrov blamed the U.S. government for directing events in Ukraine, pointing to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's visit to Kiev. “There is no reason not to believe that the Americans are running the show,” Lavrov said. As Moscow hinted at possible military action in Ukraine, the first U.S. paratroopers landed in Poland, CNN reports, as part of what the Pentagon said would be a persistent force in the region as a counterbalance to the emerging crisis in Ukraine. The U.S. troops will conduct group exercises with Polish forces, and forthcoming troop arrivals in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are similarly intended to serve as a sign of solidarity with NATO allies. Lavrov criticized U.S. involvement in the conflict. “Ukraine is just one manifestation of the American unwillingness to yield in the geopolitical fight. Americans are not ready to admit that they cannot run the show in each and every part of the globe from Washington alone,” he said.
Rena Effendi / National Geographic

Rena Effendi: Transylvania Hay Country (National Geographic) The old art of making hay on the grass-growing meadows of Transylvania | from the July issue of National Geographic magazine | Effendi’s agency

Ami Vitale: Montana Ranch (Photo Booth) A testament to a disappearing way of life and an ode to its endurance.

Rena Effendi: Spirit Lake (Institute) Located in an isolated and economically languishing area of North Dakota, Spirit Lake is a Sioux Indian reservation home to some 6,200 inhabitants

Raphaela Rosella: Teen Mothers in Australia (Feature Shoot)

The smell of grass in the summer still gives Consolee Nishimwe nightmares, even twenty years after she was raped during the Rwanda genocide. Consolee Nishimwe, XX, lost her father, three ​An estimated quarter of Rwandans continue to suffer the psychological effects of the genocide, and the occasion of the anniversatr Before the genocide, there wasn’t even a word in the local language, Kinyarwanda, for trauma, or for stress, let alone a way to treat it. "Twenty is not a magic number. But the milestone has helped to refocus Rwanda and the world's attention on the causes and consequences of the genocide," Rwanda President Paul Kagame told students at Tufts University. In New York city and across the country, survivors have found public speaking as a way to..??? many of those who had died or been imprisoned were men and females now made up 70 per cent of the population.   Kagame expressed hope that his country's young demographic may help Rwanda move past its recent history. About half of Rwanda's population of 12 million is under 20 years old, and those age 30 or younger account for about 71 percent of the population. These young Rwandans are unencumbered by the bloody past, their president noted. A UNICEF national trauma survey conducted a year after the genocide revealed a startling and heartbreaking snapshot that served as an early warning about the problems to come. An estimated 99.9 per cent of children in the country witnessed violence during the genocide, 79.6 per cent experienced a death in the family, 69.5 per cent witnessed someone being killed or injured and 31.4 per cent witnessed rape or sexual assault.   In April 1994, Rwanda was immersed in a brutal wave of organized violence that left an estimated one million people dead in a period of only three months. Alcoholics Anonymous was introduced to the country just three years ago. As the plane carrying the then president - a Hutu named Juvénal Habyarimana - was shot down, the leader of the Tutsi rebel group was blamed and the presidential guard began an immediate campaign of retribution, which meant that the Tutsis (and the Hutus that dared disagree with what was happening) were hunted down and killed. Esperance Nyirahabiyambere, now 37, was 17 on the day it happened. http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Rwanda+years+later/9674013/story.html  
Giorgos Moutafis

Giorgos Moutafis: Istanbul’s Taksim Square (Photo Booth) Moutafis’s website

Guy Martin: Turmoil in Istanbul: Turkey’s Gezi Park Protests (LightBox) Full edit on Panos Pictures here

Guillaume Herbaut: Unrest in Turkey (Institute)

LouLou d’Aki: Occupy Istanbul: Portraits of Turkey’s Protest Kids (NY magazine)

In what is becoming a recurring theme, Justin Bieber has publicly apologized for being insensitive while abroad. This time the pop-icon apologized for visiting the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors Japan’s war dead, including some military leaders who committed mass atrocities during the Second World War. Beiber wrote in a statement on Instagram that “while in Japan I asked my driver to pull over for which I saw a beautiful shrine. I was mislead to think the Shrines were only a place of prayer. To anyone I have offended I am extremely sorry. I love you China and I love you Japan.” This misstep happened nearly a year after Bieber wrote in the Anne Frank House's guestbook that “hopefully [Anne Frank] would have been a Belieber.”
Enri Canaj

Enri Canaj: City of Shadows (Foto8) Athens, Greece

Yannis Behrakis: Homelessness in Greece (Guardian) Related on Reuters photoblog here

Lauren Greenfield: The Fast and The Fashionable (ESPN) In Monaco during F1 Grand Prix

Giovanni Cocco: The Life Of A Sibling With Disability (NPR Picture Show)

Riverboom: Giro d’Italia (Institute)

Robert Nickelsberg: Surviving Cold War (World Policy) Forces from Norway, Britain, and the Netherlands in training in the planet’s harshest climate in the Arctic Circle

There’s no shortage of reasons to be skeptical of the reconciliation agreement signed Wednesday between Hamas and Fatah, the rival Palestinian political factions that split the Gaza Strip and the West Bank between them seven years ago—ending any practical semblance of Palestinian national unity. Twice since 2011, the parties have grandly announced similar “historic pacts” that would supposedly end the rift, and neither has amounted to much: The militant Islamists of Hamas still govern Gaza, the moderate nationalists of Fatah hold sway in the West Bank. “No, it’s not real,” says Abdullah Zeud, 28, who owns a computer store in Ramallah, on the West Bank. “It’s just like every meeting these guys have held in the past which ends up with them fighting and not agreeing on anything. They continue to hold their meetings, bring the Palestinian peoples’ hopes up and then it all ends up with them disagreeing over everything" “It is becoming a joke,” says Im Issa, 52, a Ramallah housewife. “Why is this happening now? Is it because they have found themselves going nowhere with the negotiations and want to try and put pressure on Israel?” It could be. The timing of the announcement, six days before the April 29 deadline for U.S.-sponsored peace talks, suggests Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who heads Fatah, may have chosen to push back against pressure from Israel and the United States, which Palestinians see as insisting on new concessions. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was angered by the latest announcement, declaring, as he did after the previous pacts, that Abbas "must choose. Does he want reconciliation with Hamas, or peace with Israel? By appearing to choose Hamas, Abbas wins points with the Palestinian public (which strongly opposes the factional rift), while perhaps also driving a wedge between the Americans and Netanyahu. “Is he hoping this will raise alarm bells in Washington, and they’ll got back to the Israelis and say, ‘We’ve got to offer him something,'?” asks Mouin Rabbani, a senior fellow at the Institute for Palestine Studies. “Yes, the timing is suspicious.” But Rabbani also sees evidence that the new pact may well be more credible than those that came before. Both factions, he notes, have lately been weakened—Fatah by the trajectory of the peace talks, Hamas by a cascade of political bad news. First Hamas lost its headquarters in Syria, triggering a sharp drop in financial support from Iran. Even worse was the military’s July 2013 overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, which largely sealed off Gaza’s last remaining open border; the new Egyptian regime declared Hamas a terrorist group. There’s also the photos of the signing ceremony, which took place in Gaza City. The earlier pacts were inked in Cairo and Doha, and championed by Hamas’ chairman, Khaled Meshaal, who travels the Middle East as a kind of roving ambassador. Both pacts were opposed by Hamas leaders trapped in Gaza—the very Hamas officials beaming with their arms in the air on the dais Monday. “The opposition in the past was from the Gaza-based leadership,” Rabbani says, “and this time those are the ones who are signing.” Significantly, the pact is structured to avoid forcing together the rival parties. It calls for installing a technocratic government in five weeks’ time, which will prepare elections in six months. Meanwhile, Fatah will continue to govern the West Bank through the Palestinian Authority, and Hamas will rule Gaza. In theory, at least, it could work. And some even believe it will. “From the things I’ve been hearing on the news today, it really sounds as though the two parties are really serious this time,” says Mohammad Ali, 35, a construction worker in the West Bank city of El Bireh. “I think that the two parties have realized that they don’t have any more options, the negotiations have not achieved anything, and they need to unite with one another in order to confront Israel as one people united with common goals and objectives.” But as Rabbani points out, and as the last two pacts announced with no less fanfare made clear: “Signing is one thing, and implementation is another.” -with reporting by Rami Nazzal in Ramallah
Diana Markosian

Diana Markosian: My Father, The Stranger (NYT) Markosian writes about her father here | Related on the NYT Lens blog here

Ian Willms: Following in the Mennonites’ Footsteps (LightBox)

Tomasz Lazar: In Kosovo, Bridging an Ethnic Divide (NYT)

Cathal McNaughton: Yarnbombers (Guardian) Photographer Cathal McNaughton has caught up with the Yarnbombers, the guerrilla knitters who plan to target the G8 using knitting or crochet rather than graffiti

Sebastian Liste / Reportage by Getty Images for TIME

Sebastian Liste: On the Inside: Venezuela’s Most Dangerous Prison (LightBox)

Pietro Paolini: Ecuador: Balance on the Zero (Terra Project)

Elizabeth Griffin and Amelia Coffaro: Capturing Life With Cancer At Age 28 (NPR Picture Show)

Lars Tunbjörk: Cremation: The New American Way of Death (LightBox)

Lucas Jackson: Tornado survivors of Moore (Reuters photo blog) multimedia

Andy Levin: Coney Island (NYT Lens)

Daniel Love: 200 Hours (Guardian)

Robert Herman: New York: A View of Inner Turmoil (NYT Lens)

Reed Young: The Ground Zero of Immigration: El Paso (LightBox)

Sara Lewkowicz: An unflinching look at domestic abuse (CNN photo blog)

Tony Fouhse: The Simple View of Ottawa (NYT Lens)

Justin Jin for the New York Times

Justin Jin: A Chinese Push for Urbanization (NYT)

Sean Gallagher: Climate change on the Tibetan plateau (Guardian) audio slideshow

Nic Dunlop: On the frontlines of a ‘Brave New Burma’ (CNN photo blog)

Zohra Bensemra: Pakistan’s female Top Gun (Reuters)

Paolo Marchetti: The Stains of Kerala (LightBox)

1. Don't Touch My Junk   At the outset, the Internet looked like a panacea for misanthropic germaphobes. We could interact with the world without actually having to physically engage with its messy parts. But then the sharing economy emerged and everything changed. We went from happily hiding behind our screens to being expected to join in a new age of sharing in the physical world. Wired's Jason Tanz describes the cultural shift: "We are hopping into strangers’ cars (Lyft, Sidecar, Uber), welcoming them into our spare rooms (Airbnb), dropping our dogs off at their houses (DogVacay, Rover), and eating food in their dining rooms (Feastly). We are letting them rent our cars (RelayRides, Getaround), our boats (Boatbound), our houses (HomeAway), and our power tools (Zilok). We are entrusting complete strangers with our most valuable possessions, our personal experiences—and our very lives. In the process, we are entering a new era of Internet-enabled intimacy." Yeah. Gross. 2. Get of Jail Free Card?   "Older, stringent punishments that are out of line with sentences imposed under today's laws erode people's confidence in our criminal justice system, and I am confident that this initiative will go far to promote the most fundamental of American ideals — equal justice for all." That's Deputy Attorney General James Cole explaining some of the reasoning behind a new program urging non-violent offenders serving excessively long (sometimes, ridiculously long) sentences to apply for release under new clemency guidelines. + Bars, schools, churches, airports. Those are just some of the places Georgia residents could be allowed to bring their guns thanks to a new law signed today. 3. Knock (it) Off   "Asking athletes to play on minimal sleep degrades their ability to get the most benefit out of training. They spend all this time practicing but never get to sleep." Some professional sports teams hire Harvard's Dr. Charles Czeisler as a consultant to help them win. His advice is always the same: The players need to get more sleep. (Stay tuned. Before long, your boss will be telling you to do the same thing.) 4. The New Things   Private smartphones, brain mapping, agricultural drones, and the Oculus Rift all made the list in Technology Review's guide to the breakthroughs that will matter for years to come. + Somehow, the shoe insoles that tickle your feet to give you directions did not make the list. + Among cows, the biggest technological breakthrough has changed an entire industry. "Desperate for reliable labor and buoyed by soaring prices, dairy operations across the state are charging into a brave new world of udder care: robotic milkers, which feed and milk cow after cow without the help of a single farmhand." (Is it weird that I'm turned on?) 5. Bedroom Debts The Washington Post takes a look at what you’d need to make in every county in America to afford a decent one-bedroom. (Or why you might want to consider looking for an apartment in Arkansas.) 6. Michael "Twelve years ago, when he was 23, Michael killed a woman at her home in Renfrew, Ont. The victim, a 51-year-old nurse with a husband and four grown children, was no stranger to him. June Stewart was his mother." The Toronto Star's Amy Dempsey tells the story of how a family copes when one member -- in the midst of a psychotic episode -- kills another. What Michael Did. 7. Get Higher Baby "You’re socially engineered every time you walk through the cereal aisle in the supermarket. The healthy stuff is down at your feet and the stuff with the most sugar and chocolate is at your eye level -- or your child’s eye level." In Vox, Ezra Klein and Michael Pollan talk about big food, and the influence Wall Street has over what we eat. + Want to keep your weight under control. Get high. Living in the mountains could prevent you from becoming obese. 8. The Beautiful People   People just named Lupita Nyong’o as the year's most beautiful person. (No word yet on the year's most handsome avatar). + "I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin, I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin … And when I was a teenager my self-hate grew worse." That's from a recent speech on race and beauty given by Nyong'o. It's worth a listen. 9. Monkey See, Monkey Sue "We’re definitely asking a judge to make a leap of faith here; what some might see as a quantum leap. My job is to make it seem as small as possible." From the NYT Magazine: Should a Chimp Be Able to Sue Its Owner? (Opposable thumbs. Lawsuits. They're officially human.) 10. The Bottom of the News   "The phones are taking away the ability to just sit there. That's being a person. Because underneath everything in your life there is that forever-empty thing ... that knowledge that it's all for nothing and you're alone ... The thing is, because we don't want that first bit of sad, we push it away with a little phone or a jack-off ... You never feel completely sad or completely happy, just kinda satisfied with your product, and then you die." GQ's most excellent Andrew Corsello pays a visit to Louis C.K., America's undisputed king of comedy. + It's never too late to become an environmentalist. Welcome to the world of eco-friendly burials. (I'm still hoping to be recycled.) + On his 450th birthday, let's take a look at 50 everyday phrases coined by the Bard. And here are 20 words we owe to Shakespeare. + The perks of being president. Obama got a reservation at the Jiro Dreams Of Sushi' restaurant. I can't wait to read his Yelp review.
Behrouz Mehri / AFP / Getty Images

Behrouz Mehri: Life in Tehran, glimpsed through the rear window (AFP Correspondent)

Tyler Hicks: A New Strategy on One Syrian Front (NYT)

Laurent Van der Stockt: On The Damascus Front Lines (Le Monde)

Jason Larkin: Suez – Egypt’s Lifeline (Panos Pictures)

Nyani Quarmyne: Bridging Approaches to Mental Illness in Sierra Leone (NYT Lens)

Jake Naughton: Education of Girls in Kibera (Feature Shoot)

David Guttenfelder: Last Song for Migrating Birds (NGM) Across the Mediterranean, millions are killed for food, profit, and cruel amusement.

Nick Cobbing: Follow the Creatures (Photographer’s website) Antarctica

Nelli Palomäki: Portraits of Children (LightBox)

Articles

AP Explore

The Burning Monk 50th anniversary (AP) Malcolm Wilde Browne was 30 years old when he arrived in Saigon on Nov. 7, 1961, as AP’s first permanent correspondent there. From the start, Browne was filing the kind of big stories that would win him the Pulitzer Prize for reporting in 1964. But today, he is primarily remembered for a photograph taken 50 years ago on June 11, 1963, depicting the dignified yet horrific death by fiery suicide of Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc.

Malcolm Browne: The Story Behind The Burning Monk (LightBox)

Love struck: Photographs of JFK’s visit to Berlin 50 years ago reveal a nation instantly smitten (The Independent) Photographer Ulrich Mack accompanied Kennedy on the entire trip. The results, published this month as Kennedy in Berlin, have mostly never been seen before

Osman Orsal / Reuters

Images of Protest in Istanbul: The Woman in Red (No Caption Needed)

Turkey’s “Lady in Red” and the Importance of Professional Photographers (NPPA)

The photo that encapsulates Turkey’s protests and the severe police crackdown (Washington Post)

‘Woman in red’ sprayed with teargas becomes symbol of Turkey protests (Guardian)

Photographer documents Istanbul ‘war zone’ in his own backyard on Facebook (NBC News photo blog)

Photographic Mood, on the Eve of Destruction (No Caption Needed)

Photographer Injured in Istanbul Protests (PDN)

Pixelating the reality? (Al Jazeera: Listening Post) Photography is a subjective medium, and how it is used will always depend on who is using it. | On Paul Hansen’s World Press Photo of the Year and post-processing in photojournalism in general

The Art of War – Ron Haviv (Viewpoint on Vimeo) A documentary from the public television of Greece, year 2013. Language: English | Greek Subtitles

Leading photojournalist captures the beating heart of a brutal world (Sydney Morning Herald) Forty years of covering atrocities has only reinforced James Nachtwey’s faith in humanity

Rita Leistner: Looking for Marshall McLuhan in Afghanistan (BagNewsNotes)

Profile of a Curatorial Master: Yolanda Cuomo (LightBox)

A Glance at the 2013 LOOK3 Photo Festival (LightBox)

Edouard Elias / Getty Images

Two journalists, including photographer Edouard Elias, abducted in Syria (BJP) According to Le Monde and BBC News, the two journalists, Didier François and Edouard Elias, were travelling to Aleppo in Syria when they were abducted by four armed men at a checkpoint

Syrian teacher turned war photographer (CNN) Nour Kelze describes her transition from English teacher in Aleppo to war photographer in the middle of Syria’s conflict.

Frontline Freelance Register created to help freelance war reporters (BJP)

Margaret Bourke-White’s Damaged Negatives From a Classic Assignment (LIFE)

A Paean to Forbearance (the Rough Draft) (NYT) The origins behind James Agee’s 1941 book, “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men,” a literary description of abject poverty in the South, accompanied by Walker Evans photographs.

In pictures: Saul Leiter’s pioneering colour photography (BBC)

Ageing and creative decline in photography: a taboo subject (BJP)

The Woman in a Jim Crow Photo (NYT Lens)

Abigail Heyman, Feminist Photojournalist, Dies at 70 (NYT) Related

Denver photographer Steven Nickerson who shocked, awed, dead at 55 (Denver Post)

Bolivar Arellano’s Photos for El Diario-La Prensa (NYT Lens)

Nelson Mandela: a life in focus (Guardian) Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Greg Marinovich reflects on a legend of our time

Eman Mohammed in the Gaza Strip (Denver Post Plog)

Robert Capa’s vintage prints on show (BBC) To mark what would have been the 100th birthday of photographer Robert Capa, the Atlas gallery in London is holding an exhibition of his work. It comprises a wide range of prints from his time in Spain during the Civil War through World War II, and ending with the Indo China conflict where he lost his life.

Chloe Dewe Mathews

Chloe Dewe Mathews’s best photograph – Uzbek migrant workers (Guardian)

Featured photographer: Scout Tufankjian (Verve Photo)

Featured photographer: Carlo Gianferro (Verve Photo)

Featured photographer: Antonia Zennaro (Verve Photo)

Deutsche Börse photography prize 2013 won by Broomberg and Chanarin (Guardian)

American Girls: Photographs Offer Vision into American Girlhood (Daily Beast) Polish photographer Ilona Szwarc’s new exhibit captures 100 kids with their cult-classic toy, the American Girl doll.

Northern Ireland: 30 Years of Photography by Colin Graham – review (Guardian) This catalogue of recent Northern Irish photography shows a determination to leave the documentary style of the Troubles behind

After Lowry (FT magazine) Landscape photographer John Davies takes a series of pictures in the northwest of England inspired by the work of LS Lowry

Eric Maierson: This is what editing feels like (MediaStorm blog)

Yunghi Kim: Protecting Our Images (NPPA)

I Spy: Photographer who secretly snapped neighbors goes to court (Yahoo)

Beyonce Photoshopped Into Starvation for Latest Ad Campaign (PetaPixel)

Interviews and Talks

1. Don't Touch My Junk At the outset, the Internet looked like a panacea for misanthropic germaphobes. We could interact with the world without actually having to physically engage with its messy parts. But then the sharing economy emerged and everything changed. We went from happily hiding behind our screens to being expected to join in a new age of sharing in the physical world. Wired's Jason Tanz describes the cultural shift: "We are hopping into strangers’ cars (Lyft, Sidecar, Uber), welcoming them into our spare rooms (Airbnb), dropping our dogs off at their houses (DogVacay, Rover), and eating food in their dining rooms (Feastly). We are letting them rent our cars (RelayRides, Getaround), our boats (Boatbound), our houses (HomeAway), and our power tools (Zilok). We are entrusting complete strangers with our most valuable possessions, our personal experiences—and our very lives. In the process, we are entering a new era of Internet-enabled intimacy." Yeah. Gross. 2. Get of Jail Free Card? "Older, stringent punishments that are out of line with sentences imposed under today's laws erode people's confidence in our criminal justice system, and I am confident that this initiative will go far to promote the most fundamental of American ideals — equal justice for all." That's Deputy Attorney General James Cole explaining some of the reasoning behind a new program urging non-violent offenders serving excessively long (sometimes, ridiculously long) sentences to apply for release under new clemency guidelines. + Bars, schools, churches, airports. Those are just some of the places Georgia residents could be allowed to bring their guns thanks to a new law signed today. 3. Knock (it) Off "Asking athletes to play on minimal sleep degrades their ability to get the most benefit out of training. They spend all this time practicing but never get to sleep." Some professional sports teams hire Harvard's Dr. Charles Czeisler as a consultant to help them win. His advice is always the same: The players need to get more sleep. (Stay tuned. Before long, your boss will be telling you to do the same thing.) 4. The New Things Private smartphones, brain mapping, agricultural drones, and the Oculus Rift all made the list in Technology Review's guide to the breakthroughs that will matter for years to come. + Somehow, the shoe insoles that tickle your feet to give you directions did not make the list. + Among cows, the biggest technological breakthrough has changed an entire industry. "Desperate for reliable labor and buoyed by soaring prices, dairy operations across the state are charging into a brave new world of udder care: robotic milkers, which feed and milk cow after cow without the help of a single farmhand." (Is it weird that I'm turned on?) 5. Bedroom Debts The Washington Post takes a look at what you’d need to make in every county in America to afford a decent one-bedroom. (Or why you might want to consider looking for an apartment in Arkansas.) 6. Michael "Twelve years ago, when he was 23, Michael killed a woman at her home in Renfrew, Ont. The victim, a 51-year-old nurse with a husband and four grown children, was no stranger to him. June Stewart was his mother." The Toronto Star's Amy Dempsey tells the story of how a family copes when one member -- in the midst of a psychotic episode -- kills another. What Michael Did. 7. Get Higher Baby "You’re socially engineered every time you walk through the cereal aisle in the supermarket. The healthy stuff is down at your feet and the stuff with the most sugar and chocolate is at your eye level -- or your child’s eye level." In Vox, Ezra Klein and Michael Pollan talk about big food, and the influence Wall Street has over what we eat. + Want to keep your weight under control. Get high. Living in the mountains could prevent you from becoming obese. 8. The Beautiful People People just named Lupita Nyong’o as the year's most beautiful person. (No word yet on the year's most handsome avatar). + "I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin, I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin … And when I was a teenager my self-hate grew worse." That's from a recent speech on race and beauty given by Nyong'o. It's worth a listen. 9. Monkey See, Monkey Sue "We’re definitely asking a judge to make a leap of faith here; what some might see as a quantum leap. My job is to make it seem as small as possible." From the NYT Magazine: Should a Chimp Be Able to Sue Its Owner? (Opposable thumbs. Lawsuits. They're officially human.) 10. The Bottom of the News "The phones are taking away the ability to just sit there. That's being a person. Because underneath everything in your life there is that forever-empty thing ... that knowledge that it's all for nothing and you're alone ... The thing is, because we don't want that first bit of sad, we push it away with a little phone or a jack-off ... You never feel completely sad or completely happy, just kinda satisfied with your product, and then you die." GQ's most excellent Andrew Corsello pays a visit to Louis C.K., America's undisputed king of comedy. + It's never too late to become an environmentalist. Welcome to the world of eco-friendly burials. (I'm still hoping to be recycled.) + On his 450th birthday, let's take a look at 50 everyday phrases coined by the Bard. And here are 20 words we owe to Shakespeare. + The perks of being president. Obama got a reservation at the Jiro Dreams Of Sushi' restaurant. I can't wait to read his Yelp review.
C-SPAN

Rodrigo Abd and Javier Manzano (C-Span)

Carolyn Drake (cestandard) An interview with Carolyn Drake, author of Two Rivers

Paul Conroy (Amanpour) The deadliest country on earth for journalists | Conroy on Marie Colvin’s last assignment

Alex Webb (LA Times Framed)

Christopher Anderson (GUP magazine)

Stuart Franklin (Vice) There’s More to Stuart Franklin Than the Most Famous Photo of the 20th Century

Paula Bronstein / Getty Images

Paula Bronstein (ABC Radio National Australia) Internationally acclaimed US photo journalist Paula Bronstein talks about bearing witness to human suffering through her photo essays.

John H. White (NPR Picture Show) Photo Staff Firings Won’t Shake Pulitzer Winner’s Focus

Joe McNally (NYT Lens) Photographing on Top of the World

David Guttenfelder (NGM) Photographer David Guttenfelder reflects upon why taking pictures of the slaughter of songbirds is like covering a war.

For whatever reason, Prom season has become a marker both of how far we have come as a society and of how far we still have to go. Signs of advancement (a Massachusetts high school elected a transgender girl prom queen in 2013) are regularly met with opposition to progress (a group of Indiana high schoolers joined together to try to ban gay classmates from a "traditional" prom). Today's story that will make you feel right at home in your poodle skirt? A North Carolina senior was asked to leave her prom because she dared to wear... pants. And not just any pants. Skinny jeans. If you can handle this BSFW (barely suitable for work) photo, here's how Shafer Rupard looked at her Cherryville High School prom: https://twitter.com/wsbtv/status/458776741650391040 Red, too? They were Satan's pantaloons! There are many obvious problems with this situation, not the least of which is that Cherryville High School didn't even have dress code requirements for its prom. (Which the school acknowledged to Rupard's mother Shawn McQuaige, although never actually apologized for.) Beyond that, as McQuaige put it to WBTV News, wearing pants is just the way Ruparb "feel[s] comfortable in her own skin… We want to put out the message to all teenagers that you should be allowed to be yourself." (WBTV)
Alexandra Avakian / Contact Press Images

Jean-François Leroy (BJP) Visa pour l’Image organizer on the festival’s editorial line and the cost of covering war

Jean-François Leroy (BJP) Visa pour l’Image organizer on social media, the future of photojournalism and the need for greater cooperation

Marco Di Lauro (Image Deconstructed)

Evgenia Arbugaeva (Leica blog) Leica Oskar Barnack Award Winner 2013

Jenn Ackerman (PBS NewsHours) One Photographer’s Experience Documenting Mentally Ill Inmates

Richard Misrach (PDN Pulse) Misrach on Documentary vs. Art, the Complications of Portraiture, and Digital Photography

Another group of NFL cheerleaders is suing their team for wage theft claiming that they've worked hundreds of unpaid hours training and performing, as well as appearing at events where they were at risk for catcalls and groping. Five former Buffalo Bills cheerleaders filed suit on Tuesday, and they are the third group of cheerleaders to do so. As TIME reported in February, cheerleaders for the Cincinnati Bengals and Oakland Raiders have filed similar suits for poor pay and demeaning treatment. Buffalo Bills cheerleaders, called the Buffalo Jills, say they are wrongly classified as independent contractors and are therefore not paid the state's $8 minimum wage. One of the cheerleaders, Alyssa U. told the Associated Press that she estimated she was paid only $420 for the 2012-13 football season, and another cheerleader, Maria P., says she only got $105 for the season. Previous cases have had mixed results. Cincinnati Bengals' Ben-Gals cheerleader Alexa Brenneman, 24 filed that suit was paid a total of $855 for her time as a Ben-Gals cheerleader. She says she spent over 300 hours performing, practicing and attending events--she missed one game for a funeral and wasn’t paid. The minimum wage in Ohio is $7.85, but Brenneman’s pay equates to less than $2.85 an hour. Brenneman's case is still pending. And unfortunately for the Oakland Raiders cheerleaders who brought the complaint, the Raiderettes, the U.S. Department of Labor announced in March that it had closed its investigation of the case, concluding that the Raiders are exempt from paying their cheerleaders minimum wage, since they are considered “seasonal amusement.” The suit may go to private arbitration. Some of the Raiderettes still want to go to court. Beyond the surprisingly low pay for a job in this very profitable industry, these women say they are subjected to treatment and demands that are unfair and degrading. The calendars the women pose for? They don't get any free copies. The Oakland Raiderettes, for example, got to purchase their calendars at cost. All the women have highly specific and sometimes costly physical standards they must maintain, which includes mandatory trips to nail and hair salons. And according to the Buffalo Bills' suit, their cheerleaders are forced to participate in what are called "jiggle tests" so their coach can assess the firmness of their bodies. According to the complaint documents which were procured by Deadspin, the women were also given a rulebook with demands like: "how to properly wash "intimate areas," and how often to change tampons." "Everything from standing in front of us with a clipboard having us do a jiggle test to see what parts of our body were jiggling," cheerleader Alyssa U. told the Associated Press, "and if that was something that she saw, you were getting benched." These policies aren't isolated cases. A Raiderette guidebook that was released to the Los Angeles Times listed demands like: “There’s not a female alive (or male either) who doesn’t like attention. But you need to learn to deal with attention you receive from the public (and especially the players) without it getting out of hand and going to your head.” When it comes to parties, the women were told to be on their best behavior, with the manual citing a popular annual Halloween party that had been hosted by an NFL player: “This same player was suspended from the team for drug use but also arrested for date rape. For you on the squad who have attended those parties, just think how narrowly you missed having your photo in all the local papers and/or being assaulted.” Cheerleaders are not bringing in all the money for the NFL, but they are a necessary draw for many teams as they are evidence of a franchise's success. For example, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders still bring in about $1 million per season for their team. Not to mention that overall, the NFL is the most lucrative sport in America. As TIME reported, in 2012, the Oakland Raiders were valued at $825 million, with revenue of $229 million. The NFL, a tax-exempt organization, brings in about $9 billion in revenue annually, and the group hopes to bring in $25 billion by 2027. The argument the women hear constantly, is that there are hundreds of women who would gladly take their spot if given the chance. “Do they pay a lot? No they don’t. But there are women who would continue to do it if they paid even less. It’s really not amount the money. It’s about the opportunity, and the prestige, and loving the sport and the game,” Starr Spangler Rey, 27, a former three-season Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader—now a management consultant, told TIME. The women hope for policy changes in how they are treated and paid. Given the immense wealth of these franchises, it doesn't seem like a lot to ask for. When asked to comment about the lawsuit, Scott Berchtold, senior vice president of communications for the Buffalo Bills, said in an email response to TIME: “We are aware of this lawsuit and it is our organizational policy not to comment on pending litigation.”
Daniel Etter / Redux

Daniel Etter (LightBox Tumblr)

Espen Rasmussen (Panos Social)

Michael Christopher Brown (Window magazine)

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Ewen Spencer (Vice) The Soul of UK Garage, As Photographed by Ewen Spencer


Mikko Takkunen is an associate photo editor at TIME.com. Follow him on Twitter @photojournalism.


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