TIME

The Most Powerful Protest Photos of 2014

There wasn't a corner of the planet untouched by protest this year, from the tear-gassed streets of Ferguson to the student camps of Hong Kong

In 2011, TIME named the Protester as the Person of the Year, in recognition of the twin people-power earthquakes of the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street. TIME named the Ebola Fighters as the 2014 Person of the Year, but you could have forgiven if we went back to the Protester. There wasn’t a corner of the planet untouched by protest this year, from the tear-gassed streets of Ferguson, Missouri, to the squares of Mexico City, to the impromptu student camps of Hong Kong. Many of the protests were remarkably peaceful, like Occupy Hong Kong, which was galvanized by public anger over the overreaction of the city’s police. Others turned bloody, like the Euromaidan protests in Kiev, Ukraine, which eventually brought down the government of pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, in turn triggering a war that led to the annexation of Crimea by Russia, the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in May and the deaths of thousands of Ukrainians.

Not every protest was as effective as those that began the year in the cold of Kiev. Hong Kongers still don’t have full democratic rights, gay rights are on the retreat in much of east Africa and every day seems to bring news of another questionable police killing in the U.S. But the wave of social action that ended 2014 is unlikely to crest in 2015. The ubiquity of camera phones means no shortage of iconic photographs and videos from any protest, whether in Lima or Los Angeles, and social media gives everyone the means to broadcast. What follows are some of the most powerful images from the global streets in 2014.

TIME Photojournalism Links

Photojournalism Daily: Dec. 16, 2014

A compilation of the most interesting photojournalism found on the web, curated by Mikko Takkunen

Today’s daily Photojournalism Links collection highlights Robin Hammond‘s portrait of Lagos, Nigeria, where the booming economy is widening the wealth gap. Lagos is the largest commercial hub in Nigeria, which hosts Africa’s largest economy, and has become one of the continent’s great success stories. But not everyone has benefitted the same way. Hammond’s excellent photographs, made on assignment for National Geographic, take us from the exclusive clubs and gated communities of the rich to the squalid shanty towns and decayed housing complexes of the poor. The juxtaposition of impoverished and prosperous in this series is both jarring and stunning.

Robin Hammond: Africa’s First City (National Geographic)

Siegfried Modola: Rites of Womanhood (Reuters) These photographs document an arranged marriage in a Kenyan Pokot community.

Tomas Munita: Preserving Historic Yangon (The New York Times) The colonial-era buildings in Myanmar’s largest city have fallen into disrepair.

Steve Schapiro: The Long Road (The New Yorker) Compelling photographs from the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march.

The War Over the US Government’s Unreleased Torture Pictures (Wired) Interview with photography critic David Levi Strauss.

TIME Photojournalism Links

Photojournalism Daily: Dec. 3, 2014

Today’s daily Photojournalism Links collection highlights Adam Dean‘s work on the booming jade industry in Myanmar, which is fueled by rampant corruption and drug use among miners. The source of the jade is Kachin State, and a large majority of workers use heroin on a regular basis. It’s illegal but tolerated, with many experts arguing it’s pushed the drug into the general population. Dean’s powerful pictures show the devastating effect that the surge of heroin use has had on the workers and serves as another tale of a poor country not benefiting from its natural riches in the way that it should. (Note: Watch the very strong 11-minute video by Jonah M. Kessel that is paired with Dean’s pictures.)


Adam Dean: Addiction and Suffering in Myanmar’s Jade Industry (The New York Times)

Alex Masi: Bhopal: Tragedy Lives On (Al Jazeera America) Compelling photographs document the legacy of this industrial disaster.

Siegried Modola: Female Circumcision Ceremony in Kenya (The Daily Beast) These photographs draw attention to the controversial practice of female genital mutilation.

Kim Haughton: In Plain Sight (TIME LightBox) Haunting pictures of the sites of child abuse.

True or false in photography (Vogue Italy) Alessia Glaviano muses on truth and photography in the digital age.

reFramed: In conversation with Matt Black (The Los Angeles Times Framework) Barbara Davidson talks to Matt Black about his work documenting California’s Central Valley.


Photojournalism Links is a compilation of the most interesting photojournalism found on the web, curated by Mikko Takkunen, Associate Photo Editor at TIME. Follow him on Twitter @photojournalism.


TIME Kenya

Kenya: Suspected Islamist Rebels Kill 36 Workers

Kenya Attack
Relative Ziporah Mora, right, holds her child whom she declined to name, as she waits for news of the return of the bodies of those killed in the Mandera attack at Wilson Airport in Nairobi on Nov. 22, 2014 Ben Curtis—AP

No group has claimed responsibility, but the attack has all the markings of Somalia's Islamist rebels, al-Shabab

(NAIROBI, KENYA) — At least 36 quarry workers were killed early Tuesday in northern Kenya by suspected Islamic extremists from Somalia, say Kenyan police.

The killings took happened in Mandera County near the border with Somalia and the attackers escaped, said Kenyan police chief David Kimaiyo.

The workers were ambushed at the quarry as they slept by the gunmen, said other police sources, who insisted on anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the press. The non-Muslims were singled out and killed. Some were shot dead and others were decapitated, the police officials said.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the killings but the attack bears the hallmarks of Somalia’s Islamic militant rebels, al-Shabab. Al-Shabab attacked a bus in Mandera County last week in which 28 non-Muslims were separated from other passengers and shot dead.

TIME Kenya

Kenya Says It Has Killed Around 100 al-Shabaab Fighters

Extremists hit in retaliation for the slaying of 28 travelers on Saturday

Kenya says it has killed around 100 al-Shabaab militants after pursuing them into Somalian territory.

The deaths are in reprisal for the slaying of 28 people on Saturday, when the extremist group stopped a bus in Kenya’s north and reportedly separated Muslims from non-Muslims before killing the latter.

“Two successful operations were carried out against the perpetrators of these murderous executions across the border,” Kenya’s Vice President William Ruto said on Sunday, according to Reuters.

The attacks, which have yet to be independently confirmed, reportedly destroyed one of al-Shabaab’s camps in Somalia, as well as four truckloads of weapons, the Guardian says.

Kenya has been the victim of several al-Shabaab attacks since Nairobi started battling the Somalia-based outfit in 2011. In September 2013, 67 people were killed in Nairobi after a group of militants seized the Westgate mall.

TIME Kenya

Somalia’s Al-Shabab Kills 28 Non-Muslims in Kenya

Kenya Attack
Kenyan security forces and others gather around the scene on an attack on a bus about 50 kilometers (31 miles) outside the town of Mandera, near the Somali border in northeastern Kenya, Nov. 22, 2014. AP

(NAIROBI, Kenya) — One gunman shot from the right, one from the left, each killing the non-Muslims lying in a line on the ground, growing closer and closer to Douglas Ochwodho, who was in the middle.

And then the shooting stopped. Apparently each gunman thought the other shot Ochwodho. He lay perfectly still until the 20 Islamic extremists left, and he appears to be the only survivor of those who had been selected for death.

Somalia’s Islamic extremist rebels, Al-Shabab, attacked a bus in northern Kenya at dawn Saturday, singling out and killing 28 passengers who could not recite an Islamic creed and were assumed to be non-Muslims, Kenyan police said.

Those who could not say the Shahada, a tenet of the Muslim faith, were shot at close range, Ochwodho told The Associated Press.

Nineteen men and nine women were killed in the bus attack, said Kenyan police chief David Kimaiyo.

Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the killings through its radio station in Somalia saying it was in retaliation for raids by Kenyan security forces carried out earlier this week on four mosques at the Kenyan coast.

Kenya’s military said it responded to the killings with airstrikes later Saturday that destroyed the attackers’ camp in Somalia and killed 45 rebels.

The bus traveling to the capital Nairobi with 60 passengers was hijacked about 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the town of Mandera near Kenya’s border with Somalia, said two police officers who insisted on anonymity because they were ordered not to speak to the press.

The attackers first tried to wave the bus down but it didn’t stop so the gunmen sprayed it with bullets, said the police. When that didn’t work they shot a rocket propelled grenade at it, the officers said.

The gunmen took control of the vehicle and forced it off the road where they ordered all the passengers out of the vehicle and separated those who appeared to be non-Muslims— mostly non-Somalis— from the rest.

The survivor, Douglas Ochwodho, a non-Muslim head teacher of a private primary school in Mandera, said was travelling home for the Christmas vacation since school had closed.

Ochwodho told AP that the passengers who did not look Somali were separated from the others. The non-Somali passengers were then asked to recite the Shahada, an Islamic creed declaring oneness with God. Those who couldn’t recite the creed were ordered to lie down. Ochwodho was among those who had to lie on the ground.

Two gunmen started shooting those on the ground; one gunman started from the left and other from the right, Ochwodho said. When they reached him they were confused on whether either had shot him, he said.

Ochwodho lay still until the gunmen left, he said. He then ran back to the road and got a lift from a pick-up truck back to Mandera. He spoke from a hospital bed where he was being treated for shock.

Seventeen of the 28 dead were teachers, according to the police commander in Mandera County.

A shortage of personnel and lack of equipment led to a slow response by police when the information was received, said two police officers who insisted on anonymity because they were ordered not to speak to the press. They said the attackers have more sophisticated weaponry than the police who waited for military reinforcements before responding.

Kenya has been hit by a series of gun and bomb attacks blamed on al-Shabab, who are linked to al-Qaida, since it sent troops into Somalia in October 2011. Authorities say there have been at least 135 attacks by al-Shabab since then, including the assault on Nairobi’s upscale Westgate Mall in September 2013 in which 67 people were killed. Al-Shabab said it was responsible for other attacks on Kenya’s coast earlier this year which killed at least 90 people.

Al-Shabab is becoming “more entrenched and a graver threat to Kenya,” warned the International Crisis Group in a September report to mark the first anniversary of the Westgate attack. The report said that the Islamic extremists are taking advantage of longstanding grievances of Kenya’s Muslim community, such as official discrimination and marginalization.

Kenya has been struggling to contain growing extremism in the country. Earlier this week the authorities shut down four mosques at the Kenyan coast after police alleged they found explosives and a gun when they raided the places of worship.

Some Muslims believe the police planted the weapons to justify closing the mosques, Kheled Khalifa, a human rights official said Friday warning that methods being used to tackle extremism by government will increase support for radicals.

One person was killed during the raid on two of the mosques on Monday. Police said they shot dead a young man trying to hurl a grenade at them.

The government had previously said the four mosques were recruitment centers for al-Shabab.

TIME Photojournalism Links

Photojournalism Daily: Nov. 5, 2014

Today’s daily Photojournalism Links collection highlights Dai Kurokawa’s work on poaching in Kenya, where elephants and rhinoceroses are targeted for their tusks and horns. The ivory and keratin are then used in souvenirs and jewelry, as well as medicine, particularly in Asia. This photograph of the mutilated corpse of a pregnant black rhinoceros is devastating. Fortunately, as Kurokawa’s other images show us, there are also efforts to protect them.


Dai Kurokawa: Poaching in Kenya (European Pressphoto Agency)

Simon Roberts: Tacloban: a year after typhoon Haiyan (The Guardian) A series of transition landscapes tracking the change in Tacloban, taken soon after the typhoon, and eight months later.

Brett Van Ort: Imaginary Battlefields (Wired Raw File) These photographs of paintball arenas in the United Kingdom and the U.S. resemble foreign battlefields from Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, raising the issue of looking at war as entertainment.

Portraits of Those Braving Ebola (The New York Times Lens) Background information on how Daniel Berehulak executed his powerful portrait series that we highlighted in our post on Monday.

Ore Huiying (Verve Photo) The Singaporean photographer writes about her picture from Laos showing a part of the country’s one and only two-mile railway line.


Photojournalism Links is a compilation of the most interesting photojournalism found on the web, curated by Mikko Takkunen, Associate Photo Editor at TIME. Follow him on Twitter @photojournalism.


TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: September 26

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. Al-Shabaab is stronger a year after their horrific attack on a mall in Kenya, thriving on widespread resentment of Kenyan anti-Muslim policies which must be reformed.

By the International Crisis Group

2. The unnecessary separation of oral care from the rest of medical care under Medicaid puts the poor at risk of worse health and even death.

By Olga Khazan in the Atlantic

3. In these views from activists and intellectuals in Syria, we see rueful themes of a hijacked revolution and an intervention that may be coming too late.

By Danny Postel in Dissent

4. Adding a way to assess learning for students is the key to making education games work for schools.

By Lee Banville in Games and Learning

5. The toothless early warning system designed to head off future financial crises must be strengthened or it risks missing the next market cataclysm.

By the Editors of Bloomberg View

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

MONEY mobile payments

Why the U.S. Lags the World in Mobile Payments

Octopus card
Hong Kong's Octopus card Horizons WWP—Alamy

Many American consumers are beyond excited by the prospect of Apple Pay, but overseas the iPhone's latest feature is old news.

When Apple announced its new payment service, Apple Pay, earlier this month, many in the tech world were blown away. The system allows iPhone users to pay at the checkout counter simply by holding their phone to a receiver for a few seconds. Dieter Bohn, writing for The Verge, called Apple Pay “this week’s most revolutionary product,” and eloquently summarized how most Americans already feel about the status quo: “mobile payments have sucked so far, and it’s high time somebody fixed it.”

Bohn is right, but what he likely meant to say was “mobile payments have sucked so far in the United States.” Across the globe in Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, viewers of Apple’s announcement could be forgiven for falling asleep. Using your phone to buy stuff? We’ve been doing that for years.

In Hong Kong, residents regularly pay for goods, services, and public transit, all without swiping or signing. Instead, shoppers can simply wave their Octopus card, which uses a technology similar to Apple Pay, at checkout and go on their merry way. Octopus Holdings claims 95% of people in Hong Kong between ages 16 to 65 use its product, and Octopus is accepted at 14,000 retail outlets. Even more impressive, the card’s swipeless technology has been incorporated into phones, and yes, watches too. When did this magical future tech launch? Hong Kong has had Octopus since 1997.

Apple Pay-like services are also old news in Japan, a country where mobile payments are already ubiquitous. Afterall, it was Sony that invented the region’s major method of short-range data transfer. That technology eventually came to power Hong Kong’s Octopus card, as well as a slew of Japanese mobile wallets. Today, nearly every cell phone sold in Japan (other than the iPhone) comes with mobile payment technology built in by default.

Takeshi Natsuno, a former executive at one of Japan’s largest wireless carriers, once bragged, “When I leave my house in the morning all I take with me is my phone, which lets me do everything—pay, take public transport—simply by swiping a special reader in shops, stations or airports.” Sounds just like the promise of Apple Pay, except Natsuno said that in 2004.

But the world leader in mobile payments isn’t a glittering Eastern city. According to the Economist, that title belongs to Kenya and its revolutionary cell phone-based payment system, M-PESA. Launched in 2007, the service allows users to essentially text money back and forth while using telecom giant Safaricom, M-PESA’s creator, as a bank. Deposits and withdrawals are made through Safaricom’s network of 40,000 agents. Once money is in the system, it can be sent to any other M-PESA customer—even merchants—via a phone menu. Thanks to M-PESA, the Economist notes, “paying for a taxi in Nairobi is easier than it is in New York.”

Why is the U.S. so far behind other countries? There isn’t a single answer. At least in Asia-Pacific, major players may just be more willing to adopt the latest tech. “The thing hindering mobile payment development and contactless cards is that there’s an infrastructure set up in place and banks [and merchants] feel compatible with the current infrastructure,” said Theresa Jameson, senior analyst at Datamonitor Financial. “Certain markets are more willing to adopt new payment technologies.”

New contactless payments for public transport have also helped put Apple Pay-like technology in the hands of every consumer. Hong Kong’s Octopus card, as well as Japan and Taiwan’s mobile payment systems, each originated as a better way to pay subway fares. Over time, merchants gradually began to get on board with the new technology until swipeless payment became a norm. Ben Thompson, founder of the website Stratechery, describes how this exact process played out in Taiwan when a new Octopus-style transit card was introduced:

When I first arrived in 2003 almost everything was cash only. Just a year earlier, however, in 2002, the EasyCard Corporation née Smart Card Corporation had rolled out an RFID stored value card for use on Taipei’s new MRT (subway) system… Within a few years you could use the card everywhere: buses, trains, taxis, parking, government fees, and now, 10 years on, almost every retailer, and the RFID chip is no longer limited to cards, but is embedded in some phones, key fobs, and more.

As Thompson points out, another reason behind America’s stagnation in the mobile payment space is simply the inertia of the credit card system. Magnetic stripe cards are accepted by as many as 9 million U.S. businesses, and it will take an enormous investment to make Apple Pay even half as prolific. However, in countries like Taiwan and Kenya, where credit card penetration is low, or Japan, where there is a cultural aversion to debt, new alternatives were given an opportunity to flourish because credit cards had not already dominated the market.

But as America slowly prepares to move from magnetic strips to Near Field Communication (NFC) systems like Apple Pay, Asia may be held back by its own form of inertia. “Japan and Hong Kong are faced with a dilemma,” says Datamonitor’s Jameson. “If they wish to begin using Apple Pay or other NFC-based mobile payment services, they will need to start from the ground up in building their contactless/mobile payments ecosystem like the rest of the world – which would require considerable investment.” Their other option? “Stick with their existing system while the rest of the world moves in a different direction.”

TIME White House

Obama Hosts 51 African Leaders Amid Grumbling Over His Record

President Barack Obama speaks to participants of the Presidential Summit for the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders in Washington on July 28, 2014.
President Barack Obama speaks to participants of the Presidential Summit for the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders in Washington on July 28, 2014. Manuel Balce Ceneta—AP

Putting aside Gaza, Iraq and other distractions, Obama focuses on legacy

Barack Obama came to office representing the hopes and dreams of an entire continent. His father, after all, came to America not in the cargo hold of a slave ship hundreds of years ago, but on an academic scholarship from his native Kenya in 1954: for many on the African continent, Obama was the cousin who’d made it big in America. His election was a symbol of hope, and that maybe help was on the way.

Obama stroked those expectations and rapture with the reissuing of his book in 2005, Dreams from My Father, and with a triumphal African tour in 2006, which sparked the first speculation that he might make a bid for the White House. But in his first term in office, Obama visited Africa only once, stopping at the tail end of his first international trip in Cairo deliver his speech launching “A New Beginning” with the Arab world and spending 24-hours in Ghana where he outlined the four themes upon which, he said, the future of Africa would depend: democracy, opportunity, health and the peaceful resolution of conflict.

Those four “pillars,” as he called them, went all but neglected for the next four years as Obama’s attention swung from domestic priorities like health care reform to crises in Syria, Ukraine and Iraq. So, now, as Obama turns an eye to legacy, he is hosting 51 African leaders at the White House this week for a summit. But legacy requires achievement, and Obama has left much undone in Africa.

To be fair, Obama had a tough act to follow. His predecessor George W. Bush created the Millennium Challenge Corporation to boost foreign aid and the Presidents’ Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, where he invested $15 billion for AIDS drugs—a program universally credited for bringing down AIDS deaths in Africa. Bush also had a security vision for Africa, establishing military bases and a joint African command. He helped create an autonomous government in South Sudan in 2005 to stop the genocide in Darfur. And Bush expanded a free trade agreement created under Bill Clinton called the African Growth and Opportunity Act, or AGOA.

Under Obama—or, perhaps better said, the Republican cost-cutting Congress—Millennium Challenge funding has remained flat and PEPFAR has been cut from $6.63 billion to $6.42 bullion in fiscal 2013 and is expected to face another $50 million in cuts this year. South Sudan, whose independence America celebrated in 2011, fell into civil war this year after the U.S. neglected to appoint a special envoy for more than six months. And AGOA’s renewal remains stalled before a Congress full of members who want to rewrite it, or potentially kill it, much like the Export Import Bank, which finances most U.S. business on the continent.

While Obama did help intervene with NATO in Libya and sent special forces to Uganda in 2011 to hunt down the warlord Joseph Kony, who has yet to be found, Obama has otherwise taken a hands off approach militarily in Africa. In Somalia, he sent in seal team that took out an al-shabab leader but only after that group’s terrorist attack against a high-end Nairobi shopping mall attack, which killed 67 people from 13 countries. He declined to send troops into Mali with France but provided air support, but only after a terrorist attack on a gas plant in neighboring Algeria claimed the lives of three Americans.

“There were tremendous expectations,” says Carl LeVan, an African studies professor at American University, who has just written a book on Nigeria. “There were big expectations from some of the big emerging African players on the continent. What has emerge over time is an appreciation of the American presidency as a complex organization that speaks on behalf of a big country and not just one man.”

Obama second term African record has been better. Last year, he toured the continent with hundreds of business leaders in tow, touting American investment. His second national security adviser, Susan Rice, is largely credited with the U.S. intervention in Libya and has a long history with the continent, which she views as a priority. Ahead of that tour, Obama launched Power Africa, a $7 billion program to provide power to 20 million sub-Saharan Africans. He also started the Young Leaders’ initiative, which provides scholarships for young Africans to top U.S. universities.

Obama emphasizes how America’s innovation has helped Africa skip several steps of development. He points to the broad use of smart phones across the continent as evidence of how American innovation allowed Africa to skip poles and wires and still bring, not just phone service, but online global banking and Internet connectivity to the most rural of communities. America, he argued to The Economist last week, is “better than just about anybody else” at such applications of technology.

But America is no long Africa’s largest patron. As the U.S. is pivoting to Asia, Asia is pivoting to Africa. China’s investments in Africa surpassed those of the U.S. in 2010 and are now five times as big—$15 billion to U.S.’s $3 billion. China’s investment in the raw-resource laden continent is expected to reach as high as $400 billion over the next half century. While, Obama says “the more the merrier,” as he told The Economist, “my advice to African leaders is to make sure that if, in fact, China is putting in roads and bridges, number one, that they’re hiring African workers; number two, that the roads don’t just lead from the mine, to the port to Shanghai.”

To that end, Obama has a distinctly American message for African leaders. He has seized upon the conference to underline the power of democracy for emerging nations. It is not by accident that he invited so many former African leaders: a message to Africa’s many aging dictators that it’s okay to step aside and give someone else a chance. Obama has proven that he isn’t Africa’s savior, and there’s only so much he can do. “If there is any lesson regarding development and stability that has been consistent since the end of World War II and the colonial era,” says Anthony Cordesman, a top conflict analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, “it is that we can only really help those states that are helping themselves.”

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