From the shocking to the hilarious to the utterly heartbreaking, our favorite photos of the year
To say 2010 was an eventful year would be quite the understatement. It was an election year, of course. Also a year of plane crashes, landmark legislation, meat dresses, flash mobs, Tea Party protests, faux scandals, Wikileaks and more devastating floods, earthquakes, landslides, volcano eruptions, factory explosions, mine collapses, oil spills and forest fires than we could even begin to count. The world cheered the Olympics, the World Cup and the return of Tiger Woods, and mourned the death of Paul the Octopus. Election disputes turned bloody. The Roma were driven out of France. Celebrities posed for their mug shots. And through it all, the situation in Haiti — which began with an earthquake on January 12 — went from bad to worse to indescribably tragic.
Many of these events yielded striking images. Others made for great stories but not such great photos. Every week (or nearly so), in putting together The Week in Pictures, we sorted through thousands of images — riot police, baby animals, rising waters, red carpet appearances — and narrowed them down to a group that attempted to tell the story of what it was like to be in the world that week. But here at the end of the year, we won’t try to recap the news. What we’ve gathered instead are the 50 images that have stuck with us — the most beautiful, shocking, wacky or haunting scenes we published throughout the year — which still tell a story of the year that was.
For our cover art, above, we’ve chosen the image you all found by far the most compelling, judging by clicks — the lovely Dita Von Teese.
These are our favorites. We hope you’ll tell us about yours.
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Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
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