Chios, Greece Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters
A Syrian boy plays next to the sea at a camp for refugees and migrants
If your social media feeds are like mine, you too could easily imagine this seaside shot being one of the many "summer's last blast" photos which are followed, inevitably, by back to school photos. Only this Syrian child isn't on a summer vacation and he isn't going back to school — at least not in his hometown. He's in a camp for refugees and migrants on the Greek island of Chios. And though his makeshift play thing — whether for fishing or sea-sifting — may speak to the boy's industriousness and indomitable spirit, it should also remind us just how much he doesn't have, including a home. All of which makes comments like Gary Johnson's "What is Aleppo?" all the more upsetting.
–Alex Bhattacharji, executive editor
San Francisco Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP
A man checks out the new ear buds after an event to announce new Apple products
This isn't a marketing shot, but you could be forgiven for thinking it is. A vaguely hip user holds his hand gently in the air, as if tempted to caress the erotic curves of the wireless earbuds. But consumers will not be fooled. We're not going to be bamboozled into buying a phone with no earphone jack, Apple. We've all had too many experiences with a Bluetooth refusing to connect. Efforts to convince us we'll look like sexy hipsters with our shapely but discreet earbuds won't budge those concerns.
–Amanda Marcotte, politics writer
Mecca, Saudi Arabia Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters
A pilgrim prays at Mount Al-Noor
These men are praying at Jabal al-Nour, a mountain near Mecca, the holiest city in Islam. Millions of Muslims will visit Mecca in mid-September for Hajj, a religious pilgrimage that all practicing Muslims are required to undertake at least once in their life (unless they are disabled, cannot afford it or are otherwise unable). Mecca is currently located in Saudi Arabia, which has been accused of failing to properly protect worshipers on Hajj. In September 2015, more than 2,400 people were killed in a massive stampede — although the Saudi monarchy claimed just 769 pilgrims died. Ayatollah Khamenei of Iran, Saudi Arabia's major political rival, lashed out at the Saudi monarchy this week, accusing it of "murdering" Muslims in last year's disaster. The Wahhabi (Sunni extremist) Saudi regime's top religious official, the grand mufti, shot back claiming Iranian Muslims, most of who are Shia, are not real Muslims.
–Ben Norton, politics writer