Paris, France Christophe Ena/AP
France's Renaud Lavillenie competes in the pole vault event at the Fly Europe Paris
The goal of every pole vault is go higher, so why not aim for an airborne balloon? There's every reason to think the sky was the limit that when Renaud Lavillenie — who owns the world record in the pole vault — took off at the aptly named Fly Europe competition in Paris. He didn't set a new record or reach new heights, but in the instant captured by this photo you believe he just might.
–Alex Bhattacharji, executive editor
Charlotte, NC Sean Rayford/Getty
Demonstrators walk near a damaged bus
Are there any images more apocalyptic than a busted and abandoned bus? The images of protests in Charlotte, North Carolina, after the killing of Keith L. Scott have been a gut-punch, both in terms of the determination of the protesters and the violence, much at the hands of police, that's erupted.
Most protesters have been peaceful, but right now, there's so much despair that it's not surprising that some protests have spiraled out of control. The image of this busted bus speaks to that sense of rage and anguish. A lot of protesters feel abandoned by the system, just as this bus has been abandoned and left by the side of the road.
–Amanda Marcotte, politics writer
Waegwan, South Korea Ahn Young-joon/AP
A South Korean army special forces soldier breaks bottles with his hand during a Battle re-enactment
The eternal threat of war is terrifying, but eventually becomes boring. There's an inherent risk that, at any moment, you may be asked to jump across a no-man's land through which very few have crossed and lived to tell about it. What do you do when trying to stave off death? Why not just have fun, like re-enacting an old battle?
–Jeremy Binckes, cover editor
Lesbos, Greece Louisa Gouliamaki/Getty
An Afghan man and his children sit on the road near the Moria camp on the island of Lesbos
The extreme plight of refugees and migrants continues to be largely ignored. These refugees are Afghan — likely displaced by the violence and chaos in Afghanistan, where the U.S. has carried out a war that will soon see its 15th anniversary, with equally little media coverage. Millions more asylum-seekers are fleeing wars in Syria, Iraq Libya, Sudan and more — bloody conflicts in which the U.S. and its Western allies have also played a leading role. Today, the world is witnessing the worst refugee crisis since World War II. Amnesty International released a report on Thursday warning that "European paralysis forces tens of thousands of asylum-seekers to live in appalling conditions." A year after E.U. leaders promised to share responsibility and relocate more than 66,000 asylum-seekers stranded in Greece, just 6 percent were given new homes. The burden is falling on the shoulders of those who are already heavily burdened. And the suffering continues with little international concern.
–Ben Norton, politics writer