A dog fitted with two front prosthetic legs runs at Milagros Caninos rescue shelter in Mexico City. According to Milagros Caninos founder Patricia Ruiz, members of a drug gang chopped off the dog’s paws to practice cutting fingers off kidnapped people. [Image: Tomas Bravo/Reuters]
Attendees photograph President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama as they dance while attending the Commander-in-Chief Ball at the Washington Convention Center, on January 21, 2013. [Image: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images]
During a dress rehearsal at the U.S. Capitol, U.S. Army Military District of Washington Major General Michael Linnington (center), Commander of the Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region, is flanked by actors portraying U.S. President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden as they arrive to review troops, on January 13, 2013. [Image: Mike Theiler/Reuters]
Looking out over a crowd of hundreds of thousands, President Barack Obama gives his inauguration address, on January 21, 2013 in Washington, D.C. [Image: Rob Carr/Getty]
This photo of a wild Alaskan brown bear digging on a game trail was taken with a homemade motion-controlled triggering device hooked up to my DSLR. Location: Bear Creek, Lake Aleknagik, Alaska.
[Image: Jason Ching/National Geographic Photo Contest]
[Image: Pete Souza/The White House]
[Images: Timm Suess]
Young children stand outside Sandy Hook Elementary School after the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
[Image: Michelle McLoughlin/Reuters]
A man walks inside of the crumbling oval skeleton of the House of the Bulgarian Communist Party on mount Buzludzha in central Bulgaria on March 14, 2012.
[Image: Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images]
We’re not the only ones who think this was pulled straight out of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, right?
These are not images of “problems.” They’re images of people. There are 27 million slavesin the world today: That’s more than double the number of people taken from Africa during the entire transatlantic slave trade. A hundred and fifty years ago, an average agricultural slave cost over three times the average yearly wage of an American worker, about $50,000 in today’s money. Yet now, entire families can be enslaved for generations over a debt as small as $18. Slavery is illegal everywhere, but it exists all over the world.
Read more. [Image: Lisa Kristine]