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People around the world once again expressed their affection for one another in many ways with balloons, cards, flowers, chocolates, gifts, and kisses to name just a few. The National Retail Federation said Americans alone will spend some $17.6 billion on the day that traces its origins to Roman rituals and the legend of Saint Valentine from the Catholic Church. -- Lloyd Young (34 photos total)
A man is silhouetted as he fills heart shaped balloons with helium while waiting for customers on Valentine's Day in Islamabad. (Faisal Mahmood/Reuters)

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It's time for another look into the animal kingdom and our interactions with the countless other species that share our planet. Today we have scenes of an elephant rescue in India, a loyal dog bidding a final farewell, a competitor in the Open Rabbit Sport Tournament, and a rather unfortunate moose discovered intoxicated and tangled in a tree. These images and many others are part of this roundup of animals in the news from the past several weeks, seen from the perspectives of their human observers, companions, captors, and caretakers. [44 photos]

A dog casts a long shadow in the morning in St. Petersburg, Russia, on September 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

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Shen Wei Dance Arts rehearses a site-specific dance in the Charles Engelhard Court at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 31, 2011 in New York City. (Michael Nagle for The Wall Street Journal)

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D., N.Y.), waited for an elevator near his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Thursday. (Susan Walsh/Associated Press)


A group of young mothers, in an after pregnancy gym session with their children in Central Park. (Francesco Anselmi for The Wall Street Journal)

Jason Bay, #44, and Carlos Beltran, #15, of the New York Mets celebrated in the dugout after scoring in the sixth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates on a base hit by teammate Ruben Tejada Thursday at Citi Field. The Mets defeated the Pirates 9-8. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Police officers filed into a church in Newark, N.J., on Thursday for the funeral of William Johnson, the off-duty Newark police officer who was killed in a drive-by shooting last week. Mr. Johnson was standing at the counter of a fast-food restaurant in Newark waiting for a slice of pizza when he was shot along with two other people. (Mel Evans/Associated Press)


The hamburger, photographed at Miss Lily’s at 132 Houston Street in New York, NY. (Ramsay de Give for The Wall Street Journal)

A peregrine falcon perched on a beam at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York Harbor Wednesday while another falcon soared through the air nearby. The bridge is home to a pair of the birds and their chicks. (Patrick Cashin/Metropolitan Transportation Authority)

Members of the ROMEOWs (Retired Older Men Eating Out on Wednesdays) ate at Winly’s Restaurant in Gravesend, Brooklyn, Wednesday. The ROMEOWs graduated together from Brooklyn College in the 1950s and still meet for dinner every Wednesday as a social ritual. (Bryan Derballa for The Wall Street Journal )

A woman lounged with her book on Lincoln Center’s Revson Fountain in Manhattan Wednesday. (Richard Drew/Associated Press)

Second-graders in a French-speaking class at P.S. 58 in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood of Brooklyn wrote stories and read books in class Wednesday. (Julie Platner for The Wall Street Journal)

The setting sun shone down Manhattan’s 42nd Street late Monday in the biannual event known as ”Manhattanhenge,” when the setting sun aligns itself with the city’s east-west grid and shines down all gridded streets at the same time. (Shen Hong/Xinhua/Zuma Press)

Members of the LAVA troupe rehearsed at their studio on Bergen Street Wednesday a June 2 performance at the FLEA theater. Founded in 2000 by Sarah East Johnson, LAVA develops original works that integrate athleticism, intellectual rigor, social commentary, and relationship exploration. (Julie Platner for the Wall Street Journal)


The miso cured salmon, photographed at Niko located at 170 Mercer St. in New York, NY. (Ramsay de Give for The Wall Street Journal)


Virginia state police investigated a bus that went off Interstate 95 in Bowling Green, Va., early Tuesday morning, en route to New York City’s Chinatown Four people were killed and several others injured. The driver faces a reckless driving charge and police say fatigue was a factor. (Dean Hoffmeyer/Associated Press)


A rat modeled the latest styles in a fashion show Tuesday at the first-ever Fancy Rat Convention, being held this week in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. Rats in the fashion show wore everything from denim jumpers to wedding dresses. (Tom Callan/Caters News/Zuma Press)

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