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WSJ Staff

In today’s pictures, a firefighter careens through rapids in Kentucky, a dancer stretches before an audition in Madrid, riot police secure an embassy in Yemen, and more.

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There are now over one billion automobiles on the road worldwide. An explosion in the auto markets in China and India ensures that number will increase, with China supplanting the United States as the world's largest car market. It's fair to say humanity has a love affair with the car, but it's a love-hate relationship. Cars are at once convenience, art, and menace. People write songs about their vehicles, put them in museums, race them, and wrap their identities up in them. About 15% of carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels comes from cars. Traffic fatality estimates vary from half a million per year to more than double that. Gathered here are images of the automobile in many forms, and our relationship to and dependence on our cars. This is the second in an occasional Big Picture series on transportation, following Pedal power earlier this year. -- Lane Turner (40 photos total)
Antti Rahko stands next to his self-made "Finnjet" during preparations for the Essen Motor Show in Essen, Germany on November 22, 2012. The car rolls on eight wheels, offers ten seats, weighs 3.4 tons and is worth about one million US dollars. (Marius Becker/AFP/Getty Images)

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An Indian man dances amid a cloud of colored powder during Holi celebrations in Gauhati, India, Thursday, March 8, 2012. Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, also heralds the coming of spring. Jerry Vonderhaar, left, comforts Charles Kellogg after severe weather hit the Eagle Point subdivision in Limestone County, Ala. on Friday, March 2, 2012. [...]

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CASTING SHADOWS AND BALLOTS
CASTING SHADOWS AND BALLOTS: A man cast a shadow against a pillar as he entered a polling station in Wickenburg, Ariz., Tuesday. Voters cast ballots for Republican candidates in primaries in Arizona and Michigan. (Don Emmert/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

OUT OF TUNE
OUT OF TUNE: Workers hauled away an old piano from an Occupy London site in front of St Paul’s Cathedral Tuesday. Police said 20 people were arrested as officers removed tents and equipment from outside the 300-year-old church, where demonstrators had camped since mid-October. (Matt Cetti-Roberts/London News Pictures/Zuma Press)

DIY PLANE
DIY PLANE: Farmer Li Jingchun, top, watched as his relatives checked out his self-made aircraft in Shenyang, Liaoning province, China, Tuesday. The plane, made mostly made of recycled iron, cost the aircraft enthusiast about $6,000 to make, according to local media. (Sheng Li/Reuters)

MOTHER VOTES
MOTHER VOTES: A woman held her baby as she showed her voter identification card in Noida, India, Tuesday. Voting is taking place over seven days in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state. (Parivartan Sharma/Reuters)

SON MOURNS
SON MOURNS: Police officer Vinicius Figueiredo cried as he walked past the coffin of Roberto Lopes dos Santos in Rio de Janeiro Tuesday. Mr. Figueiredo’s father, Carlos Alberto Vieira Figueiredo, and Mr. Lopes dos Santos died in a fire at a Brazilian research station in the Antarctic. (Ricardo Moraes/Reuters)

SYRIA’S DEAD
SYRIA’S DEAD: Bodies of two people who were killed in heavy shelling by government forces were covered by a mat near Idlib, Syria, Tuesday. Oppositions members and the activist group Avaaz said they helped smuggle a wounded British photographer out of the country into Lebanon. (Zohra Bensemra/Reuters)

GOING THE DISTANCE
GOING THE DISTANCE: Louisiana State University cornerback Morris Claiborne ran a drill at an NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis Tuesday. (Dave Martin/Associated Press)

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CAIRO CLASHES
CAIRO CLASHES: A demonstrator carried a wounded man to safety during clashes with police outside Cairo’s security headquarters Monday. (Marco Longari/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

GRIDLOCKED
GRIDLOCKED: New York Giants player Justin Tuck tackled New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind., Sunday. The Giants captured the franchise’s fourth Super Bowl championship with a 21-17 victory. (Timothy A. Clary/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

POOR IN BANGLADESH
POOR IN BANGLADESH: A woman retrieved her belongings after police demolished a slum in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Monday. More than 100 families living in shanties built up on Gulshan-Banani Lake were evicted. (Andrew Biraj/Reuters)

POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE
POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE: Zanna Bateman of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery readied herself before departing for a 41-gun salute in London’s Hyde Park Monday to mark the 60 anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II to the throne at age 25. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

ENCASED
ENCASED: Ice covered a car at a boardwalk near Lake Geneva in Geneva Monday. Overwhelmed by deep snow and harsh temperatures, some countries in Europe closed schools and struggled to run transit systems amid the deadly cold snap. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/European Pressphoto Agency)

BRAZEN BANK ATTACK
BRAZEN BANK ATTACK: An investigator gathered evidence at a NatWest Bank in Bingham, England, Monday. Police said thieves used a tractor to pull an ATM from the wall. (Mike Egerton//PA Photos/ABACA)

OFFICER HURT
OFFICER HURT: A police officer was hit in the face with a rubber bullet fired by an army soldier during protests in Salvador, Brazil, Monday. Hundreds of police officers are striking for higher wages, unleashing a rash of looting and a spike in the murder rate in their absence. (Lunae Parracho/Reuters)

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ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL? Wilfred Spencer polished the Vince Lombardi Trophy on Friday before a news conference for Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis. The championship game between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots will be played Sunday. (David J. Phillip/Associated Press)

OFF THE RAILS
OFF THE RAILS: A rescuer searched a car of a derailed passenger train for casualties after an accident at Sathi Sarapa village, near Gauhati, India, Friday. A railway official said the train hit a bulldozer at an unmanned crossing in the northeastern Indian state. (Anupam Nath/Associated Press)

HAIR CARE
HAIR CARE: A man dusted mannequins displaying wigs in a hair and beauty store Thursday in London. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

WINTER STORM
WINTER STORM: Snow covered a car after an overnight snowstorm in Aurora, Colo., on Friday. A powerful winter storm swept eastward across Colorado on Friday, bringing blizzard warnings to eastern Colorado and western Kansas. (Andy Cross/The Denver Post/Associated Press)

BUNDLED UP
BUNDLED UP: A woman wore heavy winter clothes as she tried to sell cigarettes to passersby in downtown Kiev, Ukraine, on Friday. The death toll from the cold spell reached 101 in Ukraine, where temperatures plummeted to below minus 30 degrees Celsius. (Sergey Dolzhenko/EPA)

POLAR PLUNGE
POLAR PLUNGE: Members of a local winter swimming club warmed up before taking a swim on the bank of the Yenisei River near the town of Divnogorsk, Siberia, on Friday. (Ilya Naymushin/Reuters)

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The best photos of 2011 from around the globe. Warning: All images in this entry are shown in full, not screened out for graphic content. Some images contain dead bodies, graphic content and tragic events. We consider these images an important part of human history.

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2011 was a year of global tumult, marked by widespread social and political uprisings, economic crises, and a great deal more. We saw the fall of multiple dictators, welcomed a new country (South Sudan), witnessed our planet's population grow to 7 billion, and watched in horror as Japan was struck by a devastating earthquake, a tsunami, and a nuclear disaster. From the Arab Spring to Los Indignados to Occupy Wall Street, citizens around the world took to the streets in massive numbers, protesting against governments and financial institutions, risking arrest, injury, and in some cases their lives. Collected here is Part 3 of a three-part photo summary of the last year, covering 2011's last months. Be sure to also see Part 1, and Part 2, totaling 120 images in all. [40 photos]

Occupy Wall Street protesters march and hold signs in New York City on September 17, 2011. Frustrated protesters had been speaking out against corporate greed and social inequality on and near Wall Street for the previous two weeks, further sparking a protest movement that spread across the world. Original here. (CC BY SA Carwil Bjork-James)

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The month of October has been a dramatic month of deaths, from Steve Jobs of Apple succumbing to cancer to the demise of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, as well as the dramatic racetrack death of Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon.   But toward the end of the month, life was celebrated with the birth of the seven billionth person on Earth.  Also in the news was the continued and now global growth of the Occupy Wall Street movement, Palestinian prisoner releases for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and a devastating earthquake in Turkey. WARNING: Graphic content.

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