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FLOOD AFTERMATH
FLOOD AFTERMATH: A resident shoveled mud out of her window in the village of Biser, southern Bulgaria, Tuesday. A dam burst Monday after days of heavy rain, sending a torrent surging through a village. The region’s toll from flooding is eight dead, with 10 missing. (Stoyan Nenov/Reuters)

BIG FISH
BIG FISH: Fishermen used cranes to pull the carcass of a whale shark from the water in Karachi, Pakistan, Tuesday. The 40-foot whale shark was found dead in Arabian Sea. (Asif Hassan/AFP/Getty Images)

ATHENS ANGER
ATHENS ANGER: Riot police arrested a protester outside Parliament in Athens Tuesday. Thousands protested against the threat of yet more spending cuts and tax increases as talks continued over a new bailout agreement and debt restructuring. (Alkis Konstantinidis/European Pressphoto Agency)

BURNING THROUGH CASH
BURNING THROUGH CASH: Tons of shredded and compressed banknotes were unloaded from a truck at the Foundation to Help Autism in Miskolc, Hungary, Tuesday. Hungary is the only country to recycle its worn cash for fuel each year. The bricks are then sent to a few charities. (Laszlo Balogh/Reuters)

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PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: Dancers rehearsed at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow Monday. Around 100 foreigners from all over the world are enrolled at the academy, which will see its first American graduate this year. (Denis Sinyakov/Reuters)

PRAWNS AT A PORT
PRAWNS AT A PORT: A boy sorted prawns with his mother at a sea port on the outskirts of Karachi, Pakistan, Tuesday. (Athar Hussain/Reuters)

SAINT REMEMBERED
SAINT REMEMBERED: Muslims gathered at the shrine of St. Mian Mir to celebrate his life in Lahore, Pakistan, Tuesday. (Arif Ali/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

SAND FOR SALE
SAND FOR SALE: A man carried a bucket of sand from a river in Franceville, Gabon, Tuesday. The sand will be sold for use as building materials, according to the men. (Louafi Larbi/Reuters)

CHAOTIC SCENE
CHAOTIC SCENE: A police officer wielded a baton at Samajwadi Party activists during an election rally that was attended by party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav in Allahabad, India, Tuesday. Uttar Pradesh state, where Allahabad is located, will choose Assembly members next week. (Rajesh Kumar Singh/Associated Press)

BRIGHT SPOTS
BRIGHT SPOTS: Thousands of fish floated near the surface of the water at the Divor Dam in Arraiolos, Portugal, Tuesday. The water level is low due to a lack of rain. (Nuno Veiga/European Pressphoto Agency)

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An Indonesian ethnic Chinese man prays during the Chinese Lunar New Year celebration at Dharma Bakti temple in Chinatown in Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday, Jan. 23, 2012. Divers of the Nucleo Operatori Subacquei Guardia Costiera conduct a search and rescue operation that led to the discovery of the body of a woman inside of the ship [...]

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LETTING IN THE LIGHT
LETTING IN THE LIGHT: Acid-attack survivor Memoona, 23 years old, posed for a picture Wednesday in her Karachi, Pakistan, home. The nursing student lost an eye when a boy threw acid on her over an old family feud. New laws explicitly criminalize the attacks. (Insiya Syed/Reuters)

WINDY
WINDY: Visitors braced themselves as Marine One departed the White House in Washington Wednesday, carrying President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama. Mr. Obama was en route to speak with troops in Fort Bragg, N.C., after they arrived from Iraq. (Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency)

MOURNING PERIOD
MOURNING PERIOD: Women comforted each other in Liege, Belgium, Wednesday. Police said grenade-lobbing gunman Nordine Amrani killed two teenage boys and a toddler at a shopping plaza Tuesday. Authorities also found a fourth victim, a woman, in his garage. The suspect fatally shot himself. (Marius Becker/DPA/Zuma Press)

STUCK ON
STUCK ON: Etibar Elchiyev posed with utensils stuck to his body in Tbilisi, Georgia, Wednesday. Mr. Elchiyev was attempting to break the Guinness record for most spoons on a body. (David Mdzinarishvili/Reuters)

STANDING FOR YULIA
STANDING FOR YULIA: Supporters of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko gathered outside a court in Kiev Wednesday. Ms. Tymoshenko did not appear at the hearing. She is appealing a seven-year sentence after she was found guilty of abuse of office while negotiating a gas contract with Russia. (Sergei Chuzavkov/Associated Press)

IN THE FRAY
IN THE FRAY: A security official tried to control a crowd that gathered outside a polling station in Giza, Egypt, Wednesday. Voters poured into polling stations for the second round of parliamentary voting. (Mohammed Hossam/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

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WARNING: SOME IMAGES CONTAIN GRAPHIC CONTENT OR NUDITY
From the uprisings across the Arab world to the devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan, there was no lack of news in 2011. Reuters photographers covered the breaking news events as well as captured more intimate, personal stories. In this showcase, the photographers offer a behind the scenes account of the images that helped define the year.

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On October 31, 2011, the United Nations is expected to announce a projected world population figure of 7 billion. This global milestone presents both an opportunity and a challenge for the planet. While more people are living longer and healthier lives, says the U.N., gaps between rich and poor are widening and more people than ever are vulnerable to food insecurity and water shortages. Because censuses are infrequent and incomplete, no one knows the precise date that we will hit the 7 billion mark - the Census Bureau puts it somewhere next March. In the last 50 years, humanity has more than doubled. What could the next decade mean for our numbers and the planet? In this post, we focus on births, but we'll be back with population-related content including it's affect on the environment and our food supply. -- Paula Nelson (47 photos total)
A baby, minutes after he was born inside the pediatric unit at hospital Escuela in Tegucigalpa, Oct. 21, 2011. According to Honduras' health authorities, about 220,000 babies are born in Honduras each year. The cost of having a baby delivered at the public hospital is $10. (Edgard Garrido/Reuters)

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CRICKET POSE
CRICKET POSE: A boy was silhouetted against smoke as he played cricket in a slum on the outskirts of Karachi, Pakistan, Tuesday. (Akhtar Soomro/Reuters)

MAN DOWN
MAN DOWN: Libyan National Transitional Council fighters ran toward a comrade who had been shot during a street battle in Sirte, Libya, Tuesday. About 1,000 revolutionary troops launched a major assault on the town Tuesday. (Philippe Desmazes/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

SUPPLY AND DEMAND
SUPPLY AND DEMAND: A woman sold rubber boots in a flooded street in Rangsit, Thailand, Tuesday. Flooding has killed more than 300 people. (Damir Sagolj/Reuters)

CARRYING COAL
CARRYING COAL: A man carried a sack of coal near Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday. (Mohammad Ismail/Reuters)

WATERLOGGED
WATERLOGGED: A man salvaged his belongings after his home was flooded in Marcovia, Honduras, Monday. President Porfirio Lobo Sosa declared a state of emergency in the southern part of Honduras. (Rafael Ochoa/Xinhua/Zuma Press)

ANXIOUSLY WAITING
ANXIOUSLY WAITING: Crowds gathered to catch a glimpse of the royal wedding party of Gusti Kanjeng Ratu Bendara and her husband, Kanjeng Pangeran Haryo Yudanegara, as they rode in a horse-drawn carriage in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Tuesday. (Beawiharta/Reuters)

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Often in the Big Picture we feature "slice of life" photography originating from around the world, brought to us by photographers based in those countries who work for the Associated Press, Reuters and Getty Images. The photographs are often simple and show daily life in many places that we might not be able to experience in any other way except through those photographers' documentation. The images themselves are somewhat universal - they show us where people live and how people live, sometimes not so differently than we do ourselves. -- Paula Nelson (35 photos total)
Three-year-old Nadia Nassrallah eats her breakfast in from of her home in a slum on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, Oct. 4, 2011. (Muhammed Muheisen/Associated Press)

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COLLAPSED
COLLAPSED: A man watched as rescue workers removed rubble from a decades-old building that fell Tuesday night in the Old Delhi area of New Delhi. At least seven people died in the collapse. (Gurinder Osan/Associated Press)

THE AYES HAVE IT
THE AYES HAVE IT: European Parliament members voted during a session in Strasbourg, France, Wednesday. Addressing the gathering, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso urged the European Union to hasten its reforms to resolve the sovereign-debt crisis. (Christophe Karaba/European Pressphoto Agency)

PROTECTED
PROTECTED: Displaced children slept under a mosquito net on a roadside in Mirpur Khas, in Pakistan’s Sindh Province, Wednesday. They left their homes amid heavy flooding. Heavy monsoon rains have pounded 5.4 million people in the provinces of Sindh and Baluchistan. (Shakil Adil/Associated Press)

FIRED UP
FIRED UP: Activists with the Sunni Tehreek political organization burned U.S. flags in Karachi, Pakistan, Wednesday, to protest U.S. ‘threats.’ The U.S. wants Pakistan to clamp down on the Haqqani network, which it blames for an attack earlier this month on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. (Asif Hassan/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

LITTLE FINGERS
LITTLE FINGERS: Children wove carpets at a home workshop in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday. According to a recent report from the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, around 42% of Afghans are unemployed and 36% have a daily income of less than 50 Afghanis ($1). (Adek Berry/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

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UP HIGH
UP HIGH: A man retrieved belongings from a flooded home after heavy rainfall in Karachi, Pakistan, Tuesday. More than 200 people have died and 200,000 have been left homeless in the country’s latest bout of flooding. (Fareed Khan/Associated Press)

SPREADING THEIR WINGS
SPREADING THEIR WINGS: A rebel fighter spread a pigeon’s wings at a compound belonging to Col. Moammar Gadhafi in Assdada Fort, Libya, near Sirte, Tuesday. (Goran Tomasevic/Reuters)

STUNNED STUDENTS
STUNNED STUDENTS: Students wounded when gunmen opened fire on their school van lay at a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday. At least four children and the driver were killed in the suspected Taliban attack in Matani, on Peshawar’s outskirts, police said. (Fayaz Aziz/Reuters)

SEEKING HIGHER GROUND
SEEKING HIGHER GROUND: Villagers affected by flooding rode on top of a vehicle into hard-hit Badin, Pakistan, Tuesday. Thousands of men, women and children lined the main road in Badin. Some were sitting under plastic sheets held up by the branches of trees. (Asif Hassan/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)


FIRE! Afghan police officers fired toward buildings that Taliban insurgents took over during an attack on the U.S. Embassy compound in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday. Militants fired grenades and assault rifles at the embassy and other sites in the capital, while suicide bombers struck police buildings. (Ahmad Masood/Reuters)

PUSHING AHEAD
PUSHING AHEAD: A construction worker pushed a cart on top of a building through hazy weather near Beijing’s Central Business District Tuesday. (Alexander F. Yuan/Associated Press)

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