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Matters of the economy are forefront in many minds, with economic issues dominating the recent American election and the leadership change in China. But in several countries in Europe, economic debate is played out on the streets with protests, petrol bombs, and strikes. As the Eurozone struggles with the global financial crisis, many member countries have turned to a series of spending cuts to health, education, and other services and social programs. Widespread protests against these so-called austerity measures have erupted in several countries. Gathered here are photographs from the most heavily impacted nations in recent months, including Spain, Greece, Portugal, and Italy. -- Lane Turner (31 photos total)
A riot police officer is engulfed by petrol bomb flames in front of parliament during clashes in Athens on November 7, 2012. (Dimitri Messinis/Associated Press)

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Protests and demonstrations continued until the Spanish people woke up on May 15, 2011 with the 15-M movement, also known as The Indignants, protesting against the ongoing financial crisis,...

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Christians commemorated the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Sunday, a holiday that marks the end of Holy Week and the end of Lent. Observances around the world bring a diversity of traditions as varied as the countries celebrating. Eastern Orthodox Christians will observe Easter on April 15. Gathered here are images of Christians during Holy Week and Easter, including reenactments of the Crucifixion, pilgrimages, baptisms, sunrise services, and more. -- Lane Turner (37 photos total)
A girl wears an angel costume during Blood of Christ celebrations at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Managua on March 30, 2012. (Esteban Felix/Associated Press)

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HOLY WEEK HOLY WEEK: Men sang as they carried a crucifix outside a church before a Holy Week procession in Malaga, Spain, Thursday. (Jon Nazca/Reuters)

GOLF ROUND GOLF ROUND: Kelly Kraft prepared to hit from the sand on the seventh green during the first round of the 2012 Masters Tournament Thursday at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. (Zuma Press)

ON THE WATER ON THE WATER: A Bangladeshi youth maneuvered bundles of bamboo along a waterway in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Thursday. (Munir uz Zaman/AFP/Getty Images)

SCOOPING UP FOOD SCOOPING UP FOOD: A woman scooped up spilled rice after a truck overturned in the middle of the road in the Citi Soleil neighborhood of Port au Prince, Haiti, Wednesday. (Zuma Press)

A HIGH JUMP A HIGH JUMP: A competitor warmed up before his heat in the World Irish Dancing Championships at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast, Thursday. (Cathal McNaughton/Reuters)

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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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We humans share this planet with countless other species, interacting with many of them daily, others rarely. We treat some as sources of food and others as sources of companionship, entertainment, or education. We experiment with them at a genetic level, try to understand their overall behavior, and bond with them on an intimate scale. Most animals live their lives independently of us, but they dwell in habitats that we shape profoundly. Gathered below are images of animals in the news from the past several weeks, seen from the perspectives of their human observers, companions, captors, and caretakers. [42 photos]

A monkey who survived the Ivorian post-electoral crisis at the Abidjan Zoo. Three lions named Lea, Simba and Loulou, "died of hunger", said Claude-Sie Kam, a zoo employee, to an AFP reporter. About forty animals perished due to lack of food at the Abidjan Zoo during the Ivorian crisis. (Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images)

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The source of an E. coli outbreak in Europe that has killed 22 people and sickened more than 2,200 is still not known. German authorities at first blamed it on cucumbers grown in Spain, causing outrage among Spanish farmers. They are claiming they lost tens of millions of dollars due to a slump in demand. Tests showed that Spanish cucumbers did not contain the dangerous strain. Bean sprouts from a farm in Germany are now being tested, though the first tests did not find the contamination. Cases have shown up in at least 10 countries and have left more than 600 in intensive care.(30 photos total)
A nurse cares for a patient infected with the virulent E. coli bacteria and undergoing dialysis treatment at an intensive care unit of Hamburg's UKE university clinic on June 1, 2011. The number of people sickened by a mysterious killer bacteria grew, two weeks after the outbreak in Germany, while fears over tainted vegetables hit European farmers hard. Scientists and health officials say they have identified the E. coli bacteria responsible for the outbreak, which has mainly affected northern Germany, but are unable to say what caused it or who was responsible. (Angelika Warmuth/AFP/Getty Images)

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