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Another year has come and gone and with it hundreds of thousands of images have recorded the world's evolving history; moments in individual lives; the weather and it's affects on the planet; acts of humanity and tragedies brought by man and by nature. The following is a compilation - not meant to be comprehensive in any way - of images from the first 4 months of 2012. Parts II and III to follow this week. -- Paula Nelson ( 64 photos total)
Fireworks light up the skyline and Big Ben just after midnight, January 1, 2012 in London, England. Thousands of people lined the banks of the River Thames in central London to ring in the New Year with a spectacular fireworks display. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

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BACKSTROKE
BACKSTROKE: A man swam in a river in Qionghai, on the southern Chinese island of Hainan, on Monday. (Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images)

HOT HANDS
HOT HANDS: An antigovernment protester threw a Molotov cocktail at riot police during clashes in the village of Salmabad, south of Manama, Bahrain, on Monday. (Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters)

BRUSHING IT OFF
BRUSHING IT OFF: A driver cleaned snow off his car in Qinhuangdao City, in Hebei province, China. A snowfall hit the city on Monday, the first day of the Qingming Festival, or Tomb Sweeping Day, holiday. (Wang Hanzhi/Xinhua/Zuma Press)

PLANE DOWN
PLANE DOWN: A Russian passenger plane crashed into a snowy field in Siberia shortly after takeoff Monday, killing 31 of the 43 people on board, officials said. Here, a fragment of the ATR-72 airliner at the site of the crash, outside Tyumen, in western Siberia. (Handout/Russian Emergency Ministry/EPA)

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SLEEPING OUTSIDE
SLEEPING OUTSIDE: A family slept outside their home in Pinotepa Nacional, Mexico, afraid that aftershocks from Tuesday’s magnitude-7.4 earthquake could cause their home to collapse. As of early Wednesday, there were no reports of deaths from the quake, even after 10 aftershocks. (Luis Alberto Cruz Hernandez/Associated Press)

CHAIR BARRICADE
CHAIR BARRICADE: A man protesting against the Bahraini government pushed an armchair toward a roadblock being set up during clashes with riot police in the village of Sanabis, west of Manama, Wednesday. (Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters)

LIBYAN CONFLICT
LIBYAN CONFLICT: Illegal African immigrants sat on the ground at a detention center in Libya’s Kufra District on Tuesday. In the desert city of Kufra, two ethnic groups, Toubou and Zawiya, are locked in a standoff over smuggling, threatening to reignite violence that could spill into Chad and Sudan. (Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images)

SOLDIER’S FUNERAL
SOLDIER’S FUNERAL: Paratroopers from the French 17th Parachute Engineer Regiment carried the coffin of their comrade, Abel Chennouf, at his funeral in Montauban, France, Wednesday. Mr. Chennouf was one of three soldiers killed in a string of shootings in and near Toulouse. (Pascal Pavani/AFP/Getty Images)

EASTER ORNAMENTS
EASTER ORNAMENTS: Volker Kraft decorated a tree with 10,000 Easter eggs in his garden in Saalfeld, Germany, Wednesday. The Kraft family has been decorating their tree for Easter for more than 40 years. (Jens Meyer/Associated Press)

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ON THE WAY HOME
ON THE WAY HOME: U.S. military personnel rested on board a plane that left Baghdad Thursday. After nearly nine years of war, thousands of casualties and more than $800 billion spent, the U.S. military formally ended its mission in Iraq. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

TOXIC BOOZE
TOXIC BOOZE: A woman comforted a relative who fell ill after consuming bootleg liquor containing toxic methanol at a hospital in a village outside Kolkata. The cheap, illicit brew killed at least 143 people and sickened dozens more, officials said Thursday. (Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters)

FEELING FAINT
FEELING FAINT: A man fainted as about 1,000 pensioners marched through central Athens on Thursday to protest austerity measures that include pension and salary cuts. (Aristidis Vafeiadakis/Zuma Press)

PUTIN’S SHOW
PUTIN’S SHOW: A woman in Grozny, Chechnya, watched Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s 4½-hour marathon call-in show on national TV Thursday. Sharp-tongued and defiant, Mr. Putin denounced those protesting vote fraud as stooges of the West. (Musa Sadulayev/Associated Press)

CONFRONTATION
CONFRONTATION: A Bahraini police officer spoke to Zainab al-Khawaja, a human rights activist and daughter of a prominent opposition leader, during a rally Thursday near a highway leading to the capital, Manama. (Reuters)

WHITE DECEMBER
WHITE DECEMBER: A citizen carrying a child walked through the snow in Weihai, in east China’s Shandong Province. (Yu Qibo/Xinhua via Zuma Press)

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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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There are many forms of protest, many ways to express an objection to particular events, situations, policies, and even people.  Protests can also take many forms - from individual statements to mass demonstrations - both peaceful and violent. In the last 30 days, there have been numerous protests across the globe in many countries.  The following post is a collection of only some of those protests, but the images convey a gamut of emotions as citizens stand up for their political, economic, religious and lifestyle rights.  -- Paula Nelson (51 photos total)
As protesters sleep in Zuccotti Park, N.Y. police officers receive instructions. A group of activists calling themselves Occupy Wall Street targeted the Financial District for more than a week of demonstrations in late September. The group said they sought to bring attention to corporate malfeasance, social inequality, and the yawning gap in income between America's rich and poor. (Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)

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DOWNTIME
DOWNTIME: A man whose home was destroyed last week by Japan’s tsunami enjoyed a bath in a tent set up by the Self-Defense Forces in Kamaishi, Japan, Tuesday. Meanwhile, power had been reconnected Tuesday to all six of the reactors at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. (Damir Sagolj/Reuters)

EN ROUTE
EN ROUTE: An Afghan army soldier wounded by gunfire lay in an ambulance in southern Afghanistan Tuesday. Elsewhere, President Hamid Karzai officially unveiled plans for his security forces to begin taking control over modest sections of the country in July. (Peter Parks/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

RESOUNDING RING
RESOUNDING RING: Police held back demonstrators as a teacher rang a bell while thousands of educators demonstrated Tuesday in Kiev, Ukraine, against planned cuts to education funding. (Sergey Dolzhenko/European Pressphoto Agency)

WATERWORKS
WATERWORKS: A boy bathed in water gushing out of a broken water pipeline in Noida, India, Tuesday. March 22 is the United Nations World Water Day. (Parivartan Sharma/Reuters)

CLOAKED IN BLACK
CLOAKED IN BLACK: Shiite women cried during Bahiya al-Aradi’s funeral in Manama, Bahrain, Tuesday. Ms. Aradi, 51, was driving on a main road in Manama looking for gasoline when she was shot in the head last Wednesday as she approached a checkpoint, according to witnesses. (Joseph Eid/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

SCANNING SHIPMENTS
SCANNING SHIPMENTS: Port workers practiced detecting radiation levels on shipments at Manila’s south harbor Tuesday. (Aaron Favila/Associated Press)

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LAST OF HIS KIND
LAST OF HIS KIND: The casket of Frank Buckles lay in a chapel at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia Tuesday. Mr. Buckles, the last surviving American World War I veteran, died in February in West Virginia at age 110. Mr. Buckles lied about his age and enrolled in the Army at 16. (Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

PEEK-A-BOO
PEEK-A-BOO: A boy peered between the skirts of women protesting against the government in San’a, Yemen, Tuesday. Thousands of protesters took to the streets in the southern provinces of Taiz, Aden and Hadramawt. (Muhammed Muheisen/Associated Press)

SEWN TOGETHER
SEWN TOGETHER: Garment makers protested Tuesday in New Delhi against the imposition of a 10% excise tax on the industry, according to local media. (Adnan Abidi/Reuters)

LINING UP TO LEAVE
LINING UP TO LEAVE: Foreigners who had been working in Libya lined up to board buses at the Libya-Tunisia border Tuesday. More than 200,000 migrant workers have left Libya for neighboring countries. (Emilio Morenatti/Associated Press)

YOUNG SURVIVOR
YOUNG SURVIVOR: Neena Sasaki, 5, carried her belongings from her home in Rikuzentakata, Japan, Tuesday. Officials appeared to regain partial control of the earthquake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex, but stressed that the worst may not be over. (Paula Bronstein /Getty Images)

IN DESPAIR
IN DESPAIR: A hospital employee in Manama, Bahrain, on Tuesday was overwhelmed by the constant stream of patients coming in from the Shiite town of Sitra, where witnesses said pro-government vigilantes had gone on a rampage. (Eyevine/Zuma Press)

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BROKEN APART
BROKEN APART: People walked on a destroyed road in La Paz, Bolivia, Monday. Heavy rains caused a hilltop to collapse in a poor neighborhood of the Bolivian capital Sunday, cracking roads, destroying at least 400 homes and burying people’s belongings under mud and debris. (David Mercado/Reuters)

ON GADHAFI
ON GADHAFI: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva Monday. She said Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi and his allies have ‘lost the legitimacy to govern’ by reportedly executing soldiers who refused to turn their guns on civilians. (Valentin Flauraud/Reuters)

YEMEN UPHEAVAL
YEMEN UPHEAVAL: Protesters demanded the resignation of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in San’a, Yemen, Monday. Mr. Saleh’s offer to form a unity government with opponents who want him out of office—provided protests against him stop—was swiftly rejected. (Muhammed Muheisen/Associated Press)

CALLING OUT
CALLING OUT: A Bahraini Shi’ite woman shouted antigovernment slogans at the gate of Parliament in the Bahraini capital, Manama, Monday. Antigovernment protesters temporarily blocked access to the building and amassed outside the state-owned broadcaster. (Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters)

HARD AT WORK
HARD AT WORK: Children took the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education examination in Calcutta, India, Monday. Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee presented a budget Monday for the fiscal year starting April 1, 2011, and announced a 24% increase in funding for education. (Bikas Das/Associated Press)

NOT HOME
NOT HOME: African migrants stood outside an immigration center in Valletta, Malta, Monday. (Gregorio Borgia/Associated Press)

TAKING A REST
TAKING A REST: Mohammad Hanif, 80, held his two-year-old grandson, Wasif, as he sat on a railway line near their home in a Karachi, Pakistan, slum. (Akhtar Soomro/Reuters)

DOWN TO THE RIVER
DOWN TO THE RIVER: One of the Chilean miners rescued from last year’s mine collapse was baptized in the Jordan River at the Yardenit baptism site in northern Israel Monday. Israel’s tourism ministry sponsored the eight-day trip. (Sebastian Scheiner/Associated Press)

SECOND PLACE
SECOND PLACE: Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland sat on the snow after placing second in the women’s 10-kilometer individual cross-country skiing competition at the Nordic Skiing World Championships in Oslo, Norway, Monday. (Patrick Seeger/DPA/Zuma Press)

PARADE TRAGEDY
PARADE TRAGEDY: Mourners attended the funeral Monday of 16 people killed during a parade in Bandeira do Sul in southeastern Brazil. The victims were electrocuted when a power line fell atop a packed pre-Carnival street parade Sunday, police said. (Zuma Press)

CROPPING UP
CROPPING UP: A farmer checked wheat seedlings in a snow-covered field in Chenzhuang village in China’s Shandong Province Monday. Widespread rain and snow in northern China over the weekend brought relief to drought-stricken wheat-producing areas in China, official media said. (Zhang Zhenxiang/Xinhua/Zuma Press)

TAKING SHELTER
TAKING SHELTER: Smoke rose from the chimneys of tents at a refugee camp during a snowstorm in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday. (Musadeq Sadeq/Associated Press)

DESTROYING DESTROYERS
DESTROYING DESTROYERS: A man looked at land mines waiting to disposed of near the Western Sahara village of Tifariti Monday. (Arturo Rodriguez/Associated Press)

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