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WSJ Staff

In today's pictures, a security guard tackles an activist in Brussels, fighting breaks out in Taiwan's parliament, a horseman stands atop galloping horses in Germany, and more.

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Monsoon season in southern Asia has begun, and in India the rains arrived ahead of schedule, easing drought concerns. Monsoon rains can be disruptive and even deadly, but crucial for the farmers whose crops feed millions of people. Though concerns for flooding are prevalent, the arrival of the rains brings colorful celebrations and relief from the heat every year. -Leanne Burden Seidel (32 photos total)
An Indian buffalo herder holding a traditional handmade umbrella stands in a field to keep watch of his buffaloes as monsoon clouds hover above in Bhubaneswar, India, on June 13, 2013. (Biswaranjan Rout/Associated Press)     

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Simple and efficient, rail travel nonetheless inspires a sense of romance. By train, subway, and a seemingly endless variety of trams, trolleys, and coal shaft cars, we've moved on rails for hundreds of years. Industry too relies on the billions of tons of freight moved annually by rolling stock. Gathered here are images of rails in our lives, the third post in an occasional series on transport, following Automobiles and Pedal power. -- Lane Turner (47 photos total)
An employee adjusts a CRH380B high-speed Harmony bullet train as it stops for an examination during a test run at a bullet train exam and repair center in Shenyang, China on October 23, 2012. (Stringer/Reuters)     

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In today’s pictures, family members grieve at a funeral in Texas for a district attorney and his wife, workers cull birds at a poultry market in China, women go to the races in England, and more.

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bookI may be risking my 30-year friendship with John Kricfalusi by saying this, but Thad Komorowski’s new book, Sick Little Monkeys: The Unauthorized Ren & Stimpy Story, is a really great read. Beyond that, Thad went to great lengths – without the cooperation of John K or anyone at Nickelodeon – to research the history of the show and its participants, and to tell a compelling and cautionary tale of rags-to-riches cartoon success in contemporary Hollywood. The story is woven together through extensive interviews with key players including Bob Camp, Billy West, Bob Jaques and a dozen others – Komorowski also traces Spumco’s roots from John’s early days with Filmation and Bakshi, with extensive critiques of the Ren & Stimpy cartoons themselves (a complete episode guide is included in the appendix), through to the latter day excesses of the Spike shows. The whole story is here, meticulously researched, clearly justifying the show’s important role in the recent history of animation. There’s no question Spumco changed the face of television animation – and still influences series, students and independent animators today. Love it or hate it, this book explains how it all came to be – and for that, it’s a must-read.

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