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MEN VS. WOMEN
MEN VS. WOMEN: Villagers smeared themselves with color during the Lathmar Holi festival in Barsana, India, Friday. During the festival, the women of Barsana, the legendary hometown of Radha, consort of the Hindu god Krishna, attack the men from Nandgaon, the legendary hometown of Krishna, with wooden sticks when the men try to put color on them. (Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images)

IRAN ELECTION
IRAN ELECTION: A woman filled in her ballot during Iran’s parliamentary election at a mosque in southern Tehran Friday. The vote, which will determine which conservative faction dominates the parliament for the next four years, had a relatively lower turnout than usual. (Raheb Homavandi/Reuters)

HUNGER STRIKE
HUNGER STRIKE: Supporters helped South Korean opposition lawmaker Park Sun-young, center, at a protest near the Chinese Embassy in Seoul urging China to stop repatriating North Korean defectors. Ms. Park fainted on the 11th day of her hunger strike over the issue. (Lee Jin-man/Associated Press)

ALL IN A ROW
ALL IN A ROW: A hostess lined up chairs before a news conference of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Thursday at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. (Zuma Press)

EYE ON THE BALL
EYE ON THE BALL: Lee Westwood of England lined up a putt on the 13th hole during the second round of the Honda Classic at PGA National Friday in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

AFFORDABLE VEGETABLES
AFFORDABLE VEGETABLES: Residents crowded around a farmer selling cheap potatoes on the campus of the University of Thessaloniki in Greece Friday. Academic staff and students arranged for a group of farmers to sell products at nearly a third of supermarket prices. (Nikolas Giakoumidis/Associated 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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Extreme weather events have always been with us, and always will be. One can't point to a single severe storm, or even an entire harsh winter, as evidence of climate change. But a trend of weather intensity, and oddity, grows. Droughts linger longer. Hurricanes hit harder. Snowstorms strike long after winter should have ended. World record hailstones fall. China endures a crippling drought, and then punishing floods. Millions are displaced in a flood of historic proportion in Pakistan. The U.S. sees the Mississippi River reach historic flood crests, and then sees the largest wildfire in Arizona history. None of these events on their own mean anything. Collectively, do they mean we're seeing the earth's climate change before our eyes? -- Lane Turner (47 photos total)
A huge swath of the United States is affected by a winter storm that brought layers of dangerous ice and blowing snow, closing roads and airports from Texas to Rhode Island in this February 1 satellite image. The storm's more than 2,000-mile reach threatened to leave about a third of the nation covered in harsh weather. Ice fell first and was expected to be followed by up to two feet of snow in some places. (NOAA/AP)

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Brittany Ryder, 11, looks on as family members clear out their house during a mandatory evacuation on May 15, 2011 in Melville, Louisiana. The Morganza Spillway floodgates were opened for the first time in nearly forty years yesterday to lower the crest of the flooding Mississippi River. St. Landry Parish officials ordered a mandatory evacuation today for around 2000 residents in Krotz Springs and Melville, Louisiana.

Space shuttle Endeavour lifts off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 16, 2011 for its final and what will be the penultimate flight for the US shuttle program. “We want to thank all the tens of thousands of employees who have put their hands on this incredible ship,” shuttle commander Mark Kelly said moments before liftoff at 8:56.

A Palestinian demonstrator stands on a burnt-out car during clashes with Israeli troops, not seen, following a demonstration to mark the 63rd anniversary of “Nakba”, Arabic for “Catastrophe”, the term used to mark the events leading to Israel’s founding in 1948, in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiyeh.

 May 20, 2011

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Landon Bonaventure, 5, walks to the edge of floodwater from the Mississippi River, that flooded a dozen homes and businesses, seen in background, in St. Francisville, La., Thursday, May 19, 2011. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) #

 May 20, 2011

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Women make decorations in front of a sign made of posters for newly elected Haitian President Michel Martelly on his inauguration day on May 14, 2011 in the Canape Vert neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. In April, Martelly won the run-off election against candidate Mirlande Manigat. (Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images) #

 May 20, 2011

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Two Palestinian men stand on a road barricade armed with stones as fires burn around them during clashes with the Israeli police May 15, 2011 at Qalandiya checkpoint near Ramallah, West Bank. Today marks the 'Nakba' or 'catastrophe' which befell Palestinians following Israel's establishment in 1948. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images) #

 May 20, 2011

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Brittany Ryder, 11, looks on as family members clear out their house during a mandatory evacuation on May 15, 2011 in Melville, Louisiana. The Morganza Spillway floodgates were opened for the first time in nearly forty years yesterday to lower the crest of the flooding Mississippi River. St. Landry Parish officials ordered a mandatory evacuation today for around 2000 residents in Krotz Springs and Melville, Louisiana. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) #

 May 20, 2011

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The space shuttle Endeavour lifts off from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Monday, May 16, 2011. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) #

 May 20, 2011

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Members of the United States Naval Academy freshman class link arms and lay back into the Severn River as part of the "Wet and Sandy" challenge during the rigorous Sea Trials May 17, 2011 in Annapolis, MD. Under strict safety supervision, about 900 freshmen, or "Plebes," faced 14 hours of 32 rigorous physical and mental challenges during the trials, a daylong, action-oriented event modeled after the Marine Corps 54-hour Crucible and the Navy's Battle Stations. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) #

 May 20, 2011

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David Brodeur Jr, 4, bids a final farewell to his father, Maj. David Brodeur, following a graveside service at the Air Force Academy on May 17, 2011 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The 34-year-old U.S. fighter pilot was serving as a NATO trainer when he and 8 other Americans were shot and killed by an Afghan air force cadet April 27 at the Kabul International Airport. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images) #

 May 20, 2011

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Farmers work as floodwaters from the Mississippi river creep across their fields in Natchez, Miss., Tuesday, May 17, 2011. The Coast Guard said it closed the Mississippi River at the port in Natchez, Miss., on Tuesday because barge traffic could increase pressure on the levees. Heavy flooding from Mississippi tributaries has displaced more than 4,000 in the state, about half of them upstream from Natchez in the Vicksburg area. (AP Photo/Dave Martin) #

 May 20, 2011

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Tanya Acosta moves sandbags with a toy wagon as she constructs a sandbag berm around her home May 17, 2011 in Stepensville, Louisiana. The Morganza Spillway floodgates were opened for the first time in nearly forty years and have succussfully lowered the crest of the flooding Mississippi River into the Atchafalaya Basin. Heavy rains have left the ground saturated, rivers swollen, and have caused widespread flooding in Louisiana. Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) #

 May 20, 2011

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This citizen journalism photo taken with a cell phone by Stefanie Gordon aboard a passenger flight from New York to Palm Beach, Fla. shows the space shuttle Endeavor as it streaks toward orbit shortly after liftoff Monday May 16, 2011. Gordon says she had just awakened from a nap on the flight when the pilot announced the shuttle might come into view. (AP Photo/Stefanie Gordon) #

 May 20, 2011

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Maria Shriver appears with Oprah Winfrey during a star-studded double-taping of "Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular," Tuesday, May 17, 2011, in Chicago. "The Oprah Winfrey Show" is ending its run May 25, after 25 years, and millions of her fans around the globe are waiting to see how she will close out a show that spawned a media empire. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast) #

 May 20, 2011

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Paramilitary policemen patrol at the Tiananmen Square outside the Forbidden City, which was the Chinese imperial palace from the mid-Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty, on May 18, 2011 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images) #

 May 20, 2011

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Floodwaters from the Yazoo river creep across fields of crops near Yazoo City, Miss., Thursday, May 19, 2011. The water is expected to crest on Thursday. For thousands of people forced from their homes by the rising Mississippi River, life has become a tedious waiting game: waiting for meals at shelters, waiting for the latest word on their flooded homes, waiting for the river to fall. (AP Photo/Dave Martin) #

 May 20, 2011

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Flooded railroad tracks run near the Mississippi River on May 19, 2011 in Vicksburg, Mississippi. The river finally crested today at 57 feet in Vicksburg, the highest level in recorded history. Heavy rains have left the ground saturated, rivers swollen, and have caused widespread flooding in Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) #

 May 20, 2011

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A masked Palestinian demonstrator uses a sling-shot to hurl stones at Israeli troops, not pictured, during the weekly demonstration against Israel's separation barrier in the West Bank village of Bilin, near Ramallah, Friday, May 20, 2011. President Barack Obama on Thursday finally uttered the words the Palestinians had been waiting to hear for two years: that the basis for border talks with Israel is the pre-1967 war line.(AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed) #

 May 20, 2011

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A girl walks on a sunflower field during the Agro Brasilia, an agricultural exhibition on the outskirts of Brasilia, Brazil, Thursday, May 19, 2011. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres) #

 May 20, 2011

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Iraqi security forces inspect the scene of a bombing in Kirkuk, 180 miles, or 290 kilometers, north of Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, May 19, 2011. Twin bombs that appeared timed to lure policemen out of their fortified headquarters killed and wounded dozens of policemen. (AP Photo/Emad Matti) #

 May 20, 2011

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Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, centre, Irish President Mary Mc Aleese, right, and Christy Cooney, President of the Gaelic Athletic Association look out at the pitch at the home of the GAA, Croke Park Stadium, in Dublin, Wednesday May 18, 2011, site of a notorious massacre where British troops killed 14 Irish civilians in 1920. The Queen's visit to Croke Park on the second day of her historic trip to the Republic of Ireland highlights the vast improvement in Anglo-Irish relations since those dark days. It brought the English monarch to a large sports stadium that is a revered spot for Irish nationalists who mourn those who died there during the conflict with Britain.(AP Photo/pool) #

 May 20, 2011

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A Kashmiri boy jumps into the Nigeen Lake on a hot summer day in Srinagar, India, Wednesday, May 18, 2011. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan) #

 May 20, 2011

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Kelly Slater of the U.S. competes in round one of the Billabong Rio Pro men's surfing competition at the Arpoador Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday May 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana) #

 May 20, 2011

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A Pakistani child, with his face covered with flies, sits inside a wooden cart in an alley of a slum on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, Tuesday, May 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

 May 20, 2011

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President Barack Obama greets graduates, some overcome with emotion, before he delivers the commencement address at the Booker T. Washington High School graduation at Cook Convention Center in Memphis, Tenn., Monday, May 16, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) #

 May 20, 2011

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Pakistanis gather in a field playing cricket and other games as the sun sets in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, May 16, 2011. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

 May 20, 2011

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US space shuttle Endeavour lifts off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 16, 2011 for its final and what will be the penultimate flight for the US shuttle program. "We want to thank all the tens of thousands of employees who have put their hands on this incredible ship," shuttle commander Mark Kelly said moments before liftoff at 8:56 (1256 GMT). AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM #

 May 20, 2011

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A Palestinian demonstrator stands on a burnt-out car during clashes with Israeli troops, not seen, following a demonstration to mark the 63rd anniversary of "Nakba", Arabic for "Catastrophe", the term used to mark the events leading to Israel's founding in 1948, in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiyeh, Sunday, May 15 ,2011.(AP Photo/Oded Balilty) #

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