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Reuters

A man uses the cover of a hot tub to move a TV set through floodwaters at Cornubia, Queensland. Massive summer floods have killed four people and forced thousands to evacuate their homes across the Australian states of Queensland and New South Wales, according to local authorities. -- Reuters

Editor's note: Photo taken on Jan. 29, 2013 and made available to NBC News today.

Related:

Wild weather has broken a lot of hearts: Australia PM

Video: Frothy sea foam spills into Australian town

PhotoBlog: Three killed, dozens rescued in Australia floods


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Narciso Contreras / AP

Night falls on a Syrian rebel-controlled area as destroyed buildings, including Dar Al-Shifa hospital, are seen on Sa'ar street after airstrikes targeted the area last week, killing dozens in Aleppo, Syria.

Narciso Contreras / AP

Men warm themselves by a fire in a Syrian rebel controlled area in where residents are trying to get back to their daily lives after months of heavy fighting in Aleppo, Syria.

Narciso Contreras / AP

On Sa'ar street in Aleppo, an apartment is illuminated by fire used to keep warm.

More photos from Syria on PhotoBlog

Slideshow: Syria uprising

Story: Airport road reopens but Internet still cut

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Gregorio Borgia / AP

This combined picture shows Italian sculptor Oliviero Rainaldi's statue of Pope John Paul II before its restoration, left, on Sept. 23, 2011, and at its inauguration after the restoration, in Rome on Nov. 19, 2012.

The Associated Press reports — The city of Rome has inaugurated a revamped statue of Pope John Paul II after the first one was pilloried by the public and the Vatican.

Pope or Mussolini? Statue sparks uproar

Artist Oliviero Rainaldi says he's pleased with the final product, saying it matches his original vision. He blamed foundry workers for a botched assemblage the first time around.

The statue was restored after Rainaldi was pilloried by the Vatican for creating a sculpture of Pope John Paul II that some mockingly said looked more like Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini than the beloved late pontiff. Even the Vatican's own art critic wrote that it looked like a "bomb" had landed. 

Gregorio Borgia / AP

A woman stops to look at the newly unveiled Pope John Paul II statue in Rome on Nov. 19, 2012.

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Fabio Bucciarelli / AFP - Getty Images

October 23: An elderly woman crosses a street next to a long black cloth used to separate the area from Syrian government forces' sniper fire, in the Bab el-Adid district in Aleppo. UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is pushing "extremely hard" for a ceasefire in Syria and will brief the UN Security Council on Wednesday on his efforts, the UN spokesman said.

By David R Arnott, NBC News

As we edited our slideshow on the conflict in Syria today, the picture above made us pause. The scene looked familiar. Checking back through the hundreds of pictures wire agencies have transmitted from Aleppo over recent weeks, we found out why: We had seen this street before, 39 days earlier.    

Marco Longari / AFP - Getty Images

September 14: A man carrying grocery bags tries to dodge sniper fire as he runs through an alley near a checkpoint manned by the Free Syrian Army in the northern city of Aleppo. Syrian regime forces used fighter jets and helicopter gunships to pound the city and province of Aleppo, monitors said.

Some tell-tale details remain the same. The red traffic sign on the right has the same small scratch across its band of white. The same green and red graffiti is just about visible on a distant wall. But in the intervening weeks, other things have changed. Rubble is piled up on the left of the frame, where an intact wall and sidewalk was previously visible. And while desperate civilians continue to risk the dangerous path across this piece of open ground, a long piece of cloth has been hung from one side of the street to the other, in an attempt to block the view of snipers.

In an article published on Tuesday, Hamza Hendawi of The Associated Press described the daily lives of Aleppans as the conflict rages around them:

With death lurking around every corner, the survival instincts of Aleppo's population are being stretched to the limit every day as the battle between Syria's rebels and the regime of President Bashar Assad for the country's largest city stretches through its fourth destructive month. Residents in the rebel-held neighborhoods suffering the war's brunt tell tales of lives filled with fear over the war in their streets, along with an ingenuity and resilience in trying to keep their shattered families going.

And while residents of the rebel-held areas express their hatred of Assad's regime and their dream of seeing him go, they also voice their worries over the rebels and the destruction that their offensive has brought to their city. Graffiti on the shutter of a closed store declares the population's sense of resignation: "God, you are all we've got." Read the full story.

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Masataka Morita / AP

A boat, center, is surrounded by Japan Cost Guard's patrol boats after some activists descended from the boat on Uotsuri Island, one of the islands of Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese, in East China Sea Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012.

Reuters reports: Japan is considering deporting 14 Chinese activists arrested over their landing on a disputed island as soon as Friday in a move that could defuse a worsening feud between Tokyo and Beijing, Japanese media reported on Thursday.

The activists, seven of whom landed on Wednesday on the rocky, uninhabited isle in the East China Sea claimed by both nations, have been transferred to Okinawa for questioning by police on Thursday morning, public broadcaster NHK said. Continue reading the full story.

Jiji Press / AFP - Getty Images

A Hong Kong man one of the pro-China activists that landed on the disputed island known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. EDITORS NOTE---- HANDCUFFS HAVE BEEN PIXELATED BY SOURCE JIJI PRESS

Masataka Morita / AP

Activists holding Chinese and Taiwanese flags are arrested by Japanese police officers after landing on Uotsuri Island on Wednesday.

 

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Phil Moore / AFP - Getty Images

A Syrian rebel with a bandaged eye walks past closed shops in the Bab Nasr district of Aleppo on Aug. 14.

Fresh fighting erupted in Aleppo, Syria, monitors said, as a pro-government daily warned the capture of a key rebel district was just a "first step" in the retaking of all opposition areas. 

Core loyalist troops, drawn mostly from Assad's minority Alawite sect, are locked primarily into what is shaping up to be a protracted battle for Aleppo, as well as in shoring up an uncertain grip over the capital Damascus.

In the process, Assad faces the specter of Deir al-Zor province slipping out of his orbit and with it Syria's 200,000 barrel-a-day oil output, military experts and diplomats say.

Continue reading Reuters article.

Phil Moore / AFP - Getty Images

A Syrian rebel holds his rifle in the Bab Nasr district of Aleppo on Aug. 14.

Phil Moore / AFP - Getty Images

A shell blast damaged a hospital room in the Shaar district of the northern city of Aleppo on Aug. 14.

Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

A Free Syrian Army fighter fires his sniper rifle from a house in Aleppo on Aug. 14.

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Slideshow: Syria uprising

Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

After months of protests and violent crackdowns, a look back at the violence that has overtaken the country.

Launch slideshow

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Hussein Malla / AP

A Lebanese military intelligence agent holds his gun as he runs during clashes between Lebanese troops and a Syrian gunman who had engaged in an hours-long shootout with the security forces, in Beirut, Lebanon, on May 24, 2012.

Anwar Amro / AFP - Getty Images

Lebanese security forces take position as they storm a building in Beirut's Karakass district on May 24, 2012 following a shootout during the night with a man holed up inside a flat.

Hussein Malla / AP

A Lebanese soldier, right, and a policeman, left, take position in front of the apartment building where clashes erupted.

Reuters reports — Two people were killed when Lebanese soldiers stormed an apartment in Beirut on Thursday where a gunman had exchanged fire with security forces, a security source at the scene said.

The source told Reuters the gunman, a Syrian national, was killed when the soldiers broke into the apartment at around 6 a.m. (11 p.m. ET), following several hours of shooting.

Boiling point: On Lebanon's Syria Street, a civil war brews

They found the body of another man in the apartment, along with rifles and grenades, and two men who were arrested.

Four soldiers were wounded, the source said.

It was not immediately clear whether the incident was linked to recent sectarian violence in the Lebanese capital which has been fuelled by the conflict in neighboring Syria. Read the full story.

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Hussein Malla / AP

Lebanese soldiers help a young girl and her family flee her house via a backyard during the clashes.

Anwar Amro / AFP - Getty Images

Lebanese security forces detain an unidentified man outside a building in Beirut's Karakass district on May 24, 2012.

Syria's chaos has come over the border into Lebanon, with gunmen clashing in deadly street battles. NBC's John Ray reports.

 

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Jon Gambrell / AP

A man sits near an abandoned ship that lays beached near Takwa Bay just off the coast of Lagos, Nigeria on Wednesday. Abandoned ships are an environmental threat to the area as the wrecks of various large rusting hulks litter the coastline of Nigeria, without the funds or incentive to clean-up the strand.

Jon Gambrell / AP

A group of people walk along the corniche area toward abandoned ships that lay beached near Takwa Bay just off the coast of Lagos, Nigeria.

Jon Gambrell / AP

Men stand by an abandoned ship that lays beached near Takwa Bay.

See more images from Nigeria in PhotoBlog.

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Musadeq Sadeq / AP

A child stands with his father as they wait to receive blankets and winter jackets from Welthungerhilfe, a German NGO, during a snow fall at a camp for internally displaced Afghans in Kabul, Afghanistan, Feb, 20. 2012. More than 40 people, most of them children, have frozen to death in what has been Afghanistan's coldest winter in years.

By Phaedra Singelis, msnbc.com

Afghanistan is experiencing unusually cold weather and heavy snowfalls which have led to at least 40 deaths.

Hopefully, the weather will improve soon.

See more photos from Afghanistan in our slideshow below.

Slideshow: Afghanistan: Nation at a crossroads

Qais Usyan / AFP - Getty Images

More than ten years after the beginning of the war, Afghanistan faces external pressure to reform as well as ongoing internal conflicts.

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Oded Balilty / AP

Sudanese Mutasim Qamrawi, 22, shows his scars from the four months he was held in captivity by smugglers in Egypt's Sinai desert at a shelter in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Feb. 16.

Oded Balilty / AP

Sudanese Mutasim Qamrawi is among the growing number of African migrants who say they were captured, held hostage and tortured by Egyptian smugglers hired to sneak them into Israel.

By Jon Sweeney

Mutasim Qamrawi, a 22-year-old from Sudan, is among a growing number of African migrants reporting they were tortured in Egypt's Sinai desert by smugglers despite promises to sneak them into Israel, where they hoped to find freedom and a decent job. The smugglers then extorted the migrants' families for more money.

Human rights advocates say the situation is worsening, because smugglers are using harsher torture methods and demanding more money — as much as $40,000.

Some 50,000 Africans have entered Israel in recent years, fleeing conflict and poverty in search of safety and opportunity in the relatively prosperous Jewish state. They need the smugglers' help to navigate the rugged Sinai desert and reach Israel's border.

-- The Associated Press contributed to this blog post

Oded Balilty / AP

African refugees keep themselves warm at a shelter in Tel Aviv on Feb. 16. Some 50,000 Africans have entered Israel in recent years, fleeing conflict and poverty.

Oded Balilty / AP

African refugees share breakfast at a shelter in Tel Aviv on Feb. 16.

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