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Christmas Day

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diversity is everywhere in India, from its religions and languages to its economy, and climates. The second-most populous nation in the world, India is home to more than 1.2 billion people. Most are Hindu, but seven other religions -- including Islam, Christianity and Sikhism -- make up nearly 20 percent of the population. January 26 will be India's 62nd Republic Day, marking the date in 1950 when the country's constitution came into force. Collected here are recent photos from across the vast nation, offering only a small glimpse of the people and diversity of India. [41 photos]

Indian soldiers from the Border Security Forces atop camels stand at attention in front of the Presidential Palace during a ceremony in preparation for the annual Beating Retreat in New Delhi, India, on January 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)

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Friends and family gathered at St. Thomas Episcopal Church on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan for the funeral service of 9-year-old Lilian and 7-year-old twins Grace and Sarah Badger, who died, along with their maternal grandparents, in a Christmas day fire in Stamford, Conn. (Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal)

Discarded Christmas trees were piled at Amsterdam and 67th Street in Manhattan on Jan. 3. (Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal)

The scene at Broadway and West 207th Street on Jan. 4, the morning after a three-alarm fire. (Katie Orlinsky for The Wall Street Journal )

Eleanor Melissa Rollins, center right, embraced Tracy Robinson, center left, the niece of Deloris Gillespie. Friends and family of Ms. Gillespie attended her funeral at the First A.M.E. Zion Church in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, on Dec. 30. Ms. Gillespie was killed by a handyman who claimed she owed him money. (Natalie Keyssar for The Wall Street Journal)

TEAM company member Heather Christian sang and danced as the rest of the cast danced behind her during rehearsal for the musical ‘Mission Drift’ on Dec. 28 at the ART/NY space in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. (Natalie Keyssar for The Wall Street Journal)

Barista Steve Goodwine, right, prepared espresso drinks at Stumptown Coffee at 20 West 29th St, a gourmet coffee shop attached to the Ace Hotel in Manhattan, on Jan. 3. (Philip Montgomery for The Wall Street Journal)

The chorizo skillet, served with black beans, rice and cheese, at the newly opened restaurant the Caulfield at 119 E. 27th St. in Manhattan. (Agaton Strom for The Wall Street Journal)

Mashoud Izotou worked at Perfume Plus Inc., at 264 Fifth Ave. in Manhattan on Jan. 3. The owner has relocated twice in the last three years because of rising rents in the neighborhood. (Philip Montgomery for The Wall Street Journal)

A tray of freshly shucked oysters was ready to be delivered to a table at the John Dory Oyster Bar at 1196 Broadway in Manhattan. (Philip Montgomery for The Wall Street Journal)

New York State Sen. Eric Adams, right, spoke with David Johnson, the one-time to aide to former Gov. David Paterson, after a news conference on Jan. 2 on the steps of City Hall in Manhattan. Mr. Johnson said he would counsel at-risk youth with the group Fully Persuaded for Children and Families. (Philip Montgomery for The Wall Street Journal)

A pedestrian pulled her hood up against the wind on a chilly afternoon in Midtown Manhattan on Dec. 28. (Natalie Keyssar for The Wall Street Journal)

Bulls ran down a ramp backstage at Madison Square Garden Friday during preparations for this weekend’s 2012 Professional Bull Riding Built Ford Tough Series event. (Philip Montgomery for The Wall Street Journal)

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In the year 2011, a total of 565 NATO forces stationed in Afghanistan were killed -- down from 711 in 2010 -- marking the largest decline in annual deaths during the decade-long conflict. The large number of NATO soldiers on the ground appears to have made a difference, a fact that worries Afghans as the U.S. and others accelerate their planned pullback. This year, 23,000 U.S. soldiers are scheduled to depart the country, heading toward a full withdrawal by 2014. For now, U.S. troops appear to be focusing on intensive training of Afghan forces and preparing for the logistical challenge of shipping home some $30 billion worth of military gear. Gathered here are images of the people and places involved in this conflict over the past month, as part of an ongoing monthly series on Afghanistan. [42 photos]

Cpl. James Hernandez, a combat engineer with Alpha Company, 9th Engineer Support Battalion, and a native of Goodyear, Arizona, uses an electric saw to dismantle a HESCO barrier at Firebase Saenz, in Helmand province, on December 13, 2011. FB Saenz is the first of several patrol bases being demilitarized by the Marines of 9th ESB throughout the month of December. (USMC/Cpl. Bryan Nygaard)

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Sri Lankan prisoners prepare to perform a traditional dance at the main Welikada prison in Colombo November 17, 2011. The cultural event is organized by the prisons department as part of the rehabilitation program for convicts, according to officials. Occupy Los Angeles protesters march through downtown during a rally Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011. Occupy Wall [...]

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