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World Water Day is observed on March 22 every year. The day to recognize the importance of earth's most precious natural resource was proposed 20 years ago at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. While we often take water for granted, many cannot. And water plays a role in almost everything we do. We drink it, wash in it, play in it, generate power with it, irrigate crops with it, travel and transport goods on it, fight fires with it, and worship with it. Gathered here are images of water from the last year in all its uses, in scarcity and in abundance. -- Lane Turner (48 photos total)
A child bathes from a public tap in his neighborhood in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on March 6, 2012. A UNICEF report says unhygienic conditions cause an estimated 1. 2 million child deaths before the age of five from diarrhea worldwide every year. The report says in urban areas access to improved water and sanitation is not keeping pace with population growth. (Eranga Jayawardena/Associated Press)

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All it takes are two groups of people, one to gather and one to march past them. Parades took place across the globe these past two months for a variety of celebrations, from shows of military power, to tributes to organized labor, to pride for one’s country or culture. -- Lloyd Young (37 photos total)
Performers dance in the street parade at the annual Notting Hill Carnival in central London Aug. 29.. Revelers flocked to west London for one of Europe's biggest street parties, with record numbers of police on duty to prevent a repetition of riots that shook the British capital three weeks ago. Notting Hill Carnival, an annual celebration of Caribbean culture that usually draws about 1 million people for a colorful procession of musicians and performers. (Olivia Harris/Reuters)

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Britain’s Jessica Ennis makes an attempt in the Heptathlon Long Jump at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011.

Hurricane Irene moved along the east coast causing heavy flooding damage as far north as Vermont and shutting down the entire New York mass transit system. One of two people rescued from a sailboat, right, uses a line to make their way onto the beach on Willoughby Spit in Norfolk, Va., Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011, after they and another person were rescued from the boat that foundered in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. A rescuer, left, waits for s second person to exit the boat.

A Libyan rebel fighter holds ammunition from one of Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s munitions dumps hidden behind a row of residential houses on August 28, 2011 in Tripoli, Libya. Heavy fighting continues in the Libyan city of Sirte between Gaddafi’s forces and the surging rebel presence.

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Britain's Jessica Ennis makes an attempt in the Heptathlon Long Jump at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #

 September 2, 2011

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One of two people rescued from a sailboat, right, uses a line to make their way onto the beach on Willoughby Spit in Norfolk, Va., Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011, after they and another person were rescued from the boat that foundered in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. A rescuer, left, waits for s second person to exit the boat. (AP Photo/TheVirginian-Pilot, Bill Tiernan) #

 September 2, 2011

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People shield themselves from blowing sand and rain as they look over the beach during Hurricane Irene August 27, 2011 in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. Hurricane Irene hit Dare County, which sits along the Outer Banks and includes the vacation towns of Nags Head, Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills, as a category one hurricane around mid-day today. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) #

 September 2, 2011

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A Libyan rebel fighter holds ammunition from one of Col. Muammar Gaddafi's munitions dumps hidden behind a row of residential houses on August 28, 2011 in Tripoli, Libya. Heavy fighting continues in the Libyan city of Sirte between Gaddafi's forces and the surging rebel presence. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images) #

 September 2, 2011

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Billy Stinson (C), his wife Sandra Stinson and daughter Erin Stinson (R) comfort each other as they sit on the steps where their cottage once stood before it was destroyed by Hurricane Irene August 28, 2011 in Nags Head, North Carolina. The cottage, built in 1903 and destroyed yesterday by Hurricane Irene, was one of the first vacation cottages built on Albemarle Sound in Nags Head. Stinson has owned the home, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, since 1963. "We were pretending, just for a moment, that the cottage was still behind us and we were just sitting there watching the sunset," said Erin afterward. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) #

 September 2, 2011

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Traveller boy Pa Button (L) holds a puppy in a mobile home at Dale Farm on August 30, 2011 in Basildon, England. Dale Farm is the largest Romany Gypsy and Irish Traveller site in the United Kingdom. Part of the site is due for demolition after the local authorities deemed that it was built without planning permission. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) #

 September 2, 2011

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Tom Chase waves atop of his friend's beach home in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene, in East Haven, Conn., Monday, Aug. 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill) #

 September 2, 2011

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Portuguese fishermen, seen in silhouette, pull their net out of the sea onto the beach Monday, Aug. 29, 2011 in Caparica coast, near Lisbon. Along side the coast, fishermen use the common technique of trawling near the shore and pulling the nets out of the sea onto the beach by using an agricultural tractor. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco) #

 September 2, 2011

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Telephone workmen attempt to find the telephone line along the storm battered road on Hwy 12 in Rodanthe, N.C. Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011. Landline phone service and power had been restored to Hatteras Village, Frisco, Buxton and Avon but north towards Pea Island damage was severe and residents were still disconnected Tuesday. ( AP Photo/The News & Observer, Chuck Liddy) #

 September 2, 2011

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Meghan Morrow sweeps mud and debris from what is left of the Windham Spa, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011 in Windham, N.Y. Officials say more than a dozen towns in Vermont and at least three in New York are cut off, with roads and bridges washed out by flooding caused by the remnants of Hurricane Irene. In New York, the towns of Keene in the Adirondacks, and Windham and Phoenicia in the Catskills are effectively isolated by damage to roads and bridges. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) #

 September 2, 2011

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In this Wednesday Aug. 31, 2011 photo, spectators flee as waves created by a tidal bore crash over a barrier on the Qiantang river at Haining, in east China's Zhejiang province. About 20 people were injured when they were caught too close to the river while viewing the annual tidal bore, which occurs when sea water from an unusually high tide funnels into the river, creating high waves. (AP Photo) #

 September 2, 2011

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South Korea's Kim Deok-hyeon competes in the qualification for the Men's Triple Jump at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea, Friday, Sept. 2, 2011. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) #

 September 2, 2011

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Libyans celebrate with their new flag at Martyrs Square in Tripoli on September 1, 2011. AFP PHOTO/ FRANCISCO LEONG #

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Afghan refugee boys play on a homemade swing as they celebrate the second day of Eid al-Fitr festival which marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011. Eid, one of the most important holidays in the Muslim world, is marked with prayers, family reunions and other festivities. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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Louisiana National Guard helicopters dump water on a burning marsh fire in Eastern New Orleans, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) #

 September 2, 2011

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Fireworks are seen in the sky over St. Basil Cathedral, left, and Spasskaya tower,right, at the International Military Music Festival Spasskaya Tower at the Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011. Festival was opening on Wednesday in Moscow for five days. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel) #

 September 2, 2011

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Iranian women perform their Eid al-Fitr prayer, at the Imam Sq. in the city of Isfahan some 234 mile (390 kilometers) south of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday Aug. 31, 2011. Eid al-Fitr is the Islamic holiday that comes at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi) #

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In this photo taken Monday, Aug. 29, 2011, North Korean children perform at a theater in Rason, North Korea. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) #

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A reveler throws tomato pulp during the annual "Tomatina" tomato fight fiesta in the village of Bunol, near Valencia, Spain, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011. Bunol's town hall estimated more than 40,000 people, some from as far away as Japan and Australia, took up arms Wednesday and pelted each other with 120 tons of ripe tomatoes in the yearly food fight known as the 'Tomatina' now in its 66th year. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz) #

 September 2, 2011

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A Pakistani Muslim buys a balloon for his child as he leaves after offering prayers of Eid al Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, in Karachi, Pakistan, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011. Eid, one of the most important holidays in the Muslim world, is marked with prayers, family reunions and other festivities. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan) #

 September 2, 2011

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In this photo taken Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011, a man stands on the bow of the North Korean leisure boat the "Mangyongbong" during its trial cruise to Mount Kumgang resort from the port of Rason, North Korea. Since South Korean tourists have been barred from the luxury resort, known abroad as Diamond Mountain, North Korea has begun courting Chinese and other international tourists. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) #

 September 2, 2011

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An Indian Muslim man offers Eid al-Fitr prayers at the Jama Masjid mosque in New Delhi on August 31, 2011. Muslims around the world celebrated Eid al-Fitr which marks the end of the month of Ramadan, after the sighting of the new crescent moon. (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images) #

 September 2, 2011

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A woman with fingers painted in the colours of the Libyan flag celebrates in Martyrs Square (formerly Green Square under Kadhafi) in Tripoli on August 30, 2011. Thousands of Libyans gathered in the square to celebrate the success of rebel fighters against Colonel Gaddafi's forces and the beginning of the Muslim festival Eid. AFP PHOTO / Carl de Souza #

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An Indian villager throws a fishing net into the River Brahmaputra at Suwalkuchi, west of Gauhati, India, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011. (AP Photo/ Anupam Nath) #

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Habiba Osman Ahmed,seated with her two children in a makeshift shelter in Dollow refugee camp in southern Somalia, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011. She was a former farmer, but since Somalia's 20-year civil war pushed the drought into famine, everything has changed. Now she doesn't even have a pot to cook in, and must share with another family. She will wait patiently while they finish their food before preparing her own. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi) #

 September 2, 2011

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An Indian Muslim woman poses showing her hands decorated with mehendi (henna) during 'Chand Raat' or 'Night of the Moon' in Hyderabad on August 30, 2011, traditionally held on the eve of the festival of Eid al-Fitr. Muslims all over the world began Eid-al-Fitr celebrations at the sighting of the crescent moon, marking the end of Muslim's holy fasting month of Ramadan. AFP PHOTO / Noah SEELAM #

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Camels stand on the motorway between Misrata and Sirte, on August 30, 2011. Libyan rebles were advancing towards Syrte, fallen leader Moamer Kadhafi's hometown and the last bastion of loyalists. AFP PHOTO / Filippo MONTEFORTE #

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Indian Muslims pray outside the Jama mosque during the holy month of Ramadan in New Delhi, India, Monday, Aug. 29, 2011. Muslims are preparing to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan.(AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh) #

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Seen from overhead, a Pakistani youth reads verses of the Quran while attending a religious class during the holy fasting month of Ramadan in a Mosque in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, Aug. 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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An Afghan girl begs for alms outside a mosque in the city of Jalalabad the provincial capital of Nangarhar province east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul) #

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TOMATO BATH
TOMATO BATH: A reveler was covered with tomato pulp after the annual Tomatina tomato fight in the village of Bunol, Spain, on Wednesday. (Heino Kalis/Reuters)

CLEAN SWEEP
CLEAN SWEEP: A volunteer removed mud and debris from a real estate office that was flooded in Tropical Storm Irene, on West Main Street in Wilmington, Vt., on Wednesday. The nearby Deerfield River overflowed its banks Sunday, inundating homes and businesses in the downtown area. (Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images)

TIDAL WAVE
TIDAL WAVE: A crowd of Chinese tourists ran away as a tidal wave broke through a dam by the Qiangtang River in Haining, in east China’s Zhejiang Province on Wednesday. (AFP/Getty Images)

PARTY DIVIDE
PARTY DIVIDE: Supporters of Julius Malema, the president of the youth arm of the African National Congress, gathered during his hearing in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Wednesday. Mr. Malema faces charges of sowing division and bringing the party into disrepute. (Kim Ludbrook/EPA)

EID RIDE
EID RIDE: Emiratis enjoyed a ride at a fun fair in Dubai late Tuesday as Muslims celebrated Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan. (Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images)

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WIDE-EYED
WIDE-EYED: Sumayya, 8, whose uncle, Imran Ali, was injured by gunmen, looked at him in a hospital in Karachi, Pakistan, Tuesday. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement, a political party, called a strike to protest the deaths of at least 96 people killed in the city in the past week. (Athar Hussain/Reuters)

PINNED DOWN
PINNED DOWN: Police officers arrested a protester on Market Street in San Francisco Monday. Dozens of people protested against the Bay Area Rapid Transit agency’s decision to shut down wireless service in its stations on Aug. 11 to quell a brewing protest that day. (Jeff Chiu/Associated Press)

SANDSTORM
SANDSTORM: Soldiers shielded themselves from sand as a helicopter transported their wounded comrades to a hospital in Kandahar, Afghanisan, Tuesday. At least three soldiers were wounded by an improvised explosive devise. (Johannes Eisele/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

STATION STRESS
STATION STRESS: A mother held her daughter as people scrambled into the Pasar Senen train station Tuesday in Jakarta, Indonesia, to begin their journey back to their hometowns for the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday. (Beawiharta/Reuters)

FLOATING ALONG
FLOATING ALONG: Rattanaporn,13, floated on a street near her home Tuesday in Phinchit, Thailand, after the Yom River overflowed. Dozens of people have died in flooding. (Paula Bronstein /Getty Images)

LOTUS SHADE
LOTUS SHADE: Girls rode their bicycles with lotus leaves keeping their heads cool in Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province, China, Monday. (ChinaFotoPress/Zuma Press)

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David R Arnott writes

Former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic appeared before a court in The Hague Friday to hear charges of genocide. Follow the latest developments in the case here, and read a story from a survivor of Bosnia's killing fields here. In the wake of Mladic's arrest, Reuters photographer Damir Sagolj, who served in the Bosnian army during the war of 1992-95, recounted his personal recollections of working in Srebrenica:

"I've been to more than one hundred mass graves, mass funerals and witnessed the long, exhaustive process of victim 
identification. I've taken pictures of bones found in caves and rivers, dug from mud, recovered from woods and mines or 
just left by the road.

"Most of these terrible assignments were around the small, end-of-the-road town of Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia.

Damir Sagolj / Reuters, file

One of hundreds of coffins with remains of Bosnian Muslims is taken to a cemetery near Srebrenica, late July 10, 2007. The mass burial of 465 victims of the 1995 massacre of up to 8,000 Muslim men and boys by Bosnian Serb forces was held the following day at a joint cemetery near Srebrenica.

"The international criminal court says that a genocide was committed in Srebrenica in July of 1995 when Bosnian Serb forces massacred thousands of Muslims after the enclave, ironically under U.N. protection as a safe haven, was overrun by an army led by its ruthless commander.

"Ratko Mladic, a typical officer from what used to be the Yugoslav people's army, was the commander of the forces that overran the enclave. He described it as revenge upon the Turks for the events of the early 19th century. Thousands of white Muslim gravestones at the terrifying and extremely sad Srebrenica memorial remain as a symbol of that 'revenge'. Thousands are still missing, their bones hidden in heavy Bosnian soil.

Damir Sagolj / Reuters, file

A woman holds a photo of her missing son as Bosnian Muslim relatives of the victims and survivors of the Srebrenica massacre meet with ex-Dutch peacekeepers in a former U.N base in Potocari on October 17, 2007. A group of Dutch ex-peacekeepers whose mission was to protect civilians in the U.N. safe haven of Srebrenica visited the site and met with survivors and relatives of victims.

"I was in Sarajevo when the news came to us, transmitted over a noisy, primitive radio system. Local reporters from Srebrenica - who would disappear themselves over the next few days - sent the dramatic message that Ratko's troops were entering the town. We all knew it was going to be bad, but still I had no idea of the scale of the tragedy. Yes, the enclave had fallen, but the U.N. were there, so the civilians and prisoners of war should be treated in accordance with the Geneva conventions. How wrong and naive I was!

Damir Sagolj / Reuters, file

A destroyed house is seen from inside a car on December 20, 2007 near the site where the Srebrenica massacre occurred.

"I have never seen Ratko Mladic, I never photographed him, but his bloody signature is written all over my pictures. Every time I would go to another mass grave or a mass funeral of victims of his 'revenge', the face of a man confident he is doing the right thing would come into the frame. Sleeves rolled up, binoculars in his hands as he ordered his artillery 'Don't let them sleep. Make them lose their minds.'

"I will carry the mud from mass graves and the smell of decomposing bodies on my shoes wherever I go. I will continue shooting my Srebrenica pictures on every story of crimes against humanity no matter how far away and how different they may be.

Damir Sagolj / Reuters, file

Bosnian Muslim returnees to Srebrenica arrive for morning prayers on the first day of Eid al-Adha celebrations, December 20, 2007.

"Last week, after more than 15 years on the run, Ratko Mladic was captured in a small village in Serbia. Looking at the pictures of an old man emerging from a Belgrade court – Mladic is almost seventy now – sends chills down my spine. I'm not even sure I want to see him any more, to hear what he has to say. His words from back then were enough, there is not much else to say.

"All that is important can be understood from the pictures – a sea of coffins lined up for the funeral every 11th of July, a wrinkled face of a woman, the only survivor in her family, as she holds a photo of her dead son, bones bulldozed in the mass graves, the names on the memorial…

Damir Sagolj / Reuters, file

A Bosnian Muslim man searches for the name of a killed relative amongst gravestones of victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, following morning prayers on the first day of Eid al-Fitr in Srebrenica on October 12, 2007.

"Covering a story like this is not an easy thing to do, no matter how big and important it is. Fifteen years of the same – one could ask 'Does anyone care anymore? How many times can the same story be written?'

"The threshold was raised as the years passed and questions were asked – How many at this mass grave, is it over one hundred? Anything special? A baby skull with a bullet hole, maybe a body impaled on the stake? Only thirty bodies?

"As I went from one atrocity site to another Mladic was still in hiding, raising questions that made my head hurt like hell. He would only appear from time to time on the posters or T-shirts of his supporters – there are people still calling him a hero. That is where reality bites and the pictures get scary – ghosts of victims dancing between white grave marks in our photos are harmless.

Damir Sagolj / Reuters, file

Bosnian Muslim women look through the bars as U.N. chief war crimes prosecutor Carla del Ponte arrives for a mass funeral at a cemetery near Srebrenica on July 11, 2007. Families of victims of the Srebrenica massacre gathered to bury more remains in an annual ceremony that has become the main event of their lives since the 1995 atrocity by Bosnian Serb forces.

"The general is in custody now, but, just like these pictures, his 'revenge' remains imprinted in the sad history of a beautiful country.

"Some of the best advice I've ever heard in our profession was to take every assignment as if it had never been done before and
you were the only one to witness it. No matter what year it was – 1995 or 2005 – every time I went to Srebrenica, I had the feeling that I was doing something more that just a regular story.

It is, simply, the biggest story of my life."

Damir Sagolj / Reuters, file

A flower is placed onto the names of the Srebrenica victims as relatives visit their memorial in Potocari, near Srebrenica on October 16, 2007.

 

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