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Republic Day

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One billion people worldwide live in slums, a number that will likely double by 2030. The characteristics of slum life vary greatly between geographic regions, but they are generally inhabited by the very poor or socially disadvantaged. Slum buildings can be simple shacks or permanent and well-maintained structures but lack clean water, electricity, sanitation and other basic services. In this post, I've included images from several slums including Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya, the second largest slum in Africa (and the third largest in the world); New Building slum in central Malabo, Equatorial Guinea; Pinheirinho slum - where residents recently resisted police efforts to forcibly evict them; and slum dwellers from Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi, India. India has about 93 million slum dwellers and as much as 50% of New Delhi's population is thought to live in slums, 60% of Mumbai. -- Paula Nelson (55 photos total)
Cambodian lawmaker Mu Sochuo, from the opposition Sam Rainsy party, pleads with riot policemen to stop a forced eviction of villagers at a slum village in the centre of Phnom Penh, Jan. 4, 2012. Cambodian lawmakers from the opposition Sam Rainsy party visited the village after authorities forcefully evicted villagers from the Borei Keila community in the capital. (Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP/Getty Images)

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Yesterday I decided to try an experiment: I solicited reader requests for news photos. I asked people on Twitter and Google+, "Would you like to see a good photo of a particular subject? A high-res version of a photo you've already seen somewhere else? A photo from a particular photographer or event? If I have access and can find it, I'll try to post it" (details). The response was great, the subject matter was varied, and the task of finding the images and composing this entry was great fun. Images ranged from massive solar flares to tiny insects, taken in places from Thailand to outer space. If you enjoy this experiment, let me know in the comments, and I may develop it into a more regular feature. To all those who made requests, thanks so much, I hope you like what I was able to find. [29 photos]

Beth Winter (@bwinter) and Spidler both asked for a higher resolution version of "Anonymous in Polish parliament". -- Lawmakers from the leftist Palikot's Movement cover their faces with masks as they protest against ACTA, or the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, during a parliament session, in Warsaw, Poland, on January 26, 2012, after the Polish government signed the agreement. Poland's plans to sign ACTA sparked attacks on Polish government websites and street protests in several Polish cities this week. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

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A man rides a horse through a bonfire in San Bartolome de Pinares, Spain, Monday, Jan. 16, 2012, in honor of Saint Anthony, the patron saint of animals. On the eve of Saint Anthony’s Day, hundreds ride their horses trough the narrow cobblestone streets of the small village of San Bartolome during the “Luminarias,” a [...]

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PRAYING IN A POND
PRAYING IN A POND: A Sikh man prayed as he took a dip in the sacred pond of Golden Temple on a cold, foggy day in Amritsar, India, Wednesday. (Raminder Pal Singh/European Pressphoto Agency)

HAPPY FEET
HAPPY FEET: Soldiers danced before they rehearsed for a Republic Day parade in New Delhi Wednesday. India will celebrate Republic Day on Jan. 26. (Roberto Schmidt/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

A FAITHFUL FALL
A FAITHFUL FALL: A man plunged backward into cold water to celebrate Orthodox Epiphany in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday. (Viktor Drachev/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

SEPARATION ANXIETY
SEPARATION ANXIETY: Anele Ramphomana cried as he gave his mother, unseen, a thumbs-up as he started school at the Thembile Primary School in Krugersdorp, South Africa, Wednesday. (Lungelo Mbulwana/Associated Press)

EXCHANGE UPROAR
EXCHANGE UPROAR: People protested at the Dhaka Stock Exchange in Bangladesh Wednesday. The exchange operator suspended trading Tuesday after reports said the government would enforce a ban on civil servants and the armed forces from investing in shares. (Monirul Alam/Zuma Press)

SEARCH SUSPENDED
SEARCH SUSPENDED: Police divers swam near the Costa Concordia off the coast of Giglio, Italy, Wednesday. The search was suspended; 11 bodies have been found since the cruise ship crashed Friday. A judge ordered Capt. Francesco Schettino jailed under house arrest. (Massimo Percossi/European Pressphoto Agency)

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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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SHIPSHAPE
SHIPSHAPE: Workmen painted and repaired the Royal Yacht Britannia in a dry dock at Forth Ports on Friday in Edinburgh, Scotland. The yacht has been power washed to remove barnacles and is currently getting three coats of paint that will protect it for years to come. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

DEVOTION
DEVOTION: Hindu pilgrims took a dip at the confluence of the Ganges River and the Bay of Bengal at Sagar Island, south of Kolkata, on Friday. Hindu monks and pilgrims are making an annual trip to Sagar Island for the one-day festival of Makar Sankranti. (Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters)

AWAITING EVICTION
AWAITING EVICTION: Residents of the Pinheirinho slum in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, stood ready to defend their neighborhood from police they expected to arrive with a court order to evict them on Friday. (Marcelo Alves/Reuters)

POLIO FREE
POLIO FREE: Babloo, a 14-year old Indian boy affected by polio, waited to get his brace at the Delhi Council for Child Welfare Orthopedics center in New Delhi on Friday. India marked a year since its last case of polio Friday. (Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images)

READY TO RIDE
READY TO RIDE: Indian soldiers trained on stunt motorcycles in preparation for an upcoming Republic Day parade in New Delhi Friday. Republic Day is Jan. 26. (Kevin Frayer/Associated Press)

MOURNING A STATESMAN
MOURNING A STATESMAN: Firefighters unfurled a large American flag outside St. Peter the Apostle Church in Parsippany, N.J., before the funeral of Assemblyman Alex DeCroce on Friday. Mr. DeCroce, 75, the top Republican in the state Assembly, died Monday night. (Mel Evans/Associated Press)

HELP ON THE WAY
HELP ON THE WAY: Victims of ethnic violence in Jonglei, South Sudan, waited for emergency food rations at the World Food Program distribution center in Pibor. The International Organization for Migration said Friday that a convoy of four trucks carrying supplies is en route to Pibor. (Michael Onyiego/Associated Press)

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In Friday’s Pictures in the News, Filipinos brave strong winds blowing rubbish in Manila, Indian soldiers train on stunt motorcycles in preparation for an upcoming Republic Day parade in New Delhi, Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso wears a wig in a slalom race, and Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli troops as a tear gas canister flies overhead during a weekly protest against the Jewish settlement of Qadomem, near Nablus, the West Bank. There’s more.

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IN MOURNING
IN MOURNING: Dagmar Havlova, seen through the window of a hearse, and thousands of Czechs paid their respects to her husband, Vaclav Havel, in Prague Wednesday. Mr. Havel, whose ‘Velvet Revolution’ toppled communist rule, died Sunday at age 75 after a respiratory illness. (David W Cerny/Reuters)

MANY OPTIONS
MANY OPTIONS: A vendor sat near displays of cellphone numbers of Kuwait’s Zain and South Africa’s MTN carriers in Khartoum, Sudan, Wednesday. (Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters)

SOLDIERS STRETCH
SOLDIERS STRETCH: Soldiers rehearsed Wednesday on Rajpath Boulevard in New Delhi for India’s upcoming Republic Day celebrations. (Kevin Frayer/Associated Press)

DIGGING OUT
DIGGING OUT: A boy shoveled mud from his home in Iligan, Philippines, Wednesday. Flash flooding from Typhoon Washi left hundreds of people dead and displaced hundreds of thousands. (Erik De Castro/Reuters)

HELPING HANDS
HELPING HANDS: Soldiers carried Zeinab al-Shogery, whose leg is injured, from a polling station in Giza, Egypt, Wednesday. The country is holding staggered parliamentary elections. Recent clashes between the military and pro-democracy activists have left at least 14 people dead. (Nasser Nasser/Associated Press)

VOTER OUTREACH
VOTER OUTREACH: Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov.Romney waved to voters inside a pizza parlor in Newport, N.H., Wednesday. (Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters)

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