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The second collection of images from 2012 once again brought us nature at its full force and beauty along with news and daily life coming from countries like Russia, Syria, Egypt, England, India and Italy. The following is a compilation - not meant to be comprehensive in any way - of images from the second 4 months of 2012. Please see part 1 from Monday and here's part 3. -- Lloyd Young ( 47 photos total)
Tightrope walker Nik Wallenda walks the high wire from the United States side to the Canadian side over the Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls, Ontario, on June 15. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

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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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AP- A towering bronze statue of Kim Il Sung, his arm outstretched, lords over the capital city from atop Mansu Hill. In the days since Kim Jong Il’s death, mourners have been streaming to the hill to lay flowers at the statue as they typically do for the leaders’ birthdays and other major occasions. Kim [...]

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At the end of World War II, huge swaths of Europe and Asia had been reduced to ruins, borders were being redrawn, homecomings, expulsions, and burials were under way, and the massive efforts to rebuild had just begun. When the war began in the late 1930s, the world's population was approximately 2 billion. In less than a decade, the war between the nations of the Axis Powers and the Allies resulted in some 80 million deaths -- killing off about 4 percent of the whole world. Allied forces became occupiers, taking control of Germany, Japan, and much of the territory they had formerly ruled. Efforts were made to permanently dismantle their war-making abilities, as factories were destroyed and former leadership was removed or prosecuted. War Crimes trials took place in Europe and Asia, leading to many executions and prison sentences. Millions of Germans and Japanese were forcibly expelled from territory they formerly called home. Allied occupation and United Nations decisions led to many long-lasting problems in the future, including tensions that led to the creation of East and West Germany, divergent plans on the Korean Peninsula which led to the creation of North and South Korea -- and the Korean War in 1950, and the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine which paved the way for Israel to declare its independence in 1948 and begin the continuing Arab-Israeli conflict. The growing tensions between Western powers and the Soviet Eastern Bloc developed into the Cold War, and development and proliferation of nuclear weapons raised the very real specter of an unimaginable World War III if common ground could not be found. World War II was the biggest story of the 20th Century, and its aftermath continues to affect the world profoundly more than 65 years later. (This entry is Part 20 of a weekly 20-part retrospective of World War II) [45 photos]

German Wehrmacht General Anton Dostler is tied to a stake before his execution by a firing squad in a stockade in Aversa, Italy, on December 1, 1945. The General, Commander of the 75th Army Corps, was sentenced to death by an United States Military Commission in Rome for having ordered the shooting of 15 unarmed American prisoners of war, in La Spezia, Italy, on March 26, 1944. (AP Photo)

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North Korea has long been enigmatic - especially to the West.  An elaborate cult of personality created around the ruling Kim family permeates both the cultural and political lives of the nation. The world's most militarized nation, it has been developing nuclear weapons and a space program.  In 2002, President George Bush labeled North Korea part of an "axis of evil," primarily due to its aggressive military posture but also because of its abysmal human rights record.   North Korea has long maintained close relations with the People's Republic of China and Russia.  In an attempt to ameliorate the loss of investments due to international sanctions over its weapons program, North Korean officials have initiated a tourism push, focused on Chinese visitors.  Still, every travel group or individual visitor is constantly accompanied by one or two "guides" who normally speak the mother language of the tourist.  While some tourism has increased over the last few years, Western visitors remain scarce.  The last several photos in this post are by Associated Press photographer David Guttenfelder, who offers rare glimpses of life in the shuttered country. -- Paula Nelson (54 photos total)
Rolling out the red carpet for tourists is not commonly associated with the reclusive North Korean government, but that is what workers did for the departure ceremony of Mangyongbyong cruise ship in Rason City on Aug. 30. About 130 passengers departed the rundown port of Rajin, near the China-Russia border, for the scenic Mount Kumgang resort near South Korea. North Korea's state tourism bureau has teamed up with a Chinese travel company to run the country's first ever cruise. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

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Do images of theatrical demonstrations of extreme violence take away from the potency of real images of violence? A carefully choreographed scene with good make up has the potential to provide a far...

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