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If you were one of the few Americans who caught the second Euro 2012 semifinal last Thursday, you were in for a soccer treat. After two relatively tepid nil-nil draws (England/Italy, Portugal/Spain) that went the distance, the battle between Germany (one of the pre-tournament favors) and Italy (perennial European powerhouse) was an exhilarating goalfest. History ultimately prevailed, as once again, the Italians booted the Germans out of a major international tournament, led by the ageless, timeless Andres Pirlo. The Germans also suffered another surprising blow, in the form of some unflattering editing.

Despite solid all around play by the hard working Germans, the azzurri struck fast and hard on the counter. By the the 36th minute, Italian striker Mario “ Super Mario ” Balotelli had scored the second, killer goal.

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PERCHED PARROTS: Parrots sat on German Chancellor Angela Merkel as she visited a bird park in Marlow, Germany, Tuesday. (Franzi Zoeger/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

JUNIOR ASTRONAUT: A boy wore an astronaut costume in the parking lot of the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., Tuesday. The space shuttle Discovery will go on display at the center. The shuttle was flown around Washington Tuesday; it will be towed to the center Thursday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

SICK BOY: A boy sat up in his hospital bed in Guinea-Bissau Tuesday. (Andre Kosters/European Pressphoto Agency)

TOPSY-TURVY: Benjamin Bailey helped to clean up his friend’s tornado-ravaged home in the Pinaire Mobile Home Park in Wichita, Kan., Monday. Severe weather tore through Kansas and other states over the weekend, killing several people. (Mike Hutmacher/the Wichita Eagle/Associated Press)

LAUGHING OUT LOUD: Nazir Haynesworth, 14 years old, laughed as he played in a fountain in Philadelphia’s Logan Circle Monday. (Matt Slocum/Associated Press)

A CLEAR VIEW: A fan sat in the grandstand before the Champions League semifinal soccer match between Bayern Munich and Real Madrid started at the Allianz Arena in Munich Tuesday. (Marc Mueller/dpa/Zuma Press)

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The best photos of 2011 from around the globe. Warning: All images in this entry are shown in full, not screened out for graphic content. Some images contain dead bodies, graphic content and tragic events. We consider these images an important part of human history.

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MOURNING: An unidentified Kashmiri woman cried over the body of suspected militant Mohammed Imran Khan at his funeral procession in Keller, 50 miles south of Srinagar, India. Thousands attended the funeral of two suspected rebels Friday, a day after they were killed in a gunbattle with government forces. (Dar Yasin/Associated Press)

GETTING HELP: A Lebanese Red Cross worker helped a wounded Italian U.N. peacekeeper in his vehicle in Remaily, Lebanon, Friday. A bomb blew up a U.N. vehicle on a busy highway, killing one Italian peacekeeper and wounding four others, security sources and a Reuters photographer said. (Sharif Karim/Reuters)

HUMAN CHAIN: Riot police scuffled with demonstrators who had gathered to protest government austerity measures at Barcelona’s Plaza de Catalunya Friday. Dubbed “los indignados” (the indignant), tens of thousands of protesters have filled the main squares of Spain’s cities since May 15. (Albert Gea/Reuters)

CELEBRATION TIME: A U.S. Naval Academy graduate celebrated after receiving his diploma during graduation ceremonies Friday in Annapolis, Md. In his final graduation speech as defense secretary, Robert Gates told graduates that “real leadership is a rare and precious commodity” (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

ROLL OUT THE RED CARPET: A cleaning woman vacuumed a red carpet at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw Friday in preparation for the arrival of U.S. President Barack Obama. Mr. Obama on Friday honored the memories of those slain in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising against Nazis. (Bartlomiej Zborowski/European Pressphoto Agency)

IN THE SHADE: Tourist police found a cooler spot to sit along a road leading to the Coptic area of Cairo Friday. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

TOWNHOUSE ARREST: A New York City police officer stood guard Friday outside the Franklin Street townhouse where former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is under house arrest. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

HANDS UP: Protesters chanted slogans demanding the resignation of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in San’a, Yemen, Friday. Fighting spread beyond the capital as Yemeni tribesmen opposed to Mr. Saleh attacked a Republican Guard military camp in battles that left dozens dead. (Hani Mohammed/Associated Press)

MOUNTAIN VIEW: An Afghan policeman kept watch in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday. Insurgent attacks killed three NATO service members Friday in southern Afghanistan, the military alliance said, as Taliban-led fighters pressed a spring offensive that began at the start of this month. (Punit Paranjpe/AFP/Getty Images)

DETENTION: Afghani asylum seekers shouted from a bus in Serang, Indonesia, as they prepared to be moved to Jakarta Friday. Around 100 asylum seekers from Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran were detained by Indonesian police off the Sunda Strait. They had been headed to Australia’s Christmas Island. (Tubagus/European Pressphoto Agency)

SIDEWAYS: Rene Crete looked over damaged cars at Buy Right Auto Friday in East Montpelier, Vt. Streets were torn up and rivers pushed over their banks when intense thunderstorms stalled over central Vermont, bringing heavy rain and flooding. About 200 people were forced from their homes. (Toby Talbot/Associated Press)

GRIEVING FOR A CHILD: An unidentified woman grieved over the body of Mohsin Ali Sheikh, a one-and-a-half-year-old boy killed in clashes between rebels and Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s forces, as the child was prepared for funeral in Misrata, Libya, Friday. (Missam Saleh/European Pressphoto Agency)

STRANGE SWIM: Men swam with inflatable dolls during the Barracudas 2011 race on the river Neris, in Vilnius, Lithuania, Friday. About 20 men raced down the half-kilometer river course floating on blow-up sex dolls. (Petras Malukas/AFP/Getty Images)

NUMBER ONE: A soccer supporter posed behind the UEFA Champions League Cup, on display in Hyde Park, London, Friday. Spanish club Barcelona FC and English team Manchester United FC will play the Champions League final in Wembley Stadium Saturday. (Felipe Trueba/European Pressphoto Agency)

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Emilio Morenatti / AP

A riot police officer is seen as demonstrators shout slogans before clashes in Barcelona, Friday, May 27. Truncheon-wielding police in Barcelona have clashed with protesters at a makeshift camp that is one of dozens erected in Spain to protest high unemployment and other woes. Officers in riot gear were accompanying workers tasked with cleaning up the nearly two-week old camp at Plaza de Catalunya and police used force when protesters would not evacuate the camp temporarily as requested.

Emilio Morenatti / AP

A demonstrator shows his hands covered with blood of a fellow demonstrator as police officers try to remove them during clashes in Barcelona, Friday, May 27. Truncheon-wielding police in Barcelona have clashed with protesters at a makeshift camp that is one of dozens erected in Spain to protest high unemployment and other woes. Officers in riot gear were accompanying workers tasked with cleaning up the nearly two-week old camp at Plaza de Catalunya and police used force when protesters would not evacuate the camp temporarily as requested.

Andreu Dalmau / EPA

A police officer baton charges a demonstrator at Catalunya Square in Barcelona, Spain, on May 27. More than 40 Spanish protesters suffered injuries in altercations with police in Barcelona, as pressure mounted on demonstrators to end nearly two weeks of sit-in protests around the country.

Mossos d'Esquadra Catalonian Police officers drag away demonstrators supporting the 15-M movement on Catalunya Square in Barcelona, Spain, 27 May 2011. Supporters of the 15-M movement keeping camping at the square were cleared in order to clean the area and remove dangerous objects which could be used on 28 May during the celebrations of the Champions League final between Manchested United and Barcelona FC to be held in London. EPA/ANDREU DALMAU EPA/ANDREU DALMAU

 For more on the protests in Spain click here.

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Right now everyone in London seems to have moved to Barcelona for the week, to take MDMA and watch Pulp beneath the furious sun at Primavera. Don’t be too bitter though, because it’s quite possible that right now they’re being beaten up by police.(...)
Read the rest of POLICE VS BARCELONA: UPDATE (183 words)

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