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GO TIME: Republican presidential candidate former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum climbed into a truck after he greeted patrons at MaryAnn’s Diner in Derry, N.H., Monday. The Granite State holds the nation’s first primary Tuesday. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

PACKED STREETS: Nigerians packed Ikorodu Road in Lagos, Nigeria, Monday. Tens of thousands of protesters participated in a nationwide strike over gas prices that shot up when the government ended a decades-old gas subsidy. (Pius Utomi Ekpei/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

PROTECTING TEBOW: The Denver Broncos’ Willis McGahee (23) threw a block on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Larry Foote (50) as Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow (15) looked to pass the ball during a wild card playoff game in Denver Sunday. The Steelers lost 29-23 in overtime. (Jack Dempsey/Associated Press)

TOPSY-TURVY: The Greek-owned cargo ship Rena, which has been grounded off the New Zealand coast since October, broke into two pieces after it was battered by strong waves in Tauranga, officials said Sunday. Oil has been seen leaking from the vessel. (Action Press/Zuma Press)

SCOUTS PRAY: Boy Scouts Russ Pierce, left, and Paul Pierce prayed during the annual Religious Freedom Day event in Fredericksburg, Va., Sunday. (Suzanne Carr Rossi/The Free Lance-Star/Associated Press)

LEOPARD ATTACK: A leopard scalped a man, killed another man and injured three other people in Guwahati, India, Saturday. The animal was captured and will be released in the wild. Conservationists say deforestation is increasingly pushing leopards into populated areas. (Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

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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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Seven weeks ago, a labor dispute threatened to push the NFL season to the sidelines. Instead, the goliaths of gridiron made a glorious return this past week, from the last-second goalstand by the Super Bowl champs Green Bay Packers to Tom Brady’s second-to-no-other-Patriot’s 517 yards passing. The games also paused to mark the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11th attacks. Though the season is just one week old, fans across the globe are hoping their teams will play in the grand finale next Feb. 5, held for the first time in Indianapolis. -- Lloyd Young
(34 photos total)
Miami Dolphins Brandon Marshall (19) dives over New England Patriots Devin McCourty after catching a pass during the third quarter of their NFL football game in Miami Sept. 12. Hans Deryk/Reuters)

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