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The second collection of images from 2011 once again brought us nature at its full force with floods, drought, wild fires, tornadoes and spectacular images of volcanic eruptions. The death of Osama bin Laden, the attack on an island in Norway by a lone gunman, continued fighting in Libya, and protests around the globe were a few of the news events dominating the headlines. -- Lloyd Young Please see part 1 from Monday and watch for part 3 Friday. (45 photos total)
A cloud of ash billowing from Puyehue volcano near Osorno in southern Chile, 870 km south of Santiago, on June 5. Puyehue volcano erupted for the first time in half a century on June 4, 2011, prompting evacuations for 3,500 people as it sent a cloud of ash that reached Argentina. The National Service of Geology and Mining said the explosion that sparked the eruption also produced a column of gas 10 kilometers (six miles) high, hours after warning of strong seismic activity in the area. (Claudio Santana/AFP/Getty Images) )

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2011 was a year of global tumult, marked by widespread social and political uprisings, economic crises, and a great deal more. We saw the fall of multiple dictators, welcomed a new country (South Sudan), witnessed our planet's population grow to 7 billion, and watched in horror as Japan was struck by a devastating earthquake, a tsunami, and a nuclear disaster. From the Arab Spring to Los Indignados to Occupy Wall Street, citizens around the world took to the streets in massive numbers, protesting against governments and financial institutions, risking arrest, injury, and in some cases their lives. Collected here is Part 2 of a three-part photo summary of the last year, covering 2011's middle months. Be sure to also see Part 1, and Part 3 of this series totaling 120 images in all. [40 photos]

Surf rescue swimmer Doug Knutzen carries Dale Ostrander to the shore of Long Beach, Washington, on August 5, 2011. Rescue swimmers Eddie Mendez (left) and Will Green had found Ostrander in the surf, after the boy was underwater for more than 20 minutes. Ostrander was hospitalized and placed in a medically induced coma for a time, but has since returned home and started the 7th grade. His recovery is still in progress, as he continues to undergo speech and physical therapy. (AP Photo/Damian Mulinix/Chinook Observer)

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Algeria said this week that it had allowed a two-vehicle caravan of Col. Muammar Khadafi's relatives, including his second wife and three of his children, into the country. The flight of his relatives provides new evidence of surrender by the Khadafi clan as rebels tighten their hold on Tripoli, the capital. Khadafi's wife, Safiya, daughter Aisha and two of his sons, Mohammed and Hannibal, all crossed into Algeria. The spouses of Khadafi's children and their children arrived as well. This post gives us a glimpse of how those family members lived while in power in Libya. The value of these images isn't in their artistry or aesthetic, but in their storytelling information as we seek to uncover more behind the scenes of the Khadafi regime that spanned forty-two years. --Paula Nelson (NOTE: Monday is a holiday. See you again on Wednesday.)(31 photos total)
As rebels, looters, and simply the curious rifled through what's left of the estates of Moammar Khadafy and his sons, most were struck by the rather mundane furnishings and peculiar habits they accumulated. In Hannibal Khadafy's home, a torn image of the son was discovered. (Zohra Bensemra/Reuters)

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Of the six days since the revolt reached the capital of Tripoli, August 25th may have been the bloodiest yet. Evidence of fresh massacres by both sides around the city were reported, while the battle to establish full control of Colonel Khadafy's breached compound, Bab al-Aziziya, raged on. In their drive to take command of Tripoli, the rebels concentrated their forces on a block-by-block battle for the streets of the Abu Salim neighborhood, a center of Colonel Khadafy's support. By late afternoon, the fighting had once again swamped Tripoli Central Hospital with wounded civilians and combatants. Khadafy has not been found and the battle continues. --Paula Nelson (26 photos total)
Rebel fighters return from the battle against fighters loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy in the neighborhood of Abu Salim in the south of the capital Tripoli. Hardened fighters streamed into Tripoli as Libya's rebels sought to deliver a knockout punch to Kadhafi's diehards and to flush out the elusive strongman, dead or alive. (Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images)

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Libyan citizens took over Tripoli's main square on Sunday night, as rebel forces claimed to have taken control of much of the capital, and captured two of Muammar Qaddafi's sons. Rebel gains in the past several days brought them to the outskirts of Tripoli, and they practically sped into neighborhoods of the city on Sunday, facing minimal resistance. Qaddafi remains defiant, if unseen, issuing radio statements urging residents of Tripoli to rise up against the rebels. Even as celebrations took place in Benghazi and parts of Tripoli, fighting continues, and Muammar Qaddafi remains nominally in power, even though he appears to have effectively lost much of his control. Also see earlier entries: DIY Weapons of the Libyan Rebels, and Three Months of Civil War in Libya. [44 photos]

People celebrate the capture in Tripoli of Muammar Qaddafi's son and one-time heir apparent, Seif al-Islam, at the rebel-held town of Benghazi, Libya, early Monday, on August 22, 2011. Libyan rebels raced into Tripoli in a lightning advance Sunday that met little resistance as Muammar Qaddafi's defenders melted away and his 40-year rule appeared to rapidly crumble. The euphoric fighters celebrated with residents of the capital in the city's main square, the symbolic heart of the regime. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini)

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After weeks of debate, the United Nations finally approved a no-fly zone in Libya, helping rebels fighting Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy at perhaps the last possible moment. Rebels had been driven back by the Libyan army to their last stronghold, the eastern city of Benghazi, and appeared ready to be overrun there as well. Two nights of bombardment by coalition forces have sent the army into retreat, and a missile struck Khadafy's compound in Tripoli, but the final outcome of the conflict is far from clear. Collected here are images from the last few days of fighting. For an earlier Big Picture post on the conflict, see the links below. -- Lane Turner (33 photos total)
Vehicles belonging to forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi explode after an air strike by coalition forces, along a road between Benghazi and Ajdabiyah March 20. (Goran Tomasevic/Reuters)

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