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War/Photography, on view from Nov. 11 to Feb. 3, is a magnificent, wide-ranging exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. As chief curator Anne Wilkes Tucker explains in the sumptuous catalogue, that slash in the title is important: this is not a show simply of photographs of war. It’s a demonstration and examination of the relationship between the two and how that relationship has changed over time. There are plenty of images of combat, but the catchment area extends way beyond the battlefield–both in space and in time–to include preparations for war, refugees fleeing its consequences, damage to property and the physical and psychological aftermath of conflict. Taken by some of the most famous photographers—more than 280 are showcased—in the history of the medium, by aerial reconnaissance units and unknown combatants and civilians, the pictures are drawn from the archives of photo agencies such as Magnum, military archives and personal family albums. It’s a stunning show, full of well-known pictures, surprising new ones and—if one consults the catalogue—surprises about well-known pictures.

More than a few of the featured pictures have been either faked or staged. That is to put it too simply, for the slipperiness of the distinction between “real” and “arranged”, or “genuine” and “fake”, turns out to be one of the themes of the show. The problem crops up right from the get-go, with Roger Fenton’s famous pair of pictures of the Valley of Death (1856) from the Crimean war—one of which shows cannonballs strewn more abundantly than the other. (slide #1) The scholarly war over which picture was taken first continues to rage. I thought this question had been definitively settled by Errol Morris in his book Believing is Seeing but John Stauffer argues in the catalogue for precisely the opposite conclusion. The “Dead Rebel Sharp Shooter” in Alexander Gardner’s famous image from the Civil War (slide #2) was dragged to the place where he is seen to have died and arranged in such a way that the rifle — not his own but a prop carried by the photographer — added extra pathos.

As with the Civil War, so in the First World War: it was impossible to take pictures of actual combat. One of the reasons why the famous footage of soldiers going over the top at the Battle of the Somme is faked is because it is on film. Filmed at a training ground, it shows a soldier who is shot, falls down, looks at the camera — and folds his arm before dying. Among the most spectacular images of the war, James Frank Hurley’s “An Episode after the Battle of Zonnebeke” (c.1918) (slide #3) seems like a composite expression of our idea of the Western Front — because, it turns out, it is a composite print made from multiple negatives. As Siegfried Sassoon wrote in his poem “Cinema Hero”: “It’s the truth/That somehow never happened.”

The complexity of Hurley’s image is in stark contrast to Wesley David Archer’s photograph of a pilot who has bailed out of his burning plane (c.1933) (slide #4). It is a picture full of suspense because we don’t know whether the parachute is going to open. What we do now know, courtesy of his widow, is that it was done with a model airplane. Armed with this knowledge you go back to the original and… it still looks amazing! You don’t feel cheated so much as admiring of someone who could create such a truth after (or independent of ) the fact.

Everyone is familiar with the doubts that continue to swirl around Robert Capa’s picture of the “Death of a Loyalist Militiaman” (1936) (slide #5) in the Spanish Civil War. No one can agree on exactly the circumstances in which it was made. And so, ironically, while photography is generally assumed to be strong as evidence but weak in meaning, Capa’s photograph has come to resemble painting, of which the contrary is held to be true. Joe Rosenthal’s image of the flag-raising on Iwo Jima in 1945 is an especially complicated case in that it was widely assumed to have been staged, faked, rigged or something like that, even if we can’t remember exactly what is supposed to have gone on because it’s all a bit muddled up with memories of the Clint Eastwood film about what happened.

The full story, as narrated in the catalogue, is that the flag was raised twice — not for Rosenthal’s benefit but, in the words of the Lieutenant Colonel who ordered it to be done, “so that every son-of-a-bitch on this whole cruddy island (could) see it.” (slide #6) How do we know this is accurate? Because there are photographs – i.e. photographs of the sequence of events that led to Rosenthal taking his photograph – to prove it. (see below) In any case, the success of Rosenthal’s image was due to the way that it not only recorded a moment and event but, in doing so, expressed a truth of enduring – even mythic – proportions about the Marine Corps. The same could be said of Len Chetwyn’s iconic picture from the North Africa (1942) campaign: a photograph which proves, at the most basic level, that this was indeed a battle waged by men in shorts! (not shown). The fact that a detail from it is used on the cover of a beautiful Australian edition of Alan Moorhead’s African Trilogy highlights the way that documentary veracity and imaginative truth are mutually supporting. The surprising thing – which turns out not to be so surprising if we consider how perfectly the picture is composed and lit — is that it’s the photograph that provides the imaginative half of that equation. Smoke grenades had indeed been deployed, but for pictorial effect rather than combat effectiveness.

Louis R. Lowery / Bob Campbell / Bill Genaust — The Museum of Fine Arts Houston

Three examples of photographs that documented the sequence of events leading to Rosenthal's iconic photograph of the flag raising on Iwo Jima.

So there is a delicious irony, in a show that is so scrupulous and judicious in its investigation of the relationship between real and doctored pictures that the catalogue seems, in one instance, to have fallen victim to a booby-trap in its midst. John Filo’s photograph of the killings at Kent State in 1970 shows a distraught woman kneeling over the body of a dead student. Unfortunately it so happened that a pole in the background looked like it was coming out of her head. Since this pole was aesthetically unpleasing, it was removed from the picture as published in Life magazine and elsewhere. Amazingly this clumsily doctored version – you can see quite clearly how the pole has been erased – is the one printed in the War/Photography catalogue! (slide #7)

Courtesy of Jeff Wall

Dead Troops Talk (a vision after an ambush of a Red Army patrol, near
Moqor, Afghanistan, winter 1986), 1992

As we move into the contemporary the distinction between art and documentary becomes increasingly hard to sustain—or to put it the other way around, the No-Man’s Land between the two grows ever larger—as shown in works by color photographer Luc Delahaye (slide #8) and photojournalist Damon Winter’s Gurskey-esque view of a plane-load of troops “Flying Military Class” (slide #9). In Regarding the Pain of Others, Susan Sontag argued that Jeff Wall’s “fictional” image “Dead Troops Talk (a vision after an ambush of a Red Army patrol, near Moqor, Afghanistan)” was among the most successful war photographs of recent times. (note: Wall’s image is not part of the War/Photography exhibition) So perhaps Peter van Agtmael’s well-known shot of a line of U.S. troops sheltering from the downdraft of a helicopter in a rocky grey landscape in Nuristan, Afghanistan, in 2007, works on us powerfully for two reasons. (note: van Agtmael’s image is not part of the War/Photography exhibition) First because a compositional similarity to W. Eugene Smith’s shot of Marines sheltering from an explosion on Iwo Jima in 1945 (slide #10) establishes its place in the heroic and noble tradition of documentary photography. Second, because an uncanny resemblance to Wall’s image tacitly acknowledges that the fictive now sets a standard of authenticity to which the real is obliged to aspire.

Peter van Agtmael—Magnum

An American Blackhawk helicopter lands at the Ranch House, an isolated U.S. outpost in the Waigul Valley of Nuristan Province, near Afghanistan's eastern border with Pakistan, 2007.

The relationship between Wall’s large works and the scale and ambition of history paintings has often been remarked on. But Gary Knight’s picture from Dyala Bridge, Iraq, 2003 (slide #11) achieves an even more remarkable relationship with the art of the past. A photograph taken in the immediate aftermath of fighting, it combines the documentary immediacy and evidential power of the best photojournalism with the epic grandeur of history painting.

Geoff Dyer is an award-winning writer and journalist. See more of his work here.

WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath will open at the Museum of Fine Art Houston on Nov. 11, 2012.  The exhibit will then travel to Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; and Brooklyn Museum through February 2014.

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After the successful Allied invasions of western France, Germany gathered reserve forces and launched a massive counter-offensive in the Ardennes, which collapsed by January. At the same time, Soviet forces were closing in from the east, invading Poland and East Prussia. By March, Western Allied forces were crossing the Rhine River, capturing hundreds of thousands of troops from Germany's Army Group B, and the Red Army had entered Austria, both fronts quickly approaching Berlin. Strategic bombing campaigns by Allied aircraft were pounding German territory, sometimes destroying entire cities in a night. In the first several months of 1945, Germany put up a fierce defense, but was rapidly losing territory, running out of supplies, and running low on options. In April, Allied forces pushed through the German defensive line in Italy, and East met West on the River Elbe on April 25, 1945, when Soviet and American troops met near Torgau, Germany. Then came the end of the Third Reich, as the Soviets took Berlin, Adolf Hitler committed suicide on April 30, and Germany surrendered unconditionally on all fronts by May 8 (May 7 on the Western Front). Hitler's planned "Thousand Year Reich" lasted only 12 incredibly destructive years. (This entry is Part 17 of a weekly 20-part retrospective of World War II) [45 photos]

"Raising a flag over the Reichstag" the famous photograph by Yevgeny Khaldei, taken on May 2, 1945. The photo shows Soviet soldiers raising the flag of the Soviet Union on top of the German Reichstag building following the Battle of Berlin. The moment was actually a re-enactment of an earlier flag-raising, and the photo was embroiled in controversy over the identities of the soldiers, the photographer, and some significant photo editing. More about this image from Wikipedia. (Yevgeny Khaldei/LOC)

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Afghanistan is a hard place to enter and even harder to leave. Everything in Afghanistan, the geography, the weather, the tribesmen, all conspire to keep out unwanted visitors. And once you’re inside this labyrinth of stone, it’s nearly impossible to find your way out. Dust storms besiege Kabul’s airport, blizzards close the mountain passes and bandits or Taliban fighters (it’s hard to tell them apart) ambush the roads.

Ask the British how hard it is to leave Afghanistan. During their infamous retreat from Kabul in 1842, only one survivor out of 17,500 soldiers and camp followers staggered out of the Kabul Gorge alive. Ask the Soviets, who fared nearly as badly. And if history is any judge, the Americans won’t face an easy departure, either.

Photojournalist Robert Nickelsberg has also found it impossible to leave. Since he first trekked into Afghanistan with the mujahedin in 1988, Nickelsberg keeps going back. He does so out of curiosity, duty and obsession. He was there for the Soviets’ withdrawal—flowers for tank gunners until the Red Army rumbled into the hairpins of the Hindu Kush and fell prey to ambush. He was there for the vicious civil war that broke out when the Soviet-backed regime fell apart in 1992 and Afghanistan’s ethnic groups, the Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks turned snarling on each other. (And may do so again, after NATO forces depart.)

Nickelsberg was there for the Taliban’s conquest of Afghanistan, their swift fall after the U.S.-led invasion and the Taliban’s rise again. “The Americans didn’t grasp how complex this is,” Nickelsberg says, “The soldiers come and go so fast they barely have time to figure out where the sun rises and sets.”

His photos bear witness to that complexity, to the savage beauty of Afghanistan and its people. His photos are spare, intense. Every image is stripped down to the essential drama, and in doing so Nickelsberg illuminates the pivotal moments in Afghanistan’s chronology of  war and the brief, quiet moments in between, when Afghans catch their breath.

When I first ventured into Afghanistan in 1990, I sought out Nickelsberg, thinking, unwisely, that he would keep me from getting shot at. It was quite the reverse. Nickelsberg reacts to gunfire like a bird dog to the rustle of quail. He led me straight into the Kabul Gorge, where in my imagination, ghosts from the British massacre flitted in the ravine’s bottomless shadows and menace was ever-present. Nickelsberg was looking for Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, one of Afghanistan’s more sadistic, and enduring, warlords. Luckily, we didn’t find Hekmatyar’s cutthroats that day, though a year later they would murder my Afghan translator. Following Nickelsberg into dangerous situations, mortar barrages, gun-battles, sieges and ambushes, became a pattern for the next 16 years of my life while I covered Afghanistan. He would get us into jams but he would always know how to get us out. Nickelsberg has longer legs than I do but, in retreat, I always out-ran him.

Many journalists love to dress up like Afghans, with the long tunic, the baggy pantaloons and the flat woolen caps known as pakools. They’re like giddy children going off to a costume party. Not Nickelsberg. He dresses for war as if going for a brisk walk in the Vermont hills, his hair as clipped as a military officer’s, perfectly parted. In the midst of Afghanistan’s chaos, Nickelsberg always kept his composure, his flinty style. And this reflects in his photography: there is a sharpness to his composition, a rigorous clarity.

Most photographers are captivated by swift light, motion and color, which Afghanistan has aplenty. But Nickelsberg stuck around. He bothered to learn about the people he portrays so keenly, the reasons why they laugh and cry—and kill. His photos aren’t just war and gore—though, undeniably, that’s part of Afghan history—but also the quotidian. Two shots in particular, young men dancing at a picnic in Babur’s gardens and warrior Ahmed Shah Masood sitting with his companions, have the delicacy of Mogul miniatures.

Nicklesberg’s hard-won knowledge of Afghanistan gives a rare depth to his photos. He wasn’t just snapping a pretty picture. He knew he was capturing Afghanistan’s history, and ours.

Robert Nickelsberg was a TIME magazine contract photographer for 25 years and was based in New Delhi from 1988 to 2000.  During that time, he documented conflicts in Kashmir, Iraq, Sri Lanka, India and Afghanistan. Currently represented by Getty Images, he is working on publishing a book of his photographs from Afghanistan.

Tim McGirk, a former TIME bureau chief, has been covering Afghanistan on and off since 1990, when he first ventured in with photojournalist Robert Nickelsberg. McGirk is currently managing editor of the University of California at Berkeley’s Investigative Reporting Program.

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On June 22, 1941, Nazi Germany and its Axis allies began a massive invasion of the Soviet Union named Operation Barbarossa -- some 4.5 million troops launched a surprise attack deployed from German-controlled Poland, Finland, and Romania. Hitler had his eyes on Soviet resources even after Germany and the USSR signed a non-aggression pact in 1939. Both sides had long been suspicious of one another and the agreement merely gave them more time to prepare for a probable war. The Soviets were unprepared for the sudden blitzkreig attacks across a border that spanned nearly 2,900 km (1,800 mi), and suffered horrible losses. Within a single week, German forces advanced 200 miles into Soviet territory, destroyed nearly 4,000 aircraft, and killed, captured, or wounded some 600,000 Red Army troops. By December of 1941, Germany had advanced to within sight of Moscow, and laid siege to the city, but the notorious Russian winter set in (nicknamed "General Winter"), and German advances came to a halt. At the end of this, one of the largest, deadliest military operations in history, Germany had suffered some 775,000 casualties, more than 800,000 Soviets had been killed, and an additional 6 million Soviet soldiers were wounded or captured. The operation was also a failure for Germany -- despite massive advances, Hitler's plan to conquer the Soviet Union before winter had failed, at great cost, which would prove to be a turning point in the war. (This entry is Part 6 of a weekly 20-part retrospective of World War II) [45 photos]

A German infantryman walks toward the body of a killed Soviet soldier and a burning BT-7 light tank in the southern Soviet Union in in 1941, during the early days of Operation Barbarossa. (Deutsches Bundesarchiv/German Federal Archive)

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Weather around the world was the story of the past week. Flooding and major storms around the world caused problems for many. A neighborhood is submerged by flood water from the Souris River Thursday, June 23, 2011 in Minot, N.D. Officials in North Dakota’s fourth-largest city said Thursday they had done all they could to protect critical infrastructure from the rising Souris River as it headed toward a record flood.

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama (L) sits with former South African President Nelson Mandela at his home June 21, 2011 in Houghton, South Africa. The first lady, along with her daughters and mother, will be traveling in Africa from June 21 to the 26.

Rebel fighters fire a Grad rocket at the front line west of Misrata, Libya, Monday, June 20, 2011. Libya’s government said a NATO airstrike west of Tripoli early Monday destroyed a large family compound belonging to a close associate of Moammar Gadhafi, killing at least 15 people, including three children. The alliance said the strike hit a “command and control” center.

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A musician of Panama's Big Band orchestra, practices before a reenactment of a 1950 salsa hall as a tribute to famous late Puerto Rican musician Tito Puente in Panama City, Thursday, June 16, 2011. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco) #

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Christian Riguccini of Australia competes during the Shark Island Challenge at Shark Island, near Cronulla on June 17, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images) #

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Belarusian school boys hold torches as they stand in front of one of the most important Soviet WWII war monuments marking the heroic resistance of the Red Army against the surprise German attack during a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of Nazi invasion in the town of Brest, 360 kilometers (223 miles) southwest of Minsk, Belarus, early Wednesday, June 22, 2011. When Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, the Brest Fortress defenders contained Nazi troops for a month. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits) #

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This combination of 10 pictures put together in photoshop and taken on June 15, 2011 in the National Park of the volcano Teide (3718m of altitude) shows the moon during a total lunar eclipse, on the Spanish canary island of Tenerife. Astronomers in parts of Europe, Africa, Central Asia and Australia were hoping for clear skies on Wednesday to enjoy a total lunar eclipse, the first of 2011 and the longest in nearly 11 years. A total lunar eclipse occurs when Earth casts its shadow over the Moon. The lunar face can sometimes turn reddish, coppery-brown or orange, tinged by light from the Sun that refracts as it passes through our atmosphere. AFP PHOTO/ DESIREE MARTIN #

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Children jump over concrete slabs of the Holocaust Memorial in central Berlin, Germany, Friday, June 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber) #

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A rickshaw puller wades through a water-logged street due to heavy rain in Dimapur in northeastern Indian state of Nagaland, Friday, June 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Sorei Mahong) #

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People play in the sea against the backdrop of merchant ship MV Wisdom which ran aground at Chowpatty Beach in Mumbai, India, Friday, June 17, 2011. The ship went adrift after breaking loose while being towed from Colombo to Alang in Gujarat, for being broken as scrap. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade) #

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David Gaviria (700) runs over Tomas Puerta (12) on the first lap of the Motorcycle Superstore.com SuperSport R1 race at Barber Motorsports Park, Saturday, June 18, 2011 in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/The Birmingham News, Bernard Troncale) #

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Heavy storm clouds darken the sky as rain and wind gusts blow over downtown Omaha, Neb., Monday, June 20, 2011. (AP Photo/Dave Weaver) #

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In this June 20, 2011 photo provided by China's Xinhua News Agency, people transfer livestocks in Nubu township of Lanxi city, east China's Zhejiang Province. More than 40 miles (70 kilometers) of dikes are in danger of overflowing in an eastern Chinese province where floods have caused $1.2 billion in losses, authorities said Monday as the country neared a critical point in battling seasonal rains. Heavy rains pounded Zhejiang province over the weekend, and the level of a river that passes through Lanxi city has risen sharply, said Zhao Fayuan, deputy director of the provincial flood control headquarters. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Liang Zhen) #

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In this handout from the Nelson Mandela Foundation, U.S. first lady Michelle Obama (L) sits with former South African President Nelson Mandela at his home June 21, 2011 in Houghton, South Africa. The first lady, along with her daughters and mother, will be traveling in Africa from June 21 to the 26. (Photo by Debbie Yazbek/Nelson Mandela Foundation via Getty Images) #

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The sun illuminates clouds early Thursday morning June 16, 2011, behind a barn east of Salina, Kansas. Later in the morning thunder storms dropped heavy rain in the area. (AP Photo/Salina Journal, Tom Dorsey) #

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In this photo taken Monday, June 20, 2011, children play on a swing n Haldia, about 55 kilometers (34 miles) from Allahabad, India. Young women and children rejoice the monsoon season by tying temporary rope swings on tree branches across many parts of India. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh) #

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People light candles near a church in memory of WW II victims, early morning, at the time the Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union 70 years ago, outside St.Petersburg, Russia, Wednesday, June 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky) #

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Thai "Red Shirt" demonstrators gather during a "cursing" ceremony against the government and the rival party Wednesday June, 22, 2011 at the Erwan Shrine in downtown Bangkok, Thailand. The "Red Shirts" also gathered to remember those killed in last year's massive street protests against the government. (AP Photo/David Longstreath) #

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An opponent to gay marriage holds a sign outside the Senate Chamber at the Capitol in Albany, N.Y., on Thursday, June 23, 2011. Dozens of gay couples are planning to converge on Albany Thursday to witness what would be a historic vote to legalize gay marriage in New York (AP Photo/Mike Groll) #

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Hundreds of people take part in a synchronized mass exercise during a ceremony of a government campaign to promote physical exercises at Beijing's Olympic Forest Park in China, Thursday, June 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan) #

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A neighborhood is submerged by flood water from the Souris River Thursday, June 23, 2011 in Minot, N.D. Officials in North Dakota's fourth-largest city said Thursday they had done all they could to protect critical infrastructure from the rising Souris River as it headed toward a record flood. (AP Photo/The Grand Forks Herald, Christian Randolph) #

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Indian weaver K. Saritha makes thread from silk yarn in a small scale factory at Gattuppal village, 65 kilometers (40 miles) from Hyderabad, in southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, Wednesday, June 22, 2011. India faces a shortage of 10,000 tons of silk per year, as a result it imports more than 8,000 tons from China every year recently, while it domestically produces around 22,000 tons of the staple, according to local newspapers and textile industry. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.) #

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A Filipino boy stands behind a vehicle to keep from the cold wind in a heavy downpour in Manila, Philippines on Thursday June 23, 2011. Tropical Storm Meari will be set to make its presence known as it strengthens into a Category 1 typhoon sometime between Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. It will continue on its northwestward to the northeast of the Philippines. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila) #

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Flood affected people queue up to collect relief material at a distribution center in Ghatal, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) north west of Kolkata, India, Thursday, June 23, 2011. Monsoon storms in eastern India have damaged homes and flooded parts of Kolkata, killing at least seven people.(AP Photo/Bikas Das) #

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A model wears a creation by Belgian fashion designer Walter Van Beirendonck as part of his Spring/Summer 2012 fashion collection presented in Paris, Friday June 24, 2011. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) #

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An Egyptian and Japanese team of scientists use a pulley system to lift the first of 41 16-ton limestone slabs to reveal fragments of the ancient ship of King Khufu next to the Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt, Thursday, June 23, 2011. Archaeologists have begun the excavation process of a 4,500-year old wooden boat encased underground next to the Great Pyramid of Giza, Egyptologists announced Thursday.(AP Photo/Khalil Hamra) #

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Riot police huddle together after firing tear gas, as a lone man continues to hold up a sign protesting proposed constitutional changes, outside the National Assembly in central Dakar, Senegal Thursday, June 23, 2011. Senegalese police lobbed tear gas at thousands of protesters who amassed in the capital Thursday to oppose proposed changes to the constitution that critics said would benefit longtime president Abdoulaye Wade and his family. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #

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Flames are seen over homes in Sierra Vista, Ariz., on Thursday June 16, 2011. The elements are coming together to create dangerous fire conditions in southern and southeastern Arizona. The biggest wildfire in state history is closing in on a half million acres burned. (AP Photo/Arizona Daily Star, Greg Bryan) #

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An Arab boy jumps into the Mediterranean sea from the ancient wall surrounding the old city of Acre, northern Israel, Sunday, June 19, 2011. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit) #

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Relatives of inmates of El Rodeo I and II penitentiaries cry outside the prisons compounds in Guatire, outskirts of Caracas, June 17, 2011. At least seven people were injured in a vast police operation aimed at taking control of El Rodeo I and II prisons, where in recent days, there were at least 22 killed in a gunbattle, government sources said. AFP Photo/Leo RAMIREZ #

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Flood waters cover highway 159, Wednesday June 22, 2011, in Big Lake, Mo. near Rulo Neb. Missouri river flooding forced residents from Big lake earlier in the week. (AP Photo/Dave Weaver) #

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U.S. first lady Michelle Obama is seen in silhouette as she speaks at Regina Mundi Church and addresses the Young African Women Leaders Forum in a Soweto township, Johannesburg, South Africa, Wednesday, June 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, Pool) #

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People ride bicycles on the banks of river Ganges as monsoon clouds dot the sky in Allahabad, India, Wednesday, June 22, 2011. Monsoon rains that hits India usually from June to September are crucial for farmers whose crops feed hundreds of millions of people. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh) #

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Lightning streaks across the sky above a home Tuesday, June 21, 2011, in Saukville, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps) #

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A reveler carries a woman on his back as she reacts while he walks on the burning embers during the night of San Juan in San Pedro Manrique, Spain, Friday, June 24, 2011. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos) #

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Rebel fighters fire a Grad rocket at the front line west of Misrata, Libya, Monday, June 20, 2011. Libya's government said a NATO airstrike west of Tripoli early Monday destroyed a large family compound belonging to a close associate of Moammar Gadhafi, killing at least 15 people, including three children. The alliance said the strike hit a "command and control" center. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar) #

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A Eurofighter Typhoon performs its demonstration flight, on the first day of the Paris air show, at Le Bourget airport, Monday June 20, 2011.(AP Photo/Francois Mori) #

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A reveler takes part in the Gay Pride Parade in Lisbon Saturday, June 18, 2011. (AP Photo/ Francisco Seco) #

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Some 140 creations by Japanese hat artist Akio Hirata are displayed by designer Oki Sato during a hat exhibition at a Tokyo hall Saturday, June 18, 2011. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye) #

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The pier of Puerto Arauco at Nahuel Huapi Lake is seen covered by sand and volcanic ash from the Chilean Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano in Villa La Angostura, southern Argentina, Friday, June 17, 2011. The volcano started erupting on June 4 after remaining dormant for decades. (AP Photo/Federico Grosso) #

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Armed tribesmen loyal to Sheik Sadeq al-Ahmar, the head of the powerful Hashid tribe, guard inside the destroyed house of al-Ahmar in Sanaa, Yemen Thursday, June 16, 2011. Yemen's leader of nearly 33 years Ali Abdullah Saleh has held onto power in the face of massive protests demanding his ouster since February, though some of his top aides, military commanders, Cabinet ministers and diplomats have defected to the protesters' side in recent months. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed) #

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A tree stands in a field as rain clouds pass by near the eastern German city of Dresden on June 20.2011. Germany is experiencing very changeable weather of wet and sunny spells at the moment. AFP PHOTO / ARNO BURGI #

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