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Alan Crowhurst

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It's time once more for a look into the animal kingdom and our interactions with the countless other species that share our planet. Today's photos include a fiery Spanish festival, a frightening encounter with a leopard in India, a flamingo undergoing laser treatment, a new species named in honor of entertainer Beyonce, and the plight of Ukraine's "vodka bears". These images and many others are part of this roundup of animals in the news from recent weeks, seen from the perspectives of their human observers, companions, captors, and caretakers. [42 photos]

A man rides a horse through a bonfire on January 16, 2012 in the small village of San Bartolome de Pinares, Spain. In honor of San Anton, the patron saint of animals, horses are ridden through the bonfires on the night before the official day of honoring animals in Spain. (Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

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Rebecca Flaig of Goochland, Va., left, and Ryan Jung of Richmond hold their umbrellas aloft as part of the World AIDS Day event on Brown’s Island in Richmond, Va. on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011. A sea of red umbrellas, in the form of a giant red ribbon, were displayed. A man holds a poster featuring [...]

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A park ranger stands at the site of a new eruption in Virunga National Park near Goma, on November 24, 2011. Almost three weeks after a fissure opened amidst dense flat forest, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Virunga National Park has seen an increasing number of tourists seeking to be guided on treks to witness [...]

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Todd McCormick takes a photograph with is cell phone of names on the walls of the newly constructed “Empty Sky Memorial” at Liberty State Park on September 7, 2011 in Jersey City, New Jersey. The concrete and steel “Empty Sky Memorial” designed by architect Jessica Jamroz pays tribute to the 746 citizens of New Jersey who lost their lives on September 11. The memorial will officially open on September 10, with a ceremony that will be attended by families of 9/11 victims.

The ramps from Route 42 going on and off Route 11 in Bloomsburg, Pa., just disappear into the flood water from Fishing Creek which cover Route 11 Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011. Flooding across the northeast caused massive property damage.

Divers search the wreckage at a crash site near Yaroslavl, on the Volga River about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northeast of Moscow, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011. Investigators searched for flight recorders in the shattered remains of an airliner that crashed, killing 43 people including most of one of Russia’s premier hockey teams.

 September 9, 2011

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Todd McCormick takes a photograph with is cell phone of names on the walls of the newly constructed "Empty Sky Memorial" at Liberty State Park on September 7, 2011 in Jersey City, New Jersey. The concrete and steel "Empty Sky Memorial" designed by architect Jessica Jamroz pays tribute to the 746 citizens of New Jersey who lost their lives on September 11. The memorial will officially open on September 10, with a ceremony that will be attended by families of 9/11 victims. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) #

 September 9, 2011

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In a Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2011 photo, Evansville fire Capt., Don Spindler carries a young girl out of a burning apartment in Evansville. A mother and her two young daughters remain in critical condition but stable condition at St. Mary’s Medical Center after being rescued from their burning South Side apartment. (AP Photo/The Evansville Courier & Press, Jason Clark) #

 September 9, 2011

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The ramps from Route 42 going on and off Route 11 in Bloomsburg, Pa., just disappear into the flood water from Fishing Creek which cover Route 11 Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Bloomsburg Press Enterprise, Jimmy May). #

 September 9, 2011

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Divers search the wreckage at a crash site near Yaroslavl, on the Volga River about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northeast of Moscow, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011. Investigators searched for flight recorders in the shattered remains of an airliner that crashed, killing 43 people including most of one of Russia's premier hockey teams. (AP Photo/ Maxim Shipenkov, pool) #

 September 9, 2011

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Riot police stand guard after been attacked with paint bombs by protesters, during a demonstration by students and teachers on September 7, 2011, in Bogota, Colombia, during the National March for the defense of public education. GUILLERMO LEGARIA/AFP/Getty Images #

 September 9, 2011

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A test of the Tribute in Light rises above lower Manhattan, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011 in New York. The memorial, sponsored by the Municipal Art Society, will light the sky on the evening of Sept. 11, 2011 in honor of those who died ten years before in the terror attacks on the United States. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) #

 September 9, 2011

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Girls play on the boardwalk in Dunedin, New Zealand, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko) #

 September 9, 2011

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Pakistani Robeena Fareed, 6, carries mud while working with her family in a brick factory on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

 September 9, 2011

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A garbage collector is reflected in the polished marble wall of a building as he rests at the entrance of the building where the air-conditioned cool air is blowing in Shanghai, China, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko) #

 September 9, 2011

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A statue of a woman holding a water bucket stands in front of the remnants of a burned down home on the east side of Lake Bastop on September 6, 2011 outside Bastrop, Texas. Several large wildfires have been devastating Bastrop County for the last two days. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images) #

 September 9, 2011

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Runners race down the back straight at Uttoxeter racecourse on September 07, 2011 in Uttoxeter, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images) #

 September 9, 2011

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A person turns back from crossing floodwaters, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011, in the Manayunk neighborhood of Philadelphia. Widespread flooding brought on by the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee was being blamed for two deaths in Pennsylvania, where inundated communities were evacuated and state offices closed down on Thursday because of the rising waters. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) #

 September 9, 2011

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People watch as Construction continues on One World Trade Center on September 8, 2011 in New York City. One World Trade Center will eventually be the tallest skyscraper in the country, topping out at a symbolic 1,776 feet. New York City and the nation are preparing for the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on lower Manhattan which resulted in the deaths of 2,753 people at the World Trade Center. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) #

 September 9, 2011

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A young girl is escorted from the law office building where she was held hostage in Paramatta on September 6, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. A man entered the law office building this morning with a young girl, alleged to be his daughter, claiming to have a backpack with a bomb, sparking a hostage scenario response from police, hostage negotiators, bomb squads and emergency crews. The standoff was underway for over 11 hours before police safely negotiated the release of the girl and took the man into custody. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images) #

 September 9, 2011

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Racegoers shelter from the rain as the runners pass during the Laytown race meeting run on the beach on September 08, 2011 in Laytown, Ireland. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images) #

 September 9, 2011

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Police use colored water from a water cannon to disperse protesting state government employees of Jammu and Kashmir, in Srinagar, India, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011. The employees demanded a hike in their salaries. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan) #

 September 9, 2011

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Relatives of blast victim Inder Singh mourn as his body is taken for its funeral in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011. Indian authorities detained three men for questioning Thursday as they scrambled for leads into a powerful briefcase bomb that tore through the crowds outside a New Delhi courthouse. (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan) #

 September 9, 2011

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A Maori performs during the opening ceremony of the 2011 Rugby World Cup at the Eden Park stadium in Auckland on September 9, 2011. GREG WOOD/AFP/Getty Images #

 September 9, 2011

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A supporter of Otto Perez Molina, Patriotic Party presidential candidate, salutes at a Molina campaign rally in Guatemala City, Thursday Sept. 8, 2011. The latest polls show Molina, a former general, heading into Sunday's election as the frontrunner with a 20-point lead over his closest challenger. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) #

 September 9, 2011

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An Indian idol maker works rests in front of semi-finished clay statues of including those of Hindu goddess Durga in Kumartoli, the idol makers village of Kolkata, on September 8, 2011. Monsoon rain has made it difficult for artisans to finish idols on schedule, with the recent economic slowdown and rising inflation adding to the difficulties of the artisans ahead of the Durga Puja Hindu festival to be celebrated in October. AFP PHOTO/Dibyangshu SARKAR #

 September 9, 2011

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Rishabh the son of A. K. Sharma, a school teacher who was killed in bomb blast outside Delhi high court, watches his fathers cremation in New Delhi on September 8, 2011. Police in Indian Kashmir questioned three men in connection with a deadly bombing at New Delhi's High Court on September 7, as the prime minister acknowledged systemic "weaknesses" in domestic security. The powerful blast ripped through a crowd of lawyers and litigants queueing to enter the court complex in the heart of the Indian capital, killing 12 people and injuring nearly 80. AFP PHOTO / Prakash SINGH #

 September 9, 2011

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A worker walks through the Hacker Pschorr beer tent during preparations for the 178th Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, southern Germany, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011. The world's largest beer festival, to be held from Sept. 17 to Oct. 3, 2011 is expected to draw several millions visitors. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader) #

 September 9, 2011

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A Thai worker rests under a tree in Bangkok, Thailand Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit) #

 September 9, 2011

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Supplies for rescue workers thrown from a military aircraft using parachutes falls down in Juan Fernandez islands, Chile, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011. A Chilean Air Force plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean with 21 people aboard, Friday afternoon Sept. 2, 2011, after two failed attempts to land in difficult weather on the Juan Fernandez islands. The bodies of at least two women and one man were recovered Saturday by searchers or fishermen, said Air Force Gen. Maximiliano Larraechea. Officials say they believe all aboard died. (AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo, Pool) #

 September 9, 2011

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Some of an estimated 400,000 Israelis demonstrate in the center of Tel Aviv on September 3, 2011 to protest against rising housing prices and social inequalities in the Jewish state. The estimated figures were record-breaking, exceeding even the 300,000 people who took part in similar demonstration on August 6, and lending new life to the six-week old movement calling for sweeping economic reforms. MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images #

 September 9, 2011

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Members of the Syrian community in Bucharest protest against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, on September 2, 2011, in Bucharest, Romania. Hundreds of people, mainly Syrians, took to the streets of Romania on September 2nd to protest against the Assad's regime. ANDREI PUNGOVSCHI/AFP/Getty Images #

 September 9, 2011

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A test of the Tribute in Light rises above lower Manhattan, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011, in New York. Four World Trade Center, second from left, is under construction. The memorial, sponsored by the Municipal Art Society, will light the sky on the evening of Sept. 11, 2011, in honor of those who died ten years ago in the terror attacks on the United States. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) #

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Kufow Ali Abdi, 51, holds the body of his three-year-old daughter, Kadija, in a hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia, July 28, 2011. Kadija had died of starvation. The al-Shabab Islamist insurgent group, which controls much of southern Somalia, is blocking starving people from fleeing the country and setting up a cantonment camp where it is imprisoning displaced people who were trying to escape al-Shabab territory.

South Korean army soldiers remove muddy water after a landslide, caused by heavy rains, hit the area around an apartment complex in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, July 29, 2011. Tens of thousands of South Korean firefighters, soldiers, police officers and other workers Friday continued to clean up walls of mud and search for possible survivors in hard-hit areas, according to the National Emergency Management Agency.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., appeared on the floor of the House of Representatives Monday, Aug. 1, 2011, in Washington. Giffords was on the floor for the first time since her shooting earlier this year, attending a vote on the debt standoff compromise.

 August 5, 2011

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Kufow Ali Abdi, 51, holds the body of his three-year-old daughter, Kadija, in a hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia, July 28, 2011. Kadija had died of starvation. The al-Shabab Islamist insurgent group, which controls much of southern Somalia, is blocking starving people from fleeing the country and setting up a cantonment camp where it is imprisoning displaced people who were trying to escape al-Shabab territory. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

 August 5, 2011

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A man gets a haircut in Central Havana, July 26, 2011. The area is one of the most heavily populated of the Cuban capital since many of these old buildings have been subdivided to house multiple families. Experts say that even with some state controls, property sales, announced recently by the government that some would be permitted, could transform Cuba more than any other economic reform announced by President Raul Castro's government. (The New York Times) #

 August 5, 2011

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South Korean army soldiers remove muddy water after a landslide, caused by heavy rains, hit the area around an apartment complex in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, July 29, 2011. Tens of thousands of South Korean firefighters, soldiers, police officers and other workers Friday continued to clean up walls of mud and search for possible survivors in hard-hit areas, according to the National Emergency Management Agency. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon) #

 August 5, 2011

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Women prepare a meal on the site of their home, destroyed by last year's floods, next to their temporary accomodation one year on, on July 29, 2011 in the village of Basti Jagwala Shoki, near Muzaffargarh, Pakistan. A year ago, monsoon rains caused flooding which ravaged Pakistan causing the worst natural disaster since its inception in 1947. Flood waters submerged a fifth of the countryside, equivalent to the size of England, affecting over 20 million people, displacing over 4 million and killing 2000. Millions lost their homes, farms and livelihoods. But the crisis still continues, as hundreds of thousands of people still remain homeless. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images) #

 August 5, 2011

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A malnourished child in a hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia, July 27, 2011. The al-Qaida-linked militant group al-Shabab, which controls much of southern Somalia, is blocking starving people from fleeing the country and setting up a cantonment camp where it is imprisoning displaced people who were trying to escape Shabab territory. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

 August 5, 2011

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Kieren Fallon riding Hoof It win the Blue Square Stewards' Cup at Goodwood racecourse on July 30, 2011 in Chichester, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images) #

 August 5, 2011

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A stunt rider of Red Bull X-Fighters performs during a show in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Saturday, July 30, 2011. The Red Bull X-Fighters is one of the biggest Freestyle Motocross Championship riders in the world. (AP Photo/ Eranga Jayawardena) #

 August 5, 2011

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A Filipino Muslim woman enters a mosque to pray during the first day of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in suburban Paranaque, south of Manila, Philippines on Monday, Aug. 1, 2011. During Ramadan, the holiest month in Islamic calendar, Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex from dawn to dusk. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila) #

 August 5, 2011

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In this picture taken Thursday, July 28, 2011, Hindu pilgrims are carried on palanquins by Muslim bearers over a glacier near Amarnath Cave,150 kilometers (93 miles) from Srinagar, India. At least half a million devotees make the pilgrimage to the icy cave which lies 13,500 feet (4,115 meters) above sea level in Indian-controlled Kashmir amid tight security. Hindus worship a stalagmite inside the cave as an incarnation of the Lord Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction and regeneration. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) #

 August 5, 2011

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Gwynne Chapin, foreground right, hands an ice cream cone to Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Bryan Hall (68) from her truck as his teammates wait in line for their orders following NFL football training camp Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011, in Owings Mills, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) #

 August 5, 2011

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A Nepalese Muslim prays on the second day of the holy fasting month Ramadan at a mosque in Katmandu, Nepal, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011. Muslims are a minority in this predominantly Hindu nation. Official data indicates only 4.3 percent of the country's 27 million people are Muslim. (AP Photo/ Niranjan Shrestha) #

 August 5, 2011

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The Malecon, Havana's seaside bouleveard, July 28, 2011. Cuba as a country has been seemingly locked in time since its revolution. But through a labyrinth of rations, regulations, two currencies and four markets (peso, hard currency, agro and black), people make their way, though the going is hard. The world economic crisis plunged Cuba into an abyss not seen since the years after the Soviet Union collapsed. Before that, the island of 11 million people suffered decades of economic deterioration.(The New York Times) #

 August 5, 2011

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Peninah Pechenik (C), from Buffalo, New York, leans around to take a closer look of wax figures of (L-R) U.S. first lady Michelle Obama, President Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey while visiting Madame Tussauds Wax Museum on Obama's 50th birthday August 4, 2011 in Washington, DC. On Obama's 50th birthday, the replica Oval Office at Madame Tussauds was decorated with party balloons, streamers and presents, while the figures the Obamas, Bill and Hillary Clinton and Oprah Winfrey were outfitted with party hats and noisemakers. . (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) #

 August 5, 2011

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An electronic board displays trading activity on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011 in New York. The Dow plunged nearly 513 points Thursday, its biggest point decline since Oct. 22, 2008. (AP Photo/Jin Lee) #

 August 5, 2011

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An old house that has been subdivided and is in use by several families, known as a "solar," in central Havana, July 29, 2011. Experts say that even with some state controls, property sales, announced recently by the government that some would be permitted, could transform Cuba more than any other economic reform announced by President Raul Castro's government. (The New York Times) #

 August 5, 2011

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An Afghan carries his belongings as he passes burning fuel tankers in the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011. Police said around five fuel tankers carrying fuel for NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan caught fire inside a depot in Kabul. No casualties were reported, and it was not immediately clear what caused the fire.( AP Photo/Dar Yasin) #

 August 5, 2011

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An Indonesian woman reads a copy of the Koran on the fourth day of Ramadan at the Istiqlal mosque in Jakarta on August 4, 2011. Like millions of Muslim around the world, Indonesians celebrated the month of Ramadan by abstaining from eating, drinking, and smoking as well as sexual activities from dawn to dusk. AFP PHOTO / ADEK BERRY #

 August 5, 2011

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This video image taken from Egyptian State Television shows 83-year-old Hosni Mubarak laying on a hospital bed inside a cage of mesh and iron bars in a Cairo courtroom Wednesday Aug. 3, 2011 as his historic trial began on charges of corruption and ordering the killing of protesters during the uprising that ousted him. The scene, shown live on Egypt's state TV, was Egyptians' first look at their former president since Feb. 10, the day before his fall when he gave a defiant speech refusing to resign. (AP Photo/Egyptian State TV) #

 August 5, 2011

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Cristina Alfaro Mejia, whose husband and daughter were killed by soldiers during a massacre in the community of Dos Erres in 1982, holds a rose while waiting to the sentence in Guatemala City, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011. The court sentenced three former special forces soldiers to 6,060 years in prison each for the massacre of more than 200 men, women and children, one of hundreds that occurred during Guatemala's 36-year civil war, which ended in 1996. Some 240,000 people, mostly Mayan Indians, vanished or died.(AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) #

 August 5, 2011

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In this image from House Television, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., appears on the floor of the House of Representatives Monday, Aug. 1, 2011, in Washington. Giffords was on the floor for the first time since her shooting earlier this year, attending a vote on the debt standoff compromise. (AP Photo/House Television) #

 August 5, 2011

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Malaysian jellyfish swim in a tank at the Sunshine Aquarium in Tokyo on August 1, 2011. The aquarium loacted on the top of a building, will be reopened on August 4 following a one year renovation. AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO #

 August 5, 2011

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A man performs the traditional "El Torito" dance at the Rabin Ajau National Folkloric Festival and Indian beauty contest in Coban, Guatemala, Saturday July 30, 2011. Unlike traditional beauty contests, the panel of judges not only value the participants' leadership skills, but their commitment to the rescue and maintenance of Mayan values. The Rabin Ajau, or Queen Daughter, contestants, whose ages range from 14-26 years, go through numerous rounds of competition, including a speech that must be given in their native dialect and Spanish. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) #

 August 5, 2011

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U.S. Marine Sgt. Myron Ellis, 26, of Sacramento, Calif., with the 2nd Battalion 12th Marines based in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, looks out from under a tent at a mountain top outpost called The Shrine Saturday, July 30, 2011 in Kajaki, Helmand province, Afghanistan. (AP Photo/David Goldman) #

 August 5, 2011

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An Indian bicycle rickshaw puller sleeps after stopping in a water-logged underpass during monsoon rain in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011. India receives the annual monsoon rains from June to September. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #

 August 5, 2011

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U.S. Marine Cpl. Abraham Willis, 22, of Beech Bottom, W. Va., with the 2nd Battalion 12th Marines based in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, and his IED detection dog Preacher ride in the back of a wagon as they are shuttled over a bridge for a foot patrol at sunrise in Kajaki, Helmand province, Afghanistan, Friday, July 29, 2011. (AP Photo/David Goldman) #

 August 5, 2011

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Romanian brides pose for pictures at the Triumph Arch in Bucharest, Romania, early Sunday, July 31, 2011. The arch, a replica of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, the French capital, is a rendezvous place for brides after midnight on the wedding night during the stealing of the bride ritual. The ritual, of ancient origin, is performed by wedding guests who take the bride away from the party and then demand a ransom from the groom, usually money or alcoholic drinks, to return her.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda) #

 August 5, 2011

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An Indian farmer works in a rice paddy field near Saputara Hill Station some 400 kms from Ahmedabad on July 30, 2011. The strength of the annual June-September downpour is vital to hundreds of millions of farmers and to economic growth in Asia's third-largest economy which gets 80 percent of its annual rainfall during the monsoon season. TOPSHOTS / AFP PHOTO / Sam PANTHAKY #

 August 5, 2011

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A boy sleeps on a wall at a bus station during 'Iftar', when Muslims break their fast, on the third day of the holy month of Ramadan on August 4, 2011 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Ramadan, the month in which the holy Quran was revealed to the prophet Mohammad, is observed by devout Muslims who abstain from food, drink and sex from dawn until sunset, when they break the fast with the meal known as Iftar. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images) #

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