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Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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Egyptian police have fired tear gas at thousands of demonstrators outside the Interior Ministry protesting the security forces’ failure to prevent a soccer riot that killed more than 70 people. Nearly 10,000 protesters, including sports fans, rallied Thursday demanding retribution for the bloody violence, which most blamed on police inaction. The protesters pushed their way [...]

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Any "best of" list must surely be subjective. This one is no different. Choosing the best photographs of the year is an enormously difficult task, with many terrific photographs slipping through the cracks. But with major news events as a guide, and with single images I fell in love with throughout the year forcing their way into the edit, I look at my favorite pictures from the first four months of the year. Two main stories dominated headlines in the first part of the year: the Japan earthquake and tsunami, and the rising of the Arab Spring. The protests in the Middle East would spread to Greece, Spain, and eventually inspire the Occupy movement in Western nations. Other stories included a historic wave of tornados in the U.S., a Royal wedding in London, and the creation of the world's newest nation in South Sudan. Images from the rest of the year will follow in posts later this week. -- Lane Turner (36 photos total)
A wave caused by a tsunami flows into the city of Miyako from the Heigawa estuary in Iwate Prefecture after a magnitude 8.9 earthquake struck Japan March 11, 2011. (Mainichi Shimbun /Reuters)

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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 1 of a three-part photo summary of the last year, covering 2011's first several months. Be sure to also see Part 2, and Part 3 of the series - totaling 120 images in all. [40 photos + 1 more]

A wave approaches Miyako City from the Heigawa estuary in Iwate Prefecture after the magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck the area March 11, 2011. The earthquake, the most powerful ever known to have hit Japan, combined with the massive tsunami, claimed more than 15,800 lives, devastated many eastern coastline communities, and triggered a nuclear catastrophe at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station. (Reuters/Mainichi Shimbun)

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Hours after violent clashes between masses of protesters and police, Egyptians swarmed the polls early this week for the beginning rounds of parliamentary elections. They are the first elections since a prodemocracy uprising ousted longtime president Hosni Mubarak from office earlier this year. The poll stations have been remarkably peaceful, despite the simmering anger over the military’s extended role in running the government. In contrast, the Democratic Republic of Congo's presidential and legislative elections this week were beset by fraud, some observers say. In one town, rebel fighters attacked a polling place, killing at least five people and burning ballots. The voting was Congo's second since the end of the country's last war and the first organized by the government rather than the international community. -- Lloyd Young
(30 photos total)
A man waits outside a polling station to cast his vote during parliamentary elections in Cairo Nov. 28. (Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters)

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Protesters unhappy with the pace of change and the continued military rule in Egypt flooded Cairo's Tahrir Square over the weekend demanding civilian rule. Riot police responded with tear gas, beatings, and live ammunition, leaving at least 20 dead in continuing clashes. Egypt holds parliamentary elections next week, and demonstrators want presidential elections to be held shortly afterward. The ruling military has proposed to delay those elections until late 2012 or even 2013, angering Egyptians frustrated with the military's role in government. Collected here are images of the struggle over the weekend. -- Lane Turner (24 photos total)
Protesters run from tear gas fired by riot police in a side street near Tahrir Square in Cairo November 21, 2011. (Goran Tomasevic/Reuters)

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BOY WITH THE MASK
BOY WITH THE MASK: Wang Gengxiang, known as ‘Masked Boy,’ played with a balloon in Shanxi Province, China, Thursday. The 6-year-old was severely burned last winter in an accident involving a pile of burning straw. (Jason Lee/Reuters)

TAKING A HIT
TAKING A HIT: Spc. Marcus Clay rode in a mine-resistant vehicle as an improvised explosive device detonated in Paktika Province, Afghanistan, Friday. No one was injured. (Johannes Eisele/Aence France-Presse/Getty Images)

HUDDLED TOGETHER
HUDDLED TOGETHER: Players were locked in a scrum during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, Friday. (Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

ALL ABOARD
ALL ABOARD: Officials rode a train during the inauguration Friday of the second metro rail network in Dubai, which opened after a two-year delay. (Karim Sahib/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

SHIELDED
SHIELDED: Police took up positions as protesters pulled down a concrete wall in front of the Israeli Embassy in Cairo Friday. Since Hosni Mubarak’s ouster, calls have grown in Egypt for ending a 1979 peace treaty with Israel. (Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters)

FLOATING ALONG
FLOATING ALONG: Rob Hewitt floated past flooded buildings in Port Deposit, Md., Friday. Officials ordered a mandatory evacuation as the Susquehanna River, swollen with rain from the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee, continued to rise. (Patrick Semansky/Associated Press)

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