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Andy Wong

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China’s communist leaders are promising to revolutionize the world’s second largest economy and move on from being the world’s workshop. Unlike most communist governments, China’s one-party state has survived by embracing capitalism to deliver new wealth. Chinese officials recently reported they would reach their target for annual economic growth of 7.5 percent this year despite [...]

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Yesterday was the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the day of the year when the sun was at its highest point in the sky. People around the world are welcoming the start of the new season by enjoying (or avoiding) the hot weather. In southern England, where yesterday brought heavy rains, pagans gathered at Stonehenge and reveled in spite of the downpour. Collected here are a handful of images of the beginning of Summer, 2012. [31 photos]

A Bengal tiger, sprayed with water by a zookeeper on a hot summer day at the Birsa Munda Zoological Park in Ranchi, India, on May 30, 2012. Zoo authorities are helping the animals cope with temperatures in excess of 40 degrees Celsius (104F) by providing coolers, special roofs and regular hose-downs. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

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China, the most populous country and the second-largest economy in the world, is a vast, dynamic nation that continues to grow and evolve in the 21st century. In this, the latest entry in a semi-regular series on China, we find images of tremendous variety, including astronauts, nomadic herders, replica European villages, pole dancers, RV enthusiasts, traditional farmers, and inventors. This collection is only a small view of the people and places in China over the past several weeks. [47 photos]

Liu Yang, China's first female astronaut, waves during a departure ceremony at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, Gansu province, on June 16, 2012. China sent its first woman taikonaut into outer space this week, prompting a surge of national pride as the rising power takes its latest step towards putting a space station in orbit within the decade. Liu, a 33-year-old fighter pilot, joined two other taikonauts aboard the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft when it lifted off from a remote Gobi Desert launch site. (Reuters/Jason Lee)

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Flood waters inundating Thailand north of Bangkok since July have made the journey south and reached the capital. The disaster is responsible for 400 deaths in Thailand and neighboring Cambodia and Vietnam. Thailand is the world's biggest rice exporter, but the floods have wiped out over a quarter of the country's crop. The government has declared a five-day holiday for the capital to allow residents time to evacuate. Damages could top six billion dollars in Thailand's worst flooding in 50 years. Collected here are images of the water as it moves south to Bangkok, and how residents there are dealing with the disaster. -- Lane Turner (43 photos total)
A woman holds a toddler as she walks through floodwaters in an area near the Chao Praya river in Bangkok on October 29, 2011. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images)

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China, the most populous country (1.3 billion people) and the second-largest economy in the world, is a vast, dynamic nation that continues to grow and evolve in the 21st century. Recent events in China include a successful satellite launch that lays the groundwork for a space station, the completion of a massive skyscraper in a rather small village, the 26th Universiade games for student athletes, the celebration of National Day, the Mid-Autumn Festival, and much more. This collection is only a small view of the people and places in China over the past several weeks. [49 photos]

Chinese artist Liu Bolin waits for his colleagues to put a finishing touch on him to blend into rows of soft drinks in his artwork entitled "Plasticizer" to express his speechlessness at use of plasticizer in food additives, in his studio at the 798 Art District in Beijing, China, on August 10, 2011. (AP Photo)

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A man wades through flood water in Calumpit, Bulacan, north of Manila on September 28, 2011. The death toll in the Philippines from Typhoon Nesat climbed to 18 as thousands of people battled widespread flooding and another storm bore down on the country. Rescuers reported two more deaths overnight, while 35 others remained missing, after [...]

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People take refugee at a makeshift shelter after earthquakes in Cuilapa, Guatemala, Monday, Sept. 19, 2011. Four earthquakes struck the southeastern part of Guatemala in less than two hours Monday afternoon, causing at least one death, authorities said. At least three people were reported missing.

Anti-death penalty protester is helped off the ground after hearing about a delay of the execution by the U.S. Supreme Court for Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis In Jackson, Ga., Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. Davis was scheduled to die Wednesday for killing off-duty Savannah officer Mark MacPhail.

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People take refugee at a makeshift shelter after earthquakes in Cuilapa, Guatemala, Monday, Sept. 19, 2011. Four earthquakes struck the southeastern part of Guatemala in less than two hours Monday afternoon, causing at least one death, authorities said. At least three people were reported missing. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) #

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Anti-death penalty protester is helped off the ground after hearing about a delay of the execution by the U.S. Supreme Court for Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis In Jackson, Ga., Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. Davis was scheduled to die Wednesday for killing off-duty Savannah officer Mark MacPhail. (AP Photo/Stephen Morton) #

 September 23, 2011

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A caretaker at the Calauit island wildlife sanctuary feeding giraffes with tree leaves in Busuanga, Palawan province, in the western Philippines. Calauit island wildlife sanctuary covers 3,700 hectares and is home to endemic animals and African wildlife and was declared a game preserve and wildlife sanctuary in 1977 as the Philippines responded to an appeal by the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to save endangered animals in Africa. AFP PHOTO/ TED ALJIBE #

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Members of Indian Army engineering wing help a Buddhist monk to descend a huge landslide following Sunday's 6.9 magnitude earthquake in Phengla around 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Gangtok, in Sikkim, India, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011. Thousands of homeless villagers in the Himalayas spent a miserable night outdoors in heavy rains after a powerful earthquake flattened houses and rescuers struggled to reach victims in the mountains of India, Nepal and Tibet. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) #

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Soldiers stand guard as Israeli settlers with Israeli flags participate in a protest march against Palestinian statehood September 20, 2011 from the West Bank Jewish settlement of Itamar to the Palestinians town of Nablus, West Bank. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said that he plans to apply for full membership for a Palestinian state after he speaks at the UN General Assembly this Friday in New York City. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images) #

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Traders signal offers in the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index futures pit at the CME Group following the Federal Reserve meeting September 21, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Federal Reserve says it will sell $400 billion of its shorter-term securities to buy longer-term holdings in an effort to stimulate the economy. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) #

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A worker puts finishing touches on a ribbon display on a giant lantern shaped structure set up on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) #

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Freed American Shane Bauer, center is welcomed upon his arrival from Iran, in Muscat, Oman Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. After more than two years in Iranian custody, two Americans convicted as spies took their first steps toward home Wednesday as they bounded down from a private jet and into the arms of family for a joyful reunion in the Gulf state of Oman. (AP Photo/Sultan Al-Hasani) #

 September 23, 2011

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The Statue of Liberty is seen through the windows of a boat prior to the start of the 125th Anniversary of the Statue of Liberty ceremony on Liberty Island on September 22, 2011 in New York City. The 125th Anniversary of the Statue of Liberty is to be celebrated on October 28th, 2011. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images) #

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Supporters of Yemen's President Ali Abduallah Saleh gather at the Monument of the Unknown Soldier where a Palestinian flag hangs during a rally celebrating his return to Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, Sept. 23, 2011. President Ali Abdullah Saleh made a surprise return to Yemen on Friday after more than three months of medical treatment in Saudi Arabia in a move certain to further enflame battles between forces loyal to him and his opponents that have turned the capital into a war zone. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed) #

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An Indian villager and a child, evacuated by helicopter from Chungthang de-board at a helipad in Mangan, India, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. The 6.9 magnitude quake Sunday evening claimed lives in northeastern India, Tibet and Nepal. Rescue efforts have been hampered by heavy rain and mudslides that blocked the roads leading to villages in the remote, mountainous region. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) #

 September 23, 2011

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A supporter of Haiti's former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier hold portraits of former Haitian dictator Francois Duvalier, also known as "Papa Doc," below, and his son Jean-Claude Duvalier, also known as "Baby Doc," top, as protesters gather outside a hotel where the group interrupted a press conference by Amnesty International in downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday Sept. 22, 2011. Amnesty International was expected to reveal new testimony from victims of the dictatorship and their relatives. Duvalier returned to Haiti in January from exile in France. He was ousted from Haiti in 1986 after a 15-year rule. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery) #

 September 23, 2011

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A woman suspected of being a Gadhafi loyalist is seen behind bars inside a detention facility in Misrata, Libya, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011. Moammar Gadhafi's former prime minister has been arrested in Tunisia, officials said, as Libya's new rulers and NATO warned the fugitive leader and his loyalists that they are running out of places to hide. (AP Photo/ Manu Brabo) #

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers a keynote during the Facebook f8 Developer Conference at the San Francisco Design Center in San Francisco on September 22, 2011 in California. KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/Getty Images #

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Supporters of Yemen's President Ali Abduallah Saleh stand on flag poles celebrating his return to Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, Sept. 23, 2011. President Ali Abdullah Saleh made a surprise return to Yemen on Friday after more than three months of medical treatment in Saudi Arabia in a move certain to further enflame battles between forces loyal to him and his opponents that have turned the capital into a war zone. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed) #

 September 23, 2011

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In this photo taken on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011, an Indian man removes a dried cloth from a string in New Delhi, India. India's Planning Commission, tasked with updating its poverty line figures to reflect rising prices, told the nation's Supreme Court Wednesday that fifty cents a day was "adequate" for the average Indian villager to spend on basic needs. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal) #

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A defecting Yemeni soldier takes position behind sandbags during clashes in Sanaa on September 22, 2011 as tribesmen join battles between rival military units, raising fears among frightened residents of a descent into civil war. MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images #

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Girls walk in a park in Moscow, on September 21, 2011. NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images #

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Israeli soldiers arrest a Palestinian demonstrator during clashes at the Qalandia checkpoint between the West Bank city of Ramallah and Jerusalem, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. Palestinians clashed with Israeli security forces in Qalandia Wednesday, as thousands of flag-waving Palestinians rallied in towns across the West Bank to show support for their president's bid to win U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state. (AP Photo/Tara Todras-Whitehill) #

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A displaced Pakistani boy, center, looks on as he and others collect water from a tanker in Umerkot District in Pakistan's Sindh province, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011. Flood victims camped out near inundated fields and crowded hospitals on Monday as authorities and international aid groups struggled to respond to Pakistan's second major bout of flooding in just over a year. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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A photo taken on September 20, 2011 shows rescue serviceman checking for people as a passenger boat capsizes after being hit by a restaurant boat on the flooded Jialing River in southwest China's Chongqing municipality. Nearly 1.7 million people have been forced to abandon their homes and dozens more have died in heavy flooding across large parts of China, the government reported. STR/AFP/Getty Images #

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Displaced Pakistani Ijaz Nawana, 6, looks on while sitting on the ground playing with tyre, as he and others take refuge on a roadside after fleeing their homes in Tando Allah Yar district near Hyderabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. In Pakistan's Sindh province alone, the floods have killed over 220 people, damaged or destroyed some 665,000 homes and displaced more than 1.8 million people, according to the United Nations. Neighboring Baluchistan province has also been affected. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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Israeli settler youths wave Israeli flags at the start of a protest march against Palestinian statehood, from the West Bank Jewish settlement of Itamar near the Palestinians town of Nablus, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he is determined to seek U.N. recognition this week of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, areas Israel captured in 1967. Israeli security forces fear the U.N. bid could spark violence in the West Bank. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit) #

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Eddie Reyes is comforted while remembering fifteen of his colleagues in the New York Police Department Emergency Service Unit who were killed on September 11, 2001 during a first responders wreath-laying ceremony at the National September 11 Memorial on September 20, 2011 in New York City. The ceremony, which marks the first of seven "first responder days" for members of 9/11 first responder agencies and their families, honored the 441 first responders whose names are now inscribed on the September 11 Memorial at the World Trade Center site. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) #

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