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Hindus worldwide recently celebrated Diwali, a five-day "festival of lights" that marks the new year and honors the principle of good over evil. One Diwali ritual is honoring Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity. The occasion is also celebrated with fireworks, the sharing of sweets and gifts, and by decorating homes with lights and candles. Diwali is an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore, and Fiji.-- Lloyd Young EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, there will be no post on Friday.)( 42 photos total)
A reveler lights a bottle rocket at a park during Diwali, the “festival of lights”, in Kolkata on Nov. 13. The festival marks the victory of good over evil and commemorates the time when Hindu God Lord Rama achieved victory over Ravana and returned to his kingdom Ayodhya after 14 years in exile. (Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty Images)

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FLOOD AFTERMATH
FLOOD AFTERMATH: A resident shoveled mud out of her window in the village of Biser, southern Bulgaria, Tuesday. A dam burst Monday after days of heavy rain, sending a torrent surging through a village. The region’s toll from flooding is eight dead, with 10 missing. (Stoyan Nenov/Reuters)

BIG FISH
BIG FISH: Fishermen used cranes to pull the carcass of a whale shark from the water in Karachi, Pakistan, Tuesday. The 40-foot whale shark was found dead in Arabian Sea. (Asif Hassan/AFP/Getty Images)

ATHENS ANGER
ATHENS ANGER: Riot police arrested a protester outside Parliament in Athens Tuesday. Thousands protested against the threat of yet more spending cuts and tax increases as talks continued over a new bailout agreement and debt restructuring. (Alkis Konstantinidis/European Pressphoto Agency)

BURNING THROUGH CASH
BURNING THROUGH CASH: Tons of shredded and compressed banknotes were unloaded from a truck at the Foundation to Help Autism in Miskolc, Hungary, Tuesday. Hungary is the only country to recycle its worn cash for fuel each year. The bricks are then sent to a few charities. (Laszlo Balogh/Reuters)

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An Indonesian ethnic Chinese man prays during the Chinese Lunar New Year celebration at Dharma Bakti temple in Chinatown in Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday, Jan. 23, 2012. Divers of the Nucleo Operatori Subacquei Guardia Costiera conduct a search and rescue operation that led to the discovery of the body of a woman inside of the ship [...]

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COLLAPSED
COLLAPSED: A man watched as rescue workers removed rubble from a decades-old building that fell Tuesday night in the Old Delhi area of New Delhi. At least seven people died in the collapse. (Gurinder Osan/Associated Press)

THE AYES HAVE IT
THE AYES HAVE IT: European Parliament members voted during a session in Strasbourg, France, Wednesday. Addressing the gathering, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso urged the European Union to hasten its reforms to resolve the sovereign-debt crisis. (Christophe Karaba/European Pressphoto Agency)

PROTECTED
PROTECTED: Displaced children slept under a mosquito net on a roadside in Mirpur Khas, in Pakistan’s Sindh Province, Wednesday. They left their homes amid heavy flooding. Heavy monsoon rains have pounded 5.4 million people in the provinces of Sindh and Baluchistan. (Shakil Adil/Associated Press)

FIRED UP
FIRED UP: Activists with the Sunni Tehreek political organization burned U.S. flags in Karachi, Pakistan, Wednesday, to protest U.S. ‘threats.’ The U.S. wants Pakistan to clamp down on the Haqqani network, which it blames for an attack earlier this month on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. (Asif Hassan/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

LITTLE FINGERS
LITTLE FINGERS: Children wove carpets at a home workshop in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday. According to a recent report from the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, around 42% of Afghans are unemployed and 36% have a daily income of less than 50 Afghanis ($1). (Adek Berry/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

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A Pakistani woman displaced by the floods walks along a flooded road holding an axe to cut wood, in Digri district near Hyderabad, Pakistan. The United Nations and Pakistani government appealed for $357 million in foreign donations to urgently help more than seven million people swamped by a second year of catastrophic floods.

One year from the country’s worst-ever floods that left more than 21 million people in need, Pakistan’s southern plains have been inundated again, with some parts of Sindh province swamped with more water than last summer.

 Pakistan Floods

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A Pakistani woman displaced by the floods walks along a flooded road holding an axe to cut wood, in Digri district near Hyderabad, Pakistan, Monday, Sept. 19, 2011. The United Nations appealed for $357 million Sunday to help millions of Pakistanis affected by floods that have damaged hundreds of thousands of homes and destroyed millions of acres of crops. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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This photograph taken from a Pakistani Army helicopter shows flood affected villagers seeking refuge on a dry patch in the flood-hit Sanghar district of Sindh province on September 19, 2011. The United Nations and Pakistani government appealed for $357 million in foreign donations to urgently help more than seven million people swamped by a second year of catastrophic floods. One year on from the country's worst-ever floods that left more than 21 million people in need, Pakistan's southern plains have been inundated again, with some parts of Sindh province swamped with more water than last summer. AFP PHOTO / ASIF HASSAN (Photo credit should read ASIF HASSAN/AFP/Getty Images) #

 Pakistan Floods

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A Pakistani boy, right, reaches for his bowl after crossing a flooded field in Tando Muhammad Khan near Hyderabad, Pakistan, Monday, Sept. 19, 2011. The United Nations appealed for $357 million Sunday to help millions of Pakistanis affected by floods that have damaged hundreds of thousands of homes and destroyed millions of acres of crops. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

 Pakistan Floods

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A Pakistani woman stands in floodwater as she removes belongings in her house following heavy monsoon rain in Hyderabad on September 13, 2011. Pakistan called on the world to speed up relief efforts after torrential rains exacerbated major floods, killing 270 people and making another 200,000 homeless in the south of the country. AFP PHOTO / YOUSUF NAGORI #

 Pakistan Floods

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In this photo taken from a helicopter, a displaced Pakistani man gestures to Pakistani army officers as they deliver rice and sugar to flood victims, in Badin District, in Pakistan's Sindh province, Saturday, Sept. 24, 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) #

 Pakistan Floods

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A Pakistani family member stands between patients suffering from the mosquito-borne disease, dengue fever, at a local hospital in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Pakistani authorities who are already under pressure to help hundreds of thousands of flood victims, struggling to contain dengue fever which has killed many people and around 4,400 cases have been reported, officials said. (AP Photo/B.K.Bangash) #

 Pakistan Floods

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Local residents wade through a flooded street following heavy monsoon rains in Quetta on September 13, 2011. Pakistan called on the world to speed up relief efforts after torrential rains exacerbated major floods, killing 270 people and making another 200,000 homeless in the south of the country. AFP PHOTO / BANARAS KHAN #

 Pakistan Floods

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In this photo taken from a helicopter, displaced Pakistanis run through flood water to pickup bags of rice and sugar delivered by the Pakistani army, in Pakistan's Sindh province, Saturday, Sept. 24, 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) #

 Pakistan Floods

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Pakistani Navy personnel distribute aid to flood-affected villagers in Jhudo district on September 16, 2011. The United Nations said that it was stepping up aid to Pakistan, where monsoon floods have killed 270 people, affected over 5.5 million others and destroyed 1.1 million homes. TOPSHOTS/AFP PHOTO/Asif HASSAN #

 Pakistan Floods

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Pakistani flood affected peoples line up for relief supplies at a distribution point on the outskirts of Badin on September 18, 2011. In Pakistan's fertile south, a grim-faced soldier found himself in a standoff with 100 flood-stricken protesters demanding help for their communities marooned by the surging water. The UN and Islamabad on September jointly issued an emergency funding appeal for 357 million USD to shore up rescue and relief efforts. AFP PHOTO/Asif HASSAN #

 Pakistan Floods

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A displaced Pakistani girl sleeps on a bed as she and her family take refuge on a roadside in Tando Allah Yar, in Pakistan's Sindh province, after fleeing their flood-hit homes, Monday, Sept. 26, 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) #

 Pakistan Floods

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A displaced Pakistani child, his face covered with flies, lies on the ground as he and his family take refuge on a roadside in Tando Allah Yar, in Pakistan's Sindh province, after fleeing their flood-hit homes, Monday, Sept. 26, 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) #

 Pakistan Floods

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Displaced Pakistani Orung Zeeb, 1, sleeps in a hammock attached to a bed his mother laying on, as they 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) #

 Pakistan Floods

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Displaced Pakistani Shahinaz Afser, 8, stands inside her family's tent in a relief camp set by the Pakistani army in Kaloi, in Pakistan's Sindh province, after fleeing their flood-hit homes, Saturday, Sept. 24, 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) #

 Pakistan Floods

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A Pakistani woman displaced by floodwater, carries a young boy while crossing a flooded way, in Tando Muhammad Khan near Hyderabad, Pakistan, Monday, Sept. 19, 2011. The United Nations appealed for $357 million Sunday to help millions of Pakistanis affected by floods that have damaged hundreds of thousands of homes and destroyed millions of acres of crops. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

 Pakistan Floods

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Pakistani flood affected villagers arrive at a safe place in flood-hit Badin district in Sindh province on September 13, 2011. Pakistan called on the world to speed up relief efforts after torrential rains exacerbated major floods, killing 270 people and making another 200,000 homeless in the south of the country. Local officials say devastation in parts of the country's main breadbasket is worse than last year, when a fifth of the country was left under water by the country's worst ever floods that affected a total of 21 million people. AFP PHOTO / ASIF HASSAN #

 Pakistan Floods

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In this photo taken from a helicopter, Pakistani farmers look up while working in their partially flooded fields in Pakistan's Sindh province, Saturday, Sept. 24, 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) #

 Pakistan Floods

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A displaced Pakistani youth, crosses a flooded field carrying tree branches, in Mirpur Khas in Pakistan's Sindh province, after fleeing their flood-hit homes, Friday, Sept. 23, 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) #

 Pakistan Floods

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An aerial view shows the tents of people displaced by flooding in a relief camp in Kanri Village district Umarkot on September 24, 2011. A United Nations food agency launched an appeal for 18.9 million USD September 23 to help farmers in southern Pakistan hit by floods it said were even more disastrous than last year. AFP PHOTO/Rizwan TABASSUM #

 Pakistan Floods

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A displaced Pakistani man pushes a bed through flood water after fleeing his home 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) #

 Pakistan Floods

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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) #

 Pakistan Floods

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A displaced Pakistani child looks on while being held by her mother as they and others take refuge in a college in Tando Muhammad Khan near Hyderabad, Pakistan, after fleeing their flood-hit homes, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011. Pakistani authorities are unsure how many people are still stranded by floods that first hit Pakistan in August following unusually heavy monsoon rains and have affected at least 5.4 million people. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

 Pakistan Floods

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Displaced Pakistani Nelo Fotah, 10, sits inside his grocery stall, where he and others take refuge on a roadside after fleeing their homes in Tando Allah Yar district near Hyderabad, Pakistan, 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) #

 Pakistan Floods

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A Pakistani flood effected child cries beside a makeshift tent on the high ground of flooded area of Jhudo on September 16, 2011. Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani cancelled a visit to the United States to address the UN General Assembly because of widespread new floods, his office said. Heavy rains in the fertile southern province of Sindh have caused flooding that has so far killed 289 people and forced 400,000 others to leave their homes, one year after the country suffered its worst-ever floods. AFP PHOTO/Asif HASSAN #

 Pakistan Floods

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Displaced Pakistani Shanmaha Radow, 37, sits with her daughters, Reemo 4, left, and Zuma, 2, as they take refuge on a roadside in Tando Jam, in Pakistan's Sindh province, after fleeing their flood-hit homes, Sunday, Sept. 25, 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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UP HIGH
UP HIGH: A man retrieved belongings from a flooded home after heavy rainfall in Karachi, Pakistan, Tuesday. More than 200 people have died and 200,000 have been left homeless in the country’s latest bout of flooding. (Fareed Khan/Associated Press)

SPREADING THEIR WINGS
SPREADING THEIR WINGS: A rebel fighter spread a pigeon’s wings at a compound belonging to Col. Moammar Gadhafi in Assdada Fort, Libya, near Sirte, Tuesday. (Goran Tomasevic/Reuters)

STUNNED STUDENTS
STUNNED STUDENTS: Students wounded when gunmen opened fire on their school van lay at a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday. At least four children and the driver were killed in the suspected Taliban attack in Matani, on Peshawar’s outskirts, police said. (Fayaz Aziz/Reuters)

SEEKING HIGHER GROUND
SEEKING HIGHER GROUND: Villagers affected by flooding rode on top of a vehicle into hard-hit Badin, Pakistan, Tuesday. Thousands of men, women and children lined the main road in Badin. Some were sitting under plastic sheets held up by the branches of trees. (Asif Hassan/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)


FIRE! Afghan police officers fired toward buildings that Taliban insurgents took over during an attack on the U.S. Embassy compound in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday. Militants fired grenades and assault rifles at the embassy and other sites in the capital, while suicide bombers struck police buildings. (Ahmad Masood/Reuters)

PUSHING AHEAD
PUSHING AHEAD: A construction worker pushed a cart on top of a building through hazy weather near Beijing’s Central Business District Tuesday. (Alexander F. Yuan/Associated Press)

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JUBILANT JUBILANT: A man hoisted aloft by friends was showered with wine Wednesday at the start of the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, Spain. The annual festival best known for its daily running of the bulls kicked off with the traditional “Chupinazo” rocket launch; it runs until July 14. (Eloy Alonso/Reuters)

DEADLY VIOLENCE DEADLY VIOLENCE: A relative of a victim of political violence mourned over the body in an ambulance at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre in Karachi Wednesday. Violence blamed on political and ethnic tensions in Pakistan’s biggest city killed at least 24 people overnight, officials said. (Asif Hassan/AFP/Getty Images)

PATIENCE PATIENCE: Four-year-old Bashir Hassan, right, waited with his family Tuesday for a bus that would take them to a processing facility in the Dadaab refugee camp in northeastern Kenya. The boy, his brothers and their mother arrived 11 days ago after walking two weeks from their home in Somalia.(Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images)

STRONG ARMS STRONG ARMS: Fisher Frude hung onto a sheep during the ‘mutton busting’ event at the junior bull-riding competition Tuesday at Laramie Jubilee Days in Laramie, Wyo. (Andy Carpenean/The Laramie Boomerang/AP)

UP IN ARMS UP IN ARMS: Bangladeshi police arrested Jainul Abdin Farroque, the chief parliamentary whip of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, in Dhaka Wednesday during a strike against a constitutional amendment the opposition says will let the government rig elections. Mr. Farroque was hospitalized. (AFP/Getty Images)

BIRTHDAY SPAT BIRTHDAY SPAT: A Tibetan exile tussled with Nepalese police officers as they tried to stop her from entering a birthday celebration for the Dalai Lama in Katmandu, Nepal, Wednesday. Nepalese authorities were concerned that the spiritual leader’s birthday gathering would turn anti-Chinese. (Binod Joshi/Associated Press)

ON THE TOUR ON THE TOUR: Cyclist Mark Cavendish, center, of Britain made a final sprint against Jose Rojas, left, of Spain and Philippe Gilbert, right, of Belgium in the fifth stage of the Tour de France, between Carhaix and Cap Frehel Wednesday. Mr. Cavendish won the stage. (Denis Balibouse/Reuters)

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TROPICAL STORM
TROPICAL STORM: A Filipino boy stood behind a vehicle during a downpour in Manila, Philippines, on Thursday. Tropical Storm Meari was set to strengthen to a Category 1 typhoon sometime between Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. (Aaron Favila/Associated Press)

CONSTITUTIONAL PROTEST
CONSTITUTIONAL PROTEST: Riot police in Dakar, Senegal, huddled together after firing tear gas as a lone man held up a sign protesting proposed constitutional changes outside the National Assembly on Thursday. Police lobbed tear gas at thousands of protesters. (Rebecca Blackwell/Associated Press)

CUTS
CUTS: From left, Anthony Pinder cut David Stokes’ hair, while Darrell Ross cut Marine Staff Sgt. Brandon Foote’s hair and retired Marine Alfonso Rushin cut Marine Sgt. Erick Johnson’s hair. President Obama’s speech on Afghanistan was playing Wednesday at the barbershop near Camp Pendleton. (Gregory Bull/Associated Press)

DANCING LEGEND
DANCING LEGEND: Five-year-old girls danced on women’s shoulders during the ‘Coca’ celebration in Redondela in northeastern Spain on Thursday. The tradition is taken from a local legend about two women who were saved from a dragon by dancing in this manner. (Miguel Vidal/Reuters)

TRASH PILES
TRASH PILES: Trash was seen in the street during a protest in downtown Naples on Thursday. The chronic problems over waste disposal in Italy’s third-largest city have re-emerged in recent days, as regional authorities try to reach an agreement on moving the garbage to dumps outside Naples. (Ciro MessereReuters)

SURVEILLANCE DUTY
SURVEILLANCE DUTY: U.S. Army National Guardsman Sgt. Oscar Escobar scanned the U.S.-Mexian border in Nogales, Ariz., on Wednesday. The Pentagon recently extended until Sept. 30 the deployment of 1,200 guardsmen who were deployed last year to the border. (John Moore/Getty Images)

GATHERING EVIDENCE
GATHERING EVIDENCE: FBI agents loaded boxes of evidence into a truck Thursday outside an apartment complex where fugitive crime boss James ‘Whitey’ Bulger and his longtime companion, Catherine Greig, were arrested in Santa Monica, Calif. The Boston mob boss was captured after 16 years on the run. (Jae C. Hong/Associated Press)
STORM RELIEF
STORM RELIEF: People affected by flooding lined up to collect relief supplies at a distribution center in Ghatal, India, about 62 miles northwest of Kolkata on Thursday. Monsoons in eastern India have damaged homes and flooded parts of Kolkata, killing at least seven people. (Bikas Das/Associated Press)

MUDSLIDE
MUDSLIDE: Tom Wilder, 17, of Kent, England, slid in the mud at the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm in Pilton, England on Thursday. The festival is often rainy and requires the 140,000 music fans who attend to wear rain gear. (Ben Birchall/Associated Press)

HOSTAGES’ HOMECOMING
HOSTAGES’ HOMECOMING: Pakistani ship’s captain Wasi Hasan of the Egyptian-registered boat the M.V. Suez burst into tears Thursday after meeting one of his relatives upon arriving in Karachi, Pakistan, on Thursday. He was part of a group of hostages held for 10 months by pirates off the coast of Somalia. (Asif Hassan/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

BEIJING RUSH HOUR
BEIJING RUSH HOUR: Subway station staff managed commuters lining up to enter platforms during rush hour in Beijing on Thursday. (Associated Press)

FLAG FIGHT
FLAG FIGHT: Vietnam veteran Fred Quigley, center, saluted in front of his house as he stood with supporters during a flag-raising ceremony in Macedonia, Ohio, on Wednesday. The neighborhood’s developer says the pole is in violation of a homeowners’ association rule. (Ed Suba Jr./Akron Beacon Journal/Associated Press)

HINDU FESTIVAL
HINDU FESTIVAL: A child was helped onto the tip of a prong planted into a chariot to celebrate Tridents Festival, at Jayabageshwari in Kathmandu on Thursday. The festival is celebrated by Hindu devotees and parents who believe their children will be blessed with good health. (Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters)

FIGHTING FIRE
FIGHTING FIRE: People watched as firefighters from a half-dozen agencies assisted Sylacauga, Ala., in battling a major fire at Avondale Mills on Wednesday. The fire burned for hours. (Hal Yeager/Birmingham News/Associated Press)

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The month of May in Afghanistan opened with news of US Navy SEALs killing Osama bin Laden. Suicide bombings claimed lives throughout the country, one injuring the top German commander. Another outside the Italian military base in Herat west of Kabul killed at least five. As the month closed, President Hamid Karzai issued vague warnings against Western airstrikes that cause civilian casualties. Gathered here in our monthly collection from Afghanistan are images of the US military mission and daily life in the country of just under 30 million people. -- Lloyd Young (45 photos total)
n Afghan youth looks on as a US Marine from 3rd Battalion 9th Marines Kodiak Company stands guard during a patrol in Kote Tazagul area in Marjah district in Helmand Province on May 24, 2011. US lawmakers saw momentum for political reconciliation in Afghanistan in the wake of Osama bin Laden's death, but voiced fear that the fight against extremism was floundering in Pakistan. (Massoud Hossaini/AFP/Getty Images)

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