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Bill Tiernan

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In early April, in an attempt to accelerate the transition of military responsibility to the Afghan government, the US agreed to hand control of special operations missions to Afghan forces, including night raids, relegating American troops to a supporting role. This deal cleared the way for the two countries to move ahead with an agreement that would establish the shape of American support to Afghanistan after the 2014 troop withdrawal deadline. Domestic support for the war (in the US) has dropped sharply. We look back at March in the troubled country. -- Paula Nelson (37 photos total)
Young Afghan women use an umbrella to shield themselves from the sun in Kabul, April 5, 2012. The position of women in Afghanistan has improved dramatically since the fall of the Taliban, with the number of girls in education soaring. But as the Americans and the Afghan government have pursued peace efforts with the Taliban, women are increasingly concerned that gains in their rights may be compromised in a bid to end the costly and deadly war. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images)

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Britain’s Jessica Ennis makes an attempt in the Heptathlon Long Jump at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011.

Hurricane Irene moved along the east coast causing heavy flooding damage as far north as Vermont and shutting down the entire New York mass transit system. One of two people rescued from a sailboat, right, uses a line to make their way onto the beach on Willoughby Spit in Norfolk, Va., Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011, after they and another person were rescued from the boat that foundered in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. A rescuer, left, waits for s second person to exit the boat.

A Libyan rebel fighter holds ammunition from one of Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s munitions dumps hidden behind a row of residential houses on August 28, 2011 in Tripoli, Libya. Heavy fighting continues in the Libyan city of Sirte between Gaddafi’s forces and the surging rebel presence.

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Britain's Jessica Ennis makes an attempt in the Heptathlon Long Jump at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #

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One of two people rescued from a sailboat, right, uses a line to make their way onto the beach on Willoughby Spit in Norfolk, Va., Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011, after they and another person were rescued from the boat that foundered in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. A rescuer, left, waits for s second person to exit the boat. (AP Photo/TheVirginian-Pilot, Bill Tiernan) #

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People shield themselves from blowing sand and rain as they look over the beach during Hurricane Irene August 27, 2011 in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. Hurricane Irene hit Dare County, which sits along the Outer Banks and includes the vacation towns of Nags Head, Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills, as a category one hurricane around mid-day today. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) #

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A Libyan rebel fighter holds ammunition from one of Col. Muammar Gaddafi's munitions dumps hidden behind a row of residential houses on August 28, 2011 in Tripoli, Libya. Heavy fighting continues in the Libyan city of Sirte between Gaddafi's forces and the surging rebel presence. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images) #

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Billy Stinson (C), his wife Sandra Stinson and daughter Erin Stinson (R) comfort each other as they sit on the steps where their cottage once stood before it was destroyed by Hurricane Irene August 28, 2011 in Nags Head, North Carolina. The cottage, built in 1903 and destroyed yesterday by Hurricane Irene, was one of the first vacation cottages built on Albemarle Sound in Nags Head. Stinson has owned the home, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, since 1963. "We were pretending, just for a moment, that the cottage was still behind us and we were just sitting there watching the sunset," said Erin afterward. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) #

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Traveller boy Pa Button (L) holds a puppy in a mobile home at Dale Farm on August 30, 2011 in Basildon, England. Dale Farm is the largest Romany Gypsy and Irish Traveller site in the United Kingdom. Part of the site is due for demolition after the local authorities deemed that it was built without planning permission. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) #

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Tom Chase waves atop of his friend's beach home in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene, in East Haven, Conn., Monday, Aug. 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill) #

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Portuguese fishermen, seen in silhouette, pull their net out of the sea onto the beach Monday, Aug. 29, 2011 in Caparica coast, near Lisbon. Along side the coast, fishermen use the common technique of trawling near the shore and pulling the nets out of the sea onto the beach by using an agricultural tractor. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco) #

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Telephone workmen attempt to find the telephone line along the storm battered road on Hwy 12 in Rodanthe, N.C. Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011. Landline phone service and power had been restored to Hatteras Village, Frisco, Buxton and Avon but north towards Pea Island damage was severe and residents were still disconnected Tuesday. ( AP Photo/The News & Observer, Chuck Liddy) #

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Meghan Morrow sweeps mud and debris from what is left of the Windham Spa, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011 in Windham, N.Y. Officials say more than a dozen towns in Vermont and at least three in New York are cut off, with roads and bridges washed out by flooding caused by the remnants of Hurricane Irene. In New York, the towns of Keene in the Adirondacks, and Windham and Phoenicia in the Catskills are effectively isolated by damage to roads and bridges. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) #

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In this Wednesday Aug. 31, 2011 photo, spectators flee as waves created by a tidal bore crash over a barrier on the Qiantang river at Haining, in east China's Zhejiang province. About 20 people were injured when they were caught too close to the river while viewing the annual tidal bore, which occurs when sea water from an unusually high tide funnels into the river, creating high waves. (AP Photo) #

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South Korea's Kim Deok-hyeon competes in the qualification for the Men's Triple Jump at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea, Friday, Sept. 2, 2011. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) #

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Libyans celebrate with their new flag at Martyrs Square in Tripoli on September 1, 2011. AFP PHOTO/ FRANCISCO LEONG #

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Afghan refugee boys play on a homemade swing as they celebrate the second day of Eid al-Fitr festival which marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011. Eid, one of the most important holidays in the Muslim world, is marked with prayers, family reunions and other festivities. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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Louisiana National Guard helicopters dump water on a burning marsh fire in Eastern New Orleans, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) #

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Fireworks are seen in the sky over St. Basil Cathedral, left, and Spasskaya tower,right, at the International Military Music Festival Spasskaya Tower at the Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011. Festival was opening on Wednesday in Moscow for five days. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel) #

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Iranian women perform their Eid al-Fitr prayer, at the Imam Sq. in the city of Isfahan some 234 mile (390 kilometers) south of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday Aug. 31, 2011. Eid al-Fitr is the Islamic holiday that comes at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi) #

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In this photo taken Monday, Aug. 29, 2011, North Korean children perform at a theater in Rason, North Korea. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) #

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A reveler throws tomato pulp during the annual "Tomatina" tomato fight fiesta in the village of Bunol, near Valencia, Spain, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011. Bunol's town hall estimated more than 40,000 people, some from as far away as Japan and Australia, took up arms Wednesday and pelted each other with 120 tons of ripe tomatoes in the yearly food fight known as the 'Tomatina' now in its 66th year. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz) #

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A Pakistani Muslim buys a balloon for his child as he leaves after offering prayers of Eid al Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, in Karachi, Pakistan, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011. Eid, one of the most important holidays in the Muslim world, is marked with prayers, family reunions and other festivities. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan) #

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In this photo taken Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011, a man stands on the bow of the North Korean leisure boat the "Mangyongbong" during its trial cruise to Mount Kumgang resort from the port of Rason, North Korea. Since South Korean tourists have been barred from the luxury resort, known abroad as Diamond Mountain, North Korea has begun courting Chinese and other international tourists. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) #

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An Indian Muslim man offers Eid al-Fitr prayers at the Jama Masjid mosque in New Delhi on August 31, 2011. Muslims around the world celebrated Eid al-Fitr which marks the end of the month of Ramadan, after the sighting of the new crescent moon. (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images) #

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A woman with fingers painted in the colours of the Libyan flag celebrates in Martyrs Square (formerly Green Square under Kadhafi) in Tripoli on August 30, 2011. Thousands of Libyans gathered in the square to celebrate the success of rebel fighters against Colonel Gaddafi's forces and the beginning of the Muslim festival Eid. AFP PHOTO / Carl de Souza #

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An Indian villager throws a fishing net into the River Brahmaputra at Suwalkuchi, west of Gauhati, India, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011. (AP Photo/ Anupam Nath) #

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Habiba Osman Ahmed,seated with her two children in a makeshift shelter in Dollow refugee camp in southern Somalia, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011. She was a former farmer, but since Somalia's 20-year civil war pushed the drought into famine, everything has changed. Now she doesn't even have a pot to cook in, and must share with another family. She will wait patiently while they finish their food before preparing her own. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi) #

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An Indian Muslim woman poses showing her hands decorated with mehendi (henna) during 'Chand Raat' or 'Night of the Moon' in Hyderabad on August 30, 2011, traditionally held on the eve of the festival of Eid al-Fitr. Muslims all over the world began Eid-al-Fitr celebrations at the sighting of the crescent moon, marking the end of Muslim's holy fasting month of Ramadan. AFP PHOTO / Noah SEELAM #

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Camels stand on the motorway between Misrata and Sirte, on August 30, 2011. Libyan rebles were advancing towards Syrte, fallen leader Moamer Kadhafi's hometown and the last bastion of loyalists. AFP PHOTO / Filippo MONTEFORTE #

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Indian Muslims pray outside the Jama mosque during the holy month of Ramadan in New Delhi, India, Monday, Aug. 29, 2011. Muslims are preparing to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan.(AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh) #

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Seen from overhead, a Pakistani youth reads verses of the Quran while attending a religious class during the holy fasting month of Ramadan in a Mosque in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, Aug. 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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An Afghan girl begs for alms outside a mosque in the city of Jalalabad the provincial capital of Nangarhar province east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul) #

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Billy Stinson (L) comforts his daughter Erin Stinson as they sit on the steps where their cottage once stood August 28, 2011 in Nags Head, North Carolina. The cottage, built in 1903 and destroyed yesterday by Hurricane Irene, was one of the first vacation cottages built on Albemarle Sound in Nags Head. Stinson has owned the home, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, since 1963. “We were pretending, just for a moment, that the cottage was still behind us and we were just sitting there watching the sunset,” said Erin afterward.

Hurricane Irene moved along the east coast causing heavy flooding damage as far north as Vermont and shutting down the entire New York mass transit system.

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Hurricane Irene wound up by most estimates as one of the top ten most destructive and deadly hurricanes to hit the United States since 1980. While ultimately not as powerful as many had predicted, the storm still killed at least 27 people along its path from the Caribbean to the eastern seaboard. Transportation was shut down all along the east coast, stranding residents and tourists in shelters, airports, and train stations. More than 5.8 million customers lost electricity, thousands of flights were cancelled, flooding washed out roads and destroyed homes, and evacuation orders were issued for hundreds of thousands. Gathered here are pictures from the Hurricane's path. -- Lane Turner (44 photos total)
Billy Stinson comforts his daughter Erin Stinson as they sit on the steps where their cottage once stood on August 28, 2011 in Nags Head, N.C. The cottage, built in 1903 and destroyed by Hurricane Irene, was one of the first vacation cottages built on Albemarle Sound in Nags Head. Stinson has owned the home, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, since 1963. "We were pretending, just for a moment, that the cottage was still behind us and we were just sitting there watching the sunset," said Erin afterward. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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