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David Mdzinarishvili

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Photographers around the world looked up to the sky this past weekend to capture the "supermoon." This is the phenomenon when the moon makes its closest approach to Earth, appearing 30 percent brighter and about 14 percent larger than a typical full moon. It occurs about once every 14 months and is technically called a perigee full moon. At 221,823 miles from Earth, the supermoon was a feast for the eyes.-Leanne Burden Seidel (24 photos total)
A cotton candy vendor walks in from of the moon during the Los Angeles Angels' baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, June 22 in Anaheim, Calif. (Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press)    

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Original author: 
David Mdzinarishvili

But in his school he does stick out because there are no others: Bacho is the only child at elementary school in the Georgian village of Makarta.

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Events celebrating and protesting LGBT rights took place in many parts of the world in the last several months. Pride parades were met with violence or intimidation in Russia, Georgia, and Albania while other places saw wild street parties. Three million people celebrated on the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil, often considered the biggest Pride event in the world. Activists in Uganda and Chile sought to change laws, while in the United States Barack Obama became the first American president to endorse same-sex marriage. Gathered here are pictures from events related to gay rights issues, LGBT Pride celebrations, and the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. -- Lane Turner (39 photos total)
Mark Wilson carries a rainbow flag during San Francisco's 42nd annual gay pride parade on June 24, 2012. Organizers said more than 200 floats, vehicles and groups of marchers took part in the parade. (Noah Berger/Associated Press)

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Today is the vernal equinox, the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. It also marks the end of "the winter that wasn't," as the past several months in North America have been dubbed. It was the fourth-warmest winter in the United States since record-keeping began 117 years ago. In accord with the unusual weather, this turn of the season brings us snow in Arizona and Saudi Arabia, while conditions remain sunny and warm in America's Northeast and Western Europe. Collected here are scenes from around the world as a strange winter gives way to spring. [40 photos]

The sun sets behind cherry blossoms which have come into full bloom due to the early warm weather in Washington, D.C., on March 19, 2012. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

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For a number of reasons, natural and human, people have recently evacuated or otherwise abandoned a number of places around the world -- large and small, old and new. Gathering images of deserted areas into a single photo essay, one can get a sense of what the world might look like if humans were to vanish from the planet altogether. Collected here are recent scenes from nuclear-exclusion zones, blighted urban neighborhoods, towns where residents left to escape violence, unsold developments built during the real estate boom, ghost towns, and more. [41 photos]

A tree grows from the top of a chimney in an abandoned factory yard in Luque, on the outskirts of Asuncion, Paraguay, on October 2 , 2011. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)

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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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LETTING IN THE LIGHT
LETTING IN THE LIGHT: Acid-attack survivor Memoona, 23 years old, posed for a picture Wednesday in her Karachi, Pakistan, home. The nursing student lost an eye when a boy threw acid on her over an old family feud. New laws explicitly criminalize the attacks. (Insiya Syed/Reuters)

WINDY
WINDY: Visitors braced themselves as Marine One departed the White House in Washington Wednesday, carrying President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama. Mr. Obama was en route to speak with troops in Fort Bragg, N.C., after they arrived from Iraq. (Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency)

MOURNING PERIOD
MOURNING PERIOD: Women comforted each other in Liege, Belgium, Wednesday. Police said grenade-lobbing gunman Nordine Amrani killed two teenage boys and a toddler at a shopping plaza Tuesday. Authorities also found a fourth victim, a woman, in his garage. The suspect fatally shot himself. (Marius Becker/DPA/Zuma Press)

STUCK ON
STUCK ON: Etibar Elchiyev posed with utensils stuck to his body in Tbilisi, Georgia, Wednesday. Mr. Elchiyev was attempting to break the Guinness record for most spoons on a body. (David Mdzinarishvili/Reuters)

STANDING FOR YULIA
STANDING FOR YULIA: Supporters of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko gathered outside a court in Kiev Wednesday. Ms. Tymoshenko did not appear at the hearing. She is appealing a seven-year sentence after she was found guilty of abuse of office while negotiating a gas contract with Russia. (Sergei Chuzavkov/Associated Press)

IN THE FRAY
IN THE FRAY: A security official tried to control a crowd that gathered outside a polling station in Giza, Egypt, Wednesday. Voters poured into polling stations for the second round of parliamentary voting. (Mohammed Hossam/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

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HANDS-ON PROTEST

HANDS-ON PROTEST: A woman displayed her hands, painted red, symbolizing bloodshed, and blue, symbolizing peace, during a demonstration demanding the ouster of Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh in San’a Wednesday. (Mohamed al-Sayaghi/Reuters)

LAST DAYS OF SUMMER

LAST DAYS OF SUMMER: A man sunbathed on a beach in Westcliff-on-Sea Wednesday as much of the U.K. enjoyed a late spell of hot weather expected to last into next week. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

WAR GAMES

WAR GAMES: South Korean army soldiers re-enacted the Battle of the Naktong Bulge in Waegwan, South Korea, Thursday, as part of a series of events to mark the 61th anniversary of the Korean War. (Ahn Young-joon/Associated Press)

MASS BAPTISM

MASS BAPTISM: A baby was baptized with about 450 other children during a mass baptism ceremony by the Georgian Orthodox church in Tbilisi Thursday. (David Mdzinarishvili/Reuters)

OPEN WIDE

OPEN WIDE: A whale shark was photographed in the Gulf of Tadjoura off the coast of Djibouti in the Indian Ocean. (Warren Baverstock/National News via Zuma Press)

ANCIENT STREET VIEW

ANCIENT STREET VIEW: A giant 360-degree panorama re-creation of the ancient city of Pergamon by Austrian-born artist Yadegar Asisi will be on display at Berlin’s Pergamon Museum for a year, starting Friday. (Soeren Stache/AFP/Getty Images)

SEEKING HELP

SEEKING HELP: Displaced Pakistani villagers tried to hand over their identity cards to get permits for relief at an office near Hyderabad, Pakistan, Thursday. Recent flooding has killed over 220 people in Sindhi province, and destroyed some 665,000 homes, displacing 1.8 million people. (Pervez Masih/Associated Press)

WINDS OF NESAT

WINDS OF NESAT: A man braved strong winds and rain on a street in Haikou as powerful Typhoon Nesat slammed into southern China Thursday. (Associated Press)

STUDENT UPRISING

STUDENT UPRISING: Chilean students clashed with riot police during a demonstration in Santiago. The students are demanding far-reaching reforms of the education system. (Claudio Santana/AFP/Getty Images)

AFTER THE STORM

AFTER THE STORM: Residents salvaged housing materials from a community in an area of Manila that was destroyed by storm surges unleashed by Typhoon Nesat. (Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images)

PARISIAN GLOW

PARISIAN GLOW: French actress Lou Doillon, right, watched a show of French fashion designer Olivier Rousteing for Balmain’s spring-summer ready-to-wear collection Wednesday in Paris. (Thibault Camus/Associated Press)

GET THE LOOK

GET THE LOOK: A model waited backstage before the Alternative Hair Show in Moscow. (Denis Sinyakov/Reuters)

LIFE IN BLACK AND WHITE

LIFE IN BLACK AND WHITE: Alfred David, a 79-year-old Belgian man nicknamed ‘Mr. Penguin,’ walked dressed in his favorite hooded penguin suit at his home in Brussels. (Yves Herman/Reuters)

CELEBRATING DASAIN

CELEBRATING DASAIN: A Nepalese youth played on a swing during the festival of Dasain, in Kathmandu. Government offices and many other businesses are closed during Dasain, one of the biggest festivals in the Hindu religion, depicting the victory of good over evil. (Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters)

HAPPY ENDING

HAPPY ENDING: The Tampa Bay Rays’ Evan Longoria celebrated his 12th inning home run to beat the New York Yankees in St. Petersburg, Fla., Thursday night. (Brian Blanco/EPA)

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