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Dimitri Messinis

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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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ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Clashes broke out this week between riot police and protesters outside the Greek Parliament where deputies are about to vote on a crucial austerity bill.

Riot police fired volleys of tear gas to push back protesters trying to overturn barriers, while the demonstrators pelted police with bottles and trash.

Greek deputies are set to back more austerity measures today as thousands of protesters vented their anger against a bill that has to be passed for the country to get crucial bailout funds and avoid a devastating default on its debts.

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A fire bomb explodes as riot police officers run to avoid the fire during a demo in Athens on Tuesday June 28, 2011. Greece's beleaguered government is bracing for a 48-hour general strike as lawmakers debate a new round of austerity reforms designed to win the country additional rescue loans needed to avoid bankruptcy. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #

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A woman run next to riot police to avoid riots at Syntagma square in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens on Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining whether the country can avoid a potentially disastrous default in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) #

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Protesters run away from tear gas at Syntagma square in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens on Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining whether the country can avoid a potentially disastrous default in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis) #

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Protesters run away from tear gas at Syntagma square in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens on Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining whether the country can avoid a potentially disastrous default in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis) #

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Riot policemen arrest a protester during clashes in central Athens Wednesday, June 29, 2011.Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining is Greece can avoid a potentially disastrous financial default in the coming weeks .(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #

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Protesters take cover from tear gas at Syntagma square in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens on Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining whether the country can avoid a potentially disastrous default in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) #

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Riot police clash with protesters in Syntagma square, central Athens, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greece's lawmakers approved a key austerity bill Wednesday needed to avert default next month, despite a second day of rioting on the streets of Athens that left dozens of police and protesters injured. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) #

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Protesters take cover from tear gas at Syntagma square in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens on Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining whether the country can avoid a potentially disastrous default in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) #

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A demonstrator faces riot police during a demo in Athens on Tuesday June 28, 2011. Greece's beleaguered government is bracing for a 48-hour general strike as lawmakers debate a new round of austerity reforms designed to win the country additional rescue loans needed avoid bankruptcy. (AP Photo) #

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Demonstrators stands in front of riot police during a 48-hour general strike on June 28, 2011 in Athens. Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / Angelos Tzortzinis #

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A Greek Orthodox priest drives his buggy next to riot police during clashes in central Athens Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining is Greece can avoid a potentially disastrous financial default in the coming weeks .(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #

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Protesters clash with riot police during a 48-hour general strike on June 28, 2011. in Athens Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / Angelos Tzortzinis #

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A tourist crosses the street as protesters clash with riot police during a 48-hour general strike on June 28, 2011 in Athens. Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / Alkis Konstantinidis #

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A man tends to a wounded protester lying on a street during a 48-hour general strike in Athens on June 29, 2011. Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / Alkis Konstantinidis #

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Protesters try to raise the aluminum shutters of a National Bank of Greece branch at Syntagma Square in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining whether the country can avoid a potentially disastrous default in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis) #

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A protester throws a chair into a burning barricade at Syntagma square during a demonstration in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greece's lawmakers approved a key austerity bill Wednesday needed to avert default next month, despite a second day of rioting on the streets of Athens that left dozens of police and protesters injured. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis) #

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Protestors clash with riot police during a 48-hour general strike in Athens on June 29, 2011. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS #

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Protesters' first aid hold a flag with the red cross as a riot police officer looks on during clashes at Athens' main Syntagma square, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greece's lawmakers approved a key austerity bill Wednesday needed to avert default next month, despite a second day of rioting on the streets of Athens that left dozens of police and protesters injured. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) #

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Riot police clashes with protesters in Syntagma square, central Athens, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greece's lawmakers approved a key austerity bill Wednesday needed to avert default next month, despite a second day of rioting on the streets of Athens that left dozens of police and protesters injured. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) #

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Demonstrators and police clash in front of the Greek Parliament on June 28, 2011 during a protest in Athens as part of a 48-hour general strike. Greece ground to a halt on June 28 as a 48-hour general strike began to bite against the bankruptcy-threatened government, which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros (17 billion US dollars) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / Filippo MONTEFORTE #

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Demonstrators and police clash near the Greek Parliament on June 28, 2011 during a protest in Athens as part of a 48-hour general strike. Greece ground to a halt on June 28 as a 48-hour general strike began to bite against the bankruptcy-threatened government, which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros (17 billion US dollars) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / Filippo MONTEFORTE #

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Protesters runsaway from police during a 24-hour general strike on June 28, 2011 in Athens. Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS #

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A masked demonstrator throws a stone to riot police during a demo in Athens on Tuesday June 28, 2011. Greece's beleaguered government is bracing for a 48-hour general strike as lawmakers debate a new round of austerity reforms designed to win the country additional rescue loans needed avoid bankruptcy. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) #

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Passers by run away from tear gas during a demo in Athens on Tuesday June 28, 2011. Greece's beleaguered government is bracing for a 48-hour general strike as lawmakers debate a new round of austerity reforms designed to win the country additional rescue loans needed avoid bankruptcy. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) #

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A demonstrator holds a bouquet of flowers with one hand and forming the 'V' sign with the other as she walks by riot police during a demo in Athens on Tuesday June 28, 2011. Greece's beleaguered government is bracing for a 48-hour general strike as lawmakers debate a new round of austerity reforms designed to win the country additional rescue loans needed avoid bankruptcy. (AP Photo) #

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Masked protestors hurl stones during clashes with riot police during a 24-hour general strike on June 28, 2011 in Athens. Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS #

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Protester clash with riot police on the sideline of a 48-hour general strike on June 28, 2011. Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / Angelos Tzortzinis #

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A demonstrator throws stone to police during a demo in Athens on Tuesday June 28, 2011. Greece's beleaguered government is bracing for a 48-hour general strike as lawmakers debate a new round of austerity reforms designed to win the country additional rescue loans needed avoid bankruptcy. (AP Photo) #

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Protesters shout slogans as riot police stand in Athens' Syntagma square, Tuesday, June 28, 2011. Youths hurled rocks and fire bombs at riot police in central Athens on Tuesday as a general strike against new austerity measures brought the country to a standstill. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) #

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Riot police detain a protester during a 48-hour general strike on June 28, 2011 in Athens. Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS #

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Protesters throw stones at riot police during a demonstration in Athens on Tuesday June 28, 2011. Youths hurled rocks and fire bombs at riot police in central Athens on Tuesday as a general strike against new austerity measures brought the country to a standstill. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #

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A demonstrator with his face covered in a cream to guard against the effects of tear gas during a demonstration in Athens, Tuesday June 28, 2011. Greece's beleaguered government is bracing for a 48-hour general strike as lawmakers debate a new round of austerity reforms designed to win the country additional rescue loans needed avoid bankruptcy. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) #

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Protesters clash with riot police during a 48-hour general strike on June 28, 2011 in Athens. Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS #

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A photographer helps an injured protestor after clashes with police during a 48-hour general strike on June 28, 2011. Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / Alkis Konstantinidis #

 Greece Crisis

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Protesters clash with riot police during a 48-hour general strike on June 28, 2011 in Athens. Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS #

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A protester shakes the hand of a riot policeman during a demonstration in Athens on Tuesday June 28, 2011. Youths hurled rocks and fire bombs at riot police in central Athens on Tuesday as a general strike against new austerity measures brought the country to a standstill. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #

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Demonstrators burn a cafe umbrella during a demonstration in Athens late Tuesday June 28, 2011. Greece's beleaguered government is bracing for a 48-hour general strike as lawmakers debate a new round of austerity reforms designed to win the country additional rescue loans needed to avoid bankruptcy . (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) #

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A laser light is shone into the eyes of a riot police officer by protesters during a demonstration in Athens, late Tuesday June 28, 2011. Greece's beleaguered government is bracing for a 48-hour general strike as lawmakers debate a new round of austerity reforms designed to win the country additional rescue loans needed to avoid bankruptcy. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) #

 Greece Crisis

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Protestors clash with riot police during a 48-hour general strike in Athens on June 29, 2011. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS #

 Greece Crisis

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Protestors clash with riot police during a 48-hour general strike in Athens on June 29, 2011. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / STR #

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A riot policeman strikes a demonstrator trying to prevent deputies from reaching the Greek parliament in central Athens on Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining whether the country can avoid a potentially disastrous default in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) #

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A wounded protester is being led away from clashes with riot police as protesters tried to prevent deputies from reaching the Greek parliament in central Athens on Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining whether the country can avoid a potentially disastrous default in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) #

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Riot police clash with protestors during a 48-hour general strike in Athens on June 29, 2011. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / ALKIS KONSTANTINIDIS #

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Riot police clash with protestors during a 48-hour general strike in Athens on June 29, 2011. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / ALKIS KONSTANTINIDIS #

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A demonstrator runs from riot police after police dispersed protestors who tried to block roads leading to the Greek Parliament during a 48-hour general strike in Athens on June 29, 2011. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI #

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A demonstrator lies on the ground as riot police police disperse protestors who tried to block roads leading to the Greek Parliament during a 48-hour general strike in Athens on June 29, 2011. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI #

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A man drives with his dog past riot police blocking access to the Greek Parliament during a 48-hour general strike in Athens on June 29, 2011. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI #

 Greece Crisis

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Demonstrators clash with riot police outside the Greek Parliament on June 29, 2011 in Athens during a 48-hour general strike. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI #

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A protester throws a stone at police at Syntagma square in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining whether the country can avoid a potentially disastrous default in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) #

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Demonstrators face riot police outside the Greek Parliament on June 29, 2011 in Athens during a 48-hour general strike. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE #

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Demonstrators face riot police outside the Greek Parliament on June 29, 2011 in Athens during a 48-hour general strike. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE #

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Riot police run to avoid stones at Syntagma square in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens on Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote later Wednesday on a deeply unpopular finance austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) #

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A demonstrator helps a wounded protestor outside the Greek Parliament on June 29, 2011 in Athens during a 48-hour general strike. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI #

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A demonstrator stands behind a wall as protesters clash with riot police during a 48-hour general strike in Athens on June 29, 2011. Prime Minister Georges Papandreou said Wednesday Greece would do everything possible to avoid a debt default that would threaten the entire eurozone, moments before lawmakers were to vote on a new austerity package. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS #

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iot policemen arrest a protester during clashes in central Athens Wednesday, June 29, 2011.Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining is Greece can avoid a potentially disastrous financial default in the coming weeks .(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #

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Riot police lead away a protester they placed under arrest as another protester looks on from his seat during a demonstration in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies passed on Wednesday a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining whether the country can avoid a potentially disastrous default in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis) #

 Greece Crisis

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A protester prepares to hit riot police with a stick during clashes at Syntagma square, central Athens, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greece approved more austerity measures needed to avert default next month, in a vote Wednesday that calmed markets but triggered a second day of riots that left dozens injured and the capital blanketed with tear gas. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #

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A protester claps his hands in front of a riot policeman during a day of rioting in central Athens, Greece, on Monday, June 27, 2011. Greek police fired tear gas to disperse protesters in the center of Athens as labor unions shut down government services before a vote by lawmakers on austerity measures that may determine if the nation can avoid a default. Photographer: Kostas Tsironis/Bloomberg #

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ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 28: Demonstrators clash with riot police during a protest against plans for new austerity measures on June 28, 2011 in Athens, Greece. Greece's largest labor unions have called for a 48-hour strike, while the Socialist government is beginning to push through legislation for cost cutting reforms. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images) #

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ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 28: Demonstrators clash with police during a protest against plans for new austerity measures on June 28, 2011 in Athens, Greece. Greece's largest labor unions have called for a 48-hour strike, while the Socialist government is beginning to push through legislation for cost cutting reforms. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images) #

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