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Dylan Martinez

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Athletes from around the world competed March 9 in the qualifying round of the women’s high-jump competition at the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships at the Atakoy Athletics Arena in Istanbul. Chaunté Lowe of the United States won the final round.

1. Ana Simic of Croatia (Mustafa Ozer/AFP/Getty Images)

2. Levern Spencer of Saint Lucia (Dylan Martinez/Reuters)

3. Chaunte Howard Lowe of USA (Dylan Martinez/Reuters)

4. Austra Skujyte of Lithuania (Mustafa Ozer/AFP/Getty Images)

5.Ekaterina Bolshova of Russia (Osman Orsal/Reuters)

6. Xingjuan Zheng of China (Dylan Martinez/Reuters)

7.Esthera Petre of Romania (Dylan Martinez/Reuters)

8. Emma Green Tregaro of Sweden (Dylan Martinez/Reuters)

9. Anna Chicherova of Russia (Dylan Martinez/Reuters)

10. Ruth Beitia of Spain (Valdrin Xhemaj/European Pressphoto Agency)

11. Marina Aitova of Kazakhstan (Dylan Martinez/Reuters)

12. Emma Green Tregaro of Sweden (Dylan Martinez/Reuters)

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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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The second collection of images from 2011 once again brought us nature at its full force with floods, drought, wild fires, tornadoes and spectacular images of volcanic eruptions. The death of Osama bin Laden, the attack on an island in Norway by a lone gunman, continued fighting in Libya, and protests around the globe were a few of the news events dominating the headlines. -- Lloyd Young Please see part 1 from Monday and watch for part 3 Friday. (45 photos total)
A cloud of ash billowing from Puyehue volcano near Osorno in southern Chile, 870 km south of Santiago, on June 5. Puyehue volcano erupted for the first time in half a century on June 4, 2011, prompting evacuations for 3,500 people as it sent a cloud of ash that reached Argentina. The National Service of Geology and Mining said the explosion that sparked the eruption also produced a column of gas 10 kilometers (six miles) high, hours after warning of strong seismic activity in the area. (Claudio Santana/AFP/Getty Images) )

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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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WARNING: SOME IMAGES CONTAIN GRAPHIC CONTENT OR NUDITY
From the uprisings across the Arab world to the devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan, there was no lack of news in 2011. Reuters photographers covered the breaking news events as well as captured more intimate, personal stories. In this showcase, the photographers offer a behind the scenes account of the images that helped define the year.

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Facing unending rioting that has spread to other cities, London deployed 16,000 police in the largest show of force in the city's history. British Prime Minister David Cameron cut short a holiday in Italy to return home to deal with the widening crisis. Army units are standing by to help restore order. To date, 563 people have been arrested, and over 100 police officers injured. Collected here are images of the rioting and efforts to clean up the destruction. -- Lane Turner (25 photos total)
A youth kicks the window of a jewelry store near the Bullring shopping center in Birmingham, England, as violence spreads outside London Monday evening, Aug. 8, 2011. (David Jones/PA/AP)

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