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Enrique Castro-Mendivil

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People around the world once again expressed their affection for one another in many ways with balloons, cards, flowers, chocolates, gifts, and kisses to name just a few. The National Retail Federation said Americans alone will spend some $17.6 billion on the day that traces its origins to Roman rituals and the legend of Saint Valentine from the Catholic Church. -- Lloyd Young (34 photos total)
A man is silhouetted as he fills heart shaped balloons with helium while waiting for customers on Valentine's Day in Islamabad. (Faisal Mahmood/Reuters)

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Earlier this year, Peru celebrated the 100th anniversary of the scientific discovery of the citadel of Machu Picchu. Peruvians also held a presidential election, with 49-year-old former Army Lieutenant Colonel Ollanta Humala narrowly winning in a run-off against Keiko Fujimori, daughter of jailed ex-president Alberto Fujimori. Humala, the first leftist president of Peru in more than 30 years, faces a number of challenges as he takes the helm of this diverse nation of some 29 million people. Peru remains a developing country, but its economy is improving and it still has considerable mineral wealth. However, citizens and activist groups remain concerned about ongoing and potential environmental damage from extracting those resources -- and miners have been striking, seeking better working conditions and a larger share of the profits. Gathered here are some recent scenes from all around the Republic of Peru. [42 photos]

Performers attend a light show at the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, on July 7, 2011. Peru celebrated the 100th anniversary of the scientific discovery of Machu Picchu by American adventurer and archaeologist Hiram Bingham. (Reuters/Oscar Farje/Presidency)

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