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Eric Thayer

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Patrick Traylor

Photographer Eric Thayer traveled to Brooks County, Texas and Reynosa, Mexico to investigate the rising rates of immigrant deaths along the border there, spending time at a migrant’s hostel in Mexico and with U.S. Border Patrol in Brooks County. In 2012, sheriff’s deputies in Brooks County found 129 bodies, around double the amount from the [...]

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One year ago, the small town of Joplin, Missouri, was devastated by an EF5 Tornado. A mile-wide multiple-vortex tornado, with estimated winds peaking at 362 to 402 km/h (225 to 250 mph), tore through the area on May 22, destroying more than 7,000 houses, killing 161 people, and injuring hundreds more. The task of rebuilding is underway, but the scale is daunting -- a year later, Joplin still has an eight-mile scar running through its middle. Gathered here are images of the town on this somber anniversary. [See also, Tornado Ravages Joplin, Missouri, from last year.] [30 photos]

A tall steel cross is refracted in raindrops on a window in Joplin, Missouri, on May 7, 2012. The cross is all that was left standing of St. Mary's Catholic Church, which was destroyed by an EF-5 tornado that tore through a large swath of the city and killed 161 people nearly a year ago. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

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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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According to the latest jobs numbers, issued by the Labor Department on January 6, the U.S. unemployment rate has dropped to 8.5 percent, down from 10 percent in 2009. The Great Recession has claimed more than 8.5 million jobs since 2007, and even though the current trajectory of the U.S. appears to be toward recovery, Americans are still struggling to find work. Nine of the photographs below appear in The Atlantic's January/February 2012 print issue, and I've added 25 more here to round out a collection of images from these years of uncertainty -- of men and women both at work and out of work in the United States. [34 photos]

A workman steams a U.S. flag in preparation for a planned visit by President Barack Obama, on April 6, 2011, at wind turbine manufacture Gamesa Technology Corporation in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

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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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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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SEARCH AND RESCUE
SEARCH AND RESCUE: A National Disaster Response Force member climbed out of a damaged school’s window in Chungthang, India, Thursday. Rescuers are trying to reach victims of Sunday’s 6.9-magnitude earthquake that killed more than 100 people in India, Nepal and Tibet. (Manan Vatsyayana/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

SENIORS AT A STOCK EXCHANGE
SENIORS AT A STOCK EXCHANGE: Pensioners received a guided tour of the Madrid Stock Exchange as stocks skidded Thursday. (Paul White/Associated Press)

BUTTON PUSHERS
BUTTON PUSHERS: Deputies voted during the last session of the term in the Spanish Parliament in Madrid Thursday. The Parliament restored a deficit-reducing wealth tax before dissolving to make way for a Nov. 20 general election that opposition conservatives are favored to win. (Sergio Barrenechea/European Pressphoto Agency)

ADAPTING
ADAPTING: Fernando Cruz Vega, 3 years old, played cards in a shanty in Comas, Peru, Wednesday. Fernando’s mother traveled from rural Peru to seek therapy for her son, who was born without arms. (Mariana Bazo/Reuters)

CLOSE SHAVE
CLOSE SHAVE: Haji, a baker, got a shave from a roadside barber in a Mumbai slum Thursday. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters)

AT THE PODIUM
AT THE PODIUM: French President Nicolas Sarkozy spoke during a high-level meeting on nuclear safety and security at the U.N. headquarters in New York Thursday. Mr. Sarkozy also visited the Statue of Liberty, along with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. (Eric Thayer/Reuters)

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