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Ina Fassbender

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CHECKING DIMENSIONS
CHECKING DIMENSIONS: An official measured a racket during the World Team Table Tennis Championships in Dortmund, Germany, on Monday. (/Ina Fassbender/Reuters)

KILLED IN ACTION
KILLED IN ACTION: The wife of an Italian soldier, second from left, cried as she walked beside the flag-draped coffin of her husband at Ciampino Airport, near Rome, on Monday. Sgt. Michele Silvestri was killed in action on Saturday when his unit came under mortar fire in Afghanistan’s Farah province. (Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters)

ON THE SIDELINES
ON THE SIDELINES: U.S. President Barack Obama, left, spoke with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during a meeting in Seoul on Monday. World leaders gathered for a two-day Nuclear Security Summit in South Korea. (Ekaterina Shtukina/Ria Novosti/EPA)

GOLDEN BOYS
GOLDEN BOYS: Goldsmiths crafted gold ornaments at a workshop in Kolkata on Monday. (Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters)

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CLOTH OF MANY COLORS
CLOTH OF MANY COLORS: A worker arranged a sari, a traditional garment for women, on a line to dry after it was dyed at a workshop in Shardarpara village, south of Kolkata, Friday. (Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters)

FIGHTING WITH WATER
FIGHTING WITH WATER: Belgian policemen stood guard at the entrance to a cabinet office as firefighters sprayed water at them during a demonstration in Brussels against pension overhauls, part of Belgium’s austerity plan. (Zuma Press)

GETTING READY FOR THE RUNWAY
GETTING READY FOR THE RUNWAY: A model prepared backstage before the Peter Som fall/winter 2012 collection show during New York Fashion Week Friday. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

HANGING OUT
HANGING OUT: Sheep grazed in a field near a coal-fired power plant in Neurath, Germany, Friday. (Ina Fassbender/Reuters)

SNOWY SQUARE
SNOWY SQUARE: A woman walked across a snow-covered square in the center of Ostrava, Czech Republic, Friday. (Petr Josek/Reuters)

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Photographs from Egypt, South Sudan, Yemen and Vatican City.

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Coal occupies a central position in modern human endeavors. Last year over 7000 megatons were mined worldwide. Powerful, yet dirty and dangerous, use of coal is expanding every year, with 2010 witnessing a production increase of 6.8%. Around 70 countries have recoverable reserves, which some estimates claim will last for over a hundred years at current production levels. Mining for coal is one of the world's most dangerous jobs. While deadliest in China, where thousands of miners die annually, the profession is still hazardous in the West and other regions as well. Our mining and use of coal accounts for a variety of environmental hazards, including the production of more CO2 than any other source. Other concerns include acid rain, groundwater contamination, respiratory issues, and the waste products which contain heavy metals. But our lives as lived today rely heavily on the combustible sedimentary rock. Over 40% of the world's electricity is generated by burning coal, more than from any other source. Chances are that a significant percentage of the electricity you're using to read this blog was generated by burning coal. Gathered here are images of coal extraction, transportation, and the impact on environment and society. The first eight photographs are by Getty photographer Daniel Berehulak, who documented the lives of miners in Jaintia Hills, India. -- Lane Turner (48 photos total)
22-year-old Shyam Rai from Nepal makes his way through tunnels inside of a coal mine 300 ft beneath the surface on April 13, 2011 near the village of Latyrke, in the district of Jaintia Hills, India. In the Jaintia hills, located in India's far northeast state of Meghalaya, miners descend to great depths on slippery, rickety wooden ladders. Children and adults squeeze into rat hole like tunnels in thousands of privately owned and unregulated mines, extracting coal with their hands or primitive tools and no safety equipment. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

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After an emotional run through the tournament that few predicted, Japan emerged yesterday as the unlikely champion of the FIFA Women's World Cup Germany 2011. After enduring the triple disasters of the earthquake, tsunami, and Fukushima Diaichi nuclear catastrophe, Japan rejoiced in the first good news in months. The final came in dramatic fashion against the United States in a penalty shoot-out after the score was tied 2-2 in regulation. Sixteen countries fought for the title in Germany, resulting in the first Asian world champion. Collected here are images of the games, fans, and celebration. -- Lane Turner (30 photos total)
Japan's midfielder Homare Sawa celebrates with the trophy and teammates after the FIFA Women's Football World Cup final match against the US on July 17, 2011 in Frankfurt am Main Germany. Japan won 3-1 in a penalty shoot-out after the final had finished 2-2 following extra-time. (Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images)

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