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Khaled Desouki

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Violence at a soccer match triggered intensified political protests in Egypt raging now into their fifth day. A match on February 1, 2012 in Port Said, Egypt between rival clubs Al-Masry of Port Said and visiting Al-Ahly of Cairo ended with home supporters charging onto the pitch and chasing visiting fans. That confrontation turned bloody when the visiting fans were unable to get out of the stadium, and 74 died from attacks and from injuries sustained in a panicked stampede. Al-Ahly's fans had played a prominent role in defending protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square that eventually toppled leader Hosni Mubarak, and for this reason opponents of Egypt's military rulers assert that police at the stadium allowed the violence to happen, or even encouraged it. Protests continue to grow over the lack of police protection for the fans after three official days of mourning for the victims. Gathered here are photographs of the initial confrontation between fans and the resulting protests from the past several days. -- Lane Turner (25 photos total)
Protests near Egypt's Interior Ministry continued on February 3, 2012 in Cairo, Egypt with at least four people killed amid anger over the deaths of 74 football fans that were killed in clashes between rival fans in Port Said, Egypt. Three-days of mourning were announced and marches were scheduled to protest at the lack of protection provided by police who were at the stadium when the violence occurred. (Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

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A massive demonstration of Egyptians gathered in Tahrir Square in Cairo today to mark the anniversary of the uprising that eventually led to the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak. Political divides are still in force with liberals and Islamists differing on their visions for the future of the country. Mubarak is now on trial for complicity in the deaths of protesters. The uprising in Egypt last year was one of the initial protests of what is called the Arab Spring, which has included the slaying of Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy and the ongoing protests in Syria. -- Lloyd Young (31 photos total)
Egyptians gather in their thousands in Tahrir Square to mark the one year anniversary of the revolution on Jan. 25, 2012 in Cairo Egypt. Tens of thousands have gathered in the square on the first anniversary of the Arab uprising which toppled President Hosni Mubarak. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

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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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A park ranger stands at the site of a new eruption in Virunga National Park near Goma, on November 24, 2011. Almost three weeks after a fissure opened amidst dense flat forest, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Virunga National Park has seen an increasing number of tourists seeking to be guided on treks to witness [...]

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Protesters unhappy with the pace of change and the continued military rule in Egypt flooded Cairo's Tahrir Square over the weekend demanding civilian rule. Riot police responded with tear gas, beatings, and live ammunition, leaving at least 20 dead in continuing clashes. Egypt holds parliamentary elections next week, and demonstrators want presidential elections to be held shortly afterward. The ruling military has proposed to delay those elections until late 2012 or even 2013, angering Egyptians frustrated with the military's role in government. Collected here are images of the struggle over the weekend. -- Lane Turner (24 photos total)
Protesters run from tear gas fired by riot police in a side street near Tahrir Square in Cairo November 21, 2011. (Goran Tomasevic/Reuters)

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PINK PILGRIMS
PINK PILGRIMS: Pilgrims stood in the Quema River as they went Thursday to the shrine of El Rocio in Seville, Spain. Every spring hundreds of thousands of devotees converge at the shrine to pay homage to the Virgin del Rocio during a festival that combines religious fervor and festive color. (Marcelo del Pozo/Reuters)

STRAIGHT UP
STRAIGHT UP: A police officer held a truncheon behind his back in front of protesters in Valencia, Spain, Thursday. A Spanish official says demonstrators protesting bleak economic prospects and corrupt politicians clashed with police in Valencia and eight police were hurt. (Gabriel Gallo/Associated Press)

BOMB BLAST
BOMB BLAST: A man injured in a bomb blast in Matani, Pakistan, rested at a hospital in Peshawar Thursday. The blast hit a passenger vehicle, killing four people, including a woman and a child, the Peshawar police chief said. (Mohammad Sajjad/Associated Press)

VOLCANO FALLOUT
VOLCANO FALLOUT: Two women rested as a man wiped the floor Thursday at Jorge Newbery Airport in Buenos Aires, where flights were cancelled or delayed due to an ash cloud from the Puyehue volcano in Chile. (Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press)

SEA ACCIDENT
SEA ACCIDENT: A boy looked at a dead fin whale that washed up in Atlantic Beach, New York, Wednesday. Scientists performed a necropsy Thursday on the whale, and determined that it likely had been hit by a ship. (Kirk Condyles/Zuma Press)

FROM THE SKY
FROM THE SKY: A U.S. Marine went to pick up food supplies that were dropped off from a plane using small parachutes outside Forward Operating Base Edi in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, Thursday. The smoke is from burning parachutes the Marines destroy after they reach the ground. (Anja Niedringhaus/Associated Press)

FLEEING FIRE
FLEEING FIRE: An emergency vehicle traveled along highway 60 in Springerville, Ariz., Thursday through smoke from the Wallow Fire. The growing forest fire has forced thousands from their homes and threatens transmission lines that supply electricity as far east as Texas. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press)

EARLY RELEASE
EARLY RELEASE: Prisoners were processed to leave the Muwaqar Rehabilitation and Correction Center Thursday in Muwaqar, Jordan, Thursday. The government announced earlier this week that nearly 8,000 prisoners will be freed under the general pardon law and 6,000 cases that are being seen by courts will be annulled. (Salah Malkawi/Getty Images)

YOUNG REFUGEES
YOUNG REFUGEES: Syrian children posed at a refugee camp in the Turkish border town of Yayladagi Thursday. More than 2,400 people have crossed Turkey’s borders fleeing violence in northern Syria, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said. (Osman Orsal/Reuters)

MORE MURDERS
MORE MURDERS: The bodies of five dead men were lined up by police and forensic workers after they were found on a highway on the outskirts of Morelia, Mexico, Wednesday. The bodies of 21 men, showing bullet wounds and signs of torture, were found in multiple locations with messages saying that the men had been killed for being thieves and rapists, according to local media. (Leovigildo Gonzalez/Reuters)

SALEH STABLE
SALEH STABLE: Supporters of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh kissed his portrait as they celebrated news that Mr. Saleh’s health is stable after he was wounded in a rocket attack on his compound nearly a week ago and flown to Saudi Arabia for urgent medical treatment. (Mohammed Al-Sayaghi/Associated Press)

UNCLAIMED COFFINS
UNCLAIMED COFFINS: An Egyptian woman lay flowers on the flag-draped coffins of 19 unidentified victims, who were killed during the Egyptian uprising but whose remains were never claimed, during a mass funeral at Al-Sayida Nafisa mosque in Cairo Thursday. (Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images)

HOT HOT HEAT
HOT HOT HEAT: An art installation of a melting fan was displayed in a subway station Thursday in Atlanta. While relief was in sight after one more day of sweltering temperatures in the Northeast, the South was forecast to stay hotter than usual at least through the end of the week. (David Goldman/Associated Press)

AFTER YOU
AFTER YOU: A series of images shows Larry, the Downing Street cat, being let in to 10 Downing Street in London Thursday. (Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images)

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IN EFFIGY
IN EFFIGY: An antigovernment protester held up an effigy of Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh as demonstrators demanded his resignation in San’a, Yemen, Friday. (Muhammed Muheisen/Associated Press)

BENDING OVER BACKWARDS
BENDING OVER BACKWARDS: Bridgette O’Brien performed yoga at the capitol building Friday in Madison, Wis., as people camped out in protest of Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s bill to eliminate collective bargaining for the state’s public employees. Mr. Walker asked Democratic senators to vote on the bill. (Andy Manis/Associated Press)


IMPROVISING; A man washed his dishes on a street in Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday. The death toll rose to 113 and hundreds remain missing three days after the earthquake. (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

VIEW FROM THE TOP
VIEW FROM THE TOP: A child slept in a hammock at a railway station in Hyderabad, India, Friday. (Krishnendu Halder/Reuters)

IN DISTRESS
IN DISTRESS: A woman used a cellphone after climbing out of a vehicle that had crashed into a guardrail on Interstate 295 during a snowstorm in Cumberland, Maine, Friday. Maine was expecting to get between 4 and 14 inches of snow. (Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press)

LITTLE SOLDIERS
LITTLE SOLDIERS: Children dressed in army uniforms sat atop a military vehicle in Cairo’s Tahrir Square Friday. Tens of thousands of protesters pushed Egypt’s military rulers to carry out reforms and to call for the dismissal of holdovers from the regime of ousted President Hosni Mubarak. (Khaled Desouki/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

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