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Lee Myung-bak

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There are now over one billion automobiles on the road worldwide. An explosion in the auto markets in China and India ensures that number will increase, with China supplanting the United States as the world's largest car market. It's fair to say humanity has a love affair with the car, but it's a love-hate relationship. Cars are at once convenience, art, and menace. People write songs about their vehicles, put them in museums, race them, and wrap their identities up in them. About 15% of carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels comes from cars. Traffic fatality estimates vary from half a million per year to more than double that. Gathered here are images of the automobile in many forms, and our relationship to and dependence on our cars. This is the second in an occasional Big Picture series on transportation, following Pedal power earlier this year. -- Lane Turner (40 photos total)
Antti Rahko stands next to his self-made "Finnjet" during preparations for the Essen Motor Show in Essen, Germany on November 22, 2012. The car rolls on eight wheels, offers ten seats, weighs 3.4 tons and is worth about one million US dollars. (Marius Becker/AFP/Getty Images)

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‘NO PRESSURE’
‘NO PRESSURE’: Xochitl, 3, a Mexican hairless dog, waited for owner Ana Poe of San Francisco in a restroom at the America’s Family Pet Expo in Costa Mesa, Calif., Thursday. (Cindy Yamanaka/The Orange County Register/Zuma Press)

READY TO LEARN
READY TO LEARN: Students Kadidiatu Swaray, 18, left, and Mabinty Bangura, 15, arrived for class at the Every Nation Academy private school in Makeni, Sierra Leone, Friday. (Finbarr O’Reilly/Reuters)

OFFENDED
OFFENDED: North Koreans shouted slogans denouncing South Korean President Lee Myung-bak during a rally Friday at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang. The North Korean government has said Mr. Lee’s recent comments about the country ‘hurt the dignity’ of its people. (Vincent Yu/Associated Press)

IN PAIN
IN PAIN: A homeless young woman accused of having premarital sex in public was caned by a sharia police officer at a public square in the town of Langsa, Indonesia, Friday. Aceh is the only Indonesian province that enforces laws based in the teachings of Islam. (Riza Lazuardi/AFP/Getty Images)

TAKING A BREATHER
TAKING A BREATHER: Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland caught his breath during his quarterfinal match against Spain’s Rafael Nadal in the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters tournament in Monaco, Friday. (Lionel Cironneau/Associated Press)

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After a month of heavy rain saturated mountainsides, a fresh deluge sent landslides sweeping into Seoul last week, killing 59 people. Ten were still reported missing. In a strange compounding of the misery, the landslides and flash flooding washed away landmines buried near an air defense unit in Seoul. Soldiers were searching for those landmines as well as North Korean landmines washed away near the border. A total of 76 landslides of different severity struck after the most intense rainstorm in Korea in the last century. Ten university students lost their lives while volunteering at a summer camp for kids when a landslide struck in Chuncheon. "If it keeps raining like this, no country in the world can endure this," South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said. -- Lane Turner (25 photos total)
Soldiers remove mud from a landslide-damaged apartment building in Seoul July 28, 2011. (Truth Leem/Reuters)

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