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Marcelo del Pozo

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April 22 will mark Earth Day worldwide, an event now in its 42nd year and observed in 175 countries. The original grass-roots environmental action helped spur the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act in the United States. Gathered here are images of our planet's environment, efforts to utilize renewable alternative sources of energy, and the effects of different forms of pollution. -- Lane Turner and Leanne Burden Seidel (35 photos total)
A ladybug in flight spreads its wings as it flutters from grass blade to grass blade at Rooks Park in Walla Walla, Wash. on April 2, 2012. (Jeff Horner/Walla Walla Union-Bulletin/Associated Press)

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A last blast before the observance of Lent, Carnival has evolved in many parts of the world with Christian traditions to be the biggest party of the year. Traditions vary from country to country, and even from region to region, but most places celebrate with a parade filled with masks, music, and ecstatic revelers. The world's biggest party happens in Rio de Janeiro, where millions fill the streets as the parade enters the Sambadrome. Collected here are pictures of Carnival in many forms as celebrated in various parts of Europe, Latin America, and North America. -- Lane Turner (41 photos total)
A performer from the Beija Flor samba school parades during Carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro on Feb. 20, 2012. Millions watched the sequin-clad samba dancers at Rio de Janeiro's iconic Carnival parade. (Silvia Izquierdo/Associated Press)

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

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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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