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Mario Monti

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Matters of the economy are forefront in many minds, with economic issues dominating the recent American election and the leadership change in China. But in several countries in Europe, economic debate is played out on the streets with protests, petrol bombs, and strikes. As the Eurozone struggles with the global financial crisis, many member countries have turned to a series of spending cuts to health, education, and other services and social programs. Widespread protests against these so-called austerity measures have erupted in several countries. Gathered here are photographs from the most heavily impacted nations in recent months, including Spain, Greece, Portugal, and Italy. -- Lane Turner (31 photos total)
A riot police officer is engulfed by petrol bomb flames in front of parliament during clashes in Athens on November 7, 2012. (Dimitri Messinis/Associated Press)

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In this post, featuring images from the last quarter of 2011, we remember a tumultuous year of change across the globe, the capture of Khadafi, the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center, the passing of Apple icon Steve Jobs, fire, famine, flood and protests. A memorable year, indeed. -- Paula Nelson -- Please see part 1 and part 2 from earlier. (EDITOR'S NOTE: We will not post a Big Picture on Monday, December 26, due to the Christmas Holiday ) (51 photos total)
A defaced portrait of fugitive Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi in Tripoli on Sept. 1, 2011 as the fallen strongman vowed again not to surrender in a message broadcast on the 42nd anniversary of the coup which brought him to power. (Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images)

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FISH STICKS
FISH STICKS: A worker sorted fish in a cooler at the Muara Baru Fish Port in Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday. (Zuma Press)

TAKING A MEETING
TAKING A MEETING: Donald Trump, left, smiled as Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich spoke to the media in New York Monday. Mr. Gingrich praised Mr. Trump as a ‘true American icon’ and said he had persuaded Mr. Trump to mentor a group of children from the city’s poorest schools. (Seth Wenig/Associated Press)

AWAITING RESULTS
AWAITING RESULTS: People carried an injured woman at a demonstration in support of Congolese opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi in Brussels Monday. With half the votes counted, President Joseph Kabila was ahead with 49% of the vote compared to 34% for Mr. Tshisekedi. (Francois Lenoir/Reuters)

EXPENSIVE ACCIDENT
EXPENSIVE ACCIDENT: Police officers investigated wrecked luxury cars at the site of a freeway pileup in Shimonoseki, Japan, Sunday. Eight Ferraris, a Lamborghini and two Mercedes were involved in the accident during an outing of luxury sportscar enthusiasts. (Kyodo/Reuters)

AUSTERITY MEASURES
AUSTERITY MEASURES: Italy’s welfare minister, Elsa Fornero, started crying as she spoke during a press conference Sunday on the country’s new austerity package. Prime Minister Mario Monti and his government were outlining a new three-year, €30 billion ($40.17 billion) austerity plan. (Zuma Press)

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