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Omar Sobhani

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WSJ Staff

In today’s pictures, a man goes deep to collect recyclable paper in Spain, a camel in Egypt has a leg tied up to keep it from running away, a man sits atop his vehicle after a bridge collapse in Washington, and more.

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Another year has come and gone and with it hundreds of thousands of images have recorded the world's evolving history; moments in individual lives; the weather and it's affects on the planet; acts of humanity and tragedies brought by man and by nature. The following is a compilation - not meant to be comprehensive in any way - of images from the first 4 months of 2012. Parts II and III to follow this week. -- Paula Nelson ( 64 photos total)
Fireworks light up the skyline and Big Ben just after midnight, January 1, 2012 in London, England. Thousands of people lined the banks of the River Thames in central London to ring in the New Year with a spectacular fireworks display. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

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With well over a year before American forces pull out of Afghanistan, the conflict there drags on. Every month in The Big Picture, we feature a selection of recent images of events there, from the soldiers and insurgents at war, the people longing for peace, and daily life and culture in the country of 29 million. Afghanistan remains among the world's poorest nations, and struggles with issues not found in other places, like an ongoing fight against polio. Afghanistan still supplies about 90% of the world's opium, a major cash crop in a country with few viable exports. Gathered here are images from April, 2012. -- Lane Turner (33 photos total)
Afghan policemen are mirrored in glass from a broken window as they stand guard outside the building where Taliban fighters launched an attack in Kabul on April 16, 2012. A total of 36 Taliban militants were killed as they mounted a wave of attacks across Afghanistan. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images)

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In early April, in an attempt to accelerate the transition of military responsibility to the Afghan government, the US agreed to hand control of special operations missions to Afghan forces, including night raids, relegating American troops to a supporting role. This deal cleared the way for the two countries to move ahead with an agreement that would establish the shape of American support to Afghanistan after the 2014 troop withdrawal deadline. Domestic support for the war (in the US) has dropped sharply. We look back at March in the troubled country. -- Paula Nelson (37 photos total)
Young Afghan women use an umbrella to shield themselves from the sun in Kabul, April 5, 2012. The position of women in Afghanistan has improved dramatically since the fall of the Taliban, with the number of girls in education soaring. But as the Americans and the Afghan government have pursued peace efforts with the Taliban, women are increasingly concerned that gains in their rights may be compromised in a bid to end the costly and deadly war. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images)

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MILITARY FUNERAL
MILITARY FUNERAL: Mourners attended the funeral of U.S. Army National Guard Maj. Robert Marchanti II at Virginia’s Arlington National Cemetery Tuesday. Maj. Marchanti, of Maryland, was fatally shot in an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, in February that the Taliban said was retaliation for the burning of Qurans at a U.S. base. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

SOMBER CEREMONY
SOMBER CEREMONY: A man mourned in front of a portrait during a ceremony in Ankara, Turkey, Tuesday. A Turkish helicopter crashed into a house on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, killing 12 Turkish soldiers and Afghan civilians. (Adem Altan/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

HUDDLED AROUND
HUDDLED AROUND: Men gathered around a religious flag as they celebrated the New Year in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday. Afghanistan uses the Persian calendar. (Omar Sobhani/Reuters)

MUD BATH
MUD BATH: A believer asking for a miracle emerged from mud in Monterrey, Mexico, Monday. Thousands of believers participated in a procession to ask for miracles from Niño Fidencio, a deceased Mexican folk healer whose spirit still heals people, according to local legend. (Julio Cesar Aguilar/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

HAPPY BOY
HAPPY BOY: A child played in mud on the banks of the Bago River in Bago, Myanmar, Tuesday. (Reuters)

KEEPING THEIR COMPOSURE
KEEPING THEIR COMPOSURE: Soldiers stood still after a comrade fainted as Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Prince Charles arrived for a wreath-laying ceremony at Akershus Fortress in Oslo Tuesday. (Getty Images)

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