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In today's photos, a town battles with eggs and flour in Spain, new police officers graduate in New York City, beachgoers play soccer in Brazil, 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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People around the world once again expressed their affection for one another in many ways with balloons, cards, flowers, chocolates, gifts, and kisses to name just a few. The National Retail Federation said Americans alone will spend some $17.6 billion on the day that traces its origins to Roman rituals and the legend of Saint Valentine from the Catholic Church. -- Lloyd Young (34 photos total)
A man is silhouetted as he fills heart shaped balloons with helium while waiting for customers on Valentine's Day in Islamabad. (Faisal Mahmood/Reuters)

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The lunar new year is celebrated throughout the world, but especially in Asia when the lunisolar calendar ticks off a new cycle. This year is the Year of the Dragon on the Chinese zodiac, and is viewed as very auspicious. In China, the holiday is known as 春节, the Spring Festival, and kicks off 15 days of celebration. It also triggers the largest human migration in the world, as hundreds of millions of Chinese trek to see families. Gathered here are images of the preparation for the holiday, the travel scene in mainland China, and celebrations in many parts of the world. 新年快乐! -- Lane Turner/雷恩 (38 photos total)
Chinese folk artists perform the lion dance at a temple fair to celebrate the Lunar New Year on January 22, 2012 in Beijing. Also known as the Spring Festival, which is based on the Lunisolar calendar, it is celebrated from the first day of the first month of the lunar year and ends with the Lantern Festival on the Fifteenth day. (Feng Li/Getty Images)

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ALL SAINTS DAY
ALL SAINTS DAY: A boy painted part of a tomb in an ‘apartment style’ public cemetery in Navotas city, north of Manila, in the Philippines on Monday. The majority of Filipinos are Catholic and observe All Saint’s Day on Nov. 1, with visits to the cemetery to offer prayers for the dead. (Romeo Ranoco/Reuters)

CARRYING A COMRADE
CARRYING A COMRADE: A severely wounded U.S. Marine was carried by his comrades to a helicopter to be airlifted in Helmand province, Afghanistan, on Monday. (Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images)

WET WAIT
WET WAIT: A man took a nap at a flooded bus stop in Bangkok, Thailand, Monday. (Sakchai Lalit/Associated Press)

SEVEN BILLION
SEVEN BILLION: A newborn baby slept in the arms of her mother at a Community Health Center in Mall, Uttar Pradesh, India, on Monday. The world’s population will reach seven billion on Oct. 31, according to projections by the United Nations. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images)

HOT BATH
HOT BATH: More than 14,000 people across Chongqing, China, took hot spring baths at the same time Sunday, breaking the record of 10,121 people previously set by Hubei Province. (ChinaFotoPress/Zuma Press)

READY FOR RIOTS
READY FOR RIOTS: A French policeman carried a mock protester as he trained on the eve of an anti-G20 demonstration in Nice on Monday. The G20 leaders will gather in Cannes on Nov. 3-4. (Eric Gaillard/Reuters)

ON THE WAY TO WORK
ON THE WAY TO WORK: Commuters stood at the open doorway of a suburban train during the morning rush hour in Mumbai on Monday. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters)

IN TEARS
IN TEARS: A victim of 1984 Sikh riots wept in front of Delhi police barricades as she participated in a protest in New Delhi on Monday. (Anindito Mukherjee/EPA)

LIGHTING UP
LIGHTING UP: A man lit a ‘bidi’ — an Indian leaf cigarette — at a logging mill on the outskirts of Jammu, India, on Monday.. (Mukesh Gupta/Reuters)

CHURCH CAMP
CHURCH CAMP: A clergyman talked on his phone as he stood amid tents outside St. Paul’s Cathedral in London on Monday. The head of St. Paul’s Cathedral resigned over the church’s handling of Occupy London protesters camped out on its doorstep. (Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images)

RAIN, RAIN
RAIN, RAIN: Kiara Thompson sat outside her Fort Lauderdale, Fla., home after floodwaters rose to about a foot deep early Monday. The weather service said up to 12 inches of rain has fallen in Fort Lauderdale in the past three days. (J Pat Carter/Associated Press)

DOWNED TREES
DOWNED TREES: Trees damaged by Saturday’s snowstorm were roped off at the edge of Central Park in New York City on Monday. A group that manages Central Park has estimated that the park may lose up to 1,000 trees because of the weekend snowstorm. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

SUN AND COLOR
SUN AND COLOR: A pedestrian walked in the Sauvabelin forest in Lausanne, Switzerland, Monday. (Laurent Gillieron/EPA)

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Water is essential to life but in such places as India, Pakistan, China, and Thailand deluges have once again caused misery. Typhoon Nesat hit the Philippines earlier this week on its way to south China. In Pakistan, more than 5 million people have been affected by recent flooding, according to the aid agency Oxfam. Pakistan is still struggling to recover from the devastating monsoon rains in 2010. -- Lloyd Young(36 photos total)
A village boy sits on the banks of the swelling Daya River, near Pipli village, about 25 kilometers from the eastern Indian city of Bhubaneshwar Sept. 9. The flood situation in Orissa state worsened with the release of more water downstream from Hirakud dam, according to a news agency. A high alert has been sounded in 11 districts of the state. (Biswaranjan Rout/Associated Press)

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APPLE FAITHFUL
APPLE FAITHFUL: Andrew Christian waited in the rain in front of the Apple store on Fifth Avenue in New York Friday to purchase Apple’s iPad 2. Released less than a year ago, Apple has sold more than 14 million units of its touchscreen tablet. (Peter Foley/Bloomberg)

SPEWING SMOKE
SPEWING SMOKE: Villagers worked farmland as Mt. Bromo spewed smoke in Probolinggo, Indonesia, Friday. The popular tourist destination has seen a rise in volcanic activity in recent days. (Fully Handoko/European Pressphoto Agency)

STACKING SACKS
STACKING SACKS: A worker carried a sack of rice inside a warehouse in Taguig, Philippines, Friday. (Romeo Ranoco/Reuters)

BEARER OF BAD NEWS
BEARER OF BAD NEWS: A policeman talked to the relative of a victim in Monterrey, Mexico, Friday. Unknown assailants gunned down a young couple, one of them a Honduran, and dumped their bodies in a working-class neighborhood, according to local media. (Tomas Bravo/Reuters)

SETTING UP
SETTING UP: A worker adjusted a sign before President Barack Obama’s news conference at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington Friday. Mr. Obama convened the news conference to address growing criticism from Republicans about his energy policies. (Jim Young/Reuters)

REBEL CASUALTIES
REBEL CASUALTIES: Bodies of slain rebels were carried from the frontline in Ras Lanuf, Libya, Friday, as forces loyal to Col. Moammar Gadhafi continued their offensive from the air and ground against rebel-held positions in the east. (John Moore/Getty Images)

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