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Ronaldo Schemidt

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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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TRADITIONAL BRIDE
TRADITIONAL BRIDE: Muslim bride Fatme Kichukova had her makeup applied in Ribnovo, Bulgaria, Sunday. The remote village has kept the tradition alive, despite decades of Communist persecution. Pomaks, Slavs who converted to Islam under Ottoman rule, resurrected the practice. (Stoyan Nenov/Reuters)

BACKED BY RELIGION
BACKED BY RELIGION: A pilgrim headed to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe with an icon of Our Lady of Guadalupe during annual celebrations in Mexico City Monday. (Ronaldo Schemidt/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

GOING UP
GOING UP: Pedestrians walked toward St. Paul’s Cathedral in London Monday. (Toby Melville/Reuters)

STREET SCENE
STREET SCENE: A boy ran down a Baghdad street Monday. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

CLEANING FOR CHRISTMAS
CLEANING FOR CHRISTMAS: Men cleaned the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, West Bank, Monday. Christians are starting to journey to the holy church ahead of Christmas. (Abed al-Hashlamoun/European Pressphoto Agency)

CLOUD CONTROVERSY
CLOUD CONTROVERSY: A rendering, made available Monday, from Dutch architectural firm MVRDV shows a design for two Seoul skyscrapers that some people say resemble the World Trade Center towers exploding on Sept. 11, 2001. MVRDV says the design is meant to resemble a cloud wrapped around two buildings. (MVRDV/Associated Press)

REMAINING CALM
REMAINING CALM: Schoolboys stood near fuel trucks that were set ablaze in Balochistan Province, Pakistan, Monday. Gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on the trucks, killing at least one driver, police and witnesses said. (Amir Hussain/Reuters)

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It's time for another look into the animal kingdom and our interactions with the countless other species that share our planet. Today we have scenes of an elephant rescue in India, a loyal dog bidding a final farewell, a competitor in the Open Rabbit Sport Tournament, and a rather unfortunate moose discovered intoxicated and tangled in a tree. These images and many others are part of this roundup of animals in the news from the past several weeks, seen from the perspectives of their human observers, companions, captors, and caretakers. [44 photos]

A dog casts a long shadow in the morning in St. Petersburg, Russia, on September 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

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POPE’S RELICS
POPE’S RELICS: A woman kissed a glass box containing the relics of former Pope John Paul II at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City Thursday. The box contained a wax figure of the pontiff and a vial of his blood. (Ronaldo Schemidt/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

TIME TO MAKE THE NOODLES
TIME TO MAKE THE NOODLES: A man checked the quality of dried noodles at a factory in Lahore, Pakistan, Thursday. Many Pakistanis consume noodles as an early breakfast before starting to fast for the day during Ramadan. (Yslb Pak/Xinhua/Zuma Press)

WATERED DOWN
WATERED DOWN: Youths were sprayed with a water cannon as they protested Thursday in Quezon, Philippines, against a program that would decrease subsidies at state universities and colleges by more than $12 million. (Noel Celis/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

BLESS THESE BULLETS
BLESS THESE BULLETS: A rebel kissed bullets at the Bab al-Aziziya compound in Tripoli, Libya, Thursday. Fighters overran the compound of Col. Moammar Gadhafi this week and their leaders have offered a $1.35 million reward for information leading to his capture. (Patrick Baz/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

MORE RAIN ON THE WAY
MORE RAIN ON THE WAY: A woman covered her head during an afternoon shower in New York City Thursday. Much of the East Coast is preparing for Hurricane Irene, which is expected to hit the metropolitan area this weekend. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

AHEAD OF THE CROWD
AHEAD OF THE CROWD: A protester stood in front of police officers during a demonstration Wednesday in Kiev, Ukraine, against the arrest of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. The rally came on the 20th anniversary of Ukraine’s split from the Soviet Union. (Malolietka Ievgen/Demotix)

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