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SAMUEL KUBANI

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Heavy rainfall over Europe during the the past week has swollen many rivers past their flood stage, wreaking havoc unseen in decades across Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic. At least 18 people across the region have been killed, and tens of thousands have been evacuated. In Germany, the crest of the Elbe River is now approaching the North Sea, as the swollen Danube River is surging toward the Hungarian capital of Budapest. Collected here are images from the past several days of those affected by these historic floods, even as meteorologists predict more rain over the coming weekend. [36 photos]

The city hall of Grimma, Germany, surrounded by floodwater, on June 3, 2013. Flooding has spread across a large area of central Europe following heavy rainfall in recent days. Eastern and southern Germany are suffering under floods that in some cases are the worst in 400 years. Tens of thousands of Germans, Hungarians and Czechs were evacuated from their homes as soldiers raced to pile up sandbags to hold back rising waters in the region. (AP Photo/dpa, Jens Wolf)     

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The Danube River reached its highest level in 500 years. The Elbe, Rhine, and other rivers and tributaries are cresting high as well as swathes of central Europe lie inundated by floodwaters that have killed 12 and displaced tens of thousands. Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic have been severely affected, as Hungary prepares for the swell of water. Gathered here are images of the flooding and people affected in the last several days. -- Lane Turner (40 photos total)
The river Rhine floods Mainz, Germany on June 2, 2013 (picture taken with an underwater camera). (Fredrik Von Erichsen/AFP/Getty Images)     

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Events celebrating and protesting LGBT rights took place in many parts of the world in the last several months. Pride parades were met with violence or intimidation in Russia, Georgia, and Albania while other places saw wild street parties. Three million people celebrated on the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil, often considered the biggest Pride event in the world. Activists in Uganda and Chile sought to change laws, while in the United States Barack Obama became the first American president to endorse same-sex marriage. Gathered here are pictures from events related to gay rights issues, LGBT Pride celebrations, and the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. -- Lane Turner (39 photos total)
Mark Wilson carries a rainbow flag during San Francisco's 42nd annual gay pride parade on June 24, 2012. Organizers said more than 200 floats, vehicles and groups of marchers took part in the parade. (Noah Berger/Associated Press)

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SEALING A DEAL
SEALING A DEAL: Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa al-Thani, the emir of Qatar, used his phone to photograph Qatar’s minister of foreign affairs and India’s human resource development minister as they shook hands Monday in New Delhi to seal an agreement. (Prakash Singh/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

WATER TUNNEL
WATER TUNNEL: Young people dressed in traditional costumes threw a bucket of water at a girl in Trenčianska Teplá, Slovakia, Monday. Men splash women with water as part of celebrations that symbolize the women’s youth, strength and beauty. (Samuel Kubani/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA FIRE
PHILADELPHIA FIRE: Firefighters consoled each other after they extinguished a fire at an abandoned warehouse in Philadelphia Monday. Two firefighters were killed when an adjacent building they were inspecting collapsed. (Matt Rourke/Associated Press)

SOCCER CELEBRATION
SOCCER CELEBRATION: Newcastle’s Papiss Cisse celebrated his goal against Bolton during their English Premier League soccer match at the Sports Direct Arena in Newcastle, England, Monday. Newcastle won 2-0. (Owen Humphreys/Associated Press)

CARRYING CANE
CARRYING CANE: A farmer carried sugar cane from a field on the outskirts of Jammu, India, Monday. (Mukesh Gupta/Reuters)

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For the first time ever, young athletes gathered Jan. 13-22 in Austria for the Winter Youth Olympic Games. The event began with traditional opening ceremonies for more than 1,000 competitors from more than 70 nations. Ranging in age from 14 to 18, they competed in the 15 core events held at the Olympic Games. Keep an eye out for the names you see here, as they may appear again in Sochi, Russia, during the XXII Winter Olympics in February 2014. -- Lloyd Young (29 photos total)
The flag bearer from Austria, Tamara Grascher enters the stadium during the opening ceremony of the first Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck Jan. 13, 2012. (Dominic Ebenbichler/Reuters)

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Autumn is a season of frosty mornings, festivals like Halloween and Mexico's Dia de los Muertos, and of course, spectacular foliage. Around the north, people have begun to see their breath form misty clouds in the chilly morning air, snows have fallen early, and preparation for winter is well under way. Collected here is a second group of images of this year's autumn from around the northern hemisphere -- the earlier entry can be seen here. [37 photos]

The last of the summer roses are dusted with a coating of frost as the first freezing temperatures descend on Britain, on November 7, 2011 in Knutsford, England. The roses are the last blooms to survive the Summer at Curbishleys specialist rose nursery in Cheshire. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

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Spanish “rejoneador” or mounted bullfighter Sergio Galan performs during his bullfight at Las Ventas bullring in Madrid, Saturday May 28, 2011.

Amanda Carper holds her son Silas, 5 months, as she searches through the rubble of her deceased grandfather Charles Oster’s home after a massive tornado passed through the town killing at least 132 people on May 27, 2011 in Joplin, Missouri. Oster was 77 years old and perished during the tornado. The town continues the process of recovering from the storm which damaged or destroyed an estimated 8,000 structures.

Nicolas B. Rushlow, 13, left, from Lancaster, Ohio is embraced by his mother Michelle after being eliminated during the semifinals of the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Oxon Hill, Thursday, June 2, 2011. Rushlow spelled ‘drusy’ incorrectly.

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Spanish "rejoneador" or mounted bullfighter Sergio Galan performs during his bullfight at Las Ventas bullring in Madrid, Saturday May 28, 2011.(AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza) #

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Enthusiast Tommy Hall, dances with singer Miss Katie Spitfire on the platform during the 1940's re-enactment weekend on May 28, 2011 in Bury, England. Re-enactors dressed in 1940s fashion will attend the wartime weekend for nostalgic celebrations including tea dances, make-do-and-mend demonstrations and battle re-enactments. (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images) #

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"Brother Hermes" (L) performs an exorcism on Claudia Gaviria, 28, who claims to be possessed by spirits, on June 1, 2011, in La Cumbre, Valle del Cauca department, Colombia. "Brother Hermes", as calls himself Hermes Cifuentes, 50, has performed exorcism rituals during the last 20 years. AFP PHOTO/Luis ROBAYO #

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Singer Cody Simpson performs as his female fans do their best to push closer to him at a promotion for Footlocker and Pastry Footwear at Westfield Miranda on May 28, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Don Arnold/Getty Images) #

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Amanda Carper holds her son Silas, 5 months, as she searches through the rubble of her deceased grandfather Charles Oster's home after a massive tornado passed through the town killing at least 132 people on May 27, 2011 in Joplin, Missouri. Oster was 77 years old and perished during the tornado. The town continues the process of recovering from the storm which damaged or destroyed an estimated 8,000 structures. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) #

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Bob Thornburg, left, and his brother Matt Thornburg, both from Las Vegas, Nev., salvage items Sunday, May 29, 2011 as they sort through the remains of a house occupied by their brother Gene Thronburg and mother Peggy Thornburg in Joplin, Mo. An EF-5 tornado tore through much of the city a week ago damaging a hospital and hundreds of homes and businesses and killing at least 139 people. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) #

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A museum worker stands near the entrance to an installation art work entitled "My Universe - The Beginning" by contemporary Chinese artiste Zhan Wang held in conjunction with luxury brand Louis Vuitton's Voyages exhibition held at the National Museum of China in Beijing, China, Tuesday, May 31, 2011. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) #

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A pedestrian smokes a cigar as he passes in front of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, Thursday, June 2, 2011. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) #

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An Amish farmer plows his field behind six draft horses June 2, 2011 in New Wilmington, southwestern Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images) #

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A Pakistani boy walks toward a water point to collect water for his family, on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, June 2, 2011. The U.S. should hold back much of its $7.5 billion aid package to Pakistan until it reforms dysfunctional policies related to energy, taxes and other areas, according to a new report that criticizes the American aid program's focus in a country beset by corruption, poverty and militancy. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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Indian tourists ride traditional boats on the Dal Lake, on the outskirts of Srinagar, India, Wednesday, June 1, 2011. Set in the Himalayas at 5,600 feet (1707 meters) above sea level, Kashmir is a green, saucer-shaped valley full of fruit orchards and surrounded by snowy mountain ranges. About 100 lakes dot its highlands and plains. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin) #

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Barcelona's Brazilian defender Adriano Correia celebrates during a gathering with supporters at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 29, 2011 a day after the team won the UEFA Champions League final football match against Manchester United. AFP PHOTO/ JOSEP LAGO #

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The arm of a mannequin sticks out from the rubble in a devastated neighborhood in Kesennuma, Miyagi prefecture, in northeastern Japan, Monday, May 30, 2011 which was destroyed in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The twin disasters, which damaged crucial cooling systems at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture, left more than 24,000 people dead or missing in northeastern Japan. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder) #

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New cadets for the Libyan rebel army dance and chant anti Moammar Gadhafi slogans before the ceremony graduation in Benghazi, Libya, Sunday, May 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) #

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A paraglider flies over the athletic stadium on May 31, 2011 during the Zlata Tretra (Golden Spike) athletics meeting in the eastern Czech city of Ostrava. AFP PHOTO / JOE KLAMAR #

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Hans Van Alphen of Belgium throws a discus during the men's discus throw event on the second day of the men's decathlon meeting held in Goetzis, Austria on May 29, 2011. AFP PHOTO/SAMUEL KUBANI #

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A group of women dressed as brides hold sheets of paper that read in Spanish: "No to Keiko Fujimori, Because I teach my children the truth, Marry the truth," at a church in Lima, Peru, Saturday, May 28, 2011. Keiko Fujimori, daughter of imprisoned ex-President Alberto Fujimori, will face former army officer Ollanta Humala in a presidential runoff on June 5. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia) #

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An Army carry team moves a transfer case containing the remains of Spc. Richard C. Emmons III Thursday, June 2, 2011 at Dover Air Force Base, Del. According to the Department of Defense, Emmons, 22, of North Granby, Conn., died May 31, 2011 in Logar province, Afghanistan of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with a rocket propelled grenade. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark) #

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Spanish bullfighter Ivan Fandino performs during a bullfight in Madrid, Thursday, June 2, 2011. Bullfighting is an ancient tradition in Spain and the season runs from March to October. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza) #

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Nicolas B. Rushlow, 13, left, from Lancaster, Ohio is embraced by his mother Michelle after being eliminated during the semifinals of the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Oxon Hill, Thursday, June 2, 2011. Rushlow spelled 'drusy' incorrectly. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) #

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An Indian laborer carries a basket of mangoes at the wholesale mango market in Bangalore, India, Friday, June 3, 2011. India recognizes mango as its national fruit and is the world's largest mango producer with about 13 million tons each year, far exceeding all other countries. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi) #

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A Buddhist monk carries a container of incense around a monastery during early morning religious rituals near the Boudhanath Stupa, a world heritage site and an important pilgrimage site, in Katmandu, Nepal, Friday, June 3, 2011. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha ) #

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