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CARNIVAL QUEEN
CARNIVAL QUEEN: Carmen Gil, wearing a costume called ‘Imperio,’ by designer Santi Castro, celebrated as she was crowned Carnival queen on the Spanish Canary Island of Tenerife Wednesday. (Santiago Ferrero/Reuters)

FACEDOWN
FACEDOWN: Police arrested a man outside a hotel as British Prime Minister David Cameron gave a speech in Edinburgh Thursday. Mr. Cameron hinted at transferring more powers to Scotland, but he also argued in favor of maintaining Scotland’s union with the United Kingdom. (Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images)

REMEMBERING WHITNEY
REMEMBERING WHITNEY: A fan scribbled a message in memory of Whitney Houston at a shopping mall in Quezon City, Philippines, Thursday. The singer’s funeral will be held Saturday in Newark, N.J. (Rolex Dela Pena/European Pressphoto Agency)

KISSING MUBARAK
KISSING MUBARAK: A supporter of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak kissed his picture during a rally outside a police academy in Cairo Thursday. The trial continues for Mr. Mubarak, who is accused of ordering the killing of demonstrators during an uprising. (Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

SCARRED
SCARRED: Sudanese man Mutasim Qamrawi, 22 years old, showed scars—from the four months he says he was held captive by smugglers in Egypt’s Sinai Desert—at a shelter in Tel Aviv Thursday. Thousands of Africans have entered Israel in recent years, fleeing conflicts and poverty. (Oded Balilty/Associated Press)

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The spectacle of gaudy colors, outlandish floats, airborne beads, and extravagant costumes was not limited to the French Quarter of New Orleans Tuesday. Weeks of pre-Lent celebrations culminated into explosions of exhilarating events for "Fat Tuesday" and Carnival around the globe. Historians say the Mardi Gras tradition dates back to Roman times, when the newly converted Christians retained vestiges of their pagan festival "Lupercalia" as a period of celebration before the penance of Lent. That spirit ricochets today from the revelers of Carnival in Brazil to the flour-tossing sprites of Greece to the ebullient trombones of Bourbon Street. -- Lloyd Young (43 photos total)
A Grande Rio samba school dancer performs while parading through the Sambadrome during carnival celebrations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, March 8. (Rodrigo Abd/Associated Press)

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