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Some happy, some sad, at times cheering or even fighting, fans of soccer are absorbed in the European 2012 Soccer Championship. Sixteen nations made it to the final tournament being held in Poland and the Ukraine with the final match to be played on July 1 at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev. -- Lloyd Young(40 photos total)
A soccer fan soaks up the atmospshere ahead of the Euro 2012 soccer championship group D match between Ukraine and Sweden at The Olympic Stadium on June 11 in Kiev, Ukraine. (Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

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Europe has been battling a deep freeze that started in late January and has killed hundreds, snow that has trapped thousands in Balkan mountain villages and prompted worries of flooding as heavy snow melts. In Greece and Bulgaria, flooding on Monday and Tuesday left dozens of homes under water and at least eight dead. Serbian [...]

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In this post, featuring images from the last quarter of 2011, we remember a tumultuous year of change across the globe, the capture of Khadafi, the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center, the passing of Apple icon Steve Jobs, fire, famine, flood and protests. A memorable year, indeed. -- Paula Nelson -- Please see part 1 and part 2 from earlier. (EDITOR'S NOTE: We will not post a Big Picture on Monday, December 26, due to the Christmas Holiday ) (51 photos total)
A defaced portrait of fugitive Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi in Tripoli on Sept. 1, 2011 as the fallen strongman vowed again not to surrender in a message broadcast on the 42nd anniversary of the coup which brought him to power. (Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images)

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A park ranger stands at the site of a new eruption in Virunga National Park near Goma, on November 24, 2011. Almost three weeks after a fissure opened amidst dense flat forest, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Virunga National Park has seen an increasing number of tourists seeking to be guided on treks to witness [...]

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READY, AIM
READY, AIM: A Chinese policeman showed off his rifle during an event in Beijing Wednesday. Crime rates have risen steadily in China since the country began opening up three decades ago and undergoing related dramatic social changes. (AFP/Getty Images)

TO SENDAI WITH LOVE
TO SENDAI WITH LOVE: U.S. Air Force 36th Airlift Squadron Master Sgt. Neal Martyniak walked past barrels of diesel fuel being flown Thursday from Yokota Air Base near Tokyo to Sendai Airport for tsunami relief. (Koji Ueda/Associated Press)

TRAGIC ACCIDENT
TRAGIC ACCIDENT: A police expert examined the body of a young man killed when the fragment of a balcony of the Kozatskiy hotel fell on him in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday. (Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images)

HEADED OUT
HEADED OUT: Petty Officer Third Class David Weir kissed his wife, Jessica, and son Cody as he prepared to deploy on the USS Bataan Wednesday from Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Va. The ship is deploying to the Mediterranean Sea to aid international efforts in Libya. (Steve Earley/The Virginian-Pilot/Associated Press)

SKIDDING TO A STOP
SKIDDING TO A STOP: A demonstrator fell after throwing a rock at police outside a European Union summit in Brussels Thursday. EU officials are meeting in Brussels Thursday and Friday in an effort to cement an expanded bailout fund for the region and give final approval to new economic rules. (Geert Vanden Wijngaert/Associated Press)

UNDER GUARD
UNDER GUARD: A suspected member of forces loyal to Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi stood inside a prison in Benghazi Thursday. Military assessments suggested strikes on Col. Gadhafi’s ground forces have failed to loosen their siege of the key western city of Misrata. (Suhaib Salem/Reuters)

TRADITIONAL PASTIME
TRADITIONAL PASTIME: Men on horseback competed in goat-dragging, a traditional central Asian sport, outside Dushanbe, Tajikistan, Thursday. (Nozim Kalandarov/Reuters)

UNDER ARREST
UNDER ARREST: Teachers were arrested by riot police near the presidential palace in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Thursday during a demonstration against the privatization of education. (Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images)

CONTINUING BATTLE
CONTINUING BATTLE: A tuberculosis patient lay in his bed at a tuberculosis hospital in Srinagar, in Indian-controlled Kashmir, Thursday, World Tuberculosis Day. More than two million people will contract multi-drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis by 2015, the WHO said Wednesday. (Zuma Press)

OUT FOR A RUN
OUT FOR A RUN: Boys ran through Stadtpark, or City Park, during a warm spring day in Vienna Thursday. Temperatures reached up to 20 degrees Celsius, or 68 degrees Fahrenheit, in Austria. (Lisi Niesner/Reuters)

GONE FISHING
GONE FISHING: A man fished in a pond in Xiangyang city in central China’s Hubei Province Wednesday. (Wang Hu/European Pressphoto Agency)

SURREAL
SURREAL: A 15-meter (49-foot) head was fixed on a torso with cranes and integrated into a floating stage on Lake Constance near Bregenz, Austria, Thursday. It is part of the stage setting for the opera ‘Andre Chenier’ by Italian composer Umberto Giordano, which will premiere in July. (Felix Kaestle/Associated Press)

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