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YURI CORTEZ

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It's time once more for a look into the animal kingdom and our interactions with the countless other species that share our planet. Today's photos include researchers dressed in panda costumes, a massage given by an African snail, a 39-pound cat named Meow, a Japanese macaque with hay fever, and orangutans having a playdate using FaceTime on an iPad. These images and many others are part of this roundup of animals in the news from recent weeks, seen from the perspectives of their human observers, companions, captors, and caretakers, part of an ongoing series on animals in the news. [41 photos]

Polar bear cub Anori explores the outdoor enclosure at the zoo in Wuppertal, Germany, on Monday, April 23, 2012. Anori was born on January 4 and is becoming a visitor's highlight. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

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OVERCOMING AN OBSTACLE
OVERCOMING AN OBSTACLE: Adults escorted students to school on the other side of Ciberang River over a flood-damaged suspension bridge in Lebak, Indonesia, Thursday. (Associated Press)

FLYING HIGH
FLYING HIGH: A boy smiled during a kite festival organized by a craft council at Maidan park in Kolkata Thursday. (Piyal Adhikary/European Pressphoto Agency)

STORYBOARD
STORYBOARD: Pictures of models were arranged on a board during a rehearsal for the fashion brand Schumacher at Fashion Week in Berlin Thursday. (Markus Schreiber/Associated Press)

STANDARD ISSUE
STANDARD ISSUE: The military displayed standard items issued to detainees at the ‘Camp Five’ facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Thursday. (Jim Watson/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

DUMPING GROUND
DUMPING GROUND: A man sniffed the contents of a bottle at a the ‘Bordo Poniente’ garbage dump in Mexico City Wednesday. Thousands of tons of garbage were deposited at the site until the government closed it. (Yuri Cortez/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

STANDING TOGETHER
STANDING TOGETHER: Students took cover behind a tree as police sprayed them with water during a protest to demand changes in the education system in Santiago, Chile, Thursday. (Ivan Alvarado/Reuters)

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ECHOES
ECHOES: Busker Charlie Cavey played his guitar while sitting inside a trash can in Cambridge, England, Friday. (Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters)

NOT FINISHED
NOT FINISHED: Russian police arrested an activist from the ‘Other Russia’ opposition movement during a protest outside a courthouse in Moscow Friday. Two members and three other men were convicted Friday and given prison terms for their roles in violence in Manezh Square in December. (Denis Sinyakov/Reuters)

AGAINST A WALL
AGAINST A WALL: Police officers surrounded protesters as they tried to enter South Korea’s National Assembly in Seoul during a rally Friday against a free-trade agreement with the U.S. (Ahn Young-joon/Associated Press)

FINDING HOPE
FINDING HOPE: A pilgrim carried statues of St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes, into St. Hipolito Church in Mexico City Friday, the saint’s feast day. (Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images)

ON THE MOVE
ON THE MOVE: Indonesian students defended a friend as police officers pulled him out of the crowd during a protest outside the presidential palace in Jakarta Friday. About a dozen activists were arrested during an anti-government rally. (Mast Irham/European Pressphoto Agency)

WELCOME
WELCOME: Fahmida Islam, 26 years old, became a U.S. citizen Friday at a ceremony held at the Statue of Liberty. Ms. Islam and her daughter Faiza, 2, are from Bangladesh and now live in the Bronx borough of New York City. Friday was the 125th anniversary of the statue’s opening to the public. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

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This past month, much of the attention focused on Afghanistan centered on the release of thousands of classified documents from the war effort by WikiLeaks. While the consensus appears to be that nothing significantly new was revealed by the release, the picture painted by the documents remains rather bleak. NATO and the United States now have 143,000 troops in Afghanistan, set to peak at 150,000 in coming weeks as they take a counter-insurgency offensive into the insurgents' southern strongholds. Taliban control remains difficult to dislodge, and once removed from an area, Taliban forces often return once larger forces leave a region, especially in rural areas where local government presence remains small. Collected here are images of the country and conflict over the past month, part of an ongoing monthly series on Afghanistan. (47 photos total)
A U.S. Marine Corps F-18 Hornet aircraft prepares to refuel over Afghanistan July 8, 2010. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Andy M. Kin/Released)

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Afghanistan - United States - Taliban - War in Afghanistan - NATO

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