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EXAM PREP EXAM PREP: Students in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, shout slogans including, ‘I must go to college,’ and ’Father and Mother, I love you,’ after a motivational speech given ahead of college entrance exams. (Sean Yong/Reuters)

ALL TOGETHER NOW ALL TOGETHER NOW: Musicians participate in a concert featuring 1110 artists playing the veena, a classical Indian musical instrument, in Bangalore. (Manjunath Kiran/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

UNITED IN ST. PAUL UNITED IN ST. PAUL: Union members filled the Minnesota State Capitol rotunda to show support for and listen to pro-union speakers Tuesday. (Richard Sennott/Minneapolis Star Tribune via Zuma Press)

MARCHING IN MALI MARCHING IN MALI: Several thousand people took to the streets of Mali’s capital Wednesday in support of last week’s military takeover. (Rebecca Blackwell/Associated Press)

FAST AND FURIOUS FAST AND FURIOUS: The 2012 World Team Table Tennis Championships is under way in Dortmund, Germany. (Marius Becker/European Pressphoto Agency)

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AWAITING ROMNEY
AWAITING ROMNEY: A worker waited for Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to tour Gregory Industries during a campaign stop in Canton, Ohio, Monday. Ohio is one of 10 states that will hold primaries and caucuses on Super Tuesday. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)

BANDAGED
BANDAGED: A woman was treated at a hospital Monday in Brazzaville, Congo, after an explosion at a munitions depot killed more than 200 people and trapped hundreds in debris Sunday. Detonations still shook the capital Monday and fire threatened a second arms depot. (Marc Hofer/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

VIBRANT COLOR
VIBRANT COLOR: Spanish bullfighter Juan Jose Padilla performed during a bullfight in Olivenza, Spain, Sunday. Mr. Padilla, who lost sight in one eye and has partial facial paralysis after being gored, returned to the bullring months after his injury. (Daniel Ochoa de Olza/Associated Press)

TOPPED OFF
TOPPED OFF: An officer put a cap on a paramilitary recruit’s head as they take participated in a training session at a military base in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China, Monday. (Leo Lang/Reuters)

MONKEY BY THE SEA
MONKEY BY THE SEA: A girl walked with her pet monkey on a promenade along the Arabian Sea in Mumbai Monday. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters)

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The Chinese Lantern Festival takes place on the 15th day of the Lunar New Year. As they mark the end of the Spring Festival, celebrants create colorful lanterns, set off fireworks, and hold parades. In one village, residents hurl molten metal against a wall to create an impressive display of sparks in a 300-year-old tradition. Gathered below are some vibrant images from this year's Chinese Lantern Festival. [29 photos]

A blacksmith throws molten metal against a cold wall to create sparks, as he and others celebrate the Lantern Festival which traditionally marks the end of the Lunar New Year celebrations, in Nuanquan, Hebei province, China, on February 6, 2012. For over 300 years, the village, which is famous for its blacksmith skills, has maintained the tradition which they consider a cheaper alternative to buying fireworks during the Lantern Festival. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

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Philip Toczylowski, of Philadelphia, sits by his son’s grave with a trumpet at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Friday, Dec. 16, 2011, a day after the Pentagon declared an end to the war in Iraq. Toczylowski says that he plays taps every time he visits the grave of his son, Army Major Jeffrey Philip [...]

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China, the most populous country (1.3 billion people) and the second-largest economy in the world, is a vast, dynamic nation that continues to grow and evolve in the 21st century. Recent events in China include a successful satellite launch that lays the groundwork for a space station, the completion of a massive skyscraper in a rather small village, the 26th Universiade games for student athletes, the celebration of National Day, the Mid-Autumn Festival, and much more. This collection is only a small view of the people and places in China over the past several weeks. [49 photos]

Chinese artist Liu Bolin waits for his colleagues to put a finishing touch on him to blend into rows of soft drinks in his artwork entitled "Plasticizer" to express his speechlessness at use of plasticizer in food additives, in his studio at the 798 Art District in Beijing, China, on August 10, 2011. (AP Photo)

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Pakistani rescue workers search for survivors in wreckage of a crashed passenger plane at The Margalla Hills on the outskirts of Islamabad on July 28, 2010. A Pakistani airliner carrying 152 people crashed in a ball of flames into densely wooded hills outside Islamabad amid heavy rain and poor visibility, killing everyone on board. Rescue [...]

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