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According to projections by the United Nations, the world population has reached 7 billion and continues to grow rapidly.  While more people are living longer and healthier lives, gaps are widening between the rich and the poor in some nations and tens of millions of people are vulnerable to food and water shortages.  There is, of course, the issue of the impact of that sheer number on the environment, including pollution, waste disposal, use of natural resources and food production.  This post focuses on wheat and the effect of our numbers on the environment.  Wheat is the most important cereal in the world and along with rice and corn accounts for about 73 percent of all cereal production.  It isn't surprising that 7 billion people have a lasting impact on our world's natural resources and the environment in which we live. -- Paula Nelson (36 photos total)
One of the world's breadbaskets lies in the prairies of Canada. This stalk, near Lethbridge, Alberta, helps form the foundation for the most important food product in the world: cereal grains. (Todd Korol/Reuters)

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Last Friday, July 1, China's Communist Party celebrated its 90th anniversary. Through a carefully choreographed week of events -- including concerts, revolutionary re-enactments, TV shows, a star-studded propaganda film, and a gala event in Shanghai -- the party emphasized its populist origins. The celebration culminated in a 90-minute speech by Chinese President Hu Jintao, where he extolled the 90 years of Communist Party rule but acknowledged the current need to fight state corruption. Collected here are some of the scenes from around the country, as members and supporters of China's Communist Party celebrated the nine decades since its founding. [30 photos]

Students in school uniforms link their arms to form the flag of the Communist Party of China, in celebration of the party's upcoming 90th anniversary during a photo call at a primary school in Dexing, Jiangxi province, on June 20, 2011. (Reuters/China Daily)

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