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the 2012 Summer Olympics

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In today's pictures, fire breaks out on Tenerife in Spain, residents protest Japan's plan to restart nuclear reactors, a Hindu woman splashes in a river in Nepal, and more.

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Today marks the halfway point of the 70-day Olympic Torch relay through the United Kingdom. Since arriving in Cornwall on May 18, the flame has been carried through villages and cities, across lakes and mountain ranges, on foot, by train, on horseback, and through the air, from Cornwall to the Shetland Islands. By the time it reaches London to launch the 2012 Summer Olympics in 35 days, the torch will have passed through the hands of 8,000 torchbearers. [31 photos]

Torchbearer Peter Jack holds the Olympic Flame aloft on the Giant's Causeway, County Antrim on day 17 of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay on June 4, 2012 near Belfast, Northern Ireland. (LOCOG via Getty Images)

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Seven years after London was selected to host the 2012 Summer Olympics, the Olympic Flame is on its way to England. Earlier today in Greece, performers dressed as priests and priestesses gathered for a ceremony in Olympia, the ancient birthplace of the Olympic games, where they appealed to the sun god Apollo to light the flame with the help of a parabolic mirror. The Olympic flame was then passed to swimmer Spyros Gianniotis to begin a seven-day relay through Greece, followed by a flight to Great Britain, where it will begin a 70-day journey, changing hands 8,000 times on its way to London. (See also Max Fisher's Nazi Origins of the Olympic Flame Relay, from today on the Atlantic.) [19 photos]

A priestess holding a lit cauldron performs in the final dress rehearsal for the lighting of the flame held on May 9, 2012, in ancient Olympia, Greece. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

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With just a year until the 2012 Summer Olympics, athletes are immersed in intensive training around the world. Reuters photographer Jason Lee documented members of China's Yunzhinan Swimming Club as they prepared for the Paralympics, which will be held in London in August, after the Olympics. Olympic-style games for disabled athletes were organized for the first time during the 1960 Summer Games in Rome. -- Lloyd Young (21 photos total)
Qian Hongyan, 16, from the Yunzhinan Swimming Club for the handicapped, climbs onto a platform during a daily training session at a swimming centre in Kunming, southwest China's Yunnan province, July 30, 2011. About 30 disabled athletes from the club aged 10 to 22 are training for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The club was founded in August 2007. (Reuters/Jason Lee)

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