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In PHOTOS: Around the world in the last 24 hours

Last updated on: July 8, 2011 13:41 IST

In PHOTOS: Around the world in the last 24 hours

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Presenting some of the most scintillating pictures from around the globe in the last 48 hours.

A United States Marine covers from dust caused by the CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter after landing for a Western Engagement operation in the Garsmir district of the Helmand province, southern Afghanistan. US Marines and Afghan security forces conducted a joint operation aiming to extend their presence west of Helmand River.

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom will withdraw another 500 troops from Afghanistan next year, as armed forces begin to transfer combat duties to the Afghan security forces.

The decision comes a fortnight after US President Barack Obama said he intended to withdraw 33,000 American troops from the country by the end of next autumn.

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Photographs: Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters
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Around the world in the last 24 hours

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A fighting cow leaps over runners at the bullring after the first running of the bulls of the San Fermin festival in Pamplona. Four people suffered minor injuries in the run that lasted two and a half minutes, according to local news sources.

People come from all over the world to test their bravery in the daily bull runs and enjoy the festival's nonstop street parties, which lasts until July 14. The festival was immortalised by author Ernest Hemingway in his 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises.

Photographs: Joseba Extaburu/Reuters
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Around the world in the last 24 hours

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Steam and other emissions rise from a coal-fired power station near Lithgow, 120 km west of Sydney.

Australia is set to slap a carbon tax of A$23 a metric ton ($24.60) on its major emitters, newspapers said on Thursday, but it has halved the number of companies liable for the tax in a bid to overcome hostility to the policy.

Photographs: Daniel Munoz/Reuters
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Around the world in the last 24 hours

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Producer David Heyman hugs actress Emma Watson, as author J K Rowling and actor Daniel Radcliffe watch, during speeches at the world premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 in Trafalgar Square in central London. Rowling has revealed during the premiere of the final 'Harry Potter' film that her wizard series might not end so soon.

The author of the 'Potter' series told the crowd that though she had no immediate plans to make another film, she would 'never say never'.

Final installment of the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, is expected to end the journey with a bang with the whole phenomenon expectedly fetching almost 10 billion pounds.


Photographs: Dylan Martinez/Reuters
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Around the world in the last 24 hours

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Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, watch some bull riding while wearing western clothing and cowboy hats in Calgary, Alberta.

The Prince and his wife capped off a whirlwind nine-day tour of Canada with a night of rodeo chuck wagon races, bull riding, country music and line dancing. And, said the future king with a wide grin, they received "fantastic" white, broad-rimmed cowboy hats made from rabbit fur for him and her.


Photographs: Phil Noble/Reuters
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A woman splashes water with a container as she performs the Shuigu dance during a cultural festival in Jianhe county, Guizhou province. The dance, which is also known as the water drum dance, has a history of over 500 years in local Miao villages.

Photographs: China Daily/Reuters
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Around the world in the last 24 hours

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A woman climbs a ladder to reach a grave at the La Verbena cemetery in Guatemala City.

More than 10,000 unidentified bodies have been exhumed from a mass grave found in the cemetery, which is thought to have began operations in 1987 during the Guatemalan Civil War, according to forensic anthropologists working on the mass grave.

Photographs: Jorge Dan Lopez/Reuters
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Five-year-old Freddy Porter of Raleigh N.C. plays with a toy space shuttle in the Rocket Garden of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex near Cape Canaveral, Florida.  Porter, visiting with family was hoping to witness his first launch as space shuttle Atlantis, carrying a crew of four and food and other supplies critical for the International Space Station, is set to vault into orbit on Friday on the final flight in the 30-year U.S. shuttle programme.

Despite a dismal forecast, NASA managers decided early Friday to load the shuttle Atlantis with rocket fuel and to press ahead for an attempted launch of the orbiter on the program's 135th and final mission.

Photographs: Hans Deryk/Reuters
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Flowers lie on the plaque at the memorial to the victims of the July 7 London bombings, at Hyde Park in London. Thursday marks the sixth anniversary of the July 7 bombings, which killed 52 people and injured more than 770.

Ken Livingstone, London Mayor at the time of the bombings, was among more than 100 people who bowed their heads for a minute's silence.

Photographs: Paul Hackett/Reuters
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Around the world in the last 24 hours

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A Syrian man living in Jordan, whose face is painted like the Syrian national flag, shouts slogans against Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad during a demonstration in front of the Syrian embassy in Amman.

On Friday, Syria accused the United States of meddling after the US ambassador visited the flashpoint city of Hama, where hundreds have fled fearing a crackdown ahead of anti-regime demonstrations on Friday.

"The presence of the US ambassador in Hama without previous permission is obvious proof of the implication of the United States in the ongoing events, and of their attempts to increase (tensions), which damage Syria's security and stability," the foreign ministry said in a statement.


Photographs: Muhammad Hamed/Reuters
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A child waves a fan and a handkerchief at Olympic Park in Beijing. The park was constructed for the 2008 Summer Olympics.

The Beijing National Stadium or Bird's Nest is the centerpiece of this project. It hosted the opening and closing ceremonies, athletics, and football finals of the Games. The stadium has room for 91,000 spectators, but the capacity was reduced to 80,000 after the Olympics.

Photographs: Soo Hoo Zheyang/Reuters
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Palestinian militants from Al-Ansar brigades, the armed wing of Al-Ahrar movement, demonstrate their skills during a drill in front of the media in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army opened fire on Thursday morning on Palestinians' homes in Fraheen area, east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.

Local sources said three bulldozers and five Israeli tanks penetrated into the area at a distance of 300 meters from the eastern border of the Gaza Strip, amidst heavy gunfire towards Palestinians' homes.

Photographs: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters
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A security guard stands next to a portrait of China's former president Jiang Zemin at an exhibition to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China in Beijing. Chinese state media denied rumours on Thursday that former president Jiang had died after a Hong Kong television station said he had, sparking a wave of speculation about a leadership transition due next year.

"Recent reports of some overseas media organisations about Jiang Zemin's death from illness are pure rumour," the official Xinhua news agency quoted "authoritative sources" as saying.

Photographs: Jason Lee/Reuters
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Firefighters spray water over a new Cougar EC 725 helicopter during a welcome ceremony in Mexico City. Mexico bought two of the French-made, twin-engine helicopters, which will be used for the transportation of troops and personnel, according to the authorities.

Photographs: Bernardo Montoya/Reuters
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