Saturday, December 31, 2011

The 2011 Year in 132 Pictures. Take a deeeep breath

Any "best of" list must surely be subjective. This one is no different. Choosing the best photographs of the year is an enormously difficult task, with many terrific photographs slipping through the cracks. But with major news events as a guide, and with single images I fell in love with throughout the year forcing their way into the edit, I look at my favorite pictures from the first four months of the year. Two main stories dominated headlines in the first part of the year: the Japan earthquake and tsunami, and the rising of the Arab Spring. The protests in the Middle East would spread to Greece, Spain, and eventually inspire the Occupy movement in Western nations. Other stories included a historic wave of tornados in the U.S., a Royal wedding in London, and the creation of the world's newest nation in South Sudan. Images from the rest of the year will follow in posts later this week.

A wave caused by a tsunami flows into the city of Miyako from the Heigawa estuary in Iwate Prefecture after a magnitude 8.9 earthquake struck Japan March 11, 2011. (Mainichi Shimbun /Reuters)

A pleasure boat sits on top of a building amid a sea of debris in Otsuchi town in Iwate prefecture on March 14, 2011. (Yomiuri Shimbun/AFP/Getty Images)

Sixty-six-year-old Yoshikatsu Hiratsuka cries in front of his collapsed house with a family member still missing, possibly buried in the rubble, at Onagawa town in Miyagi prefecture on March 17, 2011. (Yomiuri Shimbun/AFP/Getty Images)

Vehicle headlamps illuminated a disaster area in Yamada town in Iwate prefecture on March 16, 2011. (Str/AFP/Getty Images)

Residents bathe amongst tsunami devastation in Kesennuma city in Miyagi prefecture on April 14, 2011. (Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images)

A protester holds a soldier's leg for safety as shots are fired in front of the headquarters of the Constitutional Democratic Rally party of ousted president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali during a demonstration in downtown Tunis on January 20, 2011. (Zohra Bensemra /Reuters)

Family members grieve during the funeral procession of anti-government protester Abdul Ridha Mohammed on February 22, 2011 in Malkiya, Bahrain. He had been shot in the head when security forces attacked anti-government demonstrators. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Anti-government protesters celebrate inside Tahrir Square after the announcement that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had resigned on February 11, 2011. (Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters)

An opposition supporter takes shelter while providing water during riots with pro-Mubarak demonstrators near Tahrir Square in Cairo on February 3, 2011. (Goran Tomasevic/Reuters)

Anti-government activists clash with riot police in Cairo on January 28, 2011. (Ben Curtis/AP)

A warplane of government forces crashes after being shot down over the outskirts of Benghazi in eastern Libya. (Anja Niedringhaus/AP)

A rebel fighter celebrates as his comrades fire a rocket barrage toward the positions of government troops on April 14, 2011 west of Ajdabiyah, Libya. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

Rebels hold a young man at gunpoint who they accuse of being a government loyalist, between the towns of Brega and Ras Lanuf in Libya on March 3, 2011. (Goran Tomasevic /Reuters)

A motorcycle policeman burns as his colleague tries to help him after protesters threw a petrol bomb in Athens on February 23, 2011. Scores of youths hurled rocks and petrol bombs at riot police after clashes broke out during a general strike. (Dimitri Messinis/AP)

Two men celebrate after being pulled out from a destroyed building in Christchurch, New Zealand on February 22, 2011, 24 hours after a massive earthquake struck. (John Kirk-Anderson/Christchurch Press/Reuters)

Tsiuri Kakabadze, 80, performs during the "Super Grandmother and Super Grandfather" contest in Tbilisi on January 5, 2011. Twenty-four participants aged over 70 from all over Georgia competed. (David Mdzinarishvili /Reuters)

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, kiss as Bridesmaids Grace Van Cutsem and Margarita Armstrong-Jones look on from the balcony at Buckingham Palace in London after the Royal wedding April 29, 2011. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

After a tornado struck, Faye Hyde sits on a mattress in what was her yard as she comforts her granddaughter Sierra Goldsmith, 2, in Conord Ala. (Jeff Roberts/The Birmingham News/AP)

A southern Sudanese woman shows her inked finger after voting at a polling center in Khartoum on January 10, 2011. The historic vote created the world's newest nation as South Sudan gained independence. (Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images)

Supporters of incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo raise their hands in a show of support at a rally in the Yopougon district of Abidjan, Ivory Coast on January 9, 2011. Gbagbo refused to recognize the results of a long-delayed election that he lost, and a long period of conflict ensued before he was removed from office. (Rebecca Blackwell/AP)

Visitors wearing rabbit ear headbands watch a night parade held to celebrate Chinese New Year -- the year of the rabbit -- in Hong Kong on February 3, 2011. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Cambodian displaced people receive government aid at their shelter in a Buddhist pagoda after fleeing their villages near the 11th-century Preah Vihear temple on the border between Thailand and Cambodia on February 9, 2011. Thailand and Cambodia waged an armed standoff surrounding the 900-year-old temple, causing villagers to flee. (Damir Sagolj/Reuters)

Hundreds of cars were abandoned on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago after a winter blizzard of historic proportions wobbled an otherwise snow-tough Chicago, stranding drivers for up to 12 hours overnight on February 2, 2011. (Kiichiro Sato/AP)

A skier jumps before the Sapporo skyline during an official training session of the World Cup ski jumping competition at Okurayama Hill on January 14, 2011. (Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images)

Associated Press photographer David Guttenfelder was given unprecedented access to North Korea, and gave many people their first look at the reclusive country, including a Pyongyang skyline view on April 12, 2011. (David Guttenfelder/AP)

A float from the Beija Flor samba school parades through the Sambadrome during carnival celebrations in Rio de Janeiro on March 8, 2011. (Felipe Dana/AP)

A vendor jumps from the top of one overcrowded train to another on January 23, 2011 as thousands of Muslims return home after attending the three-day Islamic Congregation on the banks of the River Turag in Tongi, Bangladesh. The congregation, held each year since 1966, is among the world's largest religious gatherings. (Pavel Rahman/AP)

As the Cricket World Cup played out in host countries India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, children enjoy the game on railway tracks March 10, 2011 in Chittagong, Bangladesh. (Tom Shaw/Getty Images)

A man rides his horse through flames during the "Luminarias" religious celebration on the eve of Saint Anthony's Day in the village of San Bartolome de los Pinares, Spain on January 16, 2011. According to tradition people from the area ride their horses through the fire to purify the animals. (Andrea Comas /Reuters)

Homeless people warm themselves by a fire in the old quarters of Delhi on January 13, 2011. According to local media reports there are over 67,000 homeless in Delhi, of whom 15 percent are women and 10 percent children. (Adnan Abidi/Reuters)

The aurora borealis, or northern lights, fill the sky above the Takotna, Alaska checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on March 9, 2011. (Bob Hallinen/The Anchorage Daily News/AP)

The Nyiragongo Crater in the Democratic Republic of Congo is the world's largest lava lake, one of the wonders of the African continent. The crater bubbles 1,300 feet deep. (Olivier Grunewald)

A fisherman arranges a net as his wife paddles their boat in the waters of the Periyar river on the outskirts of Kochi, India on January 5, 2011. (Sivaram V/Reuters)

Twenty five years ago on April 26 the number four reactor in the Chernobyl nuclear power facility exploded. The town of Pripyat, less than two miles from the plant, now sits abandoned, slowly consumed by returning forest. (Sergey Ponomarev/AP)

Men stand next to an auto rickshaw near farmers' fields on January 20, 2011 in Afghanistan. (Kevin Frayer/AP)

A woman uses a stick to rinse her laundry in an ice hole at Siverskoye Lake in the town of Kirillov, Russia on January 17, 2011. (Mikhail Voskresensky/Reuters)#

Nature at its full force with floods, drought, wild fires, tornadoes and spectacular images of volcanic eruptions. The death of Osama bin Laden, the attack on an island in Norway by a lone gunman, continued fighting in Libya, and protests around the globe were a few of the news events dominating the headlines.

A cloud of ash billowing from Puyehue volcano near Osorno in southern Chile, 870 km south of Santiago, on June 5. Puyehue volcano erupted for the first time in half a century on June 4, 2011, prompting evacuations for 3,500 people as it sent a cloud of ash that reached Argentina. The National Service of Geology and Mining said the explosion that sparked the eruption also produced a column of gas 10 kilometers (six miles) high, hours after warning of strong seismic activity in the area. (Claudio Santana/AFP/Getty Images) )

A plane dusted in volcanic ash June 7 sits grounded at the San Carlos de Bariloche airport, southern Argentina. The Puyehue volcano, dormant for decades, erupted in south-central Chile. (Alfredo Leiva/Associated Press)

People react to the death of Osama bin Laden in Times Square in New York early May 2. Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed in a firefight with U.S. forces in Pakistan on Sunday, President Barack Obama announced, ending a nearly 10-year worldwide hunt for the mastermind of the September 11 attacks. (Eric Thayer/Reuters)

This official White House photograph made available May 2, 2011 shows US President Barack Obama (2nd left) and Vice President Joe Biden (far left), US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (right) and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (2nd right) along with members of the national security team, as they receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House, in Washington, DC on May 1, 2011. (Pete Souza/official White House photographer)

Men injured by a suicide bomb attack in Charsadda are helped out from the back of a truck after arriving for treatment at the Lady Reading hospital in Peshawar May 13, 2011. A suicide bomber on a motorcycle killed at least 69 people at a paramilitary force academy in northwest Pakistan on Friday, in what Pakistani Taliban militants said was retaliation for the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden in the country. (Reuters)

A wounded woman is brought ashore opposite Utaoya island (in the distance) after being rescued from a gunman who went on a killing rampage targeting participants in a Norwegian Labour Party youth organisation event on the island, some 40 km southwest of Oslo, on July 22. At total of 77 were killed in Friday's attacks in Norway, a bombing in central Oslo and a series of shootings on the island. Police had also found explosives on the island of Utoeya, where a gunman opened fire on young people at a summer camp organized by the ruling Labour Party, Sveinung Sponheim, acting commissioner for Oslo police, told reporters. (Svein Gustav Wilhelmsen/AFP/Getty Images)

People gather outside Oslo City Hall July 25 to participate in a "rose march" in memory of the victims of a bomb attack and shooting massacre in Norway. (Emilio Morenatti/Associated Press)

Halima Hassan holds her severely malnourished son Abdulrahman Abshir, 7 months, at the Banadir hospital on Aug. 14 in Mogadishu, Somalia. The US government estimates that some 30,000 children have died in southern Somalia in the last 90 days due to famine and drought. (John Moore/Getty Images

Protesters clash with riot police during a 48-hour general strike on June 28 in Athens. Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. (Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images)

Police detain protesters during clashes in Tbilisi May 26. Georgian riot police used tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon on Thursday to disperse several hundred opposition protesters demanding the resignation of President Mikheil Saakashvili, a Reuters reporter said. (Reuters)

Somali refugees who recently crossed the border from Somalia into southern Ethiopia cluster between two food tents as they wait to be called to collect food aid at the Kobe refugee camp on July 19. Ethiopian authorities and non-governmental organizations have accommodated almost 25,000 refugees at the camp since it was set up less then three weeks ago. Thousands of Somalis have fled in recent months to neighboring Ethiopia and Kenya in search of food and water, with many dying along the way, as the region suffers what the UN has described as the worst drought in decades. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images)

A painting of Amy Winehouse is left near the house in north London where the body of the English pop star was found earlier on July 23. Troubled British singer Amy Winehouse, whose struggle with drink and drugs overshadowed her sultry musical talents, has been found dead at her flat in north London, emergency services said. She was 27. (Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images)

Katlyn Wilkins works on securing an American flag in a tree as she deals with the destruction caused by a massive tornado that passed through the town killing at least 139 people on May 29 in Joplin, Mo. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Cars stand submerged in overflow water from the Wolf River on McMiller Road in Memphis, Tenn. May 10, 2011. After weeks of rising to historic levels the Mississippi River reached a crest just shy of the forecast 48 feet at the Memphis gauge. "It's going to meander around that level for the next 24 to 36 hours," meteorologist Bill Borghoff said. "We're going to pretty much hold onto the crest for a while." (Mike Brown/Associated Press/The Commercial Appeal)

Space shuttle Atlantis blasts off from launch pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center July 8, 2011 in Cape Canaveral, FL. This lift off is the last in the 30-year-old shuttle program. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A butterfly hoaver over a flower as smoke rises around the Lee Valley Recreational area in the Apache National Forest during back burn operations as the Wallow Fire continues to burn June 12 in Big Lake, Az. The wild fire which is reported as 45 percent contained has spread over more than 600 square miles as it crossed the border into New Mexico, destroying over twenty structures, the majority in the resort town of Greer, and threatened thousands more. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Billy Stinson (left) comforts his daughter Erin Stinson as they sit on the steps where their cottage once stood before it was destroyed by Hurricane Irene Aug. 28 in Nags Head, NC. The cottage, built in 1903, was one of the first vacation cottages built on Albemarle Sound in Nags Head. Stinson has owned the home, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, since 1963. "We were pretending, just for a moment, that the cottage was still behind us and we were just sitting there watching the sunset," said Erin afterward. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A weed grows out of the dry cracked bed of O.C. Fisher Lake on July 25 in San Angelo, TX. The 5,440 acre lake which was established to provide flood control and serve as a secondary drinking water source for San Angelo and the surrounding communities is now dry following an extended drought in the region. The lake which has a maximum depth of 58 feet is also used for boating, fishing and swimming. The San Angelo area has seen only 2.5 inches of rain this year. The past nine months have been the driest in Texas since record keeping began in 1895, with 75% of the state classified as exceptional drought, the worst level. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A leopard attacks a forest guard July 19 at Prakash Nagar village near Salugara, on the outskirts of Siliguri, India. The leopard strayed into the village area and mauled several villagers, including three guards, before being caught by forest officials. The leopard, which suffered injuries caused by knives and batons, died later in the evening at a veterinary center. The forest guard being attacked was injured. (Associated Press)

Japan's midfielder Homare Sawa celebrates scoring during the FIFA Women's Football World Cup final match Japan vs USA on July 17 in Frankfurt, Germany. Japan won the cup 3-1 in a penalty shoot-out after the final had finished 2-2 following extra-time. (Daniel Roland/AFP/Getty Images)

Riot police walk in the street as a couple kisses on June 15, 2011 in Vancouver, Canada. Vancouver broke out in riots after their hockey team the Vancouver Canucks lost in Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals. (Rich Lam/Getty Images)

The leading man, Spain's three-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador (center) punches a fan dressed up as a doctor as he climbs Alpe d'Huez (1850 m) in the109,5 km and nineteenth stage of the 2011 Tour de France cycling race run between Modane Valfrejus and Alpe d'Huez ski resort, southeastern France, on July 22. (Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images)

Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks celebrates a point against the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on June 12 at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, FL. Jason Terry scored 27 points and Nowitzki finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds as the Mavericks won 105-95 to take the best-of-seven championship series four-games-to-two to claim their first NBA championship in franchise history. (Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

A calf jumps into the arena after the running of the bulls at the San Fermin fiestas in Pamplona, Spain. (Ivan Aguinaga/Associated Press

On July 5th a historic dust storm, or haboob, approaches downtown Phoenix, AZ. The wall of dust, which was estimated to be 70 miles long and over a mile high, moved at speeds of 35mph and had gusts up to 60mph. (Mike Olbinski Photography)

Lightning strikes the CN Tower during a thunderstorm in Toronto May 29, 2011. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

Lightning strikes June 6th over the Puyehue volcano, over 500 miles south of Santiago, Chile. (Francisco Negroni/Associated Press/AgenciaUno)

Police spray Ugandan opposition party leaders with coloured water during demonstrations in Kampala May 10. President Yoweri Museveni has vowed to crush the protests and blamed rising food and fuel costs on drought and global increases in oil prices. (James Akena/Reuters)

An anti-British protestor confronts a cordon of riot police, during a demonstration against the first-ever visit to Ireland of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, in Dublin, May 17, 2011. The Queen set foot on Irish soil at the start of a historic state visit which will herald a new era in relations between Britain and the Republic. Politicians on both side of the Irish Sea have described the four-day event as momentous. (Niall Carson/Associated Press)

Ratko Mladic makes his first appearance at the International Criminal Tribunal on June 3 in The Hague, Netherlands. Ex-Bosnian Serb army leader Ratko Mladic will make his first appearance at The Hague war crimes tribunal after being declared fit to stand trial. Mladic was arrested a week ago after going into hiding for the past 16 years and is charged with atrocities committed during the Bosnian war. (Serge Ligtenberg/Getty Images)

Riot police charge past burning buildings on a residential street in Croydon, south London Aug. 8. (Dylan Martinez/Reuters)

People try to kick in the window of a jewelery shop near the Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham, central England, as violence spread outside London Aug. 8. Violence and looting spread across some of London's most impoverished neighborhoods on Monday, with youths setting fire to shops and vehicles, during a third day of rioting in the city that will host next summer's Olympic Games. (David Jones/Associated Press)

A boy scout, wearing a traffic police uniform, poses as traffic goes by on a street in Benghazi June 2. Boy scouts are volunteering as there has been a lack of traffic police officers since the political conflict in the country began. (Mohammed Salem/Reuters)

A Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) soldier stands at attention during an Independence Day rehearsal in Juba July 5. (Goran Tomasevic/Reuters)

Southern Sudanese celebrate independence from northern Sudan at midnight in Juba July 9. South Sudan became the world's newest nation, officially breaking away from Sudan after two civil wars over five decades that cost the lives of millions. (Pete Muller/Associated Press)

Emergency personnel carry out rescue operations after two carriages from a bullet train derailed and fell off a bridge in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province July 24. At least 32 people died when the high-speed train smashed into a stalled train in China's eastern Zhejiang province on Saturday, state media said, raising new questions about the safety of the fast-growing rail network. (Aly Song/Reuters)

A Muslim boy hangs on to the rope of a tent as he plays inside the compound of the Jama Masjid (Grand Mosque), on the first day of the holy month of Ramadan, in the old quarters of Delhi Aug. 2, 2011. (Adnan Abidi/Reuters)

Refugee children who fled unrest in Libya play on a tent at a refugee camp near the southern Libyan and Tunisian border crossing of Dehiba May 8. (Zohra Bensemra/Reuters)

Pro-Palestinians protesters run from tear gas June 5 shot by Israeli troops, not seen, next to the border between Israel and Syria near the village of Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights. Israeli troops battled hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters who tried to burst across Syria's frontier with the Golan Heights, killing a reported 20 people and wounding scores more in the second outbreak of deadly violence in the border area in less than a month. (Oded Balilty/Associated Press)

Policemen and residents run as waves from a tidal bore surge past a barrier on the banks of the Qiantang River in Haining, Zhejiang province Aug. 31. (China Daily/Reuters)

Chinese students make their way across a flooded school compound June 18 walking along a row of chairs, in Wuhan, in central China's Hubei province. More than one million people in China have been evacuated following downpours that have raised water levels in rivers to critical highs, and triggered floods and landslides. Summer rains have left at least 168 people dead or missing so far, and weather authorities warned that flood-hit areas across the southern half of China would experience a fresh round of heavy rainfall. (AFP/Getty Images)

A Jewish boy runs next to bonfires May 21 during Lag Ba'Omer celebrations to commemorate the end of a plague said to have decimated Jews in Roman times in Bnei Brak, Israel. (Ariel Schalit/Associated Press)

Canadian Forces soldier, Cpl. Ben Vandandaigue, plays on a drum kit on Forward Operating Base Sperwan Ghar June 24 overlooking the Panjwaii district of Kandahar province, Afghanistan. (David Goldman/Associated Press)

A rebel fighter poses for a photo as he sits on a two seater couch framed by a golden mermaid with the face of Aisha Gadhafi, the daughter of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, in her house in Tripoli, Libya Aug. 24. (Sergey Ponomarev/Associated Press)

Rebel fighters fire a Grad rocket at the front line west of Misrata, Libya June 20. (Hassan Ammar/Associated Press)

Featuring images from the last quarter of 2011, we remember a tumultuous year of change across the globe, the capture of Khadafi, the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center, the passing of Apple icon Steve Jobs, fire, famine, flood and protests. A memorable year, indeed.

A defaced portrait of fugitive Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi in Tripoli on Sept. 1, 2011 as the fallen strongman vowed again not to surrender in a message broadcast on the 42nd anniversary of the coup which brought him to power. (Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images)

An area destroyed by wildfire surrounds a water tower in Bastrop, Texas, Sept. 7, 2011 (Eric Gay/Associated Press)

The "Tribute in Light" shines above lower Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, and One World Trade Center in New York. 2011 marks the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. (Mark Lennihan/Associated Press)

Nurunnaha Miah touches her son's name, engraved on the north pool at the National September 11 Memorial, during a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the attacks at the World Trade Center, Sept. 11, 2011. (Mary Altaffer/Associated Press)

Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, shows a copy of the letter requesting Palestine's full admission to the UN as a sovereign state during the United Nations General Assembly, September 23, 2011 at UN headquarters in New York. The Palestinian leader won huge applause and a standing ovation from some of the assembly as he entered the hall shortly after asking the UN to admit the state of Palestine. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

Divers search the wreckage at a crash site near Yaroslavl, on the Volga River about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northeast of Moscow. Investigators searched for flight recorders in the shattered remains of an airliner that crashed, killing 43 people including most of one of Russia's premier hockey teams. (Maxim Shipenkov/Associated Press)

Belarus hockey players place candles in front of the portraits of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team members in Minsk, September 8, 2011, during a ceremony to commemorate the members of Russia's top ice hockey team, who were among the 43 people killed in a plane crash on September 7. (Maxim Guchek/AFP/Getty Images)

Ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak lies on a stretcher as he is wheeled into a courtroom in Cairo, September 7, 2011. Mubarak's trial resumed off camera with witnesses giving testimony to try to determine who gave the orders for killing of hundreds of protesters in the revolt that ousted Egypt's veteran president. (AFP/Getty Images)

Thai motorists travel through a flooded street during a heavy monsoon downpour in Bangkok. Dozens of people have died in northern Thailand over the past few weeks in floods that have also affected over a million people, Sept. 3, 2011. (Christophe Archambault/AFP/Getty Images)

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy, National Transitional Council (NTC) head Mustafa Abdel Jalil and Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron join hands in Benghazi, Sept. 15, 2011. President Sarkozy and Prime Minister Cameron travel to Libya, making stops in Tripoli and Benghazi, the first visit by foreign leaders since the toppling of the former regime. (Philippe Wojazer/AFP/Getty Images)

A policeman rushes to extinguish Apostolos Polyzonis, who set himself alight outside a bank branch in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, Sept. 16, 2011 while protesting against government, banks and political parties. The 55-year old man has attempted self-immolation before, two-years ago, over financial problems. The man was hospitalized with non life-threatening burns. (Nontas Stylianidis/AFP/Getty Images)

Evansville, Indiana fire Capt., Don Spindler, carries a young girl out of a burning apartment. (Jason Clark/The Evansville Courier & Press, Jason Clark)

Joseph Mwangi, 34, sits in a state of shock after discovering the charred remains of two of his children, at the scene of a fuel explosion in Nairobi, Kenya. A leaking gasoline pipeline in Kenya's capital exploded, turning part of a slum into an inferno in which scores of people were killed and more than 100 hurt, Sept. 12, 2001. (Ben Curtis/Associated Press)

Alleged renegade UBS trader Kweku Adoboli is taken away in a security van flanked by police officers after appearing at the City of London Magistrates Court in London. The alleged renegade trader accused of losing Swiss bank UBS about $2 billion in unauthorized trading was ordered held in prison custody charged with fraud and false accounting. (Matt Dunham/Associated Press)

A severely wounded US Marine hit by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) is carried by his comrades to a medevac helicopter of U.S. Army's Task Force Lift "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-171 Aviation Regiment to be airlifted in Helmand province, Oct. 31, 2011. The Marine who was hit by an IED lost both his legs and fights for his life. All foreign combat troops will leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and will require the Afghan army and police to play an ever-greater role in fighting the Taliban insurgency. (Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images)

National Transitional Council fighters fire against Muammar Khadafi troops in the town of Sirte, Oct. 10, 2011, as they move in against the strongman's remaining diehards. (Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images)

A Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) fighter looks through a large concrete pipe where ousted Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi was allegedly captured. A dead loyalist gunman lies in the foreground, in the coastal Libyan city of Sirte, Oct. 20, 2011. Arabic graffiti in blue reads: "This is the place of Kadhafi, the rat.. God is the greatest." (Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images)

Libyans take pictures with their mobile phones of the body of Muammar Khadafi in Misrata, Oct. 20, 2011. The veteran strongman was killed as new regime forces crushed the last pocket of resistance in his hometown, Sirte. (Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images)

Some 14,345 Chinese participants attempt to set a new Guinness World Record as they gather for a bath at a hot spring in southwest China's Chongqing municipality. The former world record was 10,121 people having a hot spring bath at the same time in China's Hubei province. (AFP/Getty Images)

Rescuers carry a two-week-old baby girl, Azra Karaduman, from the rubble of a collapsed building in Ercis, Turkey's eastern province of Van, Oct. 25, 2011. Crowds cheered and applauded as 73-year-old Gulzade Karaduman was carried into an ambulance, hours after her tiny granddaughter Azra and then her daughter Seniha Karaduman were pulled free from the wreckage of the family home in the eastern town of Ercis. As the death toll reached 459 and the Red Crescent warned that hundreds or even thousands of people remained buried under the debris from Sunday's quake, the triple rescue provided vital relief amid the otherwise grim task. (Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images)

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou embraces Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker (Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is at left) during a working session of the European Council at the Justus Lipsius building, EU headquarters in Brussels, Oct. 26, 2011. The European Commission called on eurozone leaders to deliver a "credible" response to the debt crisis at a crunch summit as they are scheduled to announce a plan to boost confidence in the eurozone after months of indecision and uncertainty. The EU is trying to prevent a full-blown Greek default and limit contagion within the eurozone. (Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images)

US First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks to members of the US Secret Service after touring the headquarters in Washington, DC, Oct. 5, 2011. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit salutes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he arrives by helicopter at the Tel Nof airbase near Tel Aviv, Oct. 18, 2011 following his release after 5 years of Hamas captivity under a landmark Egyptian-mediated deal that will see Israel release a total of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners. (AFP/Getty Images)

Partially-submerged vehicles sit stranded in floodwaters at a roundabout in the Thai ancient capital city of Ayutthaya, north of Bangkok, Oct. 16, 2011. Flood defenses protecting the Thai capital held up on Oct. 16, but the advancing waters that have swamped the inland still threaten to engulf Bangkok in a disaster that has claimed 300 lives. Thailand's worst floods in decades have inundated huge swathes of the kingdom, swallowing homes and businesses, shutting down industry, and forcing tens of thousands of people to seek refuge in shelters. (Christophe Archambault/AFP/Getty Images)

A Thai boy holds aloft banknotes while he swims in the floodwaters in Nonthaburi province, suburban Bangkok, Oct. 15, 2011. Thailand fought to hold back floodwaters flowing toward Bangkok as a spring tide hindered efforts to protect the city of 12 million people from the kingdom's worst inundation in decades. (Parnchai Kittiwongsakul/AFP/Getty Images)

A police officer tries to calm former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko as she reacts as Judge Rodion Kireyev of the Kiev Pechersky court reads the verdict to her, Oct. 11, 2011. Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in jail for abusing her powers in a 2009 gas deal with Russia, a verdict that is set to harm ties with the European Union. Kireyev said the 10-year contract for gas imports from Russia had sustained heavy losses for Ukraine and ruled that her actions were criminal. (Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images)

Carnations are placed before a computer screen showing a portrait of Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs at an Apple store in St. Petersburg, Russia, Oct. 6, 2011. Jobs, counted among the greatest American CEOs of his generation, died at the age of 56, after a long and highly public battle with cancer and other health issues. (Alexander Demianchuk/Reuters)

North Korean farmers work in a field along a highway outside the eastern coastal city of Wonsan, North Korea. North Korea allowed foreign journalists into the country this year, giving the west a glimpse of what has been a very secret society. (David Guttenfelder/Associated Press)

Amanda Knox bursts into tears after hearing the verdict that overturned her conviction and acquitted her of murdering her British roommate Meredith Kercher, at the Perugia court, central Italy. The Italian appeals court threw out Amanda Knox's murder conviction and ordered the young American freed after nearly four years in prison. (Pier Paolo Cito/Associated Press)

People search for scrap metal in contaminated water at the bottom of one of the biggest trash dumps in the city, known as "The Mine," in Guatemala City. (Rodrigo Abd/Associated Press)

A man affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street protests tackles a police officer during a march towards Wall Street in New York, Oct. 14, 2011. (Andrew Burton/Associated Press)

Republican presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry fills out papers to officially enter New Hampshire's First-in-the-Nation presidential primary ballot at the State House in Concord, N.H., Oct. 28, 2011. (Jim Cole/Associated Press)

A businessman sticks his tongue out in jest as he walks past tents erected by protesters from the Occupy London Stock Exchange group, as they continue their demonstration outside St Paul's Cathedral, near the London Stock Exchange, Oct. 17, 2011. (Matt Dunham/Associated Press)

Navy Capt. Mark Kelly hugs his wife Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., after he received the Legion of Merit from Vice President Joe Biden during Kelly's retirement ceremony in the Secretary of War Suite in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in the White House complex, Washington, D.C., Oct. 6, 2011. (David Lienemann/The White House/Associated Press)

An activist holds a cross in front of a burning barricade during evictions at the Dale Farm travellers site, near Basildon England, 30 miles (50 kilometers) east of London. Police in riot gear used sledgehammers to clear the way for the eviction of a community of Irish Travellers from a site where they have lived illegally for a decade. (Matt Dunham/Associated Press)

An LOT Polish airlines Boeing 767 flying from New York with 227 people on board makes an emergency landing at Warsaw's airport, Nov. 1, 2011 after having problems lowering its landing gear. The plane had dropped fuel and circled above Warsaw for some time and a landing strip was specially prepared at the airport for the crash landing. No one was injured during the emergency landing according to an LOT spokesman. (Wojtek Radwanski/AFP/Getty Images)

Supporters of Michael Jackson react outside the courthouse to the verdict in the trial of Doctor Conrad Murray in Los Angeles, Nov. 7, 2011 in southern California. He was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the King of Pop's 2009 death, the court clerk said. There was a brief cry in the courtroom, and cheers outside, but Murray himself gave no reaction when the long-awaited verdict was announced after a six-week trial in Los Angeles. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

Students greet Penn State coach Joe Paterno as he arrives at his home in State College, Pa., Nov. 8, 2011. Paterno, along with former president Grahm Spanier, lost their jobs five days after Jerry Sandusky was charged in the sexual abuse of eight young men. (Matt Rourke/Associated Press)

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter pauses during an interview as he and his wife Rosalynn visit a Habitat for Humanity project in Leogane, Haiti. The Carters joined volunteers from around the world to build 100 homes in partnership with earthquake-affected families in Haiti during a week-long Habitat for Humanity housing project, Nov. 7, 2011. (Ramon Espinosa/Associated Press)

Election workers count ballots for the parliamentary elections in Luxor, Egypt, Nov. 29, 2011. (Associated Press)

North Carolina forward John Henson (31) tries to block a shot by Michigan State center Adreian Payne (5) during the first half of the Carrier Classic NCAA college basketball game aboard the USS Carl Vinson in Coronado, CA, Nov. 11, 2011. (Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press)

The shadow of US President Barack Obama is cast on a wall as he arrives to talk about the American Jobs Act in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Nov. 7, 2011. (Carolyn Kaste/Associated Press)

An Egyptian riot police officer fires tear gas during clashes with protesters near Tahrir square in Cairo, Egypt, Nov. 20, 2011. (Khalil Hamra/Associated Press)

Italian premier Mario Monti receives a small bell from former premier Silvio Berlusconi at Chigi palace premier's office after the swearing in ceremony, in Rome. The bell is used by the Prime Minister to call attention during cabinet meetings, Nov. 16, 2011. Berlusconi resigned after numerous scandals were exposed, weaking his ruling power. (Pier Paolo Cito/Associated Press)

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange leaves his hearing at the High Court in London. Assange lost his appeal against extradition to Sweden to answer sex crime allegations. (Matt Dunham/Associated Press)

A man lifts an elderly woman after she deboarded a passenger bus on a flooded street in Bangkok, Thailand. Thailand's worst floods in more than half a century continued to creep into Bangkok, Nov. 3, 2011. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press)

Former Penn State football defensive coordinator Gerald "Jerry" Sandusky is placed in a police car in Bellefonte, Pa., to be taken to the office of Centre County Magisterial District Judge Leslie A. Dutchcot, Nov 5, 2011. Sandusky is charged with sexually abusing eight young men. (Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General via Commonwealth Media Services)

University of California, Davis Police Lt. John Pike uses pepper spray to move Occupy UC Davis protesters while blocking their exit from the school's quad in Davis, Calif. Pike, the riot-clad police officer who pepper sprayed a row of peaceful Occupy Wall Street protesters at a California university, is a retired U.S. Marine sergeant twice honored for his police work on campus, Nov. 18, 2011. (Wayne Tilcock/The Enterprise)

China's Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development has told local governments not to relax its home purchase restrictions even though some of the controls are expiring at the end of the year, the China Business Journal reported on Saturday. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

Myanmar's pro-democracy opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton react after speaking to the press at Suu Kyi's residence in Yangon, Myanmar. (Saul Loeb/Associated Press)

U.S. Army soldiers from 1st Cavalry Division, based at Fort Hood, Texas, begin their journey home after a deployment in Iraq, at Camp Virginia, Kuwait, Dec. 15, 2011. After nearly nine years, 4,500 American dead and 100,000 Iraqi dead, U.S. officials formally shut down the war in Iraq - a conflict that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said was worth the American sacrifice because it set Ira