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Mikhail Kalashnikov: The Man and Machine Gun

1387 Mikhail Kalashnikov: The Man and Machine Gun
Mikhail Kalashnikov, the father of the world’s most popular assault rifle, is handed an AK-74 November 23, 2002 in Izhevsk,1000 East km. from Moscow. November 23 marked the 55th anniversary of the release of the first Kalashnikov gun. According to the Moscow-based Center for Analysis of Strategic and Technologies some 70 million to 100 million Kalashnikovs have been built worldwide since 1947, compared about 7 million to Kalashnikov’s Western rival the M-16 assault rifles. (Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images)

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Santa Sightings Around the World

1378 Santa Sightings Around the World
In this December 18, 2013 photo released by Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, 32 men dressed as Santa Claus ride the 150-foot tall SkyScreamer tower swing ride at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, Calif. (Photo by Jason Quintos/AP Photo/Six Flags Discovery Kingdom)

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China’s Bodyguard School

1302 Chinas Bodyguard School
A female student opens her cufflinks with her teeth, after crawling through mud at Tianjiao Special Guard/Security Consultant camp on the outskirts of Beijing December 12, 2013. Former Chinese soldier Chen Yongqing has big ambitions for his bodyguard training school Tianjiao, which he says is China’s first professional academy to train former soldiers and others as personal security guards. Chen charges 500,000 yuan ($82,400) a year for each protector as China’s rich and famous look to bolster their safety and sense of importance. (Photo by Jason Lee/Reuters)

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SantaCon 2013

SantaCon is an annual event in which people dressed in Santa Claus costumes engage in bar crawls. It is also known as Santarchy, Santa Rampage, the Red Menace and Santapalooza. It originated in San Francisco in 1994 and has since spread to cities around the world, and now takes place in 300 cities in 44 countries, including New York City. London, Belfast and Moscow. The New York SantaCon is the largest, with an estimated 30,000 people participating in 2012

1189 SantaCon 2013
Snow falls as revelers dressed as Santa Claus walk in Manhattan during the annual SantaCon bar crawl event on December 14, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

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Christmas Lights Around the World

1177 Christmas Lights Around the World
Christmas trees are decorated in front of the Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco. (Photo by Lionel Cironneau/Associated Press)

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Associated Press Best News Pictures 2013

179 Associated Press Best News Pictures 2013
A Bahraini anti-government protester is engulfed in flames when a shot fired by riot police hit the petrol bomb in his hand that he was preparing to throw during clashes in Sanabis, Bahrain, Thursday, March 14, 2013. Protests and clashes erupted in opposition areas nationwide with government opponents observing a “Dignity Strike” blocking roads, closing shops, protesting and staying home from work and school called by the more radical February 14 youth group. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

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Fishing and Firearms on Lake Turkana

“When Simon Choko goes out fishing on Kenya’s lake Turkana, he brings a gun as well as a net. In the drought-stricken corner of northwestern Kenya, the native Turkana community to which Choko belongs is involved in deadly conflict with rivals from across the border in neighboring Ethiopia, as the poor populations compete for dwindling food.

The Turkana are traditionally nomadic pastoralists but they have seen the grass that they need to feed their herds wither in the face of recurring droughts. As conditions change, the Turkana have had to change too, and many have turned to fishing.

The trend began back in the 1960s, following a devastating drought, which wiped out entire herds. As a new source of survival, the government started to introduce communities to fishing in the plentiful waters of the vast and then mostly untouched Lake Turkana.

Authorities gave out fishing nets and resettled affected communities in villages along the shores of the lake. The change was a tough one for many Turkana, a society where a man’s status is traditionally linked to the size of his herd and “fish-eater” used to be an insult.

But people adapted and a new economy geared up, although for many it was a way to save money by selling fish in order to eventually restock their lost herds and go back to their pastoralists roots.

But things have changed again. Lake Turkana is overfished, and scarcity of food is fuelling long-standing tensions with Ethiopian indigenous Dhaasanac, who have seen their grazing grounds squeezed by large-scale government agricultural schemes in southern Ethiopia, and who now venture ever deeper into Kenyan territory in search of fish and grass.

The conflict is just one example of clashes that take place between different ethnic groups in various parts of Kenya over cattle-raiding, politics and limited resources.

Here, the Turkana community fishing near Todonyang, close to the Ethiopian border, have formed themselves into a well-organized armed group, as they fear attacks both on the lake and on the shores, where they have set up temporary fishing camps”. – Siegfried Modola via Reuters

160 Fishing and Firearms on Lake Turkana
A Turkana girl holds a lamb at the end of the day inside her family’s cattle kraal in the disputed area of the Ilemi triangle in northwestern Kenya near the borders with Ethiopia and South Sudan October 14, 2013The Turkana are traditionally nomadic pastoralists, but they have seen the pasture that they need to feed their herds suffer from recurring droughts and many have turned to fishing. However, Lake Turkana is overfished, and scarcity of food and pastureland is fuelling long-standing conflict with Ethiopian indigenous Dhaasanac, who have seen grazing grounds squeezed by large-scale government agricultural schemes in southern Ethiopia. The Dhaasanac now venture ever deeper into Kenyan territory in search of fish and grass, clashing with neighbours. Fighting between the communities has a long history, but the conflict has become ever more fatal as automatic weapons from other regional conflicts seep into the area. While the Turkana region is short of basics like grass and ground-water, it contains other resources including oil reserves and massive, newly discovered underground aquifers. (Photo by Siegfried Modola/Reuters)

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Kevin Silva has been Collecting Batman Memorabilia Since He was Five

150 Kevin Silva has been Collecting Batman Memorabilia Since He was Five
A Batman fan has spent over $100,000 building a shrine dedicated to his hero. Kevin Silva from Indiana, U.S, keeps his 2,500-item haul in his very own basement ‘Batcave’. After he was bought a Batman lunchbox in kindergarten, Mr Silva became hooked, and since then he just hasn’t been able to resist any kind of Batman merchandise.

The electrician, who says that his favourite Batman film is The Dark Knight, has even splashed out on a $3,600 replica of Adam West’s Batsuit. But luckily for Mr Silva, his wife Janet, 50 and two children fully support his adoration for the caped crusader and have even started their own memorabilia collections. Mr Silva’s daughter Kaylaigh, 25, now collects anything Marilyn Munroe while his son Dylan, 21, is building up an impressive collection of rock band Kiss memorabilia.

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83-Year-old Man Lives in Makeshift VW Beetle

135 83 Year old Man Lives in Makeshift VW Beetle
This 1967 VW Beetle may seem battered, but for 83-year-old Oscar Almaguer, it’s home.

The native of Monterrey, Mexico has lived in his car since he and his wife divorced 10 years ago. The couple had sold all of their belongings so they could divide their money in half when they split. Oscar’s wife, however, soon disappeared with everything, leaving him with only the car to his name.

The car has had only basic maintenance, and several layers of common oil-based paint cover the original colouring . Few of the car’s remaining parts are original. The engine, which Almaguer starts by short-circuiting two wires under the hood, comes from a more modern VW Sedan. The wheels and seats are from another Volkswagen model and instead of a gear-stick Almaguer uses a plastic bathroom pipe. (Daniel Becerril / Reuters)

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Zombie Survival Сontest in Spain

53 Zombie Survival Сontest in Spain
Zombies walk the streets during Zombie Survival contest on December 1, 2013 in Alameda de la Sagra, near Toledo, Spain.

‘Zombie Survival’ is a contest taking place all around Alameda de la Sagra where participants have to avoid getting touched by Zombies and find all clues to survive. The winners will leave the village by helicopter. Photos by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images.

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The 87th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

1260 The 87th Annual Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade
Sightseers throng past giant balloons being prepared for the parade. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

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Female Bodyguards Accept Brutal Training in China

1257 Female Bodyguards Accept Brutal Training in China
Security Academy offers rigorous training course which includes aquatic training, martial arts, vehicle safety training and other necessary skills. With the rise of Chinese multi-millionaires, there are a sharp demand for the service of bodyguards. Whether the need is for safety purpose or as a status symbol, no one really cares. Many are lured into becoming bodyguards because of the high income. Even women are attracted to join the trainings since there are also demand for female bodyguards. The whole rigorous training covers a period of 13 days.

Photos: Female and male trainees run during a bodyguard training program at the boot camp of Genghis Security Academy in Beijing, China. (Photo by ImagineChina/The Grosby Group)

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Hellfest Festival 2013

1247 Hellfest Festival 2013
Photo by Cesar Hernandez.

Hellfest is an annual music festival which takes place in Clisson, France in mid-June. It is held within the Val de Moine sport complex in Clisson, approximately 35 km south-east of the city of Nantes, and approximately 400 km south-west of the nation’s capital Paris. Billed as an “extreme music festival”, the programme features a variety of heavy metal, hard rock, punk and hardcore act.

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Russian Diamond Mines

1245 Russian Diamond Mines
City buildings stand beyond the giant excavated hole left by the Mir mine, a former open pit diamond mine, in Mirny, Russia, on Tuesday, November 12, 2013. OAO Alrosa, the world’s largest diamond producer, raised about $1.3 billion in an oversubscribed share sale from investors including Oppenheimer Funds Inc. and Lazard Ltd.’s asset-management unit, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said. (Photo by Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg)

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Batkid saves Gotham City

1197 Batkid saves Gotham City
Five-year-old Miles Scott, who is in remission from leukemia, has the day of his young life as he becomes Batkid, saving Gotham City (really San Francisco) from crime on Friday. The day, which brought out thousands to watch and help, was made possible by the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the City of San Francisco. (Gary Reyes/Bay Area News Group)

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