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December 16, 2009

2009 in photos (part 3 of 3)

The year 2009 is now coming to a close, and it's time to take a look back over the past 12 months through photographs. Historic elections were held in Iran, India and the United States, some wars wound down while others escalated, China turned 60, and the Berlin Wall was remembered 20 years after it came down. Each photo tells its own tale, weaving together into the larger story of 2009. This is a multi-entry story, 120 photographs over three days. Please see also part 1 and part 2. (40 photos total)

Fireworks illuminate the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin November 9, 2009, during celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. (REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay)

The new PS20 solar tower at the Solucar Platform in Sanlucar la Mayor, southern Spain, seen on Sept. 23, 2009. PS20, one of the most powerful commercial solar tower in the world, consists of a solar field made up of 1,255 mirrored heliostats aimed at the tower, producing steam which is converted into electricity generation by a turbine. (AP Photo/Miguel Angel Morenatti) #

A reveler of Leandro de Itaquera samba school parades at the Sambadrome, as part of Carnival celebrations in Sao Paulo, Brazil, late on February 21, 2009. (MAURICIO LIMA/AFP/Getty Images) #

Supporters of ousted Honduras' President Manuel Zelaya clash with soldiers near the presidential residency Tegucigalpa, Monday, June 29. 2009. Police fired tear gas to hold back thousands of Hondurans outside the occupied presidential residency as world leaders from Barack Obama to Hugo Chavez appealed to Honduras to reinstate Zelaya as president. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix) #

Ted Kennedy Jr. kisses the casket of his father in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica during a funeral mass in the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston on August 29, 2009. President Barack Obama, three former presidents and a nation's elite gathered in the rain to attend a grand Catholic funeral for Ted Kennedy, America's legendary political patriarch. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Hindu woman devotee offers prayers after taking a holy dip in the waters of river Ganga in the northern Indian city of Allahabad May 4, 2009. (REUTERS/Jitendra Prakash) #

A young girl and her dog looks out from a vehicle as she and her family wait for security clearance at a checkpoint on the outskirt of Bannu, a town on edge of the Pakistani tribal region of Waziristan, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009 as they flee a military offensive in South Waziristan. Pakistani troops and the Taliban fought fierce battles in Waziristan, a militant sanctuary near the Afghan border, with both sides claiming early victories in an army campaign that could shape the future of the country's battle against extremism. (AP Photo/Ijaz Muhammad) #

An eruption of Mt. Redoubt seen at sunset from the cockpit of a DC-6 flying over Cook Inlet near Anchorage, Alaska on March 31, 2009. Photograph kindly provided by Bryan Mulder - pilot and photographer. (© Bryan Mulder) #

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) employees work on the last-pre cast segments (rings) of the Phase-II underground tunneling project between neighborhoods Jangpura and Lajpat Nagar in New Delhi on October 12, 2009, part of a larger project to have metro lines to cover the entire National Capital Region for the 2010 Commonwealth Games (MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images) #

A local couple canoes through Atlanta's famous Krog Tunnel on September 21st, 2009, after flooding followed heavy rains throughout the region. (© Caroline Smith) #

A US Marine of 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade runs to safety moments after an IED blast in Garmsir district of Helmand Province in Afghanistan on July 13, 2009. Two US Marine soldiers were killed when the explosion occurred as they tried to clear a route into the Taliban heartland of southern Helmand province. (MANPREET ROMANA/AFP/Getty Images) #

A US Marine from Fox Company 2nd Battalion 3rd Marines rests as his platoon finishes searching houses for the day during day two of Operation Germinate into the restive Bhuji Bhast Pass in Farah Province, southern Afghanistan, on October 8, 2009. The Bhuji Bhast Pass is effectively a Taliban corridor, mined with IEDs from one end to the other, and lined with villages that are hostile to the Western troop presence. (DAVID FURST/AFP/Getty Images) #

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo is unveiled in Mojave, California December 7, 2009. Billionaire Richard Branson on Monday unveiled the first commercial passenger spaceship, a sleek black-and-white vessel that represents an expensive gamble on creating a commercial space tourism industry. (REUTERS/Phil McCarten) #

A North Korean woman carries water she collected from the Yalu River in the North Korean city of Hyesan, which borders China's Changbai county, April 6, 2009. (REUTERS/Reinhard Krause) #

A competitor crosses the Start/Finish line during the Northern Ireland Bog Snorkeling Championships in Peatlands Park, Dungannon, County Tyrone July 26, 2009. (REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton) #

Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic watches a shot during Game 1 of their NBA Finals basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers in Los Angeles, June 4, 2009. (REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson) #

Wadee Daoud, a five-year-old visually impaired Palestinian boy, reacts to light after a teacher opened the window blinds in his classroom at the Helen Keller Center for blind and visually impaired children in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina September 10, 2009. The Center was founded as a home for blind girls by English missionary, Mary Lovell, in the 1890s. (REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis) #

A local woman on a crutch shouts at Chinese soldiers wearing riot gear as a crowd of angry locals confront security forces on a street in the city of Urumqi in China's Xinjiang Autonomous Region July 7, 2009. Hundreds of Uighur protesters clashed with riot police in the capital of China's Muslim region of Xinjiang on Tuesday, two days after ethnic unrest left 156 dead and more than 800 injured. (REUTERS/David Gray) #

Owen Rabago (left) wipes a tear from the face of his father, Specialist Sheldon Rabago, as his mother Nancy wraps her arms around both of them during a candlelight vigil at Hood Stadium on the Fort Hood Army Post in Fort Hood, Texas November 6, 2009. The day before, An Army psychiatrist opened fire at the post, killing 13 people and wounding 30 others. (REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi) #

A scene from the annual Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake was held near Gloucester, England. After this notoriously dangerous race for the cheese, the man upside down was taken away to the hospital. (© Will De Freitas) #

A section of the Rocky Mountain News newsroom sits empty on February 27, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The edition on Friday the 27th was the last one for the nearly 150-year-old daily, Colorado's oldest newspaper. The owner E.W. Scripps Co. announced the day before that the paper was closing down after efforts to sell the money-losing newspaper failed. (John Moore/Getty Images) #

Police officials detain a suspected militant from the site of a shooting at a police training center in Lahore March 30, 2009. Pakistani security forces took control of the police academy in Lahore on Monday after militants rampaged through the complex, killing at least eight cadets and wounding scores before holing up inside for hours. (REUTERS/Mohsin Raza) #

Miss USA, Kristen Dalton, applies lipstick while posing for photographers on the "Top of the Rock" observation deck at the Rockefeller Center in New York September 2, 2009. (REUTERS/Lucas Jackson) #

Chinese parents gather to sleep at an auditorium after they accompanied their children to a university to start their first semester in Wuhan, central China's Hubei province on September 7, 2009. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #

An injured girl cries during an evacuation after an earthquake hit Padang, Indonesia's Sumatra island September 30, 2009. A 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck off the city of Padang on Indonesia's Sumatra island on September 30, 2009, killing at over 1,000 people and trapping thousands under rubble. (REUTERS/Muhammad Fitrah/Singgalang Newspaper) #

Burnt out trees outside Kinglake that were destroyed by fire are viewed from this aerial shot on February 8, 2009. Over 170 people were killed and entire towns razed in one of the worst wildfire disasters in Australian history, sending thousands fleeing in scenes Prime Minister Kevin Rudd compared to "hell". (MARK SMITH/AFP/Getty Images) #

Maldivian Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Ibrahim Didi signs a declaration calling on countries to cut down carbon dioxide emissions ahead of a major U.N. climate change conference in December, in the Maldives, October 17, 2009. The Maldivian president and ministers held the world's first underwater cabinet meeting, in a symbolic cry for help over rising sea levels that threaten the tropical archipelago's existence. (REUTERS/Maldives Government) #

A rocket fired by Palestinian militants from the northern Gaza Strip flies towards an Israeli target Friday, Jan. 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) #

An Israeli boy takes cover under a desk in a bomb shelter at a school in Jerusalem June 2, 2009, after a siren was sounded during a nationwide civil defense drill simulating a rocket attack. (REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun) #

A Jewish settler (right) and a Palestinian demonstrator shout at each other during a protest against an illegal outpost near the Israeli settlement of Kharsina in the West Bank city of Hebron on May 22, 2009. (HAZEM BADER/AFP/Getty Images) #

The NASA space shuttle Atlantis and the Hubble Space Telescope are seen in silhouette, side by side during solar transit on May 13, 2009, from west of Vero Beach, Florida in this image released by NASA May 14. The two spaceships were at an altitude of 600 km (375 miles) and they zipped across the sun in only 0.8 seconds during a risky but successful mission to rescue the Hubble telescope. (REUTERS/Thierry Legault/NASA/Handout) #

A girl dives in a lake 100 km (62 miles) west of St. Petersburg, Russia, in this Aug. 7, 2009 photo. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky) #

Scientists at CERN's control center celebrate after the successful restart operation of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) on November 20, 2009 near Geneva, Switzerland. The world's biggest atom-smasher had shut down after its inauguration in September 2008 amid technical faults, and restarted on November 20, 2009. CERN spokesman James Gillies said the injections lasted a fraction of a second, enough for "a half or even a complete circuit" of the Large Hadron Collider built in a 27-kilometer (17-mile) long tunnel straddling the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva. (STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images) #

Seven-time Tour de France winner and Kazakh cycling team Astana (AST)'s Lance Armstrong of the United States rides in the pack under heavy rains on July 17, 2009 in the 200 km and thirteenth stage of the 2009 Tour de France cycling race run between Vittel and Colmar. Armstrong went onto finish the tour in third place, behind winner Alberto Contador. (JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images) #

A car plows into a parade that included Queen Beatrix and the royal family on the national Queen's Day holiday in the Dutch city of Apeldoorn April 30, 2009. Ten people were injured and eight killed in the attack, including the 38-year-old driver, who narrowly missed the open-top bus carrying Queen Beatrix and the royal family. (REUTERS/Robin Utrecht/Pool) #

A gymnast balances on the beam during a practice session for the World Gymnastics at the O2 arena in London, Monday, Oct. 12, 2009. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant) #

Militants from Hizbul Islam haul the bloodied body of Mohamed Ibrahim, 48, from a chest-deep pit after stoning him to death for illicit sexual intercourse with a woman in the Afgoye district, Somalia on December 13, 2009. Ibrahim was sentenced to death by a local Islamic court after he was found guilty of infidelity. (REUTERS/Stringer) #

A hunter holds his hawk during an annual hunting competition in Chengelsy Gorge, some 150 km (93 miles) east of Almaty, Kazakhstan on December 5, 2009. (REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov) #

U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Bill Mesta replaces an official picture of outgoing President George W. Bush with that of newly-sworn-in U.S. President Barack Obama, in the lobby of the headquarters of the U.S. Naval Base January 20, 2009 in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (Brennan Linsley-Pool/Getty Images) #

Supporters cheer during the opening ceremony of the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Alexandria, Egypt on September 24, 2009. Host Egypt played against Trinidad and Tobago in the opening soccer match, winning the match 4-1 . (REUTERS/Marko Djurica) #