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December 29, 2011
Looking back at images from 2011
NEW YORK (AP) -- The killing of Osama bin Laden during a raid by Navy SEALs on his hideout in Pakistan was the top news story of 2011, followed by Japan's earthquake/tsunami disaster, according to The Associated Press' annual poll of U.S. editors and news directors.
The death of bin Laden, the al-Qaida leader who masterminded the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, received 128 first-place votes out of 247 ballots cast for the top 10 stories. The Japan disaster was next, with 60 first-place votes. Placing third were the Arab Spring uprisings that rocked North Africa and the Middle East, while the European Union's financial turmoil was No. 4.
The international flavor of these top stories contrasted with last year's voting -- when the Gulf of Mexico oil spill was the top story, President Barack Obama's health care overhaul was No. 2, and the U.S. midterm elections were No. 3.
Here is a look back at some of the great storytelling images of 2011. (46 images)



In this July 11, 2011 file photo, Staff Sgt. Rulberto Qjendismiranda, 20, of Seaside, Calif, with the U.S. Army's 2nd Battalion 27th Infantry Regiment based in Hawaii, looks at a photo of his son Marziano, 11 months, on his mobile phone aboard a military transport flight out of Forward Operating Base Fenty in Kunar province, Afghanistan. AP / David Goldman


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In this file aerial photo taken Jan. 21, 2011, a NATO military re-supply convoy kicks up dust in the desert as seen from a medevac helicopter of the U.S. Army's Task Force Shadow "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment near Marjah in the volatile Helmand Province, Southern Afghanistan. AP / Kevin Frayer



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In this May 1, 2011 file image released by the White House and digitally altered by the source to diffuse the paper in front of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House in Washington. The White House / Pete Souza



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This May 2, 2011 file photo, taken by a local resident, shows the wreckage of a helicopter next to the wall of the compound where according to officials, Osama bin Laden was shot and killed in a firefight with U.S. forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Secret until now, stealth helicopters may have been the key to the success of the Osama bin Laden raid. But the so far unexplained crash of one of the modified Black Hawks at the scene apparently compromised at least some of the aircraft's secrets. AP / Mohammad Zubair



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In this Aug. 25, 2011 file photo, a woman kisses the glass case containing a wax figure of Pope John Paul II with relics and a vial of the ex-pontiff's blood at the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City. Relics of Pope John Paul II have arrived for public display in Mexico City for a four-month tour of the country, the third country most visited country by the pope, behind his homeland of Poland and France. He died in 2005 at the age of 84. He was beatified in May. AP / Eduardo Verdugo



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In this Oct. 19, 2011 file photo, an activist holds up a cross for the media, in front of a burning barricade during evictions at the Dale Farm travelers 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 Travelers from a site where they have lived illegally for a decade. AP / Matt Dunham



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In this June 6, 2011 file photo, lightning strikes over the Puyehue volcano, over 500 miles south of Santiago, Chile. AP / Francisco Negroni



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In this Feb. 9, 2011 file photo, Anti-government protestors hold candles as they walk surrounding an Egyptian Army tank at Tahrir square in Cairo, Egypt. AP / Emilio Morenatti



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In this Jan. 28, 2011 file photo, Egyptian anti-government activists clash with riot police in Cairo, Egypt. Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters poured into the streets of Egypt stoning and confronting police who fired back with rubber bullets and tear gas in the most violent and chaotic scenes yet in the challenge to President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule. AP / Ben Curtis



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In this Feb. 2, 2011 file photo, pro-government demonstrators, below, clash with anti-government demonstrators, above, as an Egyptian Army soldier on the rooftop of the Egyptian Museum observes the scene in Tahrir square, the center of anti-government demonstrations, in Cairo, Egypt. AP / Ben Curtis



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In this March 29, 2011 file photo, a Libyan rebel urges people to leave, as shelling from Gadhafi's forces started landing on the frontline outside of Bin Jawaad, 150 km east of Sirte, central Libya. AP / Anja Niedringhaus



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In this June 20, 2011 file photo, rebel fighters fire a Grad rocket at the front line west of Misrata, Libya. AP / Hassan Ammar



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In this April 10, 2011 file photo, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi waves at his supporters people in Tripoli, Libya. AP / Pier Paolo Cito



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In this March 19, 2011 file photo, a warplane of Gadhafi's forces is seen being shot down over the outskirts of Benghazi, eastern Libya. AP / Anja Niedringhaus



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In this July 22, 2011 file photo, an injured woman is assisted from a damaged building in Oslo, after an explosion rocked the capital. AP / Morten Holm



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In this July 25, 2011 file photo, people gather outside Oslo City Hall to participate in a "rose march" in memory of the victims of a bomb attack and shooting massacre in Norway. AP / Emilio Morenatti



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In this Aug. 22, 2011 file photo, burning oil tankers carrying fuel for NATO forces in neighboring Afghanistan are seen along a road after being attacked by gunmen on the outskirts of Quetta, Pakistan. AP / Arshad Butt



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In this May 19, 2011 file photo, Sushma, left with hands on coffin, wife of slain paramilitary soldier Raspal, mourns near her husband's coffin at Nagrota village, about 23 kilometers (14 miles) from Jammu, India. ) AP / Channi Anand



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In this July 11, 2011 file photo, Indian railway workers remove debris of a derailed passenger train, near Bhatkuchi, about 70 kilometers (43 miles) west of Gauhati, India. AP / Anupam Nath



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In this Oct. 3, 2011 file photo, Amanda Knox breaks in tears after hearing the verdict that overturns her conviction and acquits her of murdering her British roommate Meredith Kercher, at the Perugia court, central Italy. Italian appeals court threw out Amanda Knox's murder conviction and ordered the young American freed after nearly four years in prison for the death of her British roommate. AP / Pier Paolo Cito



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In this March 19, 2011 file photo, Tayo Kitamura, 40, kneels in the street to caress and talk to the wrapped body of her mother Kuniko Kitamura, 69, after Japanese firemen discovered the dead woman inside the ruins of her home in Onagawa, northeastern Japan. AP / David Guttenfelder



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In this March 11, 2011 file photo, a tsunami floods over the breakwater protecting the coastal city of Miyako at Heigawa estuary area after northeastern Japan was hit by a powerful earthquake. AP / Tomohiko Kano



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In this July 26, 2011 file photo, Minhaj Gedi Farah, a seven-month-old child with a weight of 3.4kg, is held by his mother in a field hospital of the International Rescue Committee, IRC, in the town of Dadaab, Kenya. AP / Schalk van Zuydam



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In this Oct. 25, 2011 file photo, Turkish rescuers carry Azra Karaduman, a two-week-old baby girl they saved from under debris of a collapsed building in Ercis, Van, eastern Turkey. The baby's mother, Semiha, was still alive, pinned next to a sofa inside the flattened building from where the child was rescued. AP / Anonymous



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In this Sept. 12, 2011 file photo, Joseph Mwangi, 34, sits in a state of shock after discovering the charred remains of two of his children, one aged 6 the other of unknown age, 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. AP / Ben Curtis



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In this Oct. 19, 2011 file photo, 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. AP / Rodrigo Abd



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In this July 7, 2011 file photo, one of the villagers welcoming Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi kisses her as she visits Nyaung Oo market in Nyaung U village, Myanmar. Suu Kyi was visiting the village with her youngest son Kim Aris and members of the National League for Democracy party. AP / Khin Maung Win



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In this March 10, 2011 file photo, North Korean children look through a subway car window in Pyongyang, North Korea. AP / David Guttenfelder



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In this Oct. 15, 2011 file photo, a protestor hurls a canister during clashes in Rome. Protesters smashed the windows of shops in Rome and torched a car as violence broke out during a demonstration in the Italian capital, part of worldwide protests against corporate greed and austerity measures. AP / Gregorio Borgia



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In this Oct. 14, 2011 file photo, a man affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street protests tackles a police officer during a march towards Wall Street in New York. AP / Andrew Burton



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In this Nov. 18, 2011 file photo, 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. The Enterprise / Wayne Tilcock



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In this July 21, 2011 file photo released by NASA, vapor trails follow space shuttle Atlantis as it approaches Runway 15 on the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Fla., for the final time. A vapor trail, known as a contrail, is a cloud of water vapor that condenses and freezes around the small particles in aircraft exhaust. Atlantis marked the 26th nighttime landing of NASA's Space Shuttle Program and the 78th landing at Kennedy. It also was the final mission for the shuttle program. AP / Kevin O'Connell and Sandra Joseph



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In this April 19, 2011 file photo, a wildfire threatens a house near Possum Kingdom, Texas. AP / LM Otero



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In this Aug. 8, 2011 file photo, trader Andrew Stavros reacts after the close of trading in the NASDAQ, 100 Index pit, on the floor of The CME Group in Chicago. Stocks plummeted at the close after anxiety overtook investors on the first trading day since Standard & Poor's downgraded American debt. AP / M. Spencer Green



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In this April 12, 2011 file photo, traders work the crude oil options pit at the New York Mercantile Exchange in New York. AP / Mary Altaffer



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In this May 29, 2011 file photo, Joplin residents Paula Barnett, left, and Susan Dodson console each other during a memorial service marking the one week anniversary of an EF-5 tornado which ripped a six mile long path of destruction through Joplin and killed at least 139 people. AP / Charlie Riedel



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In this May 24, 2011 file photo, the path of a powerful tornado is seen in Joplin, Mo. AP / Charlie Riedel



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In this Feb. 2, 2011 file photo, hundreds of cars are seen stranded on Lake Shore drive in Chicago. A winter blizzard of historic proportions wobbled an otherwise snow-tough Chicago, stranding hundreds of drivers for up to 12 hours overnight on the city's showcase lakeshore thoroughfare and giving many city schoolchildren their first ever snow day. AP / Kiichiro Sato



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In this Sept. 22, 2011 file photo, a dew-laden spider web adorns a fence as a horse grazes in a pasture near Glencoe, Ky. AP / Ed Reinke



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In this Aug. 15, 2011 file photo, President Barack Obama is helped to his feet by summer school kids after posing for a photo in Chatfield, Minn., outside the George H. Potter Audirorium during his three-day economic bus tour. AP / Carolyn Kaster



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In this Jan. 5, 2011 file photo, House Speaker-designate John Boehner of Ohio wipes away tears as he waits to receive the gavel from outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., during the first session of the 112th Congress, on Capitol Hill in Washington. AP / Charles Dharapak



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In this Sept. 11, 2011 file photo, President Barack Obama, right, first lady Michelle Obama, second from right, former President George W. Bush, second from left, and former first lady Laura Bush observe a moment of silence at the National September 11 Memorial for a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the attacks at World Trade Center in New York. AP / Mary Altaffer



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In this July 1, 2011 file photo, former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss- Kahn leaves New York State Supreme court with his wife Anne Sinclair in New York. A judge agreed to free Strauss-Kahn without bail or home confinement in the sexual assault case against him. AP / Louis Lanzano



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In this Nov. 8, 2011 file photo, Students greet Penn State coach Joe Paterno as he arrives at his home in State College, Pa. AP / Matt Rourke



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In this July 8, 2011 file photo, Prince William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, watch the Calgary Stampede parade in Calgary, Canada as they continue their Royal Tour of Canada. AP / Charlie Riedel



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In this Oct. 6, 2011 file photo, Apple computer fans hold their iPhones and iPads displaying candle graphics during a candle light vigil to pay tribute to Steve Jobs, the Apple founder and former CEO, at an Apple Store in the Ginza shopping district in Tokyo. Apple announced Jobs' death without giving a specific cause. He died at the age of 56. AP / Hiro Komae



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