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Pictures in the News | July 18, 2011

The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, addresses the phone-hacking scandal surrounding News International, the British division of Rupert Murdoch’s giant News Corp. The scandal continues to escalate with the resignations of both Metropolitan Police Commissioner Paul Stephenson and Assistant Commissioner John Yates, and the arrest of former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks, who has been released on bail.

Space shuttle Atlantis, against a backdrop of Earth’s horizon and the ethereal Aurora Australis, prepares to wrap up its final mission and return home, marking the end of the NASA shuttle program that spanned three decades.

Bales of straw tagged with the nuclear sign are seen at sunrise along the motorway between Lausanne and Geneva in Switzerland; a Hindu devotee in India, his face covered with bright red powder, makes an offering believed to ward off evils and epidemics, while in neighboring Pakistan, a young girl finds herself covered with flies outside her family home on the outskirts of Peshawar.

The Swamp Soccer Championships is underway in Finland; participants in the Santa Claus World Congress cool their feet in Copenhagen, Denmark; a surfer takes to the air during the Billabong Pro at Jeffreys Bay, South Africa; and in Italy, models pose as mannequins as part of a protest in a Milan department store window.

Stops in China, Greece, Hungary, Japan, Jordan, Russia and Somalia round out today’s images from around the world.

Join us for the journey.