ItÂ’s been a race of survival in this year's tour at the halfway point. Two of the race favorites; Christopher Froome, last year's winner, and former winner Alberto Contador have both crashed out. Vincenzo Nibali, wearing the yellow jersey, is the overall leader through 11 stages of the race that now heads towards the high mountains and concludes in Paris on July 27. [ 38 photos total ]

Tomorrow will mark the 45th anniversary of the July 16, 1969 launch of Apollo 11, the NASA mission that first landed human beings on the Moon. Years of effort, dangerous experiments, and bold missions led up to the Moon landing, an event watched on live television by millions around the world. Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin "Buzz" E. Aldrin left the Earth on a Wednesday, landed on the Moon on that Sunday, spent a bit more than two hours walking on its surface, deploying experiments and collecting samples, then splashed down safely in the Pacific Ocean the following Thursday, after 8 days off-planet. Collected here are 45 images of that historic mission, a "giant leap for mankind," 45 years ago. [ 45 photos total ]

It's time for another look at the animal kingdom and our interactions with the countless species that share our planet. Today's photos include a 366 lb tortoise, elderly pet care in Japan, a newborn Poison Dart frog, and fishing by firelight with cormorants. These images and many others are part of this roundup of animals in the news from recent months, seen from the perspectives of their human observers, companions, captors, and caretakers, part of an ongoing series on animals in the news. [ 32 photos total ]

Hurricane Arthur made its way up the East Coast of the United States over the last few days, causing widespread flooding and power outages. The storm reached a category 2 level with its greatest sustained wind strength of 100 mph. [ 18 photos total ]

This week's edition covers the past two weeks (I skipped the July 4th Weekend), featuring Typhoon Neoguri, a red panda rescue, the running of the bulls in Spain, a five-meter tall toilet one can slide into, and a military-style boot camp to treat internet addiction in China, and much more. [ 35 photos total ]

One week, and twenty games into the 2014 FIFA World Cup, there have already been some dramatic matches and surprising results, including the early elimination of Spain, the defending champion. Thousands of fans from around the world are in attendance in Brazil, while millions more are watching from home, setting new records in internet-video volume. Host nation Brazil appears to be living up to its obligations so far, despite early worries about readiness. Gathered here are images from the first few games, and some of the fans riding the emotional rollercoaster of cheering for their teams as they battle in Brazil. [ 36 photos total ]

In this week's edition, local traditions involving suits of moss, suits of banana leaves, the devil leaping over infants, horses ridden through crowds, human towers, the summer solstice sunrise at Stonehenge, and much more. [ 35 photos total ]

Rare scenes from within the reclusive state. [ 55 photos total ]

Since the end of the Space Shuttle program, NASA technicians have been developing a new Space Launch System (SLS), along with a new manned spacecraft named Orion, designed to once again lift astronauts beyond low-Earth orbit, and return them safely home. Years of development and testing are leading up to the first planned (unmanned) launch of Orion in December, sending it 3,600 miles into space atop a Delta 4 Heavy booster. The complete system is scheduled for a an unmanned lunar-orbit test in 2017. Long-term, Orion and the SLS will serve as both transport and a home to astronauts during future long-duration missions to an asteroid, Mars and other destinations throughout our solar system. [ 35 photos total ]

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been in power for about two and a half years now, and the family tradition of "field guidance" trips shows no sign of abating. Kim Jong Un, like his father and grandfather before him, visits hospitals, factories, and military facilities, giving on-the-spot advice, which is dutifully recorded by the many note-takers in attendance at every event. Gathered here are just a few of the photos of these visits, released by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) over the past 12 months. [ 31 photos total ]

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