First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day events are held across the globe to inspire us to appreciate the world we live in and protect our environment. Conservation of natural resources, ending pollution, protecting wildlife, and creating sustainable environments are some of the themes spread among many countries. [ 18 photos total ]

In 1990, construction began on the Centro Financiero Confinanzas, a huge high-rise office complex in Caracas, Venezuela. Construction halted in 1994, after a banking crisis and the death of the building's main investor, David Brillembourg. The 45-story tower stood vacant until 2007, when squatters began moving in, displaced by a massive housing shortage in Caracas. Authorities turned a blind eye, and the skyscraper, nicknamed the "Tower of David" (after David Brillembourg), is now home to more than 3,000 residents. The third-highest skyscraper in the country has been jury-rigged with electricity and water up to the 22nd floor. Reuters photographer Jorge Silva spent some time with tower residents earlier this year, returning with these photographs of the world's tallest slum. [ 26 photos total ]

An American runner, Meb Keflezighi, won The Boston Marathon for the first time since 1983. A year after the bombs exploded near the finish line killing three people and injuring hundreds of others, runners reclaimed the race. A record crowd of one million people, twice the usual number, watched and cheered the runners on. Rita Jeptoo of Kenya defended her title in the women's race. [ 29 photos total ]

Every Easter, in the Greek village of Vrontados, members of rival churches sitting across a small valley stage a "Rocket War" by firing thousands of homemade rockets towards each other while services are held. The objective for each side is to strike the bell of the opposing church. The festival, called Rouketopolemos, has been celebrated by the churches of Agios Markos and Panagia Erithiani for at least 125 years, its exact origins a mystery. Gathered here are images of this rocket war from the past few years. [ 26 photos total ]

It was another busy, exciting and interesting week on Planet Earth. [ 43 photos total ]

Religious ceremonies, some solemn, some joyous, took place around the world this week. Holy Week is observed by many different Christians before Easter. The Jewish holiday of Passover is celebrated for a week, and the New Year festivals of Vaisakhi and Thinhyan were also observed. [ 28 photos total ]

For the past few weeks, armed groups of pro-Russian men have been storming and seizing government buildings in towns across eastern Ukraine. Angered by the new pro-western Ukrainian government and emboldened by Russia's annexation of Crimea, these groups are demanding separation from Ukraine. Ukraine's new government has asked for western assistance, as it tries to recapture police stations airbases and other government properties -- without resorting to violence which may trigger a Russian response. Russian president Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine's new authorities of driving the country towards the abyss but said that dialogue was the only way out of the intensifying crisis. Thousands of Ukrainian soldiers are deploying in eastern Ukraine, with even more Russian soldiers massed on the other side of the border. NATO officials said they planned to deploy more forces in eastern Europe and called for Russia to stop "destabilizing" the former Soviet satellite, which has been in deep turmoil since the ouster of the pro-Kremlin leadership in February. [ 36 photos total ]

Yesterday, off the coast of South Korea, a large passenger ferry named the Sewol sank in calm seas, while carrying more than 450 passengers, mostly high school students on an overnight trip to a tourist island. Officials currently confirm only 164 have been rescued, another four listed as killed, leaving approximately 300 passengers still missing. By nightfall, the Sewol had turned upside down, sinking nearly completely below the surface -- only a small part of its bow still visible. Reuters quoted one survivor as saying "The on-board announcement told people to stay put... people who stayed are trapped." As anxious relatives await word, officials plan to resume rescue operations after sunrise today. [ 23 photos total ]

On a windy and rainy day in Boston, the city marked a year since the attack at the Marathon. Two homemade bombs killed three and injured more than 250 people near the finish line last year. Symbolic events took place today culminating with a flag-raising ceremony and moment of silence. [ 20 photos total ]

Temperatures in the northern hemisphere are finally warming, flowers are blooming, and the sunshine beckons us outside once again. On a nice spring day like today, I thought I'd share some recent colorful images of the season from Germany, Japan, Scotland, the United States, and more. [ 28 photos total ]

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