2013: The Year in Photos, January - April

December is here, and it's time for a look back at some of the most memorable events and images of 2013. Among the events covered in this essay (the first of a three-part photo summary of the year), Americans inaugurated President Barack Obama for a second term, a 13,000 ton meteor burned up in the sky over Russia, two young men detonated bombs at the Boston Marathon, and Dennis Rodman and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un enjoyed a basketball game together in Pyongyang. Please come back for parts 2 and 3. The series will comprise 120 images in all. Warning, some of the photos may contain graphic or objectionable content. [40 photos total]

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A truck is covered in ice as firefighters work to extinguish a massive blaze at a vacant warehouse in Chicago, Illinois, on January 23, 2013. More than 200 firefighters battled the five-alarm fire as temperatures were in the single digits. (Scott Olson/Getty Images) #
A soldier of the French foreign legion wearing a skeleton mask stands next to an armored vehicle in a street in Niono, Mali, on January 20, 2013. French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that the goal of France's military action in Mali was to retake control of the entire country from Islamist militants who have seized the north. (Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images) #
A white shelf cloud caps brownish dirt from a dust storm, or haboob, as it travels across the Indian Ocean near Onslow on the Western Australia coast in this handout image distributed by fishwrecked.com and taken January 9, 2013. (Reuters/Brett Martin/fishwrecked.com) #
Edward Snowden speaks during an interview in Hong Kong. Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA, and National Security Agency contractor revealed details of top-secret surveillance conducted by the United States' NSA to the press. Stories emerging from these documents were reported throughout the year, detailing widespread spying activity on both friends and enemies. (The Guardian via Getty Images) #
President Barack Obama is sworn in by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts as First lady Michelle Obama and daughters, Sasha Obama and Malia Obama look on during the public ceremonial inauguration in Washington, D.C., on January 21, 2013. (Rob Carr/Getty Images) #
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama share a dance during the Commander-In-Chief Inaugural ball at the Washington Convention Center during the 57th Presidential Inauguration, on January 21, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) #
Lightning strikes the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. (US Department of the Interior/Travis Roe) #
Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield, Expedition 34 flight engineer, watches a water bubble float freely between him and the camera, showing his image refracted, in the Unity node of the International Space Station, on January 21, 2013. (Reuters/NASA) #
A group of local public school teachers use rubber training guns as they practice drills to disarm an attacker, during a teachers-only firearms training class offered for free at the Veritas Training Academy in Sarasota, Florida, on January 11, 2013. The December 14, 2012 tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 first-graders and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, sparked a national debate about whether to arm teachers, prompting passionate arguments on both sides. (Reuters/Brian Blanco) #
Ghana's John Paintsil, after the end of time in Ghana's African Cup of Nations Group B soccer match against Congo at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on January 20, 2013. Congo tied Ghana 2-2. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #
Norway's Anders Bardal jumps during the official training session of the FIS Ski Flying World Cup in Vikersund, Norway, on January 25, 2013, while a full moon rises over the mountain. (Daniel Sannum Lauten/AFP/Getty Images) #
Sixth grade students from the Park Maitland School in Maitland, Florida, watch as Marine One carrying U.S. President Barack Obama takes off from the South Lawn at the White House in Washington as he departs for Las Vegas, on January 29, 2013. (Reuters/Larry Downing) #
Wolf researcher Werner Freund lies on the ground next to Mongolian wolves as they devour a deer cadaver in an enclosure at Wolfspark Werner Freund, in Merzig in the German province of Saarland, on January 24, 2013. The park is home to 29 wolves -- six distinct packs hailing from Europe, Siberia, Canada, the Arctic, and Mongolia. Freund has taken to living closely with his wolves, behaving as an alpha male to earn their acceptance and respect.? (Reuters/Lisi Niesner) #
Protesters flee from tear gas fired by riot police during clashes after protesters removed a concrete barrier at Qasr al-Aini Street near Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, on January 24, 2013. (Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany) #
During a time of dangerous levels of air pollution, a bright video screen shows images of blue sky on Tiananmen Square, on January 23, 2013 in Beijing, China. (Feng Li/Getty Images) #
A woman is rescued from flood waters by a resident standing on top of her car during heavy rain in Chalandri suburb north of Athens, Greece, on February 22, 2013. (Reuters/John Kolesidis) #
Free Syrian Army fighters run for cover as a tank shell explodes on a wall in Damascus, on January 30, 2013. Syria's civil war raged hot and cold throughout 2013. (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic) #
Cars sit buried in snow near Hamden, Connecticut, on February 10, 2013, in the aftermath of a storm that hit Connecticut and much of New England. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle) #
A meteor's trail over the Ural Mountains' city of Chelyabinsk, about 930 miles east of Moscow, Russia, on February 15, 2013. The 13,000 ton meteor hit Earth's atmosphere at 42,000 mph and exploded, smashing windows and causing hundreds of minor injuries. (AP Photo/Chelyabinsk.ru, Yekaterina Pustynnikova) #
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and former NBA star Dennis Rodman watch North Korean and U.S. players in an exhibition basketball game at an arena in Pyongyang, North Korea, on February 28, 2013. Rodman arrived in Pyongyang on Monday with three members of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team to shoot an episode on North Korea for a new weekly HBO series. (AP Photo/VICE Media, Jason Mojica) #
Jennifer Lawrence gestures to photographers off-camera, holding her Oscar after winning the best actress award for her role in "Silver Linings Playbook" at the 85th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California, on February 24, 2013. Lawrence was reacting to some photographers telling her to "watch her step" as she went onto the platform -- she had tripped earlier, while walking up stairs to receive her award on live television. (Reuters/Mike Blake) #
Volker Maiwald walks among rock formations during a simulated Mars walk in the Utah desert, on March 2, 2013. Maiwald is part of Crew 125 EuroMoonMars B mission, at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) outside Hanksville in the Utah desert, on March 2, 2013. The MDRS is built and operated by a space advocacy group called the Mars Society, investigating the feasibility of human exploration of Mars. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Pope Francis meets Pope emeritus Benedict XVI in Castel Gandolfo, on March 23, 2013. Pope Francis had traveled to Castel Gandolfo to have lunch with his predecessor Benedict XVI in a historic and potentially problematic melding of the papacies that has never before confronted the Catholic Church. The Vatican said the two popes embraced on the helipad. In the chapel where they prayed together, Benedict offered Francis the traditional kneeler used by the pope. Francis refused to take it alone, saying "We're brothers," and the two prayed together on the same one. (AP Photo/Osservatore Romano) #
A March 13, 2013 view of Firdos Square, in Baghdad, Iraq, at the site of an Associated Press photograph taken by Jerome Delay ten years earlier, as the statue of Saddam Hussein was pulled down by U.S. forces and Iraqis on April 9, 2003. Today, the pedestal in central Baghdad stands empty. Bent iron beams sprout from the top, and posters of anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in military fatigues are pasted on the sides. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo) #
Lesleigh Coyer, 25, of Saginaw, Michigan, lies down in front of the grave of her brother, Ryan Coyer, who served with the U.S. Army in both Iraq and Afghanistan, at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, on March 11, 2013. Coyer died of complications from an injury sustained in Afghanistan. (Reuters/Kevin Lamarque) #
Stella Ferruzola, 3, poses with a Blue Morpho butterfly on her nose at the Sensational Butterflies Exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London, on March 25, 2013. (Reuters/Luke MacGregor) #
The wrapped bodies of two dead people hang from an overpass as three more dead bodies lie on the ground in Saltillo, Mexico, on March 8, 2013. Three of the five male bodies were hanging from the overpass while two others were lying on the ground when they were found early Friday, according to local media. While drug-related violence in Mexico is slightly down from recent years, it remained high throughout 2013. (Reuters/Stringer) #
One morning last March, I happened to discover some apparent photo-doctoring by North Korea. This picture released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on March 26, 2013 appears to show evidence of digital manipulation, specifically the cloning of at least two hovercraft, to make it appear as if more vehicles were involved in a recent military exercise. The original caption: This picture released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on March 26, 2013 and taken on March 25, 2013 shows the landing and anti-landing drills of KPA Large Combined Units 324 and 287 and KPA Navy Combined Unit 597 at an undisclosed location on North Korea's east coast. Full story here. (KCNA Via KNS/AFP/Getty Images) #
A leopard trapped in a well looks up to forest officials on the premises of the Kamakhya temple in Gauhati, India, on April 4, 2013. The animal was later tranquilized and rescued. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath) #
An explosion erupts near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts, on April 15, 2013. Two simultaneous explosions ripped through the crowd at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 250 on a day when tens of thousands of people packed the streets to watch the world famous race. (Reuters/Dan Lampariello) #
An emergency responder and volunteers, including Carlos Arredondo in the cowboy hat, push Jeff Bauman in a wheel chair after he was badly injured in an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday, April 15, 2013. While recovering, Bauman was able to provide authorities with an eyewitness account to help in the ensuing manhunt. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) #
19-year-old Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, bloody and disheveled with the red dot of a rifle laser sight on his forehead, raises his hand from inside a boat at the time of his capture by law enforcement authorities in Watertown, Massachusetts. According to State police spokesman David Procopio, Sgt. Sean Murphy, the state police photographer who released this photo and others of the bloodied Tsarnaev during his capture, retired November 1, 2013, days after internal charges against him were upheld for releasing the images. (AP Photo/Massachusetts State Police, Sean Murphy) #
The wreckage of a fertilizer plant burns after a massive explosion at the plant in the town of West, near Waco, Texas early April 18, 2013. The deadly explosion ripped through the fertilizer plant late on Wednesday, killing 15, injuring more than 160 people, leveling dozens of homes and damaging other buildings including a school and nursing home. (Reuters/Mike Stone) #
An overhead view of guests attending the ceremonial funeral of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at St Paul's Cathedral in London, on April 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Dominic Lipinski) #
North Korean soldiers patrol along the banks of Yalu River, near the North Korean town of Sinuiju, opposite the Chinese border city of Dandong, on April 11, 2013. (Reuters/Jacky Chen) #
At the site of a collapsed garment factory in Savar, Bangladesh, people gather in front of Rana Plaza building as rescue workers continue their operations on April 25, 2013. Survivors of collapse described a deafening bang and tremors before the eight-floor building crashed down around them. An estimated 1,129 people were killed in the collapse, the deadliest accidental structural failure ever recorded. (Reuters/Stringer) #
A victim's body lies amid rubble at the site of the collapsed garment factory in Savar, Bangladesh, on April 25, 2013. (AP Photo/A.M.Ahad) #
Bangladeshi relatives of workers missing in the building that collapsed on Wednesday hold pictures of loved ones at a makeshift morgue in a schoolyard in Savar, on April 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #
A man kicks a topless Femen activist, as she raises her fist to protest against Islamists in front of the Great Mosque of Paris, on April 3, 2013. (Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images) #
A member of the Free Syrian Army sits on a sofa in the middle of a debris-strewn street in Deir al-Zor, Syria, on April 2, 2013. (Reuters/Khalil Ashawi) #

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