The First Day of Spring

Today is the vernal equinox, the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. It also marks the end of "the winter that wasn't," as the past several months in North America have been dubbed. It was the fourth-warmest winter in the United States since record-keeping began 117 years ago. In accord with the unusual weather, this turn of the season brings us snow in Arizona and Saudi Arabia, while conditions remain sunny and warm in America's Northeast and Western Europe. Collected here are scenes from around the world as a strange winter gives way to spring.

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  • Stefano Cerio

    The Empty Chinese Amusement Park

    What happens when the crowds go home?

  • Jonathan Alpeyrie

    The Last Jews of Cuba

    “To be Cuban and Jewish is to be twice survivors.”

  • Kerstin Joensson / AP

    Photos of the Week: 10/3-10/9

    A sandstorm in Egypt, flooding in South Carolina, the release of a black-footed ferret, an Israeli spacecraft, hazy skies in Indonesia, a volcanic eruption near Quito, a massive traffic jam near Beijing, and much more.

  • Nicky Loh / Reuters

    Taiwan's Kinmen Islands, Only a Few Miles From Mainland China

    Taiwan’s Great Kinmen Island and its neighbor islets, in a harbor just east of the Chinese city of Xiamen, are practically surrounded by the People's Republic of China—in some places barely more than a mile apart. Reuters reports that the island is now “eyeing closer commercial ties with China,” with “plans to build a bridge and set up a glittering free trade zone with the city.”

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