Pilgrims in southern Spain ride horses en route to the shrine of El Rocio in Donana national park during the annual El Rocio pilgrimage, on Tuesday in Sanlucar de Barrameda, near to Cadiz. The pilgrimage to Almonte, which houses the Virgin del Rocio, is the largest in Spain, with hundreds of thousands of devotees in traditional outfits converging in a burst of color as they make their way on horseback and decorated carriages across the Andalusian countryside. Jorge Guerrero/AFP/Newscom
Gas from the damaged Deepwater Horizon wellhead is burned by the drillship Discoverer Enterprise in the Gulf of Mexico, in a process known as flaring. BP said on Tuesday that a tube inserted into a ruptured oil pipe now is sucking up about 40 percent of the crude spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, about twice as much as it did one day earlier. The company said in a statement that its 'riser insertion tube tool' is estimated to be collecting and carrying about 2,000 barrels a day of oil to flow up to the drillship Discoverer Enterprise on the surface 5,000 feet above. Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Kelley/HO/US Coast Guard/AFP/Newscom
A Thai soldier peeps through sandbags at a barricade on the Rama IV road in Bangkok on Tuesday. The Thai government said there would be no negotiations with protesters in the capital until they end their crippling rally, after a Senate offer to mediate crisis talks. Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Newscom
A 'red-shirt' antigovernment protester stands in a street near the Ding Daeng intersection under a canopy of black smoke from burning tires and debris in Bangkok on Tuesday. Nicolas Asfouri/AFP
A riot police officer faces medical students on rail tracks during a demonstration Tuesday in Paris at the Montparnasse train station in Paris, which seriously disrupted the traffic of high-speed trains. The policeman was doused with red antiseptic by the students in anesthesiology, who invaded the rail tracks in protest over salaries after getting their diplomas in Paris. Christophe Ena/AP
Flames rise in a representative drawing as Lamar McKay, BP America chairman and president, testifies at the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on 'Gulf Coast Catastrophe: Assessing the Nation's Response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill' on Capitol Hill in Washington on Monday. Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
An encouraging hand reaches out to Chinna Salio, a freshman or 'plebe,' as she struggles to finish crawling through a mud trench during sea trials, a day-long series of physical challenges that caps off freshman year at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., on Tuesday. The trials test the students' teamwork and perseverance. Jacquelyn Martin/AP
A monk gives a peace sign as he walks across a sniper fire zone Tuesday at a clash point in Bangkok, Thailand. Hopes rose Tuesday for an end to deadly mayhem in Thailand's capital as leaders of a protest movement occupying central Bangkok said they would unconditionally accept an offer by the Thai Senate to mediate talks. Wally Santana/AP
France's Najat shows her European passport as she addresses reporters during a press conference in Montreuil, east of Paris, on Tuesday. The French government will examine a proposed bill forbidding burqa-style Islamic veils that cover the face on Wednesday, on the grounds that they do not respect French values or women's dignity. Remy de la Mauviniere/AP
Nurse-anaesthesiologists stand on the tracks as they block the Montparnasse train station during a demonstration to protest hospital working conditions in Paris on Tuesday. Phillipe Wojazer/Reuters
A visitor walks past the British pavilion at the site of the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai on Tuesday. Organizers expect 70 million visitors, most of them Chinese, to attend the biggest-ever World's Fair, with an average of 380,000 people expected to visit the site daily. Philippe Lopez/AFP/Newscom
Highway officials look at a sinkhole on Interstate 24 between Chattanooga and Nashville, Tenn., on Tuesday. Tennessee Department of Transportation spokeswoman Jennifer Flynn says the sinkhole is blocking all eastbound lanes and traffic is being rerouted. Wayne ThomasThe Tullahoma News/AP
The Aland Islands were once contested by Finland and Sweden, their immediate neighbors. But the dispute's peaceful resolution has worked so well that Aland now serves as an example to other cultural conflicts.
ByGordon F. Sander, Correspondent
Skoops and cutters tack back and forth against the summer sky. Peacocks mingle with the natives at the town beach along its graceful mile-long waterfront. Mariehamn, the capital of Aland, a Finnish archipelago in the middle of the Baltic, is as bucolic a place as one can find in or near Europe these days.