A surfer rides the waves on the Ice channel in the English Garden in Munich, Germany, on Thursday. Matthias Schrader/AP
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden Gorilla, Muke, heads for the pool to keep cool as she takes some wet towels to play with on Thursday. Ernest Coleman/The Cincinnati Enquirer//AP
Children gather around a 12-year-old African penguin named "Roast Beef" as he is displayed in a Plexiglas enclosure in Boston, Mass., on Thursday as part of a promotion for the New England Aquarium's penguin exhibit. Elise Amendola/AP
Athletes jump over the water obstacle during the Men's 3000m steeplechase at the IAAF Diamond League athletics meeting at the Stade de la Pontaise in Lausanne, France, on Thursday. Denis Balibouse/Reuters
A policeman cordons off a crime scene where gunmen tried to kidnap a government official outside the Topo Chico prison in Monterrey, Mexico. Tomas Bravo/Reuters
A Leonardo DiCaprio fan awaits the start of the world premiere of the film ''Inception'' at the Odeon in London on Thursday. Stefan Wermuth/Reuters
Children sit on a rock to cool off on a hot sunny day in Algiers, Algeria, on Thursday. Louafi Larbi/Reuters
The rising Rio Grande is seen under International Bridge No. 1 in Laredo, Texas, early Thursday. The bridge is also known as Gateway to the Americas and connects Laredo and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. The bridge is closed due to the rising water and the dramatic rise of the Rio Grande caused by Hurricane Alex and continuing rains forced the closure of another crossing known as the Colombia Bridge, about 20 miles upriver. Edward A. Ornelas/San Antonio Express-News/AP
Solar Impulse's Chief Executive Officer and pilot Andre Borschberg fly in the solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane after its first night flight attempt near Payerne airport, Switzerland, as the sun rises on Thursday. An experimental solar-powered plane has landed safely after completing its first 24-hour test flight. The record feat brings it one step closer to the makers' ultimate aim of circling the globe using only energy from the sun. Fabrice Coffrini/AP
A model presents a creation at the so called "Underground Cat Walk" during Berlin Fashion Week on Thursday. The fashion show takes place on a moving subway train and presents alternative fashions. Markus Schreiber/AP
Opposition Democratic Progressive Party legislators scuffle with ruling Nationalist Party legislators at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, Taiwan, on Thursday. Legislators threw objects, splashed water, and kicked one another in the brawl, sending two to the hospital as the two sides argued over how to quickly ratify a trade pact with China that is shaping up to be a pivotal election issue. Nicky Loh/Reuters
A reveler runs in front of a Cebada Gago ranch fighting bull during the San Fermin fiestas on Thursday in Pamplona, Spain. Alvaro Barrientos/AP
Israeli activists take part in a march calling for the release of captive soldier Gilad Shalit in Jerusalem on Thursday. On June 27, Shalit's parents began a planned 12-day march to press for a prisoner swap from their home in northern Israel and have been accompanied by thousands daily along the way to their destination. They are headed to the Jerusalem residence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Shalit, now 23, was captured by Palestinian militants who tunneled from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel in June 2006. Ronen Zvulun/Reuters
For a visiting journalist, the country of today feel worlds away from the China she first encountered decades earlier.
ByAnn Scott Tyson
The ultra-sleek bullet train, floating on a magnetic cushion, accelerates as it leaves Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport for the megacity of 24 million people. Outside, a futuristic metropolis unfolds. Curved skyscrapers and raised freeways flash by until they blur. Inside the car, green digits above the doorway shoot upward: 200 kilometers per hour ... 300 ... 431.