A Russian pilgrim lights candles in the Church of the Nativity, built on the site where Christian tradition holds that the Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ. Tourists from all over the world flock there annually to celebrate the Christmas holiday.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: OLIVER WEIKEN / EPALink
A flight information board at Athens International Airport indicates all flights are canceled, a result of a 24-hour nationwide strike, which also closed schools and paralyzed public transportation in Greece. The strike is the culmination of protests against austerity laws aimed at stemming the nation's financial crisis.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: JOHN KOLESIDIS / REUTERSLink
The Russian Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft, carrying the International Space Station crew of NASA astronaut Catherine Coleman, Russian cosmonaut Dmitry Kondratyev and European Space Agency astronaut Paolo Nespoli of Italy, blasts off from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: SERGEI REMEZOV / REUTERSLink
Three thousand wooden crosses placed in front of the Austrian Parliament form a silent protest against cuts in the government's development aid budget.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: LEONHARD FOEGER / REUTERSLink
A man in Shanghai's financial district takes cover against the falling snow. Shanghai will see temperatures dip below freezing on Thursday and Friday as the latest cold front hits the city, according to weather forecasts.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: CARLOS BARRIA / REUTERSLink
White lion cubs Niza, left, and Nero, born Dec. 2 by caesarean section, will be bottle-fed until they can be introduced to their pride at the Serengeti Park.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: JOCHEN LUEBKE / AFP/Getty ImagesLink
The Oscar Niemeyer Foundation building, designed by the legendary Brazilian architect, is dedicated on Niemeyer's 103rd birthday. The museum outside Rio houses drawings and models from his 70-year career.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Felipe Dana / Associated PressLink
A vintage package and mouth harps intended for the U.S. market are displayed. More than 300,000 mouth harps are produced each year by three manufacturers in Molln and distributed worldwide.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: HERWIG PRAMMER / REUTERSLink
A house adorned with Christmas lights glows in the English village.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: LUKE MACGREGOR / REUTERSLink
Grower John Nelson with a smudge pot he lighted in an attempt to keep his hydroponic strawberry fields from freezing. Much of Florida has seen record-setting cold temperatures this week.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bill Ingram / The Palm Beach PostLink
A young monk holds a traditional parasol as he waits for the arrival of Tibet's exiled Buddhist spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, in Pemayangtse monastery in Pelling. The Dalai Lama is in Sikkim, which borders with China, as Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao begins his three-day visit to New Delhi.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: RUPAK DE CHOWDHURI / ReutersLink
A Russian tourist prays at the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray in Jerusalem's Old City. A leading Israeli rabbi has ruled that the wall is now off-limits on the Sabbath. Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliashiv, a 100-year-old rabbinical authority widely revered among ultra-Orthodox Jews, says the closed-circuit surveillance cameras at the wall may protect visitors but that the technology violates the biblical commandment to refrain from work on the Sabbath.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Tara Todras-Whitehill / Associated PressLink
Erik Guay of Canada flies during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup men's downhill training in Val Gardena.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom / Getty ImagesLink
Riot police in Athens are attacked by petrol bombs and stones during a demonstration against a new wave of austerity measures.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: ARIS MESSINIS / AFP / Getty ImagesLink
Conservative Greek politician Kostis Hatzidakis is escorted to safety after being hit by stones and sticks thrown by leftists in central Athens. Police fired teargas at the protesters, who also threw petrol bombs at two luxury hotels in the central Syntagma square outside parliament. The violence is a response to new government-imposed austerity measures.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: YANNIS BEHRAKIS / ReutersLink
A Tibetan activist is detained by Indian police during a protest outside the hotel where Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is staying in New Delhi. Wen arrived in India in a visit intended to build trust between the Asian powers with increasingly close economic ties, despite ongoing competition for regional influence.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Altaf Qadri / Associated PressLink
Riot police officers patrol in Manezh square in Moscow amid fears of a repeat of Saturday's clashes. Parts of Moscow were under police lockdown Wednesday as the city remained jittery over possible ethnic clashes following weekend rioting outside the Kremlin.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Misha Japaridze / Associated PressLink
A demonstrator dressed as a vampire stands outside the European Union headquarters in Brussels to protest austerity measures that are being rolled out across Europe. The "vampire" was one of tens of thousands who waged protests organized by the European trade unions in Brussels and other European cities.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: GEORGES GOBET / AFP / Getty ImagesLink
As temperatures plunge across the United States, New Yorkers warm up with Charmin in Times Square by attempting to break the Guinness World Record for largest cha-cha-cha dance. Charmin donated $5 for each participant to Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: PRNewsFotoLink
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by Jay L. Clendenin, Los Angeles Times
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