STOCKHOLM — Students from the Adolf Fredrik music school perform at a St. Lucia concert at the Stockholm Cathedral for more than a thousand spectators. Each Dec. 13, Sweden observes St. Lucia's day, a celebration of light that centers around a Sicilian martyr.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND / AFP/Getty ImagesLink
BOGOTA, COLOMBIA — People enjoy night skating at an ice rink installed in the city's central Plaza Bolivar, with the cathedral in the background.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: GUILLERMO LEGARIA / AFP/Getty ImagesLink
SAN SALVADOR — Clay figurines for use in holiday decorations are displayed at a street market in El Salvador's capital.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: JOSE CABEZAS / AFP/Getty ImagesLink
MORELIA, MEXICO — Protesters hold signs asking for peace and a stop to violence during a march after Mexico's ongoing war against drug cartels escalated. Others marched holding signs lauding a slain drug lord.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: REUTERSLink
LONDON — British police detain a demonstrator outside the Business and Innovation Ministry in central London during a protest opposing cuts in education grants for disadvantaged students.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANDREW WINNING / REUTERSLink
MOSCOW — Riot police block Manezh Square in central Moscow to prevent soccer fans and Russian nationalists from clashing with natives of the North Caucasus over the death of a Spartak Moscow supporter, fatally shot last week in a street fight.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: DENIS SINYAKOV / REUTERSLink
CHICAGO — Trees and grass along Lake Michigan are covered in ice after wind gusts of 40 mph blew waves onto the shore as temperatures dropped into the low teens. Snow, frigid temperatures and high winds caused more than 1,500 flights in and out of the city's airports to be canceled and wreaked havoc across the Midwest.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Scott Olson / Getty ImagesLink
GRAFTON, OHIO — Blowing snow obscures a road in Ohio's rural Lorain County. A overnight snow storm with high winds disrupted road and air travel and caused the closure of many schools in northern Ohio.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mark Duncan / Associated PressLink
HELMAND PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN — U.S. Marines begin the day at British Camp Leatherneck in Helmand province. The U.S.-led NATO alliance in Afghanistan warned today that foreign soldiers will face further violence in 2011, capping what has been the deadliest year of the war thus far.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: MASSOUD HOSSAINI / AFP/Getty ImagesLink
ATHENS — A man reads a sign informing passengers about a work stoppage at a shuttered entrance to the Syntagma metro station. Public transport and media workers launched a week of anti-austerity strikes expected to ground flights, disrupt services and allow uncollected trash pile up on the streets during the holidays.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: YIORGOS KARAHALIS / REUTERSLink
KOLKATA, INDIA — A worker at a wholesale iron market inspects his wares. Iron ore exports from India's key Karnataka state are likely to fall 67% for the year ending in March, 2011, due to a ban on exports that has hit supplies to the global market and hardened prices. India is the world's third largest supplier of iron ore.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: RUPAK DE CHOWDHURI / REUTERSLink
TAMPA, FLA. — A flock of black skimmers huddle together for warmth as they face an icy wind on Ben T. Davis Beach. Overnight temperatures in Florida are predicted to drop into the upper 20s as a cold front moves through the state.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Chris O'Meara / Associated PressLink
BAIKONUR, KAZAKHSTAN — A Russian Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft is transported to its launch pad at the Baikonur cosmodrome. The three-man space mission, with U.S. astronaut Cady Coleman, Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli and Russian cosmonaut Dmitry Kondratiev, is scheduled to blast off for the International Space Station on Wednesday.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: DMITRY KOSTYUKOV / AFP/Getty ImagesLink
LONDON — A gallery assistant views Mick Inkpen's "Kipper and Wibbly Pig," left, and Paul Mellia's "Thomas the Tank Engine" at Sotheby's auction house. The pieces are part of a collection of illustrations from childrens' television and literature to be sold this week to help raise funds for the House of Illustration, a new project in Kings Cross offering illustrators a place to work and exhibit.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: LEON NEAL / AFP/Getty ImagesLink
Kabul, Afghanistan — Afghan Shiite Muslims take part in a Muharram procession in a mosque in Kabul. Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar, when a period of mourning is observed in remembrance of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rafiq Maqbool / Associated PressLink
Bocaue, Philippines — A worker, hands covered in gunpowder, prepares fireworks at a makeshift factory in Bocaue. Many Filipinos flocked to the province of Bulacan, where many fireworks are made, to buy pyrotechnics despite the government's campaign against the use of such explosives, which cause deaths and injuries during Christmas and New Year revelries.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: CHERYL RAVELO / ReutersLink
Seoul — South Korean postal workers dressed as Santa Claus leave the post office headquarters to deliver Christmas gifts to poor people for their charity campaign in Seoul. The campaign, which involved some 50 letter carriers, will be expanded into nine cities until the end of this year.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ahn Young-joon / Associated PressLink
Besancon, France — French police lead rescued children from a school in Besancon, where a 17-year-old boy armed with two swords had taken a number of children hostage.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: TRIAS PHILIPPE / EPALink
Tokyo — A couple strolls through the year-end lights display "Blue Ocean" at the Shiodome business and shopping district in Tokyo.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: FRANCK ROBICHON / EPALink
Istanbul, Turkey — Animal-rights activists from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals take part in a demonstration in Taksim Square in the center of Istanbul.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: MUSTAFA OZER / AFP / Getty ImagesLink
Krasnoyarsk, Russia — A man walks aboard a motorboat covered with heavy hoarfrost on a bank of Yenisei River.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: ILYA NAYMUSHIN / ReutersLink
Stralsund, Germany — Anti-nuclear activists roll symbolic nuclear-waste barrels to the constituency office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Stralsund. The action is a protest against the upcoming transport of nuclear waste to an interim storage site.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: BERND WUESTNECK / EPALink
Kiev, Ukraine — Activists from the Ukrainian female-rights organization Femen rallied near the Ukrainian government's headquarters to protest the absence of female ministers in the Ukrainian Cabinet in Kiev.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: GLEB GARANICH / ReutersLink
Peshawar, Pakistan — Police and rescue workers are seen through a damaged school bus as they survey the site of a bomb explosion in Peshawar. A bomb hit the school bus in the northwestern Pakistani city on Monday, killing a passerby and wounding two young female students and two others, officials said.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: FAYAZ AZIZ / ReutersLink
Athens — Striking public transport workers shout slogans as they protest outside the Transport Ministry in Athens.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU / EPALink
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina — A photograph of veteran U.S. diplomat Richard C. Holbrooke is pictured next to a Bosnia and Herzegovina flag at the U.S. embassy in Sarajevo on Tuesday. Holbrooke, 69, died Monday after surgery to repair a tear in his aorta and won posthumous praise in Bosnia for brokering the Dayton treaty that ended the 1992-95 war — even if peace since then has not been all that many had hoped for.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: DADO RUVIC / REUTERSLink
Erfurt, Germany — An antinuclear protester holds a candle at a demonstration against the transport of nuclear waste. A train traveling from Cadarache in France with four castors containing nuclear waste is expected to arrive in the northeastern German city of Lubmin on Thursday.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: MARTIN SCHUTT / AFP/Getty ImagesLink
Askelon, Israel — A Roman statue buried for centuries was unearthed by winter storms that hit the coast of Israel. The white marble figure of a woman in a toga and sandals was found in the remains of a cliff that crumbled under the force of winds, waves and rain at this ancient Israeli port.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: AMIR COHEN / REUTERSLink
Ashulia, Bangladesh — A Bangladeshi firefighter is silhouetted by smoke from a blaze that swept through a factory that manufactures clothing for Western companies, killing at least 22 workers and injuring 100 more.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: MUNIR UZ ZAMAN / AFP/Getty ImagesLink
Madrid — Cars drive along a Madrid street illuminated by Christmas lights.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: DOMINIQUE FAGET / AFP/Getty ImagesLink
Buffalo, NY — A grounded JetBlue aircraft is almost invisible in the snow, part of a massive system hitting the Northeast causing major disruption in air travel.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: John Normile / Getty ImagesLink
Gaza Strip — Condensation trails of an Israeli F16 fighter jet form circles in the sky above a rally marking the 23rd anniversary of the founding of Hamas. The Islamist movement's Gaza leader Ismail Haniya told a crowd numbering tens of thousands that Hamas will never recognize the Jewish state.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: ALI ALI / European Pressphoto AgencyLink
Park City, Utah — German athletes Tobias Wendl, right, and Tobias Arlt take a practice run for the World Cup luge competition at the Utah Olympic Park.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: George Frey / Associated PressLink
Madrid — A worker peers down from a repair platform on the Torre Espacio building, one of several new skyscrapers in the Spanish capital's financial district.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: SERGIO PEREZ / REUTERSLink
Kalameny, Slovakia — Juraj Markovic, 61, bathes in a natural thermal spring near the village of Kalameny as outdoor temperatures dropped well below freezing. The spring is one of many natural spas found in Slovakia's Liptov region.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: JOE KLAMAR / AFP/Getty ImagesLink
Sana, Yemen — Veiled public school teachers demanding a pay raise take part in a protest outside the parliament building.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Khaled Abdullah / REUTERSLink
Beijing — A poster for the Chinese movie "Love Tactics" is pictured among trees at an open-air cinema.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: JASON LEE / REUTERSLink
Leipzig, Germany — Heidi, a cross-eyed opossum, is safe in her enclosure at the city's zoo. In the wild, an animal with this condition would have a much-diminished chance of survival.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: HENDRIK SCHMIDT / AFP/Getty ImagesLink
St. Petersburg — The Christmas fair in Alexandrovskiy Garden is adorned with lights.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: ALEXANDER DEMIANCHUK / REUTERSLink
Apopka, Fla. — Icicles hang from a tree next to plants in a field covered with frost cloth at Dewars Nurseries. The plants are sprayed with water to help protect them from below-freezing temperatures.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: John Raoux / Associated PressLink
Springhead, Fla. — Icicles cling to a strawberry plant. Farmers spray a fine mist of water on their crops to help protect the fruit from the subfreezing temperatures. Temperatures in central Florida dipped into the 20s.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Chris O'Meara / Associated PressLink
Rome — Antigovernment protesters clash with riot police near the Italian parliament. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's government narrowly won a key parliament confidence vote, staving off a demand for the premier's resignation made by the center-left opposition and a group of rebel conservatives.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Guido Montani / EPALink
Rome — Police march as a police van and cars have been set on fire at Piazza del Popolo during a protest by youths to demand a change of government as parliament met to hold a crucial vote that could have toppled Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Berlusconi scraped through a crucial confidence vote in the lower house of parliament by 314 votes in favor and 311 against.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Vincenzo Pinto / AFP / Getty ImagesLink
Rome — Members of the People of Freedom party celebrate in parliament. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi narrowly survived a no-confidence motion in the lower house of parliament, but the future of his government remained uncertain because of its wafer-thin majority.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: ALESSANDRO BIANCHI / ReutersLink
London — Wikileaks founder Julian Assange arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court inside a prison van with red windows. A British judge granted bail to the WikiLeaks founder but he remained in custody pending a possible appeal.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Oli Scarff / Getty ImagesLink
Valley of Fire State Park, Nev. — A Geminid meteor streaks between peaks of the Seven Sisters rock formation in the Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada. The Geminid meteor shower appears to radiate from the constellation Gemini and is thought to be the result of debris cast off from an asteroid-like object. The shower is visible every December.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ethan Miller / Getty ImagesLink
Zurich, Switzerland — King penguins are followed by visitors as they walk at the zoo.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Steffen Schmidt / Associated PressLink
Singapore — A child reaches out to touch foam used to simulate snow at a shopping mall. Singapore malls are taking advantage of the festive season to draw in customers through visual merchandising, advertising and year-end sales.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Wong Maye-E / Associated PressLink
Kunduz, Afghanistan — An Afghan girl looks on as she waits with women for the distribution of food by the German humanitarian organization KinderBerg International.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: FABRIZIO BENSCH / ReutersLink
Kiev, Ukraine — A woman holds a portrait of a "liquidator," an emergency worker who fought the blaze at the Chernobyl nuclear reactor, as she walks past guards of honor during a commemoration ceremony.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: GLEB GARANICH / ReutersLink
Oberhausen, Germany — A ray swims in its aquarium.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Martin Meissner / Associated PressLink
BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK — 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
ATHENS — 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
BAIKONUR, KAZAKHSTAN — 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
VIENNA — 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
SHANGHAI — 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
HODENHAGEN, GERMANY — 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
RIO DE JANEIRO — 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
MOLLN, AUSTRIA — 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
WESTFIELD, ENGLAND — A house adorned with Christmas lights glows in the English village.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: LUKE MACGREGOR / REUTERSLink
LAKE WORTH, FLA. — 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
PELLING, INDIA — 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
Jerusalem — 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
Val Gardena, Italy — 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
Athens — 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
Athens — 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
New Delhi — 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
Moscow — 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
Brussels — 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
NEW YORK — 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
Karbala, Iraq — Shiite Muslim pilgrims gather outside the Imam Abbas shrine for Ashura ceremonies to commemorate the 7th century killing of Imam Hussein, the grandson of prophet Muhammad.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: MOHAMMED SAWAF / AFP/Getty ImagesLink
Kabul, Afghanistan — An Afghan boy holds a flag during a procession for Muharram, as Ashura is known in the region. Shiite mourners beat themselves with steel-tipped flails or slash their bodies with knives to mark the anniversary of the death of Imam Hussein, a grandson of prophet Muhammad in 680.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: AHMAD MASOOD / REUTERSLink
Istanbul, Turkey — Esmanur Kacmaz, a five-year-old Turkish Shiite girl, stands next to a painting of Ali, son-in-law of prophet Muhammad, as she takes part in an Ashura procession in the Turkish capital. Ashura commemorates the slaying of Ali's son Hussein in 680.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: MURAD SEZER / REUTERSLink
London — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks to the media on the steps of the High Court. He was freed on bail while he fights extradition to Sweden over allegations of sexual assault.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANDREW WINNING / REUTERSLink
Washington — The U.S. Capitol Christmas tree glows at night.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: MOLLY RILEY / REUTERSLink
Igis, Switzerland — The moon rises above snow covered trees in the Swiss Canton of Grisons.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: ARNO BALZARINI / EPALink
Bodice, Slovakia — A seven-week old Border Collie puppy has a dusting of snow on its face after playing with its siblings outdoors as temperatures dropped below freezing.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: JOE KLAMAR / AFP/Getty ImagesLink
Waterfoot, Nothern Ireland — A group of cormorants perch on a pier in County Antrim as waves break around them.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: CATHAL MCNAUGHTON / REUTERSLink
James City County, Va. — A light snowfall blankets the pier at Diascund Creek Reservoir Boat Landing.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Alexa Welch Edlund / Richmond Times-DispatchLink
Val Gardena, Italy — Ted Ligety of the United States trains for the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Men's Downhill competition.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Francis Bompard/Agence Zoom / Getty ImagesLink
Kuta, Indonesia — A bungee jumper dressed as Santa Claus leaps from a platform above a beach in Kuta.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: SONNY TUMBELAKA / AFP / Getty ImgesLink
Kunduz, Afghanistan — German Bundeswehr army soldiers decorate a fir tree imported from Germany for Christmas Eve in the army camp in Kunduz.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: FABRIZIO BENSCH / ReutersLink
Oberhausen, Germany — A diver in a Santa Claus costume distributes treats for the residents of a giant basin at the Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Roland Weihrauch / EPALink
New Delhi, India — A Tibetan activist raises signs outside the U.N. office during a protest against the visit of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in New Delhi. The leaders of India and China called Thursday for a stronger partnership between their countries as they publicly downplayed the lingering economic and political tensions among Asia's rising powers. China resents the presence in India of the self-declared Tibetan government-in-exile and the Dalai Lama.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Gurinder Osan / Associated PressLink
New Delhi — Indian police personnel detained and arrested Tibetan protesters as they demonstrated against the three-day visit of Chinese Premier Wen Jaibao in New Delhi.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANINDITO MUKHERJEE / EPALink
Munich — Two young men surf as temperatures hover around 20 degrees Fahrenheit in Munich. Reports state that Europe is bracing itself for more snow and freezing temperatures, which are likely to disrupt transportation and hamper shoppers in the run-up to Christmas.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: FRANKâ LEONHARDT / EPALink
Hamburg, Germany — A camel at the Hagenbeck Animal Park in Hamburg is coated with snow.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Angelika Warmuth / EPALink
Bethlehem, West Bank — The Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem is a major draw at this time of year. A record number of tourists and pilgrims are expected to visit Bethlehem to pray at the site of Jesus Christ's birth.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: JIM HOLLANDER / EPALink
London — A protester demonstrates in support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange outside the High Court during Assange's bail hearing. Assange was granted bail.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANDY RAIN / EPALink
Beirut, Lebanon — Supporters of Hezbollah in Lebanon chant slogans and carry flags during an Ashura celebration during the sacred Islamic month of Muharram. Shiite mourners beat themselves during Ashura with steel-tipped flails or slash their bodies with knives to mark the anniversary of the death in battle of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammad.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Khalil Hassan / ReutersLink
Bhubaneswar, India — An village boy returns with his cattle at sunset on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar. A piece of bamboo is seen hung from the neck of one of the cattle to prevent it from running far.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Biswaranjan Rout / Associated PressLink
Schinnen, Netherlands — Deer are in a snow-covered pasture. Most schools in the Netherlands will close their doors Friday for a two-week Christmas holiday.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ermindo Armino / Associated PressLink
Berlin — Snow covers the Holocaust memorial. Media reports say Europe is bracing for more snow and freezing temperatures that are likely to disrupt transportation.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: TIM BRAKEMEIER / EPALink
Bucharest, Romania — A husky puppy is transported in a child's stroller on a snowy street. Snow in Romania is leading to traffic problems.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Vadim Ghirda / Associated PressLink
London — A woman walks during a snowfall. A fresh blast of snow threatened to throw Britain's roads and railways into disarray in the run-up to Christmas, as winter tightened its grip on the country for the second time this year. This December is likely to be the coldest since records began in 1910 if temperatures in the second half of the month are as low as they have been in the first, said Helen Chivers, a forecaster at the Met Office.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: STEFAN WERMUTH / ReutersLink
Skopje, Macedonia — Homeless Roma sit near an open fire on snow-covered pavement in front of the cardiology hospital Filip II. Reports state that Macedonia is being hit by a cold front, with morning temperatures dropping to 8 degrees Fahrenheit.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: GEORGI LICOVSKI / EPALink
Lake Placid, N.Y. — Great Britain's Donna Creighton competes in the first heat of the women's skeleton World Cup.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mike Groll / Associated PressLink
Dresden, Germany — Eye surgery is shown to the press in a new hospital new operating room that has been financed with federal funds of about 1.8 million euros.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: ARNO BURGI / EPALink
Banda Aceh, Indonesia — Muhammad Fikri, 2, sleeps in a hammock in a refugee camp for tsunami victims. Despite the end of the post-tsunami reconstruction process, there are still tsunami victims living in refugee camps because they have not received housing assistance.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: HOTLI SIMANJUNTAK / EPALink
Karachi, Pakistan — A Shiite Muslim fire-breather performs during an Ashura mourning procession commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Hussein. Muslims across the world are observing Moharram, the first month of Islamic calender. The climax of Moharram is the Ashura festival commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed in the Iraqi city of Karbala in the 7th century.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: REHAN KHAN / EPALink
Nilin, West Bank — A Palestinian demonstrator protecting his head with a plastic bag prepares to hurl back a tear gas bomb fired by Israeli troops during a weekly protest against Israel's controversial separation barrier.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: ABBAS MOMANI / AFP / Getty ImagesLink
Oahu, Hawaii — Jordy Smith of Durban, South Africa, during his quarterfinal heat at the Billabong Pipe Masters.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Kelly Cestari / Assn. of Surfing ProfessionalsLink
Washington — The sun begins to rise behind the U.S. Capitol. Later Friday, the Senate is due to debate the New START treaty with Russia.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mark Wilson / Getty ImagesLink
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