A Greek Orthodox priest walks in the Church of the Nativity in the biblical West Bank city of Bethlehem. Tourists from all over the world are expected to flock to Jesus' birthplace to celebrate the Christmas holiday.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: ABED AL HASHLAMOUN / EPALink
A Bulgarian Muslim bride has her makeup applied during her wedding ceremony. The remote mountain village of Ribnovo in southwest Bulgaria has kept its traditional winter marriage ceremony alive despite decades of Communist persecution, followed by poverty that forced many men to seek work abroad. The wedding ritual was resurrected with vigor among the Pomaks -- Slavs who converted to Islam under Ottoman rule. The highlight of the ceremony is the painting of the bride's face, where in a private rite open only to female in-laws, her face is covered in thick, chalky white paint and decorated with colorful sequins.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: STOYAN NENOV / ReutersLink
Traffic leaves the Dubai Mall shopping district at night in Dubai. Dubai and its state-owned non-financial companies have $101.5 billion of outstanding debt and may need further financial support to meet those obligations, Moody's said.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Gabriela Maj / BloombergLink
Choristers of St Paul's Cathedral practice in the choir stalls at St Paul's Cathedral. The 30 choristers and eight probationers join 12 adult singers (the Vicars Choral) to form the Cathedral Choir.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: TOBY MELVILLE / ReutersLink
Colorful lights are seen at a country house estate. The estate owned by the Salaj family is lighted with 1.2 million Christmas lights and turns into a winter wonderland every December, attracting thousands of visitors.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: NIKOLA SOLIC / ReutersLink
Workers clear snow from a bridge over the Yenisei River.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: ILYA NAYMUSHIN / ReutersLink
A man sells roasted corn from his cart as another waits to give camel rides to residents visiting Karachi's Clifton Beach.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: AKHTAR SOOMRO / ReutersLink
School boys stand near fuel trucks that were set ablaze in the Bolan district of Pakistan's Baluchistan province. Gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on nine fuel trucks, setting them on fire and killing one of the drivers.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: STRINGER/PAKISTAN / ReutersLink
An illegal immigrant covers himself with a blanket at Tarifa's port. An inflatable vessel carrying 41 immigrants,14 of them women and six children was rescued by the Spanish coast guard three miles off the Spanish coast.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: MARCOS MORENO / AFP / Getty ImagesLink
Supporters of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin take part in a rally in central Moscow. Election fraud claims reported by Russia's opposition will not alter the outcome of this month's disputed parliamentary polls, Putin's spokesman said .
PHOTOGRAPH BY: ALEXANDER NEMENOV / AFP / Getty ImagesLink
A couple get their photo taken in front of the India Gate national monument in New Delhi. A century ago, Britain's King George V, who came to India to be crowned emperor, made a surprise announcement that Delhi would be the new capital of India. But in a country where just about any anniversary is cause for an official celebration, this obvious one is slipping past nearly unnoticed. There are no parades or festivities to mark the Dec. 12, 1911, announcement.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Saurabh Das / Associated PressLink
Mexican bullfighter David Silveti with bull Charro Cantor, during the sixth bullfight of the Great Season in the Bullring of Mexico.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: MARIO GUZMAN / EPALink
Patty Wallace walks her Jack Russell terriers Sarah and Frankie along Los Padres Road in Frazier Park, Calif. A weather warning will remain in effect until noon Tuesday after a cold, Pacific storm brought rain and snow to Southern California.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Al Seib / Los Angeles TimesLink
Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky arrives with his wife, Dottie, at Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa. In the courthouse, Sandusky, who is charged with sexual abuse involving 10 boys he met through the Second Mile nonprofit organization, waived his right to a preliminary hearing and opted instead to go straight to trial.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mark Wilson / Getty ImagesLink
Protesters hold portraits of South Korean coastguard officer Lee Cheong-ho during an anti-China protest near the Chinese embassy in Seoul. Lee was stabbed to death by a Chinese fisherman on Monday in an operation to apprehend a Chinese vessel operating illegally near South Korean waters, a South Korean official said. Two South Koreans were stabbed in the operation in the Yellow Sea off the west coast near the border with North Korea, the coastguard said.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Lee Jae-Won / ReutersLink
A Pakistani child weeps after being rescued by police during a raid at an Islamic seminary on the outskirts of Karachi, Pakistan. Pakistani police discovered drug addicts held in chains at an Islamic seminary that offered rehabilitation services and said that young children were also sometimes shackled at the institution.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Shakil Adil / Associated PressLink
Police officers surround a dead body at the Place St. Lambert square in Liege, Belgium, where a man threw explosives. A gunman killed four people, including himself, in an attack, Belgian media reported.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Thierry Roge / ReutersLink
People with disabilities protest in Athens in front of a police cordon during a demonstration against austerity measures in Greece.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Yannis Behrakis / ReutersLink
A man pulls a female Siberian tiger shot dead in a forest hours after it escaped from the local zoo of Sibiu, about 186 miles northwest of Bucharest, central Romania. The tiger was shot when it attacked the hunters who were trying to tranquilize it, a spokesperson for the Sibiu townhall, said. The big cat had escaped from the zoo in the morning after the keeper apparently left the gate ajar.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Sebastian Marcovici / AFPLink
Crowds watch as a sword- and shield-wielding Boothappas walk on Hindu devotees lying on a road to seek blessings during the Jillaragunta Jathra religious event in Bhaktharahalli in Andhra Pradesh, India. Jillaragunta Jathre is a daylong event that draws close to 10,000 people and takes place in Baktharahalli, a tiny village on the borders of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Manjunath Kiran / AFPLink
Egypt's Mohamed Elbohy tries to score in front of Sudan's Mahmoud Doleeb Mohanad, right, during a handball game at the Arab Games in Doha, Qatar.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Fadi al-Assaad / ReutersLink
Windsurfers prepare to race at the ISAF World Sailing Championships off Fremantle near Perth, Australia.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Greg Wood / AFPLink
An employee of Landgut Pretschen in Germany wears a head light as she checks chicory production. Also called Belgian endives, the plant is cultivated underground or indoors so that the leaves won't turn green and open prematurely.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Patrick Pleul / DPALink
French soldiers serving with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon decorate the Nativity scene at their base in the southern Lebanese village of Deir Kifa.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mahmoud Zayyat / AFPLink
An Indian family walks out of the doorway of the Lord Hanuman Hindu Temple in the Karol Bagh neighborhood of New Delhi, India. Lord Hanuman, the monkey god, is one of the most revered of gods in Hinduism.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Kevin Frayer / Associated PressLink
An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man walks past vandalized posters showing women in Jerusalem. Media reports state that in parts of the Israeli capital, women have been forced to use different pedestrian routes and services than men. Women have been made to use separate buses, clinics, and even the Israeli military has thought of moving serving female combat personnel because of objections by religious men serving alongside them. The changes are due to attempts by ultra-Orthodox rabbis trying to distance themselves from the change of lifestyle in a modern Israel and hold on to their secular values that include not mixing with members of the opposite sex in public
PHOTOGRAPH BY: ABIR SULTAN / EPALink
Shattered glass in a window after a shooting and grenade attack in Place Saint-Lambert, Liege. A wounded child died late Tuesday after the attack on a Belgian Christmas market, raising the death toll to five.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: ROBIN UTRECHT / EPALink
An Emirati man holds a falcon during a falconry competition, part of the Third International Festival of Falconry.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: KARIM SAHIB / AFP / Getty ImagesLink
Arrested punkers take a bath before they get moral education at a police school in the Lembah Seulawah, Banda Aceh. A total of 65 punkers were sent to the police school to get mental and spiritual guidance for 10 days before being returned to their home areas. The punkers were arrested by the government of Aceh for being against Islamic sharia law.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: HOTLI SIMANJUNTAK / EPALink
A fishing boat leaves the A Coruna's port amid heavy swells even though Spanish authorities raised the red alert along the region's coast due to groundswell in the Galician region of northwestern Spain.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: CABALAR / EPALink
Egyptians wait to vote for the second round of parliamentary elections at a polling station in Giza. According to media reports, polling stations in Egypt opened on Wednesday in the second round of voting in parliamentary elections, the first since the overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak in February.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: KHALED ELFIQI / EPALink
Fabien Mutomb, provincial vice president of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress, lies on the ground, praying, as Congolese army soldiers break up a peaceful protest. Heads of the party marched through central Lubumbashi Wednesday in protest against the "fraud and cheating" in the Congolese elections, which took place on Nov. 28, and against the closure of their offices in the capital of the mineral-rich province of Katanga.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: PHIL MOORE / AFP / Getty ImagesLink
A demonstrator uses a radio during a protest in central London over the election results in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: STEFAN WERMUTH / ReutersLink
The lawyer of former Ukraine Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, Nikolay Siryi, top, gets over a fence, blocked by Interior Ministry officers and supporters, to attend the hearings on Tymoshenko's appeal against her jail sentence at a court building in Kiev.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: STRINGER/RUSSIA / ReutersLink
A Pakistani girl plays with a Santa Claus doll in an alley of a Christian neighborhood in Islamabad.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Muhammed Muheisen / Associated PressLink
Garnering national recognition for its holiday lights, Silver Dollar City's An Old Time Christmas festival features a five-story special effects tree with a sound and light show, a light parade and more than 4 million lights.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: PR NEWSWIRELink
Bode Miller of the U.S. skis during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Men's Downhill Training.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom / Getty ImagesLink
Dais Return, ridden by Jason Maguire, jumps the last fence to win the Alfa Aggregates Handicap Hurdle race at Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Martin Rickett / Associated PressLink
Asian lioness Abi and her cubs Heidi and Indi take a cautious look at their Christmas presents at the London Zoo. The lions were given gifts filled with meat treats to spark their natural curiosity and playful nature.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Kirsty Wigglesworth / Associated PressLink
A model presents a creation with adornments partially made of chocolate during a chocolate fashion show at the World Chocolate Wonderland. The World Chocolate Wonderland will exhibit creations in chocolate such as the Terra Cotta Warriors and a Chinese dragon when it opens to the public Friday, according to the organizer.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: ALY SONG / ReutersLink
Fabiola Molina of Minas Club competes in the women's 50-meter backstroke swimming final at the Brazil Swimming Open Championships. The Brazil Open is a chance for Brazilian swimmers to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: SERGIO MORAES / ReutersLink
Lin Dan of China smashes a return against Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia during their men's singles Group B match of the BWF badminton World Superseries Finals in Liuzhou, in China's southern province of Guangxi. Lin Dan won the match, 21-12, 21-19.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: LIU JIN / Agence France-PresseLink
Jewish schoolboys from a nearby settlement sit on rubble from demolished structures as they take part in a lesson in the West Bank outpost of Mitzpe Yitzhar, near Nablus. Israeli forces tore down structures in the outpost, which was built without government approval.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: RONEN ZVULUN / ReutersLink
A U.S. Marine salutes a color guard as it lowers the flag of the U.S. forces in Iraq during a ceremony for the U.S. military to retire the flag, signifying the end of their presence in Iraq at the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center. The U.S military officially ended its war in Iraq on Thursday, packing up the military flag at a ceremony with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta nearly nine years after the invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein. This ceremony is called the "casing of the colors."
PHOTOGRAPH BY: LUCAS JACKSON / ReutersLink
A police officer speaks to Zaynab al-Khawaja, daughter of human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, after she refused to leave after a sit-in on Budaiya Highway west of Manama. Hundreds of anti-government protesters tried to enter the highway for a sit-in. Riot police dispersed them with tear gas and grenades.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: HAMAD I MOHAMMED / ReutersLink
A woman shouts anti-government slogans as she stands near tear gas fired by riot police during a sit-in at a traffic circle on Budaiya Highway.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: HAMAD I MOHAMMED / ReutersLink
Venezuelan authorities present alleged Colombian drug trafficker Maximiliano Bonilla, center, a.k.a. "El Valenciano," prior to his extradition at the Simon Bolivar International Airport. Bonilla was sent to the United States.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rodolfo Gutierrez / EFELink
Universidad de Chile fans cheer for their team before the Copa Sudamericana 2011 second leg final match against Ecuador's Liga de Quito at the National stadium.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: MARTIN BERNETTI / Agence France-PresseLink
A Palestinian Christian man decorates the Byzantine-era St. George's Orthodox Church to prepare for Christmas in the West Bank village of Burqin, which is considered one of the oldest Christian holy places in the world. According to Christian teachings, Jesus had passed through Burqin on his way to Jerusalem from Nazareth and cured 10 lepers, which made the church a pilgrimage site.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: SAIF DAHLAH / AFP / Getty ImagesLink
Lights decorate a church as thousands of people attend an early morning Mass that signals the beginning of the celebrations for Christmas in suburban Las Pinas. The early morning Mass is a religious tradition in which Filipinos attend a Mass for nine consecutive days until Christmas.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Pat Roque / Associated PressLink
Young women with their faces painted with the Syrian flag attend a demonstration against Syrian President Bashar Assad in front of the Syrian Consulate, following Friday prayers. More than 5,000 people have been killed in Syria since pro-democracy protests began in March, according to the United Nations.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: BULENT KILIC / AFP / Getty ImagesLink
Indian homeless people and rickshaw pullers sit next to a fire to keep themselves warm at night. India's supreme court has ordered Indian states to provide adequate night shelters for the homeless during the winter.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: HARISH TYAGI / EPALink
People observe the sculpture of Spanish artist Alicia Martin, made of 3,000 books, on the occasion of the exhibition "Inside" at City of Culture of Santiago de Compostela. Eight authors received the challenge to realize a piece that is not to be removed from the line of discourse of their work, while at the same time engaging in a dialogue with the unique architectural setting that is the complex.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: XOAN REY / EPALink
Colombian actor Jazmin Zamora performs at the Plaza Botero.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: RAUL ARBOLEDA / AFP / Getty ImagesLink
A helicopter surveys the Maltese-registered cargo ship TK Bremen, which ran aground on Kerminihy beach, spilling oil from its engines on the coast of Brittany, in western France. Winter storm Joachim has battered France's western seaboard since Thursday.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: STEPHANE MAHE / ReutersLink
A fisherman stands on the frozen bank of the Yenisei River near Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: ILYA NAYMUSHIN / ReutersLink
People fish from a pier during sunset in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: MIKHAIL MORDASOV / AFP / Getty ImagesLink
Egyptian soldiers beat a protester during clashes near Cairo's Tahrir Square after demonstrators threw petrol bombs and set fire to furniture in front of the nearby parliament.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: MOHAMMED ABED / AFP / Getty ImagesLink
Egyptian protesters break the windows of the Shura Council near the parliament. Egyptian soldiers charged at protesters outside the cabinet's offices, breaking up a sit-in after the demonstrators threw petrol bombs and set fire to furniture in front of the nearby parliament.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: MOHAMMED ABED / AFP / Getty ImagesLink
Afghan men play soccer in a field near the Darul Aman Palace in Kabul. The men, mostly students, gather in this field to play soccer on their day off from school. Darul Aman Palace was built in the early 1920s by King Amanullah Khan to modernize Afghanistan, and in recent history heavy shelling by the Mujahideen after the end of the Soviet invasion left the building a gutted ruin.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP / Getty ImagesLink
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[UPDATED June 20 2013] SAO PAULO, Brazil -- On Thursday night last week, Brazil's left-wing Free Fare Movement held the fourth of its street protests against a 10-cent hike in... View Post»
Thursday's Pictures in the News begins in Texas with the dedication of the George W. Bush presidential library on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. The... View Post»