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Pictures in the News | December 29, 2011

Thursday’s Pictures in the News begins in Germany, where visitors stand around a snow church just after its inauguration in Mitterfirmiansreut. The church was made of 1,400 cubic meters of snow and aims to commemorate the winter of the years 1910/1911, when so much snow fell that believers of Mitterfirmiansreut were unable to go to church in the neighboring commune of Mauth. So they decided to build their own church, made of snow. Staying in the snow, we observe an army of snowmen built in a park in Moscow and residents enjoying skating and sliding on frozen lakes in Beijing.

Hundreds of Chinese people queue up to buy train tickets at a railway station in Hefei as they prepare to return home for the lunar Chinese New Year. China’s retail sales for the Lunar New Year holiday surged 19% year-on-year in one of the biggest rises in a decade.

Elsewhere, Indian air force cadets celebrate their graduation at the IAF academy in Dundigal; 15 people were killed and dozens more injured in an explosion and fire in Myanmar’s commercial hub and former capital Yangon; and people participate in a memorial service in Tokyo to mourn late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il sponsored by the General Assn. of Korean Residents in Japan.

Add stops in Austria, Pakistan and Australia to round out the report.