Paul Gibbons, left, managing director of the Turtle Conservancy's Behler Chelonian Center, and Armando Jimenez mark the shell of a ploughshare tortoise before engraving an identification code on it in Los Padres National Forest, where the booming illegal international wildlife trade has forced conservationists to do the unthinkable: brand the golden domes of two of the rarest tortoises on Earth to reduce their black market value by making it easier for authorities to trace them if they are poached.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Al Seib / Los Angeles TimesLink
A visitor walks down a hallway at the Forum in Inglewood. The aging arena, once a major concert venue, recently underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation and will officially reopen Wednesday with the first of a series of concerts by the Eagles.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles TimesLink
Sarah Tessier, who appears in Cirque du Soleil's "Totem" show, peers through a porthole at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium during a celebration of a partnership between the aquarium and the performance group.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Doriane Raiman / Los Angeles TimesLink
A Riverside County firefighter drags a hose into a structure as the battle against a wind-fueled fire in the Jurupa Valley neighborhood of Riverside winds down. The two-acre fire destroyed outbuildings and vehicles.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles TimesLink
Bode Miller of the United States takes the start of the FIS Alpine World Cup Men's Downhill training in Wengen, Switzerland.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: OLIVIER MORIN / AFP/Getty ImagesLink
Twin polar bear cubs slumber at Hellabrunn Zoo in Munich, Germany. The cubs were born Dec. 9 and are still unnamed.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: EPALink
The "Upside Down House" is an eye-catching attraction at the All Russia Exhibition Center in Moscow.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: YURI KOCHETKOV / EPALink
This NASA image captured by the Spitzer Space Telescope shows the Orion Nebula, an immense stellar nursery some 1,500 light-years away. This false-color view spans about 40 light-years across the region, constructed using infrared data from the Spitzer telescope.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: NASALink
African asylum seekers protest in Tel Aviv against Israel's refusal to grant them refugee status and the opening of a new detention facility in the country's south.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: OLIVER WEIKEN / EPALink
I thick rain of ash falls on the village of Payung, Indonesia, next to Mt. Sinabung as seen through a car's windshield. The volcano has sporadically erupted since September, forcing thousands of people who live around its slopes to flee their homes.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Binsar Bakkara / Associated PressLink
A worker installs a Lunar New Year decoration outside a shopping mall in Beijing. The Chinese will celebrate the start of the Year of the Horse on Feb. 1.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Andy Wong / Associated PressLink
A participant falls while trying to tackle a bull during a bull-taming sport called Jallikattu in Palamedu, India. Jallikattu is an ancient heroic sporting event of the Tamils played during the harvest festival of Pongal.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Arun Sankar K / AFP/Getty ImagesLink
Canada's Eugenie Bouchard signs autographs for fans after winning her second-round women's singles match against France's Virginie Razzano at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: SAEED KHAN / AFP/Getty ImagesLink
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In today's Pictures in the News: Prince Philip leaves the hospital after receiving treatment for a blocked artery, workers prepare for the big ball drop at Times Square in New... View Post»
By Sarah El Deeb Associated Press Nearly 3 million Muslims are performing the annual hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, that began Sunday. Pilgrims climbed the rocky... View Post»