Voice of America
Dicembre 2011
(250 foto)

The sails of the Sydney Opera House turn red during a World Aids Day reception in Sydney, Australia. (Reuters)

Members of ruling party UMNO look on during the annual general assembly in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Delegates will meet for five days. (AFP)

A cleaner walks through the yard of the al-Azhar mosque of Cairo. The fundamentalist Brotherhood is emerging as the biggest winner in partial results from the first voting this week in Egypt's landmark election, in which voters turned out in unexpected droves. (AP)

A family walks past banners appealing to people to vote for the United Russia party in front of Moscow's Kremlin. Russians will vote in parliamentary elections on December 4. (Reuters)

An army soldier, who defected and is backing anti-government protesters, stands guard as he secures a street where protesters marched to demand the trial of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa. (Reuters)

India's Naga tribe dancers in traditional attire during the inauguration of the Hornbill festival in Kisama village, on the outskirts of Kohima. The week-long festival, held annually to celebrate northeastern Nagaland's statehood day, concludes on Dec. 7. (AP)

Syrian refugees who fled violence in their country during a break in class at the Islamic Charity Center in Mafraq, Jordan. (Reuters)

People shop at a recently opened supermarket in Mumbai. Tens of thousands of small shopkeepers went on strike across India Thursday to protest a government decision to allow foreign retail giants to enter the country's $450 billion retail market. (Reuters)

Austrian Caritas director Michael Landau (c) holds a sign promoting a donation campaign in front of a homeless shelter, The Crypt (Die Gruft), in Vienna. The facility, run by Caritas, solicits donations from the public during the cold winter season. The sign reads: 'Crypt winter package, one sleeping bag, one hot meal'. (Reuters)

A beaded Versace evening jacket "The Face," which belonged to Elizabeth Taylor, is on display as part of a Dec. 13 auction of the late actress' jewelry, clothing, art and memorabilia at Christie's Auction House in New York City. (Reuters)

A dancer from the U.S. dance company Momix performs during the rehearsal of the "Momix Remix" show in Madrid, Spain. (AFP)

A survivor of the Bhopal gas tragedy, the world's worst industrial disaster in India, dances on burning effigies of London Olympic organizing committee chairman Sebastian Coe and Indian Olympic Association's Vijay K. Malhotra to protest a sponsorship deal with Dow Chemicals for the 2012 Olympics, in Bhopal. (AP)

Shi'ite Muslims flagellate themselves during a Moharram procession ahead of Ashura in Jammu, India. (Reuters)

Protesters take snapshots of a mural picturing people with eye patches symbolizing protesters wounded in clashes with security forces near Tahrir Square in Cairo. (AP)

A pro-Syrian regime protester waves a national flag as he stands in front of huge portrait of President Bashar Assad during a protest against Arab and European sanctions in Damascus. (AP)

A masked Palestinian protester throws back a tear gas canister launched by Israeli troops during a demonstration against the expansion of the nearby Jewish settlement of Halamish in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh near Ramallah. (AP)

Air Force officers are reflected in a puddle during a military ceremony celebrating the 92nd anniversary of Colombia's Air Force in Bogota, Colombia. (AP)

Indian currency notes are stapled to form a garland at a shop in Jammu. (Reuters)

Tomasz Sikora of Poland shoots during the World Cup biathlon men's 10 km sprint event in Ostersund, Sweden. (Reuters)

A man walks past a dog during a snowfall in a park in Beijing, China. (AFP)

The Elbe Sandstone Mountains, with Kleinhennersdorfer Stein mountain (L) Papstein mountain (C) and Gohrischstein mountain (R) near Koenigstein, eastern Germany is illuminated by the rising sun on Friday morning. (AP)

Russian Communists Party supporters holding party flags gather to protest against official results of parliamentary elections in Moscow. (AP)

Italian Premier Mario Monti prepares to speak at Rome's Foreign Press Club. (AP)

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (L) leaves the High Court in London where he attended a ruling in his long-running fight against extradition to Sweden. (AFP)

Shi'ite Muslim men touch a symbolic sacred horse for good luck as they take part in a religious procession ahead of the Ashura festival in Lahore, Pakistan. (Reuters)

A Yemeni woman displays her hand with a chain and lock during a demonstration to demand trial of Yemen's outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh in the southern city of Taiz. (Reuters)

Sri Lanka's cricketer Kumar Sangakkara (R) speaks with a Buddhist monk during a blessing ceremony at the Sri Lankan cricket headquarters in Colombo ahead of his team's departure for their South African tour. (Reuters)

A couple peers through cables on the Brooklyn Bridge toward the Manhattan skyline on a foggy morning in New York. (AP)

People sunbathe at a public beach in this aerial view of the Dead Sea. (Reuters)

A German balloon vendor dressed as a Santa Claus searches in his balloons as he waits for customers at a Christmas market in Berlin. (AP)

A pair of Western and Victorian crown pigeons eat from a feeding plate at the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, Malaysia. (AP)

A member of the pro-Kremlin youth movement Stal wearing a Darth Vader mask participates in a rally in downtown Moscow. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Tuesday he's satisfied with the performance of his party in Russia's parliamentary election even though it lost a significant number of seats. (AP)

A cleaner wipes windows as passenger planes are parked on the tarmac shrouded by heavy fog at the Beijing Capital International Airport. Fog blanketed parts of northern China, forcing the airport to cancel dozens of departing flights. (AP)

An Indian Shi'ite Muslim mourns during a prayer to mark Ashura in New Delhi. Ashura is the 10th day of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, observed around the world in remembrance of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed. (AP)

An officer participates in the raising ceremony of the national flag during celebrations of the 33rd anniversary of the Spanish constitution in Madrid. (AP)

Hungarian sculptor Erno Toth works on a wax model for a new bronze statue of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in Budapest. The statue, commissioned by chief of Hungarian software maker Graphisoft Gabor Bojar, will be delivered December 20. (Reuters)

A man carries an empty gas cylinder on his back after the ones distributed by the army ran out in Cairo. Butane gas cylinders have seen a surge in prices over the past weeks as a black market flourished due to the lack of security, according to local media. (Reuters)

A snake charmer performs at Galle Face Green in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (Reuters)

A woman displays placards during a protest against violence and against immunity for Yemen's outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in the southern city of Taiz. (Reuters)

A rose honoring Sonia Pelletier, a victim from the Montreal Massacre, is pictured during the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women rally in Ottawa, Canada. On this day in 1989 a gunman killed 14 female students at Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique. (Reuters)

Dylan pulls Christmas trees from the forest to a customer's car at Dalby, near Pickering, northern England. The dog owners' charity Aqua Nova Bears are deploying their members' Newfoundland dogs, which can weigh up to 76 kg, to raise money for the Yorkshire air ambulance fund. (Reuters)

A fruit vendor takes a rest from selling pineapple at a public market in Quezon City Metro Manila. The Philippines' annual inflation rate slowed to 4.8 percent in November from 5.2 percent in October, below economists' forecasts. (Reuters)

A model presents a creation during the 2012 Korea Hair Collection in Seoul, South Korea. (Reuters)

Pearl Harbor survivors stand at attention during the National Anthem at a memorial ceremony in Hawaii. Today marks the 70th anniversary of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor Naval Base which pulled the U.S. into a war with Japan. (AP)

Kenyan doctors sing slogan songs on the third day of a nationwide strike outside the Ministry of Health office in Nairobi. The doctors are demanding a salary hike of 300 percent from the government, paralyzing health facilities around the country. (Reuters)

The Apple logo hangs inside the newest Apple Store in New York City's Grand Central Station, during a press preview of the store, which opens to the public on Friday. (Reuters)

A monk looks up at Buddhist flags while participating in a peace rally in Kathmandu, Nepal. The Council of Buddhist Union organized the rally against the government's decision to form the Lumbini Development National Steering Committee. Some Buddhist organizations say the committee, which is led by Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, is an effort to turn Lumbini, the birth place of Guatam Buddha, into an industrial area. (Reuters)

A worker takes a break from loading coal onto trucks near the town of Dangcheng, located 250 km southwest of Beijing. A study by the Global Carbon Project, an annual report card on mankind's CO2 pollution, showed that globally CO2 emissions in 2010 from coal totaled 41 percent, with China's emissions jumping 10.4 percent in 2010. (Reuters)

A demonstrator huddles at the entrance of her tent at the Occupy London protest camp next to St. Paul's Cathedral. (Reuters)

A Kyrgyz soldier from "Scorpion" special forces looks on during a joint anti-terrorist exercises with U.S. 3rd Special Forces Group at a firing range near the town of Tokmak, some 60 km from Bishkek. (AFP)

A Tibetan woman prays as she listens to spiritual leader the Dalai Lama during a teaching at the Gyurmey Tantric Monastery in Gurupura, Karnataka state. The monastery is located in southern India in an area settled by a large community of Tibetan exiles. (AP)

John Kapon, CEO of Acker Merrall & Condit Companies, poses with a lot of 55 bottles of "Domaine de la Romanee Conti's Romanee Conti" ranging from year 1952 to 2007, during an auction preview. The lot is expected to fetch US$600,000 to US$800,000 at wine auctions Dec. 8 & 10 in Hong Kong. (AP)

A man shops for vegetables at a market in New Delhi. India Wednesday suspended its plan to open its huge retail sector to foreign companies such as Wal-Mart in a reversal seen as a major capitulation to political opponents that further weakens the administration. (AP)

Dressed in a Santa Claus outfit, a diver feeds sardines at the Coex Aquarium in Seoul. Christmas is one of the biggest holidays in South Korea, where over half of the population are Christians. (AP)

Thousands of South African youths form a giant lion head on a beach in Durban, to call for urgent action on climate change, on the sidelines of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. The event was in partnership with international artist John Quigley and supported by the "tck tck tck Global Campaign for Climate Action." (AFP/ Greenpeace / Shayne Robinson)

Pope Benedict XVI waves as he arrives for the Immaculate Conception celebration prayer in Piazza di Spagna (Spain's Square) in downtown Rome. (Reuters)

A supporter of Congolese opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi is grabbed by a riot police officer outside his candidate's headquarters in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. Partial results issued by Congo's electoral commission overnight make it all but certain that President Joseph Kabila will be declared the winner. (AP)

A member of Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force wearing a protective suit removes contaminated soil from areas tainted with radioactive substances from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power plant, near the Tomioka town hall in Tomioka town, Fukushima Prefecture. Kyodo. (Reuters/Kyodo)

A flag bearer on horseback holds up the flag of the Army Infantry First Brigade during a military parade by the Liberation Army to commemorate the establishment of Libyan National Army in Benghazi. (Reuters)

Russian police detain an activist wearing a Vladimir Putin mask during an opposition protest in St. Petersburg. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin accused the United States of stirring up protests against his 12-year rule and said foreign countries were spending hundreds of millions of dollars to influence Russian elections. (Reuters)

Street artists perform in downtown Rome, Italy. (Reuters)

Boats shelter in Portrush harbor on the the north coast of County Antrim as storm force winds batter the north coast of Northern Ireland with gales forecast to reach 80mph. (Reuters)

Little Blue Penguins run towards the sea after being released by wild life workers and school children at Mount Maunganui beach in Tauranga, New Zealand. The Penguins were among those affected by New Zealand's biggest sea pollution disaster when the Monrovia-flagged container ship 'Rena' ploughed into a reef on October 5. (AFP)

Horses stand in a snow-covered field in North Chatham, New York. Parts of eastern New York state received up to seven inches of snow overnight knocking out power to about 13,000 utility customers. (AP)

A farmer stops the traffic in Duisburg, western Germany, to cross the street with his 150 geese in Duisburg. The geese enjoy their outdoor enclosure during the day after leaving their night accommodation, to feed on fresh grass and move back inside during the evening. (AP)

The moon illuminates the spires of the Duomo gothic cathedral in Milan, Italy. (AP)

School children perform rituals during a prayer ceremony in Jammu for victims of a Kolkata, India hospital fire. (Reuters)

People stand next to an image of 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Yemeni activist Tawakkol Karman at the peace garden at an exhibition at the Nobel Peace Center on the eve of the prize ceremony in Oslo, Norway. (AFP)

Employees of French daily newspaper France-Soir déploient display a giant banner on top of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Workers are protesting the end of the newspaper’s print edition, scheduled for Dec. 15, which will result in loss of 89 jobs. (AFP)

Surviving widows and relatives of men killed in a notorious massacre gather for a commemoration in Rawagede, West Java, Indonesia. After six decades of waiting, relatives of the men killed during Indonesia's bitter struggle for independence finally got what they wanted: an official apology from the Dutch state. (AP)

Nepal's Raju Tamang takes a corner shot in a fog-enveloped stadium during their semi-final soccer match against Afghanistan at the SAFF Championship 2011 in New Delhi, India. (AP)

A Sudanese refugee participates in a demonstration for human rights in Tel Aviv. Thousands of activists participated in the rally marking the International Day of Human Rights, which is Saturday. (AP)

A man shovels snow in a parking lot in Pyongyang after overnight snow fell on the North Korean capital. (AP)

Bahraini Shi’ite Muslims participate in a religious procession in the Musalla neighborhood of Manama. Afterward, hundreds of participants headed toward an area that had been the hub of Bahrain's spring uprising and is now a heavily-militarized zone that protesters seek to reclaim. (AP)

Hunters with tame golden eagles get ready for an annual hunting competition outside Almaty, Kazakhstan. (Reuters)

Painters sit in front of the Forth Bridge in North Queensferry near Edinburgh, Scotland. Network Rail announced the end of the 10-year refurbishment and repainting of the bridge, on which over 240,000 liters of paint was used. (Reuters)

An employee works at a factory producing New Year and Christmas decorations in Lviv, Ukraine. (Reuters)

Dancers perform during the opening ceremony for the Arab Games at Khalifa stadium in Doha, Qatar. (Reuters)

An Indian army soldier performs a stunt ahead of the Vijay Diwas celebrations in Kolkata. Vijay Diwas is a ceremony to celebrate the liberation of Bangladesh by the Indian Armed Forces on December 16, 1971. (Reuters)

Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing during the Angelus prayer from his studio overlooking St. Peter's square at the Vatican as a statue of Jesus Child is seen in foreground. (AP)

Romanians ride horse-drawn carts loaded with firewood as they cross the Danube river, made possible by an ongoing drought which has caused a drop in water levels, in Calarasi, southern Romania. (AP)

Russian nationalists hold a banner, which reads as "All for one and one for all", and wave old Russian imperial flags during their rally at Bolotnaya Square, on an island in the Moscow River adjacent to the Kremlin in Moscow. (AP)

Palestinians run as they try to avoid tear gas fired by Israeli soldiers during clashes in the West Bank town of Nabi Saleh. (AP)

A man sorts leftover corn kernels for sale at the roadside near a storehouse in Faisalabad, Pakistan. (Reuters)

Athletes compete in the fog during the Nordic Combined World Cup competition in Ramsau, Austria. (AP)

Participants take part in the Great Edinburgh Santa Run in Princes Street gardens in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Reuters)

A partial lunar eclipse is seen from the Roman pillars of the Temple of Hercules in Amman, Jordan, December 10, 2011. (Reuters)

Malaysia's outgoing King, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, left, salutes as Queen Nur Zahirah, right, stands beside him during his official farewell ceremony at Parliament Square in Kuala Lumpur. Mizan Zainal Abidin, who was proclaimed the country's 13th king on Dec. 13, 2006, for a five-year rotation period, completed his reign on December 12, 2011. (AP)

Paramilitary policemen carry wreaths as they march during a rehearsal of a ceremony marking the 74th anniversary of the start of the Nanjing Massacre at the Nanjing Massacre Museum, Jiangsu province, China, to commemorate the 1937 massacre, when Japanese troops killed more than 300,000 people. (Reuters)

A protester from the Occupy movement and a law enforcement officer photograph each other across from the entrance to the terminals at the Port of Longview in Longview, Washington. (Reuters)

Choristers practice in the choir stalls at St Paul's Cathedral in the City of London. (Reuters)

The Christmas lights in front of the Monte-Carlo Casino in Monaco (AFP)

A sea lion wearing antlers performs at the Sunshine International Aquarium as the seasonal attraction, which will be held until Christmas Day, in Tokyo, Japan. (AFP)

Pedestrians stroll under yellow ginkgo trees in Tokyo, Japan. Local residents came out to admire some 150 ginkgo trees displaying their yellow colors along the tree-lined street on a warm winter day. (AFP)

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, left, and Congress party President Sonia Gandhi attend a function to mark the tenth anniversary of the parliament attack in New Delhi. (AP)

Villagers ride their electric tricycles to pick up their children outside a primary school in Shouxian town, Jiangsu province. At least 15 children from the school were killed when their school bus crashed in China's eastern province of Jiangsu, state media said. (Reuters)

Plainclothes police officers try to stop a protester from tearing a Chinese flag with his teeth during an anti-China protest near the Chinese embassy in Seoul. A South Korean coastguard was stabbed to death by a Chinese fisherman on December 12, 2011, in an operation to apprehend a Chinese vessel operating illegally near South Korean waters, a South Korean official said. (Reuters)

A Pakistani child weeps after being rescued by police during a raid at an Islamic seminary on the outskirts of Karachi. 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. (AP)

People stroll in Rome's Via Condotti shopping street. Fears of default have led to elevated yields on bonds issued by Italy, the latest focus of the crisis. (AP)

A Honduran soldier - member of the presidential guard - clashes with demonstrators protesting against the murder of journalists in Tegucigalpa. In the past two years, and under the government of Porfirio Lobo, 17 journalists have been killed in Honduras. (AFP)

Bahrain's Fahad Hardan celebrates after scoring the first goal for his team during their soccer match against Iraq at the Arab Games in Doha, Qatar. (Reuters)

Mount Rainer, a 14,411-foot stratovolcano, is seen at dawn during a colorful sunrise from Seattle, Washington, some 50 miles away. (AP)

Waves from the English Channel break over the light beacon and seawall at Newhaven in East Sussex in southern England. (Reuters)

A woman lights a candle at a bus stop where a grenade-lobbing gunman killed three people and injured 123, in the city center of Liege, Belgium. (AP)

A man reads his ballot paper in a booth before casting his vote at a polling station during the second day of parliamentary elections in Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt. (Reuters)

Captured Iranian helmets cascade from the base of the "Hands of Victory" memorial in the Green Zone of Baghdad. The monument was commissioned by Saddam Hussein following the end of the Iran-Iraq War and the hands are modeled after those of Saddam Hussein. (Reuters)

A health worker fumigates a housing development after flood waters receded in Nonthaburi province, on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand. (Reuters)

An Indonesian worker prepares sand sculptures for the December 18 opening of the Sand Sculpture Festival at Sentul City in Bogor, West Java. (AP)

Etibar Elchiyev demonstrates his magnetic ability as he poses with 50 metal spoons magnetized to his body during an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for Most Spoons on a Human Body in Tbilisi, Georgia. (AP)

A reindeer handler chats with police officers in Downing Street, London, before the Chancellor of the Exchequer's annual Christmas party. (AP)

France's First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy (R) gives gifts to children of Alsace during the Christmas party at the Elysee Palace in Paris. (Reuters)

Prince Albert II of Monaco and his wife Princess Charlene wave to children during the traditional Christmas tree ceremony at the Monaco Palace, Monaco. (Reuters)

Edu Dracena (R) of Brazil's Santos and Junya Tanaka of Japan's Kashiwa Reysol fight for the ball during their FIFA Club World Cup semi-final soccer match in Toyota, central Japan. (Reuters)

A Grevy's Zebra grazes in the "Safari Africa" section of Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Florida. (AP)

A Nepali Buddhist offers prayers under a large bell at Boudhanath Stupa. The stupa, which is one of the largest in the world, is a UNESCO heritage site. (AP)

A photographer waits for the arrival of a big wave to break on the Basque Monument ''El Peine de los Vientos'' during high winds in San Sebastian, northern Spain. Authorities predict gales in northern Spain this weekend with winds expected to be around 120 kph. (AP)

U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Adam Schuessler waits to board an Air Force C-130 transport plane to leave Iraq at the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center. U.S. forces formally ended their nine-year war in Iraq Thursday with a low-key flag ceremony in Baghdad, while to the north flickering violence highlighted ethnic and sectarian strains that threaten the country in the years ahead. (Reuters)

A guest takes a photo of terracotta warriors, made of chocolate, displayed at a new chocolate theme park in Shanghai, China. (AP)

Nooses hang in the gallows at the Pretoria Central Prison, South Africa. The government opened the gallows Thursday as a monument to those who were executed before the practice was stopped in 1989 and abolished in 1995. In the background are plaques to remember political prisoners who were executed. (AP)

An engineer tests the new electronic trading system at the Khartoum Stock Exchange. Sudan, struggling to restore its economy after years of war and the break-away of newly formed South Sudan, aims to expand its tiny stock market to trade gold and commodities. (Reuters)

A TAM airline plane flies past the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. Brazil's antitrust regulator approved the merger between TAM Airlines and LAN of Chile. The merged company will be Latin America's largest airline, known as Latam. (AP

Sri Lankan fire dancers perform outside the Lotus Pond, a new performing arts theater in Colombo. The 3.08 billion rupee (USD 27 million) theater, officiated by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, was built with aid from China. (AFP)

Marco Sulllivan, of the United States, is airborne during a training session for the first European downhill race of the World Cup season in Val Gardena, Italy. (AP)

A four-month-old lion cub, originally from Africa, is seen inside its cage at Jordan's zoo in Yaduda. (Reuters)

Ice skaters slide use the ice rink set 57 meters above the ground on the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Lodged between two of the tower's immense latticed steel legs, visible in background, the rink is not big at 200 square meters, but adds a new dimension to the breathtaking views from Paris' best-known landmark. It will remain open until Jan. 31. (AP)

A student attaches her glasses to a face mask during an event promoting the traditional Chinese art of Peking opera at a university in Liaocheng, Shandong province, China. Students taking part in the event designed their own masks. (Reuters)

A large Christmas tree decorates the central ground floor at Galeries Lafayette department store in Paris. (AFP)

Shadows of Syrians are reflected on a giant poster showing President Bashar Assad, during a supporting rally in Damascus. Syrian security forces opened fire on anti-government protesters after Friday prayers at several locations around the country, while the army sent reinforcements into a southern area where military defectors recently launched deadly attacks on regime troops. (AP)

In this image made available by France's Marine Nationale, the cargo ship TK Bremen is seen stranded on a beach near Erdeven, France. High winds beached the ship on France's jagged Atlantic coast and some of the 220 tons of fuel on board are leaking and threatening a local beach. (AP/Mael Prigent, Marine Nationale)

Participants of a flash mob burn fake foreign bank notes during a protest against plans to join the European Union in Kiev, Ukraine. Kiev will host a EU-Ukraine summit next week. (Reuters)

A delegate faces the international ocean conservation organization Oceana's mascot "Finley the Fish" at a World Trade Organization ministerial conference in Geneva, Switzerland. Trade ministers of New Zealand and Australia joined officials from a diverse group of countries, reaffirming the need to establish strong trade rules on subsidies that lead to overfishing. (AFP)

India Gate is reflected as a soldier plays music during a ceremony to pay respect to those who died during the 1971 India-Pakistan war for the liberation of East Pakistan, now called Bangladesh, during Victory Day celebrations in New Delhi. (AP)

Workers spray water and clean sand sculptures featuring famous figures and landmarks during the Sand Sculptures Festival at a cultural park in Sentul, outside of Jakarta, Indonesia. International artists from 11 countries created 40 large sculptures for the festival. (AFP)

Anti-government protesters shout slogans during a rally to demand the trial of Yemen's outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa. The words on the sunglasses read, "The trial is our demand." (Reuters)

A woman is seen smiling during the National Convention on "Empowerment to Tribal Women" at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) office in New Delhi, India. (AP)

A man paddles in a flooded street in El Banco, Colombia, a village on the Magdalena's river bank. At least 120 people have died as a result of heavy rains and Colombia's weather office expects La Nina-related downpours to continue at least until the end of the first quarter of next year. (Reuters)

A boy in a school uniform waits for a rickshaw driver to make an adjustment on a cool morning in New Delhi, India. The rickshaw is a common mode of transport in many Indian cities. (AP)

Competitors approach a mark during racing in the Women's 470 two-person dinghy at the ISAF World Sailing Championships on Fremantle Harbour near Perth, Australia. (AFP)

Lights decorate a church as thousands of people attend an early morning mass which signals the beginning of the celebrations for Christmas in suburban Las Pinas, south of Manila, Philippines. As part of a religious tradition Filipinos attend mass for nine consecutive days until Christmas. (AP)

An elderly South Korean man from a conservative, right-wing and anti-North Korean civic group, holds an extra edition of a local newspaper reporting the death of North Korean leader Kim jong-il at a rally in Seoul. (Reuters)

North Koreans cry and scream in a display of mourning for their leader Kim Jong Il at the foot of a giant statue of his father Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang, after Kim Jong Il's death was announced. (AP)

A woman holds flowers as she arrives to pay her respects to late former Czech President Vaclav Havel in Prague. (Reuters)

Anti-communist fighters, who took part in events that led to the toppling of communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989, protest in Bucharest, Romania, outside the natural history museum, near the government headquarters. (AP)

Ancient burnt and damaged books saved from a research center set up during the three-year occupation of Egypt by France in the late 18th century are seen at a restoration book center in Cairo. (AP)

An aerial photo shows damage caused by devastating floods over Iligan city in southern Philippines after tropical storm Washi blew away Sunday. (AP)

An elderly woman negotiates a pedestrian crossing during heavy rainfall in central Athens, Greece. (AP)

Qatar's Femi Seun Ogunode falls during the Men's 200m final during the 2011 Arab Games in Doha. (Reuters)

A worker puts on ornaments from inside a Christmas tree in Sidon, southern Lebanon. (Reuters)

A keeper at the zoo in Magdeburg, eastern Germany, holds a mona (Cercopithecus Mona) monkey baby. (AP)

U.S. Tech Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo (C) kisses his wife Lalaine upon his arrival at Baltimore Washington International Airport in Maryland. (AFP)

People place candles next to St. Wenceslas statue in the center of Prague to pay tribute to former Czech President Vaclav Havel. (AP)

North Korean TV still shows Kim Jong-Un (L), son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il as he walks next to his father's glass coffin (R) in Pyongyang. (AFP)

A Pakistani child looks towards a flag next to her mother, while taking part in an anti-NATO rally called by Pakistani religious group Jamaat-e-Islami in Karachi. (AP)

An Egyptian woman is reflected in a puddle full of stones used in recent clashes at Tahrir Square, Cairo. (AP)

An armed Yemeni tribesman loyal to Sheik Sadeq al-Ahmar, the head of the powerful Hashid tribe, jumps out of a hole in a building damaged during recent clashes with security forces in Sanaa. (AP)

Marlies Schild of Austria competes during the women's night slalom in FIS Alpine skiing World cup in Flachau. (AFP)

A statue on top of the Gendarmenmarkt concerthall is seen through Christmas lights in Berlin, Germany. (AFP)

A visitor looks at an ice sculpture showing a contortionist at an exhibition of ice sculptures in Roevershagen, eastern Germany. (AP)

Snow has fallen on a red rose in a garden in Frankfurt, Germany. (AP)

A boy takes a break from shoveling mud as he cleans his house swamped with mud from flash floods triggered by Typhoon Washi in Iligan city, southern Philippines. (Reuters)

Residents shelter in an evacuation center following Friday's flash flooding brought about by Tropical storm Washi in Iligan city, southern Philippines. (AP)

The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with a Soyuz TMA-03M space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, blasts off from the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. (AP)

A photo provided by the National Forensic Science Institute shows a giant metallic ball of 1,1 metre in diameter weighing some 6 kilograms that fell out of the sky on a remote grassland in Namibia, prompting baffled authorities to contact NASA and the European space agency. (AFP)

A beggar is wrapped in a blanket in Milan, Italy. (AP)

Romanian honor guard soldiers are reflected in a puddle during a religious service at the Hero's Cemetery in Bucharest. (AP)

Filipino cadets dance during the 76th anniversary of the Armed Forces of the Philippines at Camp Aguinaldo military headquarters in suburban Quezon city, Metro Manila. (AP)

A general view of the Aspire Zone hall during the men's final handball game between Qatar and Egypt at the Arab Games 2011 in Doha. (Reuters)

A seven month old female baby koala, as yet unnamed, holds onto a toy koala as she is weighed at Duisburg Zoo, Germany. (AP)

A day-old white lion cub lies next to his mother Sumba in their enclosure at Belgrade's Zoo. (Reuters)

Artists perform during Cirque du Soleil's Alegria show in Lisbon's Atlantic pavilion, Spain. (Reuters)

Revelers dance as the sun rises at Stonehenge on Salisbury plain in southern England. (Reuters)

A soldier's boot and blood stains are seen on the ground after a deadly bomb attack in central Baghdad's Alawi district, Iraq. (Reuters)

An Egyptian boy walks in front of anti-Parliamentary elections graffiti at Tahrir Square in Cairo. (AP)

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev walks in before making his annual state of the nation address at the Kremlin in Moscow. (Reuters)

Typhoon Washi survivors pray before humanitarian agency World Vision's volunteers start a trauma counseling session outside an evacuation center in the southern Philippines city of Cagayan de Oro. (Reuters)

A Pakistani horse owner tries to control his horse while he waits for customers at Clifton beach in Karachi. (AP)

A man cleans the floor at The Strikers, Afghanistan's first bowling center, Kabul. (Reuters)

An American alligator hatchling (R) peers out of a Christmas boot at the Australian Reptile Park near Sydney. (AFP)

A squirrel sits on a snow covered branch in a park during heavy snow fall in Sofia, Bulgaria. (AFP)

Flocks of starlings fly over a decorated Christmas tree as night falls in Rome, Italy. (AFP)

An Italian railways worker walks during a protest against the dismissal of 800 night trains workers, at the railways station in Milan. (AP)

A cracked windshield is seen at the site of a suicide bombing in Damascus, Syria. (AP)

A Syrian woman living in Jordan performs Friday prayers before protesting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in front of the Syrian embassy in Amman. (Reuters)

A woman holds a Czech flag as she watches the state funeral of former Czech President Vaclav Havel in Prague. (AP)

Egyptian girls look at army troops through a gap between concrete blocs, part of a barrier that the military set up to block the road and separate army troops from protesters, near Tahrir Square in Cairo. (AP)

Israeli soldiers fire tear gas at Palestinian protesters during a weekly demonstration against the construction and expansion of settlements on village lands in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah. (AFP)

An anti-government protester approaches police, unseen, with flowers and a national flag in Manama, Bahrain. (AP)

Children perform the Bharatnatyam, an Indian classical dance, during the inauguration of the 45th Senior National Indian Style Wrestling Championship in Hyderabad, December 23, 2011. (AP)

Chinese winter swimmers wearing Santa Claus costumes play soccer on a frozen lake ahead of Christmas in Shenyang, Liaoning province. (Reuters)

Elephants dressed in Santa Claus costumes perform for students ahead of the Christmas festival at a school in Ayutthaya province, Thailand. (AFP)

A boy stands in front of a house decorated with Christmas illuminations in downtown Hamburg, Germany. (Reuters)

Members of the clergy pray in the Grotto, where Christians believe the Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus, in the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem. (Reuters)

A child touches an idol of baby Jesus in a church in Jammu, India. (AP)

People light candles during a Christmas mass in Alexander Nevski cathedral in Sofia, Bulgaria. (Reuters)

Swiss guards line up as they wait for Pope Benedict XVI to deliver his "Urbi et Orbi" (to the City and to the World) speech from the central loggia of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. (AP)

Members of Occupy London share food and drink on Christmas Day at their encampment outside St Paul's Cathedral in London. (Reuters)

Beach goers wearing Santa hats play in the surf on Christmas Day at Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia. (AP)

Father Frost, the Russian equivalent of Santa Claus, greets people during a parade in central St. Petersburg, Russia. (Reuters)

Members of the Cryophil amateur winter bathing club take part in a fancy-dress bathing performance on the bank of the Yenisei River as they celebrate the upcoming New Year in Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk. (Reuters)

Christians hold candles as they pray on Christmas Eve at a cathedral in Surabaya, in Indonesia's East Java province, December 24, 2011. (Reuters)

Water froze in a fountain at Chunggaechun Stream in Seoul, South Korea as temperatures dropped as low as minus 11 degrees Celsius (12 Fahrenheit) during Christmas, local media reported.

A white whale forms a ring at Kamogawa Sea World in Kamogawa, in Chiba, east of Tokyo, Japan. (AP)

Underground trains are parked during a 24-hour strike by train drivers over public holiday pay, at Mordern depot, south London, Britain. (AP)

A supporter of veteran Indian social activist Anna Hazare waves a national flag amid fumes emitted from fumigation work carried out by a health worker, at Bandra-Kurla Complex grounds in Mumbai. (Reuters)

A man crosses the Rio Branco Avenue with an umbrella to protect from the rain of a cold front that arrived to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (AFP)

A girl and her horse make their way to church to be blessed by priests on St. Stephens Day in Srednja Vas, Slovenia. (Reuters)

The hulls of competing boats are below the swell during the start of the Sydney-Hobart yacht race in Sydney, Australia. (AP)

An employee pulls a dog sled carrying tourists in front of a snow sculpture ahead of the 13th Harbin Ice and Snow World in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China. The festival will be officially launched on January 5, 2012. (Reuters)

Liverpool's Martin Skrtel (top) challenges Blackburn Rovers' Yakubu during their English Premier League soccer match at Anfield in Liverpool, northern England. (Reuters)

US President Barack Obama tries to evade the wandering fingers of 8-month-old Cooper Wall Wagner as he poses for a picture with his parents, Captain Greg Wagner and Meredith Wagner as Obama met US Marines and their families having lunch at Kaneohe Bay Marine Corps base in Hawaii, December 25, 2011. (Reuters)

Cars drive on a street which is illuminated for New Year's Eve in Tbilisi, Georgia, December 25, 2011. (Reuters)

A member of white garment Christian sect prays by a cross at the bar beach, where they live and worship in makeshift tents, in Lagos, Nigeria, December 25, 2011. (Reuters)

People visit a Christmas tree in the Plateau district of Abidjan during Christmas celebrations, December 25, 2011. (AFP)

Fireworks light up the sky above a 326 meter Christmas 'tree' , which was constructed onto a TV tower, during a lighting up ceremony in Vilnius, Lithuania, December 25, 2011. (AP)

Afghan laborers load coal onto wheelbarrows at a UNHCR distribution center for needy refugees on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan. (AFP)

Carpenters work on the railway track in downtown Hanoi, Vietnam. The Kham Thien railway hamlet is one of most dangerous traffic problems in the country. Despite the many accidents and deaths every year and warnings from authorities, people continue to live and make their livelihoods near the track. (Reuters)

A US Navy serviceman walks past a warplane on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier anchored in Hong Kong. (AFP)

Spain's King Juan Carlos, center, Crown Prince Felipe, center left, Queen Sofia, center right, as well as members of the government attend a military parade after the official opening of Parliament, in Madrid. (AP)

The family of Marine Staff Sgt. Vincent Bell of Detroit, sits during funeral services for Bell at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. Bell died while serving in Afghanistan. (AP)

The sun sets on a winter evening between the spires of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Lausanne, Switzerland. (Reuters)

This composite image shows the central region of the spiral galaxy NGC 4151. X-rays (blue) from the Chandra X-ray Observatory are combined with optical data (yellow) showing positively charged hydrogen (H II) from observations with the 1-meter Jacobus Kapteyn Telescope on La Palma. The red ring shows neutral hydrogen detected by radio observations with the NSF's Very Large Array. (NASA)

Mourners surround the hearse carrying the coffin of the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il during his funeral procession through the streets of Pyongyang, North Korea. (AP Photo/Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service)

A Soviet-made Tupolev Tu-134 lies on its back in the snow after a crash landing at an airport in the southern city of Osh, Kyrgyzstan. (Reuters)

Pakistani villagers travel on a horse-cart in the outskirts of Lahore. The World Bank said it would provide Pakistan with $5.5 billion in development aid over the next two years. (AFP)

A man is drenched by a large wave during high tide as he cycles past at a fishing harbor in Chennai, India. The coastal districts in the state have been put on high alert in view of Cyclone Thane which is currently 350 km off the coast of Chennai and is likely to cross the coast on December 30, local media reported. (Reuters)

Workers make red lanterns at a workshop in a village in Taizhou, in east China's Zhejiang province as they prepare to meet orders from overseas Chinese ahead of the lunar new year celebrations. (AFP)

Swans feed on a piece of bread at a lake in Zbilje, Slovenia. (Reuters)

Colored maple leaves are covered in snow in Oberstdorf, southern German. Temperatures fell below the freezing point in southern parts of the country. (AFP)

People walk at the scene of an explosion in Rangoon, Burma. Dozens of people were killed in a strong explosion that rocked eastern suburb of the commercial city early in the morning, witnesses and officials said. (Reuters)

Pro-Kurdish demonstrators gesture and chant slogans during a protest in Istanbul against the Turkish government and the Turkish air strike that killed 35 Kurdish smugglers in southeast of Turkey. (AFP)

Protesters take part in a demonstration, complaining against Spanish government spending cuts, led by the movement known as indignants in Madrid, December 28, 2011. (AFP)

A child walks amidst the numerous snowmen built in a park in central Moscow, Russia. (AFP)

Germany's Richard Freitag soars through the air during the practice jump for the first event of the 60th four-hills ski jumping tournament in Oberstdorf. (Reuters)

People carry coffins of victims as thousands of mourners gathered in Gulyazi village at the border with Iraq, southeast Turkey, for the funerals of 35 Kurdish civilians who were killed in a botched raid by Turkish military jets. (AP Photo)

Iranian navy speed boats attend a drill in the sea of Oman. (AP)

U.S. Republican presidential candidate and Representative Michele Bachmann signs an autograph at the Black Bear Diner in Sioux City, Iowa. (Reuters)

A four-year-old elephant calf, Bunka, looks on at the zoo in Tbilisi, Georgia. (Reuters)

Anders Bardal of Norway soars at the first stage of the four hills ski jumping tournament in Oberstdorf, southern Germany. (AP)

A fine snow covers a dog playing on the snow in Oberhof, eastern Germany. (AFP)

Trader Peter Tuchman of Quattro M Securities Inc. wears "2012" glasses as he works on the main trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange during the final trading day of 2011, U.S., December 30, 2011. (Reuters)

Students sit in a formation during their celebration of the New Year at a school in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad, India. (Reuters)

Young boys play with firecrackers on the eve of the New Year, as the sun sets in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP)

People ride their bicycles at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei. Hundreds of thousands people participated in the bike ride on New Year's Eve as part of an attempt to achieve a Guinness World Record of the largest bicycle parade in the world. Various groups began from 1,000 starting points around the island and cycled clock-wise towards the next starting point within one hour. (Reuters)

Pope Benedict XVI arrives in St. Peter's Square to visit the nativity scene at the Vatican. The pontiff marked the end of 2011 with prayers of thanks and said humanity awaits the new year with apprehension but also with hope for a better future. "Another year approaches its end, while we await a new one, with the trepidation, desires and expectations of always." (AP)

Indonesian Muslims pray during a mass prayer event for the nation on New Year's Eve in the area of the National Monument (Monas) in Jakarta. (Reuters)

A couple looks at an ice sculpture of Father Frost, the local equivalent to Santa Claus, and his Snow Maiden granddaughter Snegurochka during a New Year's celebration in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Russia. (Reuters)

Activists wear Guy Fawkes masks during New Year's Eve celebrations at Independence Square in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (AP)

Fireworks explode over the Sydney Harbor Bridge and Opera House during a pyrotechnic show to celebrate the New Year in Australia, just after midnight, Jan. 1, 2012. (Reuters)

Bernadette Brandl smiles as she takes part in the New Year's Eve festivities in New York's Times Square. Brandl, who is originally from Austria, is currently living in Minnesota. (AP)

The number 2012 is written with sparklers during a long exposure in front of St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom) during New Year's Eve celebrations in Vienna, Austria. Picture taken using slow shutter speed. (Reuters)