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Pictures | Tue Dec 22, 2009 | 11:05am EST

Editor's choice

<p>A man wearing a green band in support of the Iranian opposition holds a picture of Iran's leading dissident cleric Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri during Montazeri's funeral in the holy city of Qom December 21, 2009. Huge crowds of Iranians chanted anti-government slogans during the funeral of Montazeri in the holy Shi'ite city of Qom on Monday, websites reported.   REUTERS/Stringer</p>

A man wearing a green band in support of the Iranian opposition holds a picture of Iran's leading dissident cleric Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri during Montazeri's funeral in the holy city of Qom December 21, 2009. Huge crowds of Iranians...more

A man wearing a green band in support of the Iranian opposition holds a picture of Iran's leading dissident cleric Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri during Montazeri's funeral in the holy city of Qom December 21, 2009. Huge crowds of Iranians chanted anti-government slogans during the funeral of Montazeri in the holy Shi'ite city of Qom on Monday, websites reported. REUTERS/Stringer

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<p>The War Memorial falls as it is being demolished in Kutaisi, some 250 km (155 miles) west of Tbilisi, December 19, 2009. A mother and her eight-year-old daughter were killed in Georgia on Saturday when workers blew up the towering Soviet war memorial.   REUTERS/Tornike Turabelidze</p>

The War Memorial falls as it is being demolished in Kutaisi, some 250 km (155 miles) west of Tbilisi, December 19, 2009. A mother and her eight-year-old daughter were killed in Georgia on Saturday when workers blew up the towering Soviet war...more

The War Memorial falls as it is being demolished in Kutaisi, some 250 km (155 miles) west of Tbilisi, December 19, 2009. A mother and her eight-year-old daughter were killed in Georgia on Saturday when workers blew up the towering Soviet war memorial. REUTERS/Tornike Turabelidze

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<p>Footprints can be seen on the snow outside Madrid's Almudena Cathedral as freezing weather hit large parts of Spain causing flight and train delays, December 21, 2009.   REUTERS/Susana Vera</p>

Footprints can be seen on the snow outside Madrid's Almudena Cathedral as freezing weather hit large parts of Spain causing flight and train delays, December 21, 2009. REUTERS/Susana Vera

Footprints can be seen on the snow outside Madrid's Almudena Cathedral as freezing weather hit large parts of Spain causing flight and train delays, December 21, 2009. REUTERS/Susana Vera

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<p>People cross Duomo square, with its Gothic cathedral in the background, during a snowstorm in Milan December 21, 2009.   REUTERS/Paolo Bona</p>

People cross Duomo square, with its Gothic cathedral in the background, during a snowstorm in Milan December 21, 2009. REUTERS/Paolo Bona

People cross Duomo square, with its Gothic cathedral in the background, during a snowstorm in Milan December 21, 2009. REUTERS/Paolo Bona

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<p>A swimmer swims in a partially ice-covered pond in Changzhi, Shanxi province December 22, 2009.   REUTERS/Stringer</p>

A swimmer swims in a partially ice-covered pond in Changzhi, Shanxi province December 22, 2009. REUTERS/Stringer

A swimmer swims in a partially ice-covered pond in Changzhi, Shanxi province December 22, 2009. REUTERS/Stringer

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<p>Palestinian Hamas supporters take part in a protest near the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip against the building of an underground steel barrier December 21, 2009.   REUTERS/Mohammed Salem</p>

Palestinian Hamas supporters take part in a protest near the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip against the building of an underground steel barrier December 21, 2009. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Palestinian Hamas supporters take part in a protest near the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip against the building of an underground steel barrier December 21, 2009. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

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<p>Technicians walk into a subway station after a power system breakdown and a subsequent collision of two trains in Shanghai December 22, 2009. A pivotal subway line in Shanghai was shut down early Tuesday for system failure and a subsequent collision of two trains, Xinhua News Agency reported.   REUTERS/China Daily</p>

Technicians walk into a subway station after a power system breakdown and a subsequent collision of two trains in Shanghai December 22, 2009. A pivotal subway line in Shanghai was shut down early Tuesday for system failure and a subsequent collision...more

Technicians walk into a subway station after a power system breakdown and a subsequent collision of two trains in Shanghai December 22, 2009. A pivotal subway line in Shanghai was shut down early Tuesday for system failure and a subsequent collision of two trains, Xinhua News Agency reported. REUTERS/China Daily

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<p>U.S. Marine LCpl Owen Selby, attached to the 2nd Battalion 2nd Marines from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, hands candy to local Afghan boys while keeping guard over a shura, or meeting of leaders, in the Garmsir district of Helmand Province on December 21, 2009.   REUTERS/Adrees Latif</p>

U.S. Marine LCpl Owen Selby, attached to the 2nd Battalion 2nd Marines from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, hands candy to local Afghan boys while keeping guard over a shura, or meeting of leaders, in the Garmsir district of Helmand Province on...more

U.S. Marine LCpl Owen Selby, attached to the 2nd Battalion 2nd Marines from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, hands candy to local Afghan boys while keeping guard over a shura, or meeting of leaders, in the Garmsir district of Helmand Province on December 21, 2009. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

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<p>A man is seen through an ice-covered tram window as temperatures fall below minus 11 degrees Celsius (12 Fahrenheit) in central Sofia December 21, 2009.   REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov</p>

A man is seen through an ice-covered tram window as temperatures fall below minus 11 degrees Celsius (12 Fahrenheit) in central Sofia December 21, 2009. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

A man is seen through an ice-covered tram window as temperatures fall below minus 11 degrees Celsius (12 Fahrenheit) in central Sofia December 21, 2009. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

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<p>Postmen dressed as Santa Claus ride on their delivery motorbikes during an event to begin their Christmas season service at the Central Post Office in Seoul December 21, 2009.   REUTERS/Choi Bu-Seok</p>

Postmen dressed as Santa Claus ride on their delivery motorbikes during an event to begin their Christmas season service at the Central Post Office in Seoul December 21, 2009. REUTERS/Choi Bu-Seok

Postmen dressed as Santa Claus ride on their delivery motorbikes during an event to begin their Christmas season service at the Central Post Office in Seoul December 21, 2009. REUTERS/Choi Bu-Seok

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<p>An actor takes part in a re-enactment of a nativity scene at Nazareth Village in northern Israel December 21, 2009.   REUTERS/Gil Cohen Magen</p>

An actor takes part in a re-enactment of a nativity scene at Nazareth Village in northern Israel December 21, 2009. REUTERS/Gil Cohen Magen

An actor takes part in a re-enactment of a nativity scene at Nazareth Village in northern Israel December 21, 2009. REUTERS/Gil Cohen Magen

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<p>Rudy Guede (C) looks between two policemen during a break of his appeal against the sentence he received in the Meredith Kercher murder trial, in Perugia December 21, 2009. Guede, an Ivorian drifter with a criminal record, was sentenced in October 2008 to 30 years in jail for taking part in Kercher's murder.  REUTERSAlessandro Bianchi</p>

Rudy Guede (C) looks between two policemen during a break of his appeal against the sentence he received in the Meredith Kercher murder trial, in Perugia December 21, 2009. Guede, an Ivorian drifter with a criminal record, was sentenced in October...more

Rudy Guede (C) looks between two policemen during a break of his appeal against the sentence he received in the Meredith Kercher murder trial, in Perugia December 21, 2009. Guede, an Ivorian drifter with a criminal record, was sentenced in October 2008 to 30 years in jail for taking part in Kercher's murder. REUTERSAlessandro Bianchi

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<p>U.S. President Barack Obama poses with children during a visit to a Boys and Girls Club in Northeast Washington December 21, 2009. Obama read the Christmas story "Polar Express" and gave holiday cookies to the children during his visit.   REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque   (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY)</p>

U.S. President Barack Obama poses with children during a visit to a Boys and Girls Club in Northeast Washington December 21, 2009. Obama read the Christmas story "Polar Express" and gave holiday cookies to the children during his visit. ...more

U.S. President Barack Obama poses with children during a visit to a Boys and Girls Club in Northeast Washington December 21, 2009. Obama read the Christmas story "Polar Express" and gave holiday cookies to the children during his visit. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY)

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<p>Policemen surround protesters outside the venue of the upcoming Taiwan and China cross strait meetings in Taichung December 21, 2009.   REUTERS/Pichi Chuang</p>

Policemen surround protesters outside the venue of the upcoming Taiwan and China cross strait meetings in Taichung December 21, 2009. REUTERS/Pichi Chuang

Policemen surround protesters outside the venue of the upcoming Taiwan and China cross strait meetings in Taichung December 21, 2009. REUTERS/Pichi Chuang

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<p>A protective space is seen in the southern town of Sderot, a provincial town close to the Gaza Strip border and often in the firing line for rockets, December 21, 2009. December 27 marks one year since the start of a three-week offensive Israel launched in Gaza during which more than 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed. Israel launched the offensive with the declared aim of stopping Palestinian rocket fire on southern Israel.  REUTERS/Amir Cohen</p>

A protective space is seen in the southern town of Sderot, a provincial town close to the Gaza Strip border and often in the firing line for rockets, December 21, 2009. December 27 marks one year since the start of a three-week offensive Israel...more

A protective space is seen in the southern town of Sderot, a provincial town close to the Gaza Strip border and often in the firing line for rockets, December 21, 2009. December 27 marks one year since the start of a three-week offensive Israel launched in Gaza during which more than 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed. Israel launched the offensive with the declared aim of stopping Palestinian rocket fire on southern Israel. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

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<p>An Afghan villager watches as U.S Army soldiers from Task Force Denali 1-40 CAV combat team patrol the town of Dwamanda in Khowst province, Afghanistan, December 21, 2009.    REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra</p>

An Afghan villager watches as U.S Army soldiers from Task Force Denali 1-40 CAV combat team patrol the town of Dwamanda in Khowst province, Afghanistan, December 21, 2009. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

An Afghan villager watches as U.S Army soldiers from Task Force Denali 1-40 CAV combat team patrol the town of Dwamanda in Khowst province, Afghanistan, December 21, 2009. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

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<p>An aerial view of Dubai's Palm Island December 21, 2009.   REUTERS/Matthias Seifert</p>

An aerial view of Dubai's Palm Island December 21, 2009. REUTERS/Matthias Seifert

An aerial view of Dubai's Palm Island December 21, 2009. REUTERS/Matthias Seifert

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<p>Women walk through courtyard covered with snow in the centre of Warsaw December 21, 2009.   REUTERS/Kacper Pempel</p>

Women walk through courtyard covered with snow in the centre of Warsaw December 21, 2009. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

Women walk through courtyard covered with snow in the centre of Warsaw December 21, 2009. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

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<p>Cardboard cut-outs of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit stand outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office in Jerusalem December 21, 2009, during a protest calling for Shalit's release. A German mediating a prisoner swap between Israel and Hamas, which would set free Shalit in exchange for nearly 1,000 of the 11,000 Palestinians held in Israeli jails, has told the parties he will quit unless they reach a deal soon, the Palestinian president said in an interview published on Saturday.   REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun</p>

Cardboard cut-outs of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit stand outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office in Jerusalem December 21, 2009, during a protest calling for Shalit's release. A German mediating a prisoner swap between Israel and...more

Cardboard cut-outs of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit stand outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office in Jerusalem December 21, 2009, during a protest calling for Shalit's release. A German mediating a prisoner swap between Israel and Hamas, which would set free Shalit in exchange for nearly 1,000 of the 11,000 Palestinians held in Israeli jails, has told the parties he will quit unless they reach a deal soon, the Palestinian president said in an interview published on Saturday. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

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<p>The body of a victim is pulled out by residents at the scene of a cargo train derailment in Nairobi's Kibera slum December 21, 2009. Five bodies have been pulled out as fears still remain high several people may still be trapped underneath the heavy carriage.   REUTERS/Noor Khamis</p>

The body of a victim is pulled out by residents at the scene of a cargo train derailment in Nairobi's Kibera slum December 21, 2009. Five bodies have been pulled out as fears still remain high several people may still be trapped underneath the heavy...more

The body of a victim is pulled out by residents at the scene of a cargo train derailment in Nairobi's Kibera slum December 21, 2009. Five bodies have been pulled out as fears still remain high several people may still be trapped underneath the heavy carriage. REUTERS/Noor Khamis

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<p>A man rides a camel loaded with fodder in Jammu December 21, 2009.   REUTERS/Mukesh Gupta</p>

A man rides a camel loaded with fodder in Jammu December 21, 2009. REUTERS/Mukesh Gupta

A man rides a camel loaded with fodder in Jammu December 21, 2009. REUTERS/Mukesh Gupta

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<p>A goat marked with a cross looks at two dead goats at a goat farm in Vinkel, the Netherlands December 21, 2009. Dutch farms started culling thousands of goats on Monday as part of efforts to fight an outbreak of the highly infectious disease Q fever, which has led to six human deaths this year.   REUTERS/Michael Kooren</p>

A goat marked with a cross looks at two dead goats at a goat farm in Vinkel, the Netherlands December 21, 2009. Dutch farms started culling thousands of goats on Monday as part of efforts to fight an outbreak of the highly infectious disease Q fever,...more

A goat marked with a cross looks at two dead goats at a goat farm in Vinkel, the Netherlands December 21, 2009. Dutch farms started culling thousands of goats on Monday as part of efforts to fight an outbreak of the highly infectious disease Q fever, which has led to six human deaths this year. REUTERS/Michael Kooren

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<p>A woman rides past police guarding a street in Kathmandu December 22, 2009.   REUTERS/Gopal Chitrakar</p>

A woman rides past police guarding a street in Kathmandu December 22, 2009. REUTERS/Gopal Chitrakar

A woman rides past police guarding a street in Kathmandu December 22, 2009. REUTERS/Gopal Chitrakar

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<p>An Afghan boy stands while U.S Army soldier from Task Force Denali 1-40 CAV combat team collect information on shops owners at the bazaar during a patrol in town of Saway-kowt in Khowst province, Afghanistan, December 21, 2009.   REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra</p>

An Afghan boy stands while U.S Army soldier from Task Force Denali 1-40 CAV combat team collect information on shops owners at the bazaar during a patrol in town of Saway-kowt in Khowst province, Afghanistan, December 21, 2009. REUTERS/Zohra...more

An Afghan boy stands while U.S Army soldier from Task Force Denali 1-40 CAV combat team collect information on shops owners at the bazaar during a patrol in town of Saway-kowt in Khowst province, Afghanistan, December 21, 2009. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

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