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Pictures | Thu Dec 23, 2010 | 10:25am EST

Best of the week

<p>Winter swimmers wearing Santa Claus hats, play with a ball on a snow-covered river in Shenyang, Liaoning province, China, December 20, 2010.  REUTERS/China Daily </p>

Winter swimmers wearing Santa Claus hats, play with a ball on a snow-covered river in Shenyang, Liaoning province, China, December 20, 2010. REUTERS/China Daily

Winter swimmers wearing Santa Claus hats, play with a ball on a snow-covered river in Shenyang, Liaoning province, China, December 20, 2010. REUTERS/China Daily

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<p>Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese (center L) embraces former U.S. Marine Staff Sergeant Eric Alva (center R) after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signed the repeal of the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy to send to the White House to be enacted into law, at a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, December 21, 2010. Alva, a homosexual, was the first Marine seriously injured in the Iraq War. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst</p>

Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese (center L) embraces former U.S. Marine Staff Sergeant Eric Alva (center R) after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signed the repeal of the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy to send to the White House to be...more

Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese (center L) embraces former U.S. Marine Staff Sergeant Eric Alva (center R) after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signed the repeal of the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy to send to the White House to be enacted into law, at a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, December 21, 2010. Alva, a homosexual, was the first Marine seriously injured in the Iraq War. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

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<p>A woman tries to hear her relative, who is being held in a police bus for demonstrating, near a detention centre in Minsk December 20, 2010. At least seven election candidates and hundreds of opposition demonstrators were being held on Monday after police cracked down on a protest against the re-election of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko</p>

A woman tries to hear her relative, who is being held in a police bus for demonstrating, near a detention centre in Minsk December 20, 2010. At least seven election candidates and hundreds of opposition demonstrators were being held on Monday after...more

A woman tries to hear her relative, who is being held in a police bus for demonstrating, near a detention centre in Minsk December 20, 2010. At least seven election candidates and hundreds of opposition demonstrators were being held on Monday after police cracked down on a protest against the re-election of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko

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<p>Guests stay warm under blankets after being rescued from flood waters that surrounded their hotel in San Diego, California December 22, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Blake</p>

Guests stay warm under blankets after being rescued from flood waters that surrounded their hotel in San Diego, California December 22, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Guests stay warm under blankets after being rescued from flood waters that surrounded their hotel in San Diego, California December 22, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Blake

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<p>Airline travellers queue at Frankfurt's airport December 20, 2010.   REUTERS/Alex Domanski</p>

Airline travellers queue at Frankfurt's airport December 20, 2010. REUTERS/Alex Domanski

Airline travellers queue at Frankfurt's airport December 20, 2010. REUTERS/Alex Domanski

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<p>A vendor holds the head of a Santa Claus doll as he arranges a display outside a shop in Jerusalem's Old City December 21, 2010. REUTERS/Baz Ratner</p>

A vendor holds the head of a Santa Claus doll as he arranges a display outside a shop in Jerusalem's Old City December 21, 2010. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

A vendor holds the head of a Santa Claus doll as he arranges a display outside a shop in Jerusalem's Old City December 21, 2010. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

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<p>A woman waits in line for holiday food distribution at the Food Bank For New York City Community Kitchen &amp; Food Pantry of West Harlem in New York December 21, 2010.   REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton</p>

A woman waits in line for holiday food distribution at the Food Bank For New York City Community Kitchen & Food Pantry of West Harlem in New York December 21, 2010. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

A woman waits in line for holiday food distribution at the Food Bank For New York City Community Kitchen & Food Pantry of West Harlem in New York December 21, 2010. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

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<p>Roger Federer of Switzerland arrives before his charity match against Rafael Nadal of Spain for the benefit of African children in Zurich December 21, 2010. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann</p>

Roger Federer of Switzerland arrives before his charity match against Rafael Nadal of Spain for the benefit of African children in Zurich December 21, 2010. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Roger Federer of Switzerland arrives before his charity match against Rafael Nadal of Spain for the benefit of African children in Zurich December 21, 2010. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

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<p>An actor of the Belarus Free Theatre participates in a performance "The Zone of Silence" in Minsk December 18, 2010. With its close-to-the-edge repertoire and refusal to be censored by a government for which free expression is anathema, the theatre company has been driven underground, and abroad, since its inception in 2005.   REUTERS/Vladimir Nikolsky</p>

An actor of the Belarus Free Theatre participates in a performance "The Zone of Silence" in Minsk December 18, 2010. With its close-to-the-edge repertoire and refusal to be censored by a government for which free expression is anathema, the theatre...more

An actor of the Belarus Free Theatre participates in a performance "The Zone of Silence" in Minsk December 18, 2010. With its close-to-the-edge repertoire and refusal to be censored by a government for which free expression is anathema, the theatre company has been driven underground, and abroad, since its inception in 2005. REUTERS/Vladimir Nikolsky

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<p>Officers from the Afghan National Army NCOs (non-commissioned officers) dance during a graduation ceremony in Kabul December 22, 2010.   REUTERS/Ahmad Masood</p>

Officers from the Afghan National Army NCOs (non-commissioned officers) dance during a graduation ceremony in Kabul December 22, 2010. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Officers from the Afghan National Army NCOs (non-commissioned officers) dance during a graduation ceremony in Kabul December 22, 2010. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

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<p>Denis Lebedev (R) of Russia lands a punch on Marco Huck of Germany at the WBO Cruiserweight championship fight in Berlin December 18, 2010. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz</p>

Denis Lebedev (R) of Russia lands a punch on Marco Huck of Germany at the WBO Cruiserweight championship fight in Berlin December 18, 2010. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz

Denis Lebedev (R) of Russia lands a punch on Marco Huck of Germany at the WBO Cruiserweight championship fight in Berlin December 18, 2010. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz

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<p>A man skies down an artificial snow slope located just outside the Olympic Stadium, also known as the 'Bird's Nest', in Beijing December 19, 2010. The stadium, which has been rarely used since it held the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, is now annually turned into a winter playground in an effort to attract more tourists during the quieter Christmas and Chinese New Year season. REUTERS/David Gray</p>

A man skies down an artificial snow slope located just outside the Olympic Stadium, also known as the 'Bird's Nest', in Beijing December 19, 2010. The stadium, which has been rarely used since it held the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, is now annually...more

A man skies down an artificial snow slope located just outside the Olympic Stadium, also known as the 'Bird's Nest', in Beijing December 19, 2010. The stadium, which has been rarely used since it held the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, is now annually turned into a winter playground in an effort to attract more tourists during the quieter Christmas and Chinese New Year season. REUTERS/David Gray

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<p>Chinese tourists look north through pairs of binoculars at Imjingak pavilion near the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas in Paju, about 52 km (32 miles) north of Seoul, December 22, 2010.   REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak</p>

Chinese tourists look north through pairs of binoculars at Imjingak pavilion near the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas in Paju, about 52 km (32 miles) north of Seoul, December 22, 2010. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak

Chinese tourists look north through pairs of binoculars at Imjingak pavilion near the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas in Paju, about 52 km (32 miles) north of Seoul, December 22, 2010. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak

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<p>Passengers watch as the ice on the Danube River breaks during a ride on the icebreaker Eisvogel in the harbour of Vienna December 20, 2010. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner</p>

Passengers watch as the ice on the Danube River breaks during a ride on the icebreaker Eisvogel in the harbour of Vienna December 20, 2010. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

Passengers watch as the ice on the Danube River breaks during a ride on the icebreaker Eisvogel in the harbour of Vienna December 20, 2010. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

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<p>Deaf-blind Christian (top), 26, exercises with Marta Merino, an assistant, in a heated swimming pool at the Santa Angela de la Cruz center in Salteras, near Seville December 16, 2010. The Santa Angela de la Cruz center was set up in October to house visually and hearing impaired adults and to enrich their lives. At the centre, the residents are taught skills to cope with everyday life.  REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo</p>

Deaf-blind Christian (top), 26, exercises with Marta Merino, an assistant, in a heated swimming pool at the Santa Angela de la Cruz center in Salteras, near Seville December 16, 2010. The Santa Angela de la Cruz center was set up in October to house...more

Deaf-blind Christian (top), 26, exercises with Marta Merino, an assistant, in a heated swimming pool at the Santa Angela de la Cruz center in Salteras, near Seville December 16, 2010. The Santa Angela de la Cruz center was set up in October to house visually and hearing impaired adults and to enrich their lives. At the centre, the residents are taught skills to cope with everyday life. REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo

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<p>A student wears a mask during a march on the ring road during a demonstration in Rome December 22, 2010. Thousands of students gathered in Rome to protest a new university law on Wednesday as police blocked off large parts of the city centre to prevent a repeat of the violent clash at a similar march week ago.  REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi</p>

A student wears a mask during a march on the ring road during a demonstration in Rome December 22, 2010. Thousands of students gathered in Rome to protest a new university law on Wednesday as police blocked off large parts of the city centre to...more

A student wears a mask during a march on the ring road during a demonstration in Rome December 22, 2010. Thousands of students gathered in Rome to protest a new university law on Wednesday as police blocked off large parts of the city centre to prevent a repeat of the violent clash at a similar march week ago. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

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<p>A squirrel jumps onto a rubbish bin in Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh, Scotland December 19, 2010.   REUTERS/David Moir</p>

A squirrel jumps onto a rubbish bin in Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh, Scotland December 19, 2010. REUTERS/David Moir

A squirrel jumps onto a rubbish bin in Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh, Scotland December 19, 2010. REUTERS/David Moir

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<p>A rickshaw passes a homeless man sleeping on a street median in Lahore December 19, 2010. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza</p>

A rickshaw passes a homeless man sleeping on a street median in Lahore December 19, 2010. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza

A rickshaw passes a homeless man sleeping on a street median in Lahore December 19, 2010. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza

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<p>A vehicle leaves the area of an explosion of a Pemex pipeline in the village of San Martin Texmelucan near Puebla December 19, 2010. At least 10 people were killed early Sunday when the oil pipeline exploded in central Mexico, the state news agency Notimex said.    REUTERS/Striger</p>

A vehicle leaves the area of an explosion of a Pemex pipeline in the village of San Martin Texmelucan near Puebla December 19, 2010. At least 10 people were killed early Sunday when the oil pipeline exploded in central Mexico, the state news agency...more

A vehicle leaves the area of an explosion of a Pemex pipeline in the village of San Martin Texmelucan near Puebla December 19, 2010. At least 10 people were killed early Sunday when the oil pipeline exploded in central Mexico, the state news agency Notimex said. REUTERS/Striger

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Next Slideshows

Deadly pipeline blast

Fuel thieves tampering with an oil pipeline may have sparked Mexico City's explosion, which killed 28 people.

Dec 21 2010

South Korean weapons drill

The South Korean military holds a 90-minute live-fire artillery exercise on the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong.

Dec 20 2010

Ashura

Ashura, the most important day in the Shi'ite calendar, commemorates the death of Prophet Mohammad's grandson Imam Hussein in battle 1,300 years ago.

Dec 17 2010

Environment watch

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Dec 17 2010

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