December 20, 2012

Posted December 20th, 2012 at 3:35 pm (UTC-4)
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Brazil Slum Santa Claus

1A police officer dressed in a Santa Claus costume, with the blue color representing the police, walks in Macacos slum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Pacifying Police Unit, or UPP, organized for Santa to visit the pacified slum to hand out Christmas gifts to young residents. (AP)

France Bugarach

2People walk past the 1,231-meter high peak of Bugarach – one of the few places on Earth some believe will be spared when the world allegedly ends according to claims regarding the ancient Mayan calendar, in the French southwestern village of Bugarach. French authorities have pleaded with New Age fanatics, sightseers and media crews not to converge on the tiny village. (AFP)

Turkey Maya Calendar World

3Turkish police stand guard on the streets of Sirince, a village in western Turkey. Believers in the Mayan calendar’s doomsday prediction for December 21, 2012, are flocking to Sirince, a small village in Turkey’s Izmir province, which some believe is the only safe haven from the impending apocalypse because the Virgin Mary is said to have risen to heaven from there. (AFP)

UAE Camel Festival

4Emirati men prepare camels for the Mazayin Dhafra Camel Festival near the city of Madinat Zayed, 150 kms west of Abu Dhabi. The festival, which attracts participants from around the Gulf region, includes a camel beauty contest, a display of UAE handcrafts and other activities aimed at promoting the country’s folklore. (AFP)

US Senator Inouye

5An honor guard lays the casket of Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in Washington. U.S. Democratic Senator Inouye of Hawaii, a decorated veteran of World War II and one of the longest-serving members of Congress, died on December 17, 2012, at the age of 88. (Reuters)

Bangladesh Strike

6Bangladeshi laborers transports a cart full of empty drums during a half day strike called by Islamic political parties in Dhaka. More than two dozen Islamic parties want the country to be governed by Sharia, or Islamic law. (AP)

Miss Universe 2012

7Miss USA Olivia Culpo (L) is congratulated by Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes of Angola (C) during the Miss Universe pageant at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, December 19, 2012. (Reuters)

Syria Unrest

8An unexploded ordnance is seen in the Ain Terma area in Ghouta, east of Damascus, December 19, 2012. (Reuters/Shaam News Network)

India Israel Lost Tribe

9A Bnei Menashe Jewish community woman bids farewell as she leaves for the airport en route to Israel from Churachandpur, in India’s northeastern state of Manipur. The Jews from India’s northeastern state of Manipur are known as Bnei Menashe and claim to be descendants of one the 10 lost tribes of Israel banished to India in the eighth century B.C. An Israeli chief rabbi recognized them as a lost tribe in 2005 and about 1,700 moved to Israel before the Israeli government stopped giving them visas. (AP)

Chile Weapons

10Confiscated weapons hang from a magnet before being destroyed at a foundry in Santiago, Chile. Hundreds of firearms were destroyed as part of a government arms control program. (Reuters)

India Santa Claus

11Students dressed in Santa Claus costumes wait to perform during Christmas celebrations at their school in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh. (Reuters)

NASA Planetary Nebula

12Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have photographed a festive-looking nearby planetary nebula called NGC 5189. The intricate structure of this bright gaseous nebula resembles a glass-blown holiday ornament with a glowing ribbon entwined. Planetary nebulae represent the final brief stage in the life of a medium-sized star like our sun. (NASA/Hubble)

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