The World in Photos This Week

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After the gang rape of a 23-year-old student on Dec. 16 in New Delhi, India, thousands of Indians took to the streets to protest the government's rape laws and poor handling of rape cases. In this photo, taken on Dec. 23 in New Delhi, a protester chants slogans as she braces herself against the spray of water canons fired by police. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has appealed for calm and vowed to protect women as police struggle to quell increasing outrage.

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A feral monkey rests on one demonstrator's head during a Dec. 24 protest in New Delhi, India.

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U.S. senators returned to Capitol Hill on Dec. 27 to deal with the looming fiscal cliff. Above, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is pictured on his way to the Senate chamber.

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Since Dec. 17, at least nine people working on a U.N.-backed polio immunization program have been shot dead by the Taliban in Pakistan. In this photo, a Pakistani policeman stands guard as a polio vaccination worker gives vaccine drops to a young child in Lahore on Dec. 21.

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This Dec. 25 photo shows umbrellas hanging over a commercial street in China's Fujian province.

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A huge fire swept through a cloth market in downtown Kabul on Dec. 23, destroying hundreds of shops. In this photo, taken on the same day, Afghan men walk through the destroyed market.

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Widow Irene Hirano Inouye speaks with President Barack Obama at the memorial service for the late Senator Daniel Inouye at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii on Dec. 23.

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Polling station officials in Giza, Egypt deposit ballots on Dec. 22 during the second round of a referendum on the country's controversial new draft constitution, which Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy has championed.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launches the Likud-Beitenu election campaign on Dec. 25 in Jerusalem. Netanyahu has recently seen his party lose ground to the right-wing Habayit Hayehudi-National Union party.

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On Dec. 26, Bulgaria's Fathers of Responsible Parenthood foundation organized a protest to demand equal custody after divorce and more opportunities for divorced fathers to spend time with their children during the holidays. Above, a man dressed as Santa Claus and holding the European Union flag passes in front of the Bulgarian Parliament on his way to the protest, which went by the name, "Children need their fathers at Christmas."

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A Ukrainian women's rights activist demonstrating in front of the EU Council building (where an EU-Russia summit was taking place) is removed by a policeman on Dec. 21 in Brussels, Belgium.

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An Emirati man holds his falcon on the sidelines of the Mazayin Dhafra Camel Festival on Dec. 23 in the Liwa desert. 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 UAE folk culture.

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A reindeer herder leads the pack on Dec. 22 in Aviemore, Scotland. Reindeer were introduced to Scotland in 1952, and this particular herd currently numbers 130.

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Stuffed animals in a street-side memorial in Newtown, Conn. are protected from the rain on Dec. 21, which was the one-week anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

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An Israeli Boeing AH-64 Apache longbow helicopter launches anti-missile flares during an air show at the Hatzerim air force base graduation ceremony in the Negev desert on Dec. 27.

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The Kumbh Mela -- scheduled to take place in Allahabad, India in January and February 2013 -- is the world's largest religious gathering. In this photo, taken in Allahabad on Dec. 24, an ash-smeared Hindu Sadhu, or "holy man," poses beside a tent at the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna, and mythical Saraswati.

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Afghan children play marbles on the outskirts of Jalalabad on Dec. 22.

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Ornaments hang on a burned tree in the Breezy Point neighborhood of Queens, N.Y. on Dec. 25. Residents are still struggling to recover from a massive fire that destroyed over 100 homes during superstorm Sandy.

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