Photos Of The 2014 Week 51

This week we have Santa Claus on a zip line in Brazil, a replica White House in Erbil, Iraq, freezing weather in Asia, the Taliban attack in Peshawar, Reindeer in Scotland, and the hostage crisis in Sydney, and much more. [35 photos total]

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One of the hostages runs towards police from a cafe in the central business district of Sydney on December 15, 2014. Iranian-born Muslim cleric Man Haron Monis walked into the cafe and held a number of patrons and employees hostage, making demands of the Australian government. The standoff ended hours later in gunfire, with two hostages killed, and Monis shot by police. (Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images) #
A view from the roof of Commercial Travellers Club building in Martin Place of the thousands of floral tributes for deceased hostages Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson on December 18, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. Sydney siege gunman Man Haron Monis, was shot dead by police in the early hours of Tuesday morning after taking hostages at the Lindt Chocolat Cafe in Martin Place. Two other people died, 33-year-old cafe manager Tori Johnson and 38-year-old Sydney barrister Katrina Dawson. (Cole Bennetts/Getty Images) #
Indian Space Research Organization's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV Mark-III) rocket lifts off carrying the Crew Module Atmospheeric Re-entry Experiment from the east coast island of Sriharikota, India, on December 18, 2014. India successfully launched its heaviest rocket carrying an experimental crew module from Sriharikota in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, according to ISRO. (AP Photo/Arun Sankar K) #
Big-wave surfer Garrett McNamara drops in on a large wave at Praia do Norte, in Nazare, Portugal, on December 12, 2014. (Reuters/Rafael Marchante) #
French actress Frederique Bel arrives for the NRJ Music Awards ceremony at the Festival Palace in Cannes on December 13, 2014. (Reuters/Eric Gaillard) #
Reindeer at the Cairgorm Herd wait to be fed on December 14, 2014 in The Cairngorms National Park, Scotland. Reindeer were introduced to Scotland in 1952 by Swedish Sami reindeer herder, Mikel Utsi. Starting with just a few reindeer, the herd has now grown in numbers over the years and is currently at about 130 by controlling the breeding. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images) #
Palestinian members of al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, rappel from a building upside down during a military parade marking the 27th anniversary of Hamas' founding, in Gaza City on December 14, 2014. (Reuters/Suhaib Salem) #
A man dressed as Santa Claus poses at the front of the Kollhoff Tower at Potsdamer Platz square in Berlin on December 14, 2014. (Reuters/Hannibal Hanschke) #
Workers remove a banner for "The Interview" from a billboard in Hollywood, California, on December 18, 2014, a day after Sony announced was cancelling the movie's Christmas release due to a terrorist threat. Sony defended itself against a flood of criticism for canceling the movie which angered North Korea and triggered a massive cyber-attack, as the crisis took a wider diplomatic turn. (Michael Thurston/AFP/Getty Images) #
A handout image from Kensington Palace of Prince George as he sits for his official Christmas picture in a courtyard at Kensington Palace in late November of 2014 in London, England. (The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge/PA Wire via Getty Images) #
Villagers hold torches during the Divina Pastora procession, as part of a festival to honor the Virgin of Los Rondeles, in the southern Spanish village of Casarabonela late December 12, 2014. Villagers celebrate the festival on the eve of St. Lucia's Day and hold torches during the procession to represent light and vision. (Reuters/Jon Nazca) #
Employees work in an office in Moscow on December 15, 2014. (Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images) #
Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims reach out to touch the tomb of Imam al-Abbas located inside the Imam al-Abbas shrine to mark Arbain in the holy city of Kerbala, southwest of Baghdad, on December 13, 2014. Iraqi officials say millions of Shi'ite pilgrims from across Iraq and neighboring countries are expected in Kerbala for Saturday's Arbain ritual, which marks the last of 40 days mourning for the death 1,300 years ago of Imam Hussein. (Reuters/Stringer) #
A Pakistani army officer stands in front of a wall riddled with bullet marks, inside the Army Public School attacked on Tuesday by Taliban gunmen, in Peshawar, Pakistan, on December 18, 2014. The Taliban massacre that killed more than 140 people, mostly children, at a military-run school in northwestern Pakistan left a scene of heart-wrenching devastation, pools of blood and young lives snuffed out as the nation mourned and mass funerals for the victims got underway. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #
Pakistani Sayed Shah, shows a picture of his son Zulqarnain, 17, a student who was killed in the Taliban attack on a military-run school, in Peshawar, Pakistan, on December 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #
Austria's Markus Saurugg riding his horse What Ever hits the wall that has a height of 2.20 meters during the Christmas Puissance at the Horse of the Year show in London on December 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, Pool) #
A man passes a house built upside-down in Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk on December 14, 2014. The house was constructed as an attraction for local residents and tourists. (Reuters/Ilya Naymushin) #
Women take selfies in a fake snowfall of foam at a Christmas tree outside a mall near Orchard Road in Singapore on December 18, 2014. (Reuters/Edgar Su) #
Nagoya Castle is seen covered with snow in Nagoya, central Japan, on December 18, 2014. Japan's Meteorological Agency called on people to exercise more caution after three people died across the nation as a low pressure system dumped heavy snows in parts of Japan and triggered a tidal surge flood in other parts. (Reuters/Kyodo) #
A car overturns during the Master Cross Race 2014 at Suuj Uul, outside Ulan Bator, on December 14, 2014. (Reuters/B. Rentsendorj) #
Mannequins lie on the floor outside a shop in an underground passage in Moscow on December 17, 2014. (Reuters/Maxim Zmeyev) #
Russian police officers detain protesters who were planning on asking Vladimir Putin their own questions at a news conference in Moscow, Russia, on December 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) #
An aerial view shows the Shrines of Imam al-Abbas and Imam al-Hussein during the commemoration of Arbain in Kerbala, southwest of Baghdad, on December 13, 2014. (Reuters/Abdul-Zahra) #
Workers remove a symbol left by pro-democracy protesters in the shape of an umbrella, a symbol of the Occupy Central civil disobedience movement, during a clearance at the last "Occupy" protest site blocking a main road at Causeway Bay shopping district in Hong Kong on December 15, 2014. (Reuters/Tyrone Siu) #
The Sydney Opera House sails at sunrise on December 16, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images) #
Buddhist monks look at the Thai navy police boat which was swept almost 2 km (1.2 miles) inland during the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami as they visit a memorial in Khao Lak, in Thailand's Phang Nga province, about 110 km (68 miles) north of the resort island of Phuket, on December 14, 2014. On the day of tsunami, Thai navy boat 813 was on patrol about one nautical mile offshore serving as a guard to members of royal family staying at one of the resorts near-by. Thailand prepares to mark the tenth anniversary of the 2004 tsunami, the deadliest on the record, that killed at least 226,000 people in 13 Asian and African countries. (Reuters/Damir Sagolj) #
Bystanders stand around the body of a suspected Ebola victim lying in a street in the town of Koidu, Kono district in Eastern Sierra Leone, on December 18, 2014. Sierra Leone, neighboring Guinea and Liberia are at the heart of the world's worst recorded outbreak of Ebola. Rates of infection are rising fastest in Sierra Leone, which now accounts for more than half of the 18,603 confirmed cases of the virus. (Reuters/Baz Ratner) #
Soldiers shout as they practice in temperatures of about minus 30 degrees C (-22 F) in Heihe, Heilongjiang province, China, on December 16, 2014. (Reuters/China Daily) #
Xie Xiaoming, 26-year-old owner of a yoga club, practices yoga near trees covered by frosty fog on the snow-covered banks of Songhua River in Jilin, Jilin province, China, on December 17, 2014. Xie has been practicing yoga for over six years. The temperature near the river reached -30 degrees C (-22 F) on Wednesday, local media reported. (Reuters/Stringer) #
In Olympia, Washington, the best man in a wedding party holds an AR-10 rifle he was handed while the party was having their pre-wedding portraits taken on the steps of the state capitol building before a rally nearby by gun-rights advocates on December 13, 2014. The rally was held to protest a new expanded gun background check law in Washington state. The wedding party was not part of the protest, but posed for pictures with it after being handed it by gun activist Brandon Lyons, who said "we've all just broken the law," by handing the gun over. Saturday's protest was called the "I Will Not Comply" rally, and those attending said they will openly exchange firearms in opposition to the state's new voter-approved universal background check law, Initiative 594. The law, which took effect on December 4, requires background checks on all sales and transfers, including private transactions and many loans and gifts. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) #
In Erbil, Iraq, a construction worker walks up the staircase inside the replica White House, a $20 million villa being built inside Dream City, a new exclusive residential suburb that is being developed in Erbil on December 15, 2014. Dream City, is one of several high value residential areas that have been built in the Kurdistan capital since 2003 and are complete with their own mosque, shopping areas and schools. Property values vary, but many villas in the gated and walled development are now valued at over $1 million. Despite insecurity in the rest of Iraq, the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan has been seen by some investors as the new Dubai and although the advance of Islamic State and a budget row with Baghdad has dampened some of the enthusiasm, the city skyline is still changing at a rapid pace. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images) #
A visitor to the Marin Headlands reacts while looking out over the Golden Gate Bridge and skyline of San Francisco, as a large cloud gathers over the city, on December 12, 2014. (Reuters/Robert Galbraith) #
A TV news crew files a report behind damaged homes after a mudslide overtook at least 18 homes during heavy rains in Camarillo Springs, California, on December 12, 2014. A major storm pummeled California and the Pacific Northwest with heavy rain and high winds on Thursday, killing one man, knocking out power to tens of thousands of homes, disrupting flights and prompting schools to close. (Reuters/Jonathan Alcorn) #
Wearing bear fur, Florin Bors, age 8, from Bacau, northern Romania, takes a break from performing a holiday season ritual in Bucharest, Romania, on December 16, 2014. In pre-Christian rural traditions, dancers wearing colored costumes or animal furs, touring house to house in villages singing and dancing to ward off evil. In recent years following the economic downturn in Romania, a European Union member since 2007, the tradition has moved to Romania's cities where dancers travel to perform the ritual for money. (AP Photo/Octav Ganea, Mediafax) #
Santa Claus descends from Sugar Loaf mountain on a zip line after riding atop the cable car in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on December 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana) #

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