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NEWS IN PICTURES

  • MON 15 Dec  
  • TUE 16 Dec  
  • WED 17 Dec  
  • THU 18 Dec  
  • TODAY 19 Dec  
  • SAT 13 Dec  
  • SUN 14 Dec  

A police sniper walks to his vehicle during a hostage siege in the central business district. Five people ran out of a Sydney cafe where a gunman has taken hostages and displayed an Islamic flag against the window. (AFP/William West)

Journalists and onlookers gather in Martin Place in the central business district of Sydney, as a gunman holds terrified hostages inside a cafe with an Islamic State flag displayed at the window. (Photo: AFP/Peter Parks)

One of the hostages runs towards police from a cafe in the central business district of Sydney. (AFP/Saeed Khan)

Two hostages (L) run for cover behind a policeman (R) during a hostage siege in the central business district of Sydney. (AFP/William West)

An Indonesia-registered tanker is seen close to the shore after it was pushed by strong winds during a storm in the Thai southern city of Narathiwat. Parts of southern Thailand have experienced floods in recent days after heavy rains hit the region. (AFP/Madaree Tohlala)

Members of the media attend the media preview of The World Premiere of Leonardo Da Vinci's painting "Earlier Mona Lisa" exhibition in Singapore. The World Premiere of Leonardo Da Vinci's exhibition will begin on Dec 16 till Feb 1, 2015.  (AFP/Mohd Fyrol)

Azalea performs onstage during KISS 108’s Jingle Ball 2014, presented by Market Basket Supermarkets at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (AFP/Taylor Hill/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

Former Guantanamo prison inmates Tunisian Abdul Bin Muhammad Abbas Ouerghi (L) and Palestinian Mohammed Abdullah Tahamuttan (C) speak with a man at a market in Canelones department, near Montevideo. (Photo: AFP/Pablo Porciuncula)

Miss South Africa and the 2014 Miss World, Rolene Strauss (C), waves flanked by first runner up Miss Hungary Edina Kulcsar (L) and second runner up Miss United States Elizabeth Safrit (R) during the grand final of the Miss World 2014 pageant at the Excel London ICC Auditorium. (AFP/Leon Neal)

America's Michael Arroyo (L) heads for the ball with Tigres' Joffre Guerron (C) and America's Jesus Molina during the final of Mexican football league in Mexico City. (AP/Christian Palma)

Zach LaVine (R) of the Minnesota Timberwolves goes up for a dunk against the Los Angeles Lakers at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (AFP/Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)

Julianne Seguin and Charlie Bilodeau of Canada perform during the exhibition show at the Grand Prix Final figure skating competition in Barcelona, Spain. (AP/Manu Fernandez)

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (L) and his wife Margaret lay wreaths at a makeshift memorial near the scene of a fatal siege in the heart of Sydney's financial district. (AFP/Peter Parks)

Visitors sign condolences and flowers are laid at a makeshift memorial near the scene of a fatal siege in the heart of Sydney's financial district. (AFP/Peter Parks)

Australian flags fly at half mast on Sydney Harbour bridge following the fatal siege in the heart of Sydney's financial district. (AFP/Peter Parks)

Supporters of the PEGIDA movement, "Patriotische Europaeer Gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes," which translates to "Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamification of the Occident," take part in a rally in Dresden, Eastern Germany. (AFP/Jens Schlueter)

Supporters of Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan gather during an anti-government protest in Lahore. (AFP/Arif Ali)

Protesters hold signs in front of police officers as they block the street in front of the Oakland police department headquarters during a demonstration over recent grand jury decisions in police-involved deaths in Oakland, California. (AFP/Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Bangladeshi children in nationalistic-styled attire participate in a rally held to mark the country's 43rd Victory Day in Dhaka on December 16, 2014. (AFP/Munir uz Zaman)

Members of the Bolivarian Militia sing the national anthem during an anti USA march in Caracas, Venezuela. (AP/Fernando Llano)

Israeli soldiers grab a Palestinian holding a poster showing late Cabinet minister Ziad Abu Ain during a protest in Bethlehem. (Photo: AP/Mahmoud Illean)

A child looks at a statue of the Paddington bear, outside British Prime Minister David Cameron's official residence at 10 Downing Street, in central London, as children and their families arrive for the charity Christmas party. (AP/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Recording artists Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, and Dave Haywood of music group Lady Antebellum perform during the 2014 American Country Countdown Awards at Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee. (AFP/Jason Merritt/Getty Images for dcp)

LaMarcus Aldridge (R) of the Portland Trail Blazers goes to the basket against the San Antonio Spurs at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. (AFP/Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)

People come to lay flowers to pay respect to the shooting victims at a temporary memorial site close to the Lindt cafe in the central business district of Sydney, Australia. The siege ended with a barrage of gunfire that left two hostages and the Iranian-born gunman dead. (AP/Rob Griffith)

A card shows photos of Katrina Dawson (L) and Tori Johnson (R) - the two hostages killed during a fatal siege in the heart of Sydney's financial district - sitting amongst flowers at a makeshift memorial near the scene. (AFP/William West)

People attend a funeral of a student killed in a Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar, Pakistan. Pakistan mourns as the nation prepares for mass funerals for over 140 people, most of them children, killed in a Taliban attack on a military-run school in the country's northwest. (AP/Mohammad Sajjad)

Pakistani students pray during a special ceremony for the victims of the Peshawar school attack in Lahore, Pakistan. Pakistan is mourning as the nation prepares for mass funerals for over 140 people, most of them children, killed in a Taliban attack on a military-run school. (AP/K M Chaudary)

Lawyers, law students and legal staff lie on the ground in the rain outside Stanley Mosk Courthouse during a die-in to protest police brutality in Los Angeles, California. (AFP/Robyn Beck)

Jewish men gather to mark the start of Judaism's festival of light, Hanukkah in central Moscow. The annual "Festival of Lights" marks the rebellion of Maccabee Jews against the Greeks in 165 BC, which some believers say included miracles pointing to divine providence. (AFP/Dmitry Serebryakov)

Children play in a snow covered park in Sapporo in Japan's northern island of Hokkaido. Northern Japan was in the grip of a blizzard as strong winds and heavy snow forced the cancellation of almost 300 flights and vehicles were buried in snow. (AFP/Jiji Press)

A white beluga wears a Santa hat to attract visitors at the Hakkeijima Sea Paradise aquarium in Yokohama, suburban Tokyo. Christmas attractions will be held till Christmas Day. (AFP/Yoshikazu Tsuno)

People take pictures in front of a Christmas light installation in Nice, southeastern France. (AFP/Valery Hache)

Australia's Peter Siddle dives in an effort to field a ball at the boundary line on day one of the 2nd Test match between Australia and India at The Gabba in Brisbane. (AFP/Saeed Khan)

Bayern Munich's striker Thomas Mueller (R) heads the second goal for Munich during the German first division Bundesliga football match against Freiburg in Munich, southern Germany. (AFP/Christof Stache)

Memphis Grizzlies centre Marc Gasol (front) drives against Golden State Warriors forward Marreese Speights in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Memphis, Tennessee. (AP/Brandon Dill)

A diver dresses in a pink Santa suit feeding fish at a celebration of the naming of a baby pink dolphin at the Underwater World Singapore (UWS) on Dec 18, 2014. The first male baby pink dolphin was born on July 15 and has been named Splish. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

Visitors look at a sea of flowers at a makeshift memorial near the scene of a fatal siege in the heart of Sydney's financial district on Dec 18, 2014.  (Photo: AFP/Peter Parks)

An area on the west coast of Indonesia's Aceh province, worst hit by the 2004 tsunami disaster, is seen empty with people afraid to built houses near the shore. Almost 170,000 people were killed in Indonesia, when waves up to 35 metres high flattened coastal communities. (Photo: AFP/Bay Ismoyo)

People attend a candlelight vigil for the 132 students killed in a terror attack in Pakistan on Dec 17, 2014 in the Midwood neighbourhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo: AFP/Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Cuban President Raul Castro (R) receives freed Cuban prisoners Ramon Labanino (C) and Gerardo Hernandez (L).  (Photo: AFP/Cuban TV)

Tourists take a few beers at the Hotel National, with view of Morro Castle behind them in Havana, Cuba. (Photo: AP/Desmond Boylan)

Hundreds of residents of Ayutla and parents of 43 missing students take part in a march on the Ayutla-Cruz Grande road in Ayutla, Guerrero State, Mexico, on Dec 17, 2014 to request the withdrawal of the army from the municipality. (Photo: AFP/Pedro Pardo)

Commuters walk toward their office on a snow covered sidewalk in Nagoya in Aichi prefecture, central Japan on Dec 18, 2014 as heavy snow hit wide areas of Japan. (Photo: AFP/Jiji Press)

Afghan residents stand near the site of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Dec 18, 2014. An Afghan official said a suicide bomber detonated his vehicle as it was being followed by police, killing a police officer and wounding several. (Photo: AP/Massoud Hossaini)

Artists perform during the opening night of "Cirque Dreams Holidaze" at The Chicago Theatre on Dec 17, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo: AFP/Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images)

Dallas Stars' Colton Sceviour, Shawn Horcoff, Travis Morin and Alex Goligoski (from L) celebrate Sceviour's goal against the Vancouver Canucks during the second period of an NHL hockey game on Dec 17, 2014, in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Photo: AP/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck)

Cody Doolin #45 of the UNLV Rebels is pressured by Alec Wintering #2 and Volodymyr Gerun #52 of the Portland Pilots during their game at the Thomas & Mack Center on Dec 17, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. UNLV won 75-73 in overtime. (Photo: AFP/Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Visitors carry flowers to lay at a makeshift memorial near the scene of a fatal siege in the heart of Sydney's financial district. (AFP/Peter PARKS)

Thai women wade through floodwater after heavy rains triggered flash floods in the Thai southern city of Narathiwat. (AFP/Madaree TOHLALA)

Police officers escort New Zealand citizen Philip Blackwood (C) accused of insulting Buddhism, chained to other suspects of various crimes for a court hearing in Yangon, Myanmar. (AP/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Pakistani human rights activists burn an affigy representing a terrorist as they take part in a protest in Karachi against the attack by Taliban militants on an army-run school in Peshawar. (AFP/Asif HASSAN)

Russian police officers detain protesters during President Vladimir Putin's news conference in Moscow. (AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Women with posters of the Cuban Five celebrate their release, in Havana. After a half-century of Cold War acrimony, the United States and Cuba abruptly moved to restore diplomatic relations between the two nations. (AP/Ramon Espinosa)

A banner for "The Interview" is posted outside Arclight Cinemas in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. Sony Corp. is facing monetary losses from leaks by hackers that attacked the company over the movie that spoofs an assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. (AP/Damian Dovarganes, File)

French nursing students of the Public Assistance-Hospitals of Paris (AP-HP) hold a banner as they demonstrate against the cost of their studies in Paris. (AFP/ERIC FEFERBERG)

Juventus' Carlos Tevez (R) scores a goal during an Italian Serie A football match against Cagliari at the Sant' Elia stadium in Cagliari, Italy. (AP/Daniela Santoni)

South African batsman Stiaan Van Zyl (L) plays a shot during the second day of the first Test match between South Africa and the West Indies at Supersport Park in Centurion. (AFP/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA)

Italy's winner Roland Fischnaller speeds down the hill during the men's parallel slalom race at the Snowboard World Cup event in Schruns, Austria. (AP/Kerstin Joensson)

Gabriela Soukalova of the Czech Republic reacts after winning the women's 7.5km sprint event during the IBU Biathlon World Cup in Pokljuka, Slovenia. (AFP/Jure Makovec)

A rescue team searches for survivors and remove bodies after a landslide at Jemblung village in Banjarnegara, Central Java province, on Dec 13, 2014. A landslide triggered by torrential downpours has killed at least 12 people and left nearly 100 others missing. (AFP/Dida Nuswantara)

Demonstrators march during a protest against the government of President Michel Martelly in Port-au-Prince. Protesters marched through the streets calling for the resignation of the Haitian leader and the Prime Minister, Laurent Lamothe. (AFP/Hector Retamal)

Former Guantanamo prison inmate Syrian Ahmed Adnan Ahjam (C) and Abd al Hadi Omar Mahmoud Faraj (L back) walk in a street in downtown Montevideo. (AFP/Mario Goldman) 

Environmental activists perform representing leaders, (L to R), Australia's PM Tony Abbott, China's President Xi Jinping, Canada's PM Stephen Harper, Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Japan's PM Shinzo Abe during the Climate Change Conference COP20, in Lima Peru. (AP/Martin Mejia)

Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, attends a ceremony to mark China's first National Memorial Day at the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall in Nanjing in eastern China's Jiangsu province. (AP/Ng Han Guan)

Brides get off a bus during a mass wedding sponsored by the Philippine military at the Marines headquarters chapel in Manila. (AFP/Jay Directo)

Houses are damaged on San Como Lane after heavy rain triggered a mudslide following a storm in the Camarillo Springs area of Ventura County, California. (AFP/Mark Ralston)

Demonstrators launch fireworks on anti riot carabinieri during a march as part of a general strike called by several trade union organisations to protest against the government's economic policy, in Milan.  (AFP/Giuseppe Cacace)

France's Gael Monfils of the Indian Aces returns the ball to French Jo-wilfried Tsonga of Manila Mavericks during the Coca-Cola International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) match at the Hamdan Sports Complex in Dubai. (AFP/Marwan Naamani)

Tina Maze of Slovenia competes during the first run of the FIS Ski World Cup women's giant slalom in Are, Sweden. (AFP/TT News Agency/Marcus Ericsson)

Tim Duncan (R) of the San Antonio Spurs shoots against the Los Angeles Lakers at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. (AFP/Andrew D Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, of France, perform their short dance at the Grand Prix Final figure skating competition in Barcelona, Spain. (AP/Manu Fernandez)

A boy watches a voting paper as his father casts a vote in Japan's general election at a polling station in Tokyo. (Photo: AFP/Yoshikazu Tsuno)

Bangladeshis place floral wreaths as they pay homage at the Independence War Intellectual Martyrs Memorial in Dhaka. Thousands of Bangladeshis paid tribute to the dozens of intellectuals killed 43 years ago during the war which won the country independence from Pakistan. (AFP/Munir uz Zaman)

A protester marches through stopped cars while carrying a sign that reads 'Black Lives Matter' in the Alameda-Oakland tunnel during a 'Millions March' demonstration protesting the killing of unarmed black men by police in Oakland, California. (AFP/Getty Images/Elijah Nouvelage)

Hundreds demonstrate holding Alsatian regional flags against the government regional reform, in front of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France. Protesters opposed the fusion of the Alsace region with its neighbours Lorraine and Champagne-Ardenne. (AFP/Patrick Hertzog)

Villagers carry oil in a barrel after removing it from the river surface, after an oil tanker sank in one of the world's largest mangrove forests in the Sundarbans, in Joymani village, Bangladesh. The oil tanker was carrying more than 350,000 litres of bunker oil. (AP)

A man fishes in the frozen Landmark river in Beijing. A strong cold front moving eastward will sweep across most parts of China on Dec 14, bringing strong winds and low temperatures. (AFP/Fred Dufour)

A giant alebrije is paraded through Mexico City. Alebrijes are colourful statues of all sizes that combine the body parts of different animals to create a new, unique fantasy creature, an art form native to Mexico. (AP/Marco Ugarte)

Iraqi Shiite Muslim pilgrims attend the Arbaeen religious festival which marks the 40th day after Ashura, commemorating the seventh century killing of Prophet Mohammed's grandson, Imam Hussein, at the Imam Hussein shrine in Karbala, 80km south of Baghdad. (AFP/Mohammed Sawaf)

Australian jockey Zac Purton, riding Hong Kong horse Aerovelocity (L) competes on his way to win the Hong Kong Sprint horse race at the Shatin race track, followed by South Africa's jockey Douglas Whyte on Hong Kong horse Peniaphobia, in Hong Kong. (AP/Kin Cheung))

Diego Chaves (L) comes around with a punch to Timothy Bradley Jr during their welterweight bout at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 12-round fight ended in a draw. (AFP/Getty Images/David Becker)

Sacramento Kings forward Derrick Williams (L) grabs a rebound against Detroit Pistons forward Greg Monroe during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, California. The Pistons won 95-90. (AP/Rich Pedroncelli)

China's Xiaoyu Yu and Yang Jin perform during the Pairs Free Skating program at the ISU Grand Prix of figure skating Final 2014 in the Barcelona International Convention Centre. (AFP/Lluis Gene)