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NEWS IN PICTURES

  • TODAY 15 Dec  
  • TUE 9 Dec  
  • WED 10 Dec  
  • THU 11 Dec  
  • FRI 12 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. (Photo: 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)

Evacuees are seen having free medicine and medical check-ups at a government elementary school turned into an evacuation centre. A giant storm Hagupit swept out of the Philippines on Dec 9, after killing at least 27 people and devastating remote coastal communities.(Photo: AFP/Jay Difrecto)

A resident hangs laundry as she stands in front of destroyed houses in Borongan in the eastern Samar province in central Philippines, a day after typhoon Hagupit hit the province. (Photo: AFP/Vincent Go)

Protesters' tents line the road at the main anti-government protest site at Hong Kong's Admiralty area on Dec 9. A High Court ruling published on Dec 9 called for the clearance of three sections of the Admiralty protest site. (Photo: AFP/Isaac Lawrence)

A woman poses for a photo with a snow-covered tree in China's Jilin province. (Photo: AFP)

Road traffic in Cambodian capital Phnom Penh. About 1,950 road traffic deaths and more than 14,000 injuries occur each year on Cambodia's roads, said an official. (Photo:AFP/Tang Chhin Sothy)

Visiting Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (L) meets Singapore's President Tony Tan (R) at the Istana on Dec 9. (Photo: AFP/Mohd Fyrol)

Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, greets children and parents outside New York's Northside Center after her visit on Dec 8. Kate and Prince William are on a three-day visit to the US, their first official visit since a 2011 trip to California. (Photo: AP/Richard Drew)

Police clash with demonstrators, who are protesting the Staten Island, NY grand jury's decision not to indict a police officer involved in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, at the entrance to a Target during a Brooklyn Nets game on Dec 8 in NY City. (Photo: AFP/Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Protesters shout slogans demanding information and justice for the 43 missing students in front of riot police in the port city of Veracruz, Mexico on Dec 8. (Photo: AFP/Yuri Cortez)

Delegates from different countries hold signs during a protest at the Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru on Dec 8, 2014. (Photo: AP/Juan Karita)

England's cricketer Jos Buttler dives as he fields a ball during a practice session on the eve of their fifth one-day international cricket match with Sri Lanka in Pallekele, Sri Lanka on Dec 9. Sri Lanka lead the seven-match series 3-1 (Photo: AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

Germany's hockey player Mortiz Furste (C) is challenged by Argentina's Matias Paredes (L) during their Hero Hockey Champions Trophy 2014 match at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Dec 9. (Photo: AFP/Dibyangshu Sarkar)

Kashmiri members of the Association of Parents of the Disappeared (APDP) take part in a protest in front of a banner depicting those missing on International Human Rights Day in Srinagar. Indian forces in Kashmir are often blamed for rights abuses in the divided region. (AFP/Tauseef Mustafa)

Opposition leader of Cambodia National Rescue Party Sam Rainsy (C) delivers a speech during a gathering to mark Human Rights Day, in front of National Assembly, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. (AP/Heng Sinith)

Indonesian workers shout slogans during a rally against cheap wages in Jakarta, Indonesia. Thousands of factory workers took to the streets in the capital to protest against outsourcing and low wages. (AP/Achmad Ibrahim)

Tibetan students wait to perform a cultural dance at an event held to celebrate the 25th year of the Dalai Lama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in Katmandu, Nepal. The event also marked fifty-five years of the spiritual leader’s life in exile. (AP/Niranjan Shrestha).

An artwork made of paper umbrellas, a symbol of the anti-government protests, hangs at a protest site in the Causeway Bay district of Hong Kong. Police said they will clear Hong Kong's main pro-democracy protest camp and urged demonstrators not to resist. (AFP/Isaac Lawrence)

A Shiite Muslim pilgrim holds up a picture of Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (R), Iran's late founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (C) and the head of Lebanon's Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, in Najaf on her way to the central city of Karbala. (AFP/Haidar Hamdani)

British soldiers land on Eastern Beach as they participate in a military exercise in Gibraltar. HMS BULWARK and RFA LYME BAY conducted an Amphibious Training Exercise “Sea Snake” around Eastern Beach, starting on Dec 8 evening until Dec 10. (AFP/Marcos Moreno)

An Emirati man sits with his falcon during a falconry competition, part of the 2014 International Festival of Falconry in Hameem, 150km west of Abu Dhabi. (AFP/Karim Sahib)

Milwaukee Bucks guard Giannis Antetokounmpo (L) and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka collide in mid air in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City. (AP /Sue Ogrocki)

Australia's batsman Steve Smith plays a powerful shot for a boundary off India's pacer Varun Aaron on the second day of the first Test cricket match between Australia and India at the Adelaide Oval. (AFP/Saeed Khan)

Anderlecht's Aleksandar Mitrovic (R) celebrates scoring 1-1 as Dortmund's goalkeeper Mitchell Langerak failed to save during their Group D Champions League football match in Dortmund, Germany. (AP/Frank Augstein)

Monaco's Tunisian defender Aymen Abdennour scores a goal during the UEFA Champions League football match AS Monaco (ASM) vs Zenit Saint-Petersburg, at the Louis II stadium in Monaco. (AFP/Valery Hache)

Hong Kong police begin to dismantle the remaining pro-democracy tents and camp set up along a road in the Admiralty district after their deadline passed in Hong Kong. (AFP/Pedro Ugarte) 

Aleksandra Magnaeva (C) of Russia is presented to the media by customs officials for a press conference at the customs office in Denpasar, Bali. The Russian woman may face the death penalty for allegedly attempting to smuggle crystal methamphetamine into Bali. (AFP/Sonny Tumbelaka)

Afghan security personnel inspect at the site where a suicide bomber on foot targeted a bus of Afghan soldiers in the suburbs of Kabul, killing at least six Afghan soldiers. (AFP/Shah Marai)

Protesters march through traffic on Telegraph Avenue during a demonstration over recent grand jury decisions in police-involved deaths in Berkeley, California. (Photo: AFP/Justin Sullivan/Getty images North America)

US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama arrive to deliver toys and gifts for the Marine Corps’ “Toys for Tots” campaign at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, DC. The gifts were donated by staff of the presidential office. (AFP/Mandel Ngan)

Thousands participate in the People’s Climate March on the sidelines of the UN COP20 and CMP10 climate change conferences being held in Lima. ( Photo: AFP/Eitan Abramovich)

Demostrators hold letters reading "No to the canal" as they they take part in a march against the construction of an inter-oceanic canal in Managua. The construction of an inter-oceanic canal by Chinese company HK Nicaragua Development is scheduled to begin on Dec 22.  (AFP/Inti Ocon)

Large waves strike the harbour wall in the town of Whitehaven in Cumbria, north west England. Energy companies were working on Wednesday to restore power to around 17,500 homes in the west of Scotland affected by stormy weather and high winds. (AFP/Oli Scarff)

A Palestinian municipal garbage truck drives past the rubble of buildings destroyed during the 50-day Gaza war between Israel and Hamas-led militants, in Gaza City. (AFP/Mohammed Abed)

Bullfighter Chuck Swisher, top, gets tossed into the air by bull Cajun Smurf while Swisher was protecting Bull rider Trey Benton III during the seventh go-round of the National Finals Rodeo, in Las Vegas. (AP/John Locher)

Bangladeshi street children hang onto a moving bus in Dhaka, Bangladesh. A 2013 World Bank report said there was a continuous decline in the number of poor people in Bangladesh, one of the most densely populated countries in the world, from nearly 63 million in 2000 to 47 million 2010. (AP/AM Ahad)

A boy sifts through the debris following an overnight fire at an informal settlers' community of Tonsuya in Malabon city, north of Manila, Philippines. The fire razed more than 200 houses and affected close to a thousand people.  (Photo: AP/Bullit Marquez)

Chou Ni-an (front 2nd L), a legislator from the opposition Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) attempts to occupy the speaker's seat during a demonstration to boycott a speech by premier Mao Chi-kuo as speaker Wang Jin-pyng (R) looks on at parliament in Taipei on Dec 12, 2014.  (Photo: AFP/Sam Yeh)

Palestinian militants from the Islamic Jihad's armed wing, the Al-Quds Brigades, take part in a military exercise in Deir al-Balah in the centre of the Gaza Strip on Dec 11, 2014. (Photo: AFP/Said Khatib)

Sri Lankan police and rescue workers inspect the wreckage of the Sri Lankan military transport aircraft which crashed near the capital Colombo on Dec 12, 2014, killing four people on board and injuring another crew member, police said. (Photo: AFP/Ishara S Kodikara)

Health workers take care of an injured victim of Jos bomb blast on Dec 11, 2014 at Plateau State Specialist Hospital, in Jos. A double bombing on Thursday in the central Nigeria city of Jos killed at least 31 people. (Photo: AFP/Stringer)

Traffic passes down a main thoroughfare of Hong Kong's Admiralty district on Dec 12, 2014, the day after police cleared out the main pro-democracy protest site.  (Photo: AFP/Isaac Lawrence)

Afghan security personnel stand guard near the site where a bomber blew himself up in the audience watching a theatre show at the Istiqlal High School which is attached to the French Cultural Centre in Kabul on Dec 11, 2014.  (Photo: AFP/Shah Marai)

In this photo provided by Scott Sady of TahoeLight.com, Jessica Yurtinis of Reno, Nevada, paddles her kayak through the five- to seven-foot waves on Lake Tahoe kicked up by a strong storm moving across California and Nevada. (Photo: AP/Scott Sady, TahoeLight.com)

Indian men bathe in water from a broken pipe next to a sewage canal on a cold morning in New Delhi, India, on Dec 12, 2014. Though India is famous for its brutally hot summers, temperatures fall sharply for a few weeks in December and January. (Photo: AP/Bernat Armangue)

People shout slogans during a protest march at Tecoanapa, in Guerrero State, Mexico, on Dec 11, 2014 over the disappearance of 43 college students, of which Alexander Mora was recently identified following the finding of remains in a landfill in Cocula. (Photo: AFP/Pedro Pardo)

An unidentifyed surfer rides a wave off Praia do Norte in Nazare, central Portugal on Dec 11, 2014. (Photo: AFP/Francisco Leong)

South Korea's Ji Soo Jeon (bottom L) lead the pack during the women's 500m preliminary round at the ISU World Cup Short Track speed skating event in Shanghai on Dec 12, 2014. (Photo: AFP/Johannes Eisele)

Rudy Gay #8 of the Sacramento Kings goes up for a dunk against the Houston Rockets on Dec 11, 2014 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California. (Photo: AFP/Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

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)