Cross-country skiers
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Global pictures from Dec. 9 -15

Cross-country skiers
A major ice storm blasted the nation’s midsection this week, leading to power outages, school closings, canceled flights and at least 24 deaths. The news wasn’t all glum, however: Cross-country skiers took advantage of the snow to trek along Lake Wingra in Madison, Wis., on Tuesday. (Henry A. Koshollek / The Capital Times)
Oklahoma storm
Bob Helton of Tulsa, Okla., stands at his gas stove as he tries to heat his home Wednesday. Helton was among the hundreds of thousands of residents in the nation’s midsection who lost power in this week’s severe ice storm. Oklahoma was particularly hard hit, as downed power lines caused dozens of fires; President Bush declared an emergency there. (Mike Simons / Tulsa World)
Colorado shootings
As many as 20 bullet holes riddle the entryway of New Life Church in Colorado Springs on Monday, a day after a gunman killed two teenage sisters in the church’s parking lot. Authorities later determined that Matthew Murray, 24, killed himself after being shot several times by a volunteer church security guard. Earlier on Sunday, police said, Murray killed two staffers at a missionary school in Arvada, Colo. (Kevin Moloney / Associated Press)
China memorial
Chinese students gather during a memorial Thursday marking the 70th anniversary of the Nanjing massacre. Air sirens wailed in the eastern Chinese city, as thousands of somber, tearful residents crowded the grounds of the Massacre Memorial Hall. The city, then known as Nanking, suffered a rampage of killing, rape and looting by invading Japanese troops in 1937. (Liu Jin / AFP / Getty Images)
South Korea oil spill
An oyster farmer was among those caught up in the muck this week after tons of crude oil spilled into the sea off Taean, South Korea. The oil started hitting beaches last Saturday, a day after a supertanker was hit by a barge that came unmoored from its tugboat in rough seas. About 100 vessels, including coast guard, navy and private fishing boats, were called to help contain and clean up South Korea’s worst spill, a coast guard official said. Initial estimates were that 2.8 million gallons of crude were spilled. (Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images)
Lindsey Vonn
American Lindsey Vonn catches a tip of her ski and crashes Sunday in the second run of the slalom during the women’s World Cup ski competition in Aspen, Colo. Nicole Hosp of Austria took first in the event. (George Fry / EPA)
Argentina president
Argentina’s first elected female president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, and her husband, departing President Nestor Kirchner, celebrate during a music festival in Buenos Aires after she was sworn in Monday. “I know that it will be more difficult for me because I am a woman,” the former first lady, a longtime senator, told lawmakers at the congressional palace. “But I believe I have the strength to be able to do it.” Nestor Kirchner designated his wife as their party’s candidate to succeed him after he renounced almost certain reelection this year. (Natacha Pisarenko / Associated Press)
Elephants in Singapore
The two elephants in captivity at the Singapore Zoo, named Tun and Jamilah, receive custom-made, waterproof Gore-Tex bootees Wednesday to alleviate continuing foot problems, including lesions on the soles of their feet. Dr. Sonja Luz, right, struggles to fit a bootee onto Tun, while Jamilah waits his turn. (Wong Maye-E / Associated Press)
Skyscraper jumping in Taiwan
Felix Baumgartner prepares to jump Tuesday from the Taipei 101 tower in Taiwan, the world’s tallest completed building. The extreme sport professional, a 38-year-old Austrian, has had his eye on a leap from the building since it was completed three years ago. Baumgartner jumped from the building’s 91st-floor observation platform -- at a height of 390 meters, or about 1,280 feet -- and after a five-second-long free fall opened his parachute and landed safely on the roof of a multistory parking structure. (Stefan Stau / AFP / Getty Images)
Iraqi farmers
The sun sets as Iraqi farmers drive a herd of water buffaloes to the Euphrates River at their settlement near the Shiite holy city of Najaf, 100 miles south of Baghdad, on Tuesday. (Alaa al-Marjani / Associated Press)
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