Santarchy? Apocalypse? It may seem like the world is coming to an end, but this week in photos proves otherwise.
Participants dressed as Santa Claus and other holiday figures dance and celebrate during the annual "Santarchy DC" event in front of the White House. More than a thousand people in holiday costumes took to the streets of Washington for the event.
A restorer works on a fragment of the Dead Sea Scrolls in a laboratory in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Israel Antiquities Authority, the custodian of the scrolls that shed light on the life of Jews and early Christians at the time of Jesus, and Google Israel launched a website featuring an online archive of high-resolution images of the 2,000-year-old scrolls.
Armin Niederer of Switzerland takes first place during the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup Men's and Women's Ski Cross in Val Thorens, France.
Israel's former foreign minister Tzipi Livni, now head of the new political party 'The Movement,' plays basketball during a campaign tour near the West Bank Jewish Settlement of Gvaot.
Children look at the Myer Christmas window display in Melbourne, Australia. Australian retailers are looking forward to an improved Christmas trading period compared to recent years thanks to improved consumer confidence, interest rate cuts, and stabilizing housing prices.
A triathlete runs out of the Red Sea during the Elite Men's Triathlon ETU European Championships in the southern Israeli city of Eilat.
An Ultra-Orthodox Jewish man lights candles for the holiday of Hanukkah in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighborhood.
Conservation Officers from IWM Duxford remove the propeller from a P51D Mustang fighter aircraft which had been suspended from the roof of the Imperial War Museum in London, England for the past 20 years. The aircraft is the last of 65 large objects to be removed from the museum before it undergoes an extensive refurbishment which will see it close for 6 months from January 2, 2013.
Speleologists of gendarmerie, a French paramilitary with civilian duties, inspect caves in Bugarath, a small village in the foothills of the Pyrenees in Bugarach, France. Miviludes, the French Government's dedicated sect watchdog, are investigating the likelihood of apocalyptic sect activity due to the prophecy of an ancient Mayan calendar which also claims that Burgarach is the only place on Earth which will be saved from the apocalypse on the evening of December 21, 2012. They believe sects have secretly mined several caves to use as shelter from what they believe will be heavy nuclear fall out after the apocalypse.
People ice skate on an artificial rink built for the Christmas holiday season across from the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
A gallery assistant poses for photographers with an artwork called "100 Blind Stars" by Douglas Gordon, during a preview at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh, Scotland. The preview highlighted works from an exhibition called "From Death to Death and Other Small Tales," which features works from the D.Daskalapoulos Collection, and will run from December 15th to September 2013.
Supporters of South Korea's presidential candidate Park Geun-hye of the ruling Saenuri Party react during her election campaign rally in Seoul. Former human rights lawyer and presidential candidate of the main opposition Democratic United Party Moon Jae-in, challenger to conservative and right winger Park Geun-hye, was 1.5-3.5 percentage points behind, compared with a gap of up to 7.5 points a week ago. Moon's gains came after independent candidate Ahn Cheol-soo dropped out of the running and threw his support behind Moon's bid to beat Park, the daughter of South Korea's former military dictator Park Chung-hee, in the Dec. 19 vote.
A bumboat carrying tourists travels past wishing spheres floating on the Singapore River. Over 100 elderly and youths from voluntary welfare organizations penned their New Year wishes onto wishing spheres before launching them into the Singapore River on Monday. Some 20,000 spheres carrying the New Year wishes of people all over Singapore have been released onto the Singapore River as part of the coming New Year's Day celebrations.
Haruka Tobe (second right) waits for her parents to fill out their ballots for Japan's general election at a polling station in Tokyo. Japan voted on Sunday in an election expected to return the conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to power after a 3-year hiatus, giving ex-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe a chance to push his hawkish security agenda and radical economic recipe.
Two women paddle on stand-up paddle boards at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro.
Christmas decorations and a Ferris wheel are seen on Massena square in central Nice.