A woman uses her mobile phone as she walks past the main hall inside the National Grand Theatre, nicknamed "The Egg," in Beijing. Opened in 2007, the theater has three main halls which include a 2,416-seat opera house, a 2,017-seat concert hall with a pipe organ, and a 1,040-seat theater for plays. Petar Kujundzic/Reuters
Brenda Pasan (l.) watches Ludmila Romero sleep in a property beside a closed slaughterhouse after it was occupied by squatters on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina. A few hundred squatters have quickly grown to more than 5,000 in one of the few public green spaces left on the southern edge of the Argentine capital. Natacha Pisarenko/AP
France's president, Nicolas Sarkozy (3rd r.), and French Research and Higher Education Minister Valerie Pecresse (3rd l.) listen to Jean-Paul Herteman (c.), chief executive of French aerospace group Safran, as they visit the SNECMA-SAFRAN jet engine factory in Vernon, western France. Lionel Bonaventure/Reuters
An Afghan girl looks on as she waits with women for the distribution of food by German humanitarian organization KinderBerg International to Afghan local residents in downtown Kunduz. Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters
King penguins are followed by visitors as they walk through the snow at the zoo in Zurich, Switzerland. Steffen Schmidt/Keystone/AP
A masked Greenpeace activist attends a protest against the usage of nuclear power in Bucharest, Romania. Romania will lower its participation in two planned nuclear reactors to a minority stake, the economy minister was quoted as saying, a decision that will likely delay work on the units. Its state-owned nuclear power firm already has two 706 megawatt reactors at its plant in Cernavoda, accounting for roughly 20 percent of national power supply. Bogdan Cristel/Reuters
Bangladeshi college girls stand in a queue to pay tribute at the Martyred Intellectuals Memorial in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The nation is paying tribute to martyrs who were killed by the Pakistani Army during the Bangladesh liberation war. Pavel Rahman/AP
A young cow moves through a harvested cornfield at sunset before searching for water at a frozen pond near Pleasant Plains, Ill. A fast-moving winter storm moved through central Illinois Sunday leaving behind two inches of snow and freezing temperatures. Seth Perlman/AP
France's far-right National Front political party leader Jean-Marie Le Pen (r.) and far-right National Front political executive director Bruno Gollnisch talk during a voting session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. Vincent Kessler/Reuters
A Russian Orthodox priest blesses the Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft on the launch pad at Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The crew of NASA astronaut Catherine Coleman, Russian cosmonaut Dmitry Kondratyev, and European Space Agency astronaut Paolo Nespoli is due to travel by Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station on Dec. 16, 2010. Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters
Smoke billows from burning police vehicles following clashes in Rome following Premier Silvio Berlusconi's vote of confidence in the Italian parliament. Thousands of students smashed shop windows, destroyed ATMs, and set at least three vehicles on fire. Police fired tear gas as the protesters neared Berlusconi's residence. Premier Silvio Berlusconi won back-to-back votes of confidence in the Italian parliament to survive one of the toughest tests of his political life, but was left with a razor-thin majority that will make it hard for him to govern effectively. Gregorio Borgia/AP
Children play in foam used to simulate snow at a shopping mall in Singapore where malls are taking advantage of the festive season to draw in customers through visual merchandising, advertising, and year end sales. Wong Maye-E/AP
Belarus soldiers leave a voting booth after casting ballots during early voting at a polling station in Minsk, Belarus. Presidential elections in Belarus are scheduled for Dec. 19. Sergei Grits/AP
Icicles hang off grapefruit at sunrise, at the Lake Jessup Groves, near Geneva, Fla. Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/AP
A TP Mazembe soccer supporter mugs for the camera during the club World Cup semifinal soccer match against Brazil's SC Internacional do Porto Alegre at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Hassan Ammar/AP
A woman holds a portrait of a 'liquidator,' an emergency worker who fought the blaze at the Chernobyl nuclear reactor, as she walks past guards of honor during a commemoration ceremony in Kiev, (Kyiv) Ukraine. Emergency responders were exposed to large doses of radioactivity during their efforts to contain radioactive contamination at the exploded Chernobyl reactor in 1986. Gleb Garanich/Reuters
An Indian beggar and his child sit wrapped in woolen blankets on a cold morning in Allahabad, India. Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP
Veiled public school teachers take part in a protest demanding a pay rise, outside the parliament in Sanaa, Yemen. Khaled Abdullah/Reuters
Photographers and cameramen photograph the new Freebox Revolution Internet multimedia modem during a news conference in Paris. The Freebox Revolution is designed by Philippe Starck of France. Jacky Naegelen/Reuters
Thousands shut down the main highway in Caracas to express their anger with the increasingly embattled administration of President Nicolas Maduro.
ByFabiola Sanchez and Hannah Dreier, Associated Press
Protesters sprawled in lawn chairs, worked on math homework and played cards on main roads around Venezuela's cities Monday, joining in sit-ins to disrupt traffic as the latest slap at the socialist government.
Thousands shut down the main highway in Caracas to express their anger with the increasingly embattled administration of President Nicolas Maduro. They turned the road into a kind of public plaza, with protesters settling in for picnics, reading books and reclining under umbrellas they brought to protect against the blazing Caribbean sun.
In the provinces, protests turned deadly. The public prosecutor announced that 54-year-old Renzo Rodriguez was killed by a gunshot to the chest Monday at a protest in the plains state of Barinas. In the mountain town of Merida, state worker Jesus Sulbaran was fatally shot in the neck at a pro-government rally. In addition, five people were injured at the Merida protest, Venezuela ombudsman Tarek William Saab said.
The two killings raised to 23 the number of deaths linked to unrest that began almost a month ago over the Supreme Court's decision to gut the opposition-controlled congress of its powers.
The Caracas gathering was largely peaceful, though some protesters wrapped bandanas around their faces and threw stones at police, prompting state security forces to release a cloud of tear gas.
Juan Carlos Bautista passed the afternoon playing dominos.
"We want to be free. I'm here fighting for my children and my children's children," he said.
The current wave of protests is the most intense the economically struggling country has seen since two months of anti-government protests in 2014 that left dozens dead. But while those protests were led by young people who built flaming barricades in the street, this month's movement is attracting masses of older protesters, who say they are fighting not for themselves, but for the younger generations.
Protesters in at least a dozen other cities staged sit-ins, with some building barricades to stop traffic. In Caracas, protesters dragged concrete slabs, garbage and even a bathtub into the road. Retired professor Lisbeth Colina said she decided to participate in the sit-in for her grandchildren.