A worker packs onion bags at a wholesale vegetable market in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh on Dec. 21. Onion prices in India have more than doubled in the past week due to a shortage caused by unusually heavy rain in growing areas, adding to the risk of voter anger about the high cost of food. Ajay Verma/Reuters
Paramilitary police recruits stand in formation amidst a dust storm during a meeting at a military base in Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region on Dec. 21. Reuters
A swimmer dives into the icy water as the roof of a tower is reflected in the Houhai Lake during winter in central Beijing, on Dec. 21. Petar Kujundzic/Reuters
Russian communists are reflected in a puddle as they walk in Moscow's Red Square on Dec. 21, on their way to attend a wreath-laying ceremony marking the 131th anniversary of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's birthday, at his grave in the Kremlin wall. Denis Sinyakov/Reuters
Thousands of teddy bears arranged in a shape of a tree hang from the ceiling of a shopping mall in Beirut, as part of Christmas decoration, on Tuesday. The display is part of a charity campaign 'Small Bear Big Heart' which aims to sell 2,000 bears with the proceeds going to the Lebanese autism society. Cynthia Karam/Reuters
Felipe swims in a heated swimming pool in Santa Angela de la Cruz center in Salteras, near Seville, Spain on Dec. 16. Santa Angela de la Cruz center was set up in October to house visually and hearing impaired adults and to enrich their lives. The residents at the center are taught skills to cope with everyday life. Marcelo del Pozo/Reuters
Travellers sleep on camp beds provided by airport operator Fraport at Frankfurt airport, on Tuesday. Several flights were cancelled or delayed due to bad weather conditions in Germany and other countries this week. Alex Domanski/Reuters
Astrid, a two week-old Red Lechwe calf, walks with her keeper at Chester Zoo in Chester, northern England on Dec. 21. The calf is being hand-reared by keepers at the zoo after being abandoned by its mother, and will be spending Christmas at a keepers house. Phil Noble/Reuters
A laborer hoses water into the site of a rare earth metals mine at Nancheng county, Jiangxi province on Dec. 21. China's monthly exports of rare earth metals more than doubled in November to 2,090 tons, bouncing back after falling by more than three-quarters in October, data supplied by China Customs Statistics Information Center (HK) showed. Reuters
A pet rabbit is dressed as Santa Claus at a photo event to celebrate Christmas and the Year of the Rabbit at a pet rabbit shop in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Japan, on Tuesday. The year 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit on the Chinese zodiac calendar. Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters
The Boston Bruins take to the ice for their NHL hockey game against the Anaheim Ducks in Boston, on Monday. Brian Snyder/Reuters
Ryan Lochte from the US swims a Men's 200m Individual Medley heat at the FINA Short Course Swimming World Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Michael Sohn/Reuters
A pedestrian walks a dog during a snowfall in central London. Plunging temperatures and heavy snow saw large swaths of Britain grind to a standstill, as London's Gatwick Airport closed its runway and British Airways canceled flights at Heathrow. Alastair Grant/AP
Syria's healthcare system has been afflicted by four years of war. In Raqqa, a militant-run city, unsafe medical practices and risky behavior by jihadists have heightened the danger of HIV/AIDS spreading widely.
ByDominique Soguel, Correspondent
The Islamic State has lured thousands of foreign fighters and their families to Syria with the promise of building a utopian caliphate. And even Syrians living in IS-run cities like Raqqa say it is providing basic governance, in a country roiled by civil war.