A swimmer dives into the icy water of the Houhai Lake in central Beijing. Petar Kujundzic/Reuters
A man repairs the window of a sports hall damaged by a shockwave from a meteor in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk, Russia. Olaf Koens/Reuters
Marsh Arab Abu Sabah paddles his boat at the Chebayesh marsh in Nassiriya, 185 miles southeast of Baghdad. The Marsh Arabs who had farmed this area for thousands of years, were badly affected by a campaign mounted by the government of Saddam Hussein in the 1990s to destroy their lifestyle. The marshes were drained of water, and hundreds of thousands of Marsh Arabs were forced to flee to cities, where they live in poverty. Thaier al-Sudani/Reuters
Sunrise over Bamburgh Castle, northeastern England. Tom White/AP
United States' Mikaela Shiffrin clears a gate during the first run of the women's slalom, at the Alpine skiing world championships in Schladming, Austria. The American teenager became the youngest women's slalom world champion in 39 years. Alessandro Trovati/AP
A dhobi, or clothes washer, tries to retrieve a piece of cloth blown by the wind on the river banks of Sabarmati in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad. Amit Dave/Reuters
Men look on as a quail is seen in a cage in Kabul, Afghanistan. Mohammad Ismail/Reuters
Female North Korean traffic police officers gather in front of bronze statues of the late leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il to pay their respects in Pyongyang, North Korea. David Guttenfelder/AP
Member of a Seat 600 owners club drive along Bilbao's Gran Via during a rally, in the Basque region of Spain. Vincent West/Reuters
A reveler balancing on a globe parades during the flower parade of the 129th edition of the Nice Carnival, in Nice, southern France. Lionel Cironneau/AP
1,086 people at 17th street on the Virginia Beach, Va., oceanfront to try and set a Guinness World Record for most people doing a cartwheel at the same time. L. Todd SpencerThe Virginian-Pilot/AP
Brice Giantonio, 7, of Palm Bay, Fla. poses in a set of bunker gear by displayed by volunteers from the Palm Coast Fire Department in front of their 1984 Mack fire engine during the Society for the Preservation & Appreciation of Antique Motor Fire Apparatus in America" winter convention, in Jacksonville, Fla. Bob Mack/The Florida Times-Union/AP
A soldier puts a helmet on a boy as he tells a girl, top, to get down from the armored vehicle that is on exhibit ahead of Mexico's Armed Forces Day in the Zocalo, Mexico City. Marco Ugarte/AP
The US announced steps toward a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas Wednesday, but the leader of Hamas insisted the Islamic militants would not relent until their main demand of lifting an Egyptian-Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip is met.
ByIbrahim Barzak and Tia Goldenberg, Associated Press
The United States announced signs of progress in cease-fire talks Wednesday, but prospects for a quick end to the fighting were dim as Palestinian families fled fierce battles in southern Gaza and the death toll rose to more than 700 Palestinians and 34 Israelis.