Snow covers bicycles on a bridge in Amsterdam's city center. Most schools in the Netherlands will close their doors Friday for two weeks of Christmas holidays.
Local journalists found greatly polarized opinions among Abyei's Ngok Dinka and Misseriya communities, a window into the tension surrounding next month's Abyei vote and a larger referendum on Sudanese unity.
Ethnic tensions rise as large numbers of displaced Ngok Dinka return to Abyei ahead of the historic Jan. 9 Sudan referendum.
Bulgarian physicians release pigeons with national flags attached to them, during a protest in Sofia. Physicians and medical workers rallied to demand acute reforms and adequate financing of Bulgaria's health-care sector.
The US offered this week to remove Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terror as early as the middle of next year if Sudan agrees to let South Sudan secede in a referendum in January.
In an effort to keep readers clicking, editors and journalists may be making the climate of the Sudan referendum appear more dire than it actually is.
South Sudan, which remains less-developed than much of the north, is using revenue from its vast oil resources to shore up unity with local leaders, rather than development efforts.
A conference between South Sudan's political parties, civil society, and religious groups gave a look at what a future state in South Sudan might look like.
South Sudan's ruling party, SPLM, is trying to make amends with opposition groups in order to be more unified ahead of the January referendum.