A Turkish MAG-1 bulk carrier is seen half sunk on the shore of the Black Sea near Sukhumi, the capital of the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia, on Monday. The ship had been blown to shore by a storm. Sergey Ponomarev/AP
Pistache, a yellow Labrador retriever, rests as she waits for the start of the ASPCA's Blessing of the Animals on Sunday at the Christ Church in New York. Tina Fineberg/AP
Chinese residents in Japan wave Chinese and Japanese national flags as Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping arrives in Tokyo's Haneda airport on Monday. Issei Kato/Reuters
Protesters are silhouetted as they picket the IMF-World Bank office in Mandaluyong, Philippines, on Monday in protest of the ongoing United Nations Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark. The demonstrators urged the world's premier lending institutions, the IMF-WB and the Asian Development Bank, to keep out of climate negotiations. Bullit Marquez/AP
A frozen chair lift is seen on the top of Feldberg mountain in Germany, on a cold and foggy Monday. Michael Probst/AP
A flock of geese flies off in the early morning fog near the Washington Monument on Monday. Gerald Herbert/AP
Students of the Buenos Aires University Union Federation (FUBA) avoid water cannon blasts as they clash with riot police in front of the Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Monday. Joaquin Salguero/Reuters
Sgt. Sean Kuttner (l.) and Pfc. John Cummings provide security at a traffic control point while local Iraqi ID cards are checked and cars are searched in Taji, Iraq, on Dec. 12. Sgt. Travis Zielinski/US Army/Reuters
Naung Kya and Nyi Nyi Tun of Burma (Myanmar) compete during the men's 10-meter platform synchonized diving finals at the 25th Southeast Asian Games in Vientiane, Laos, on Monday. Wong Maye-E/AP
Israel's President Shimon Peres (r.) and military chief Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi (c.) watch a soldier light the menorah on the fourth eve of Hanukkah, in an army base near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip on Monday. Tsafrir Abayov/AP
A woman makes the final touch to a cats Christmas Nativity Scene during the 12th Nativity Scenes tour of Luceram village in France, on Monday. The exhibition of 400 Nativity Scenes runs from Dec. 5 to Jan. 3. Eric Gaillard/Reuters
Oxfam activists dressed as polar bears dance at the entrance to the main hall at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Monday. Bob Strong/Reuters
For a visiting journalist, the country of today feel worlds away from the China she first encountered decades earlier.
ByAnn Scott Tyson
The ultra-sleek bullet train, floating on a magnetic cushion, accelerates as it leaves Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport for the megacity of 24 million people. Outside, a futuristic metropolis unfolds. Curved skyscrapers and raised freeways flash by until they blur. Inside the car, green digits above the doorway shoot upward: 200 kilometers per hour ... 300 ... 431.