A Look Back: Week in Photos

AFP: Timothy A. Clary
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Back to school

MSN News photo editors select the best pictures of this week. See gallery

Sandy Hook Elementary School students return to classes Thursday at a former middle school in nearby Monroe, described by police as "the safest school in America." Twenty students and six teachers were killed in a shooting rampage at the Sandy Hook school on Dec. 14.

Getty Images: Monika Graff
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Welcome to the new year

People celebrate as the stroke of midnight rings in the new year in Times Square, New York City, on Tuesday.

AP Photo: Kin Cheung
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Hong Kong celebration

Fireworks explode at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre over the Victoria Harbor to celebrate the new year in Hong Kong Tuesday. 

Getty Images: Jeff J Mitchell
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Cold waters for the new year

More than a thousand New Year's swimmers, many in costume, brave freezing conditions in the River Forth in front of the Forth Rail Bridge during the annual Loony Dook Swim in South Queensferry, Scotland, on Tuesday.

ZUMA Press
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Goodbye kiss

Sgt. Wes London kisses his wife, Brittany London, goodbye as he is deployed with the 67th Expeditionary Signal Battalion on Wednesday. Most of the 287 soldiers will be sent to the Middle East for the nine-month deployment.

Getty Images: Uriel Sinai
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Funeral for a rabbi

Orthodox Jewish men pray next to the body of Rabbi Abraham Jacob Friedman, 84, of Sadigura Hasidic dynasty during his funeral on Monday in Bnei Brak, Israel.

AP Photo: Oded Balilty
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Auditions for little dancers

Children of immigrants from the former Soviet Union attend a ballet class in Lod, central Israel. Some prominent ballet dancers left the former Soviet Union for Israel, forming ballet schools and continuing a dance culture highly regarded in their countries of origin.

AP Photo: Oded Balilty
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Wedding bells

Orthodox Jews gather for a traditional  wedding of the great-grandson of the rabbi of the Sanz Hasidic dynasty in Netanya, Israel, Wednesday.

Getty Images: David Ramos
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Tree climbing

A “Galejador” climbs the selected pine tree during “La Festa del Pi” in the village of Centelles on Sunday in Barcelona, Spain. Early in the morning, men and women born in Centelles, known as “Galejadors,” walk into the forest to chop down a pine tree, load it on an ox cart and take it to the village church. The tree is decorated with bouquets of apples and wafers and hung inside a church until Jan. 6. The tradition has been documented since 1751; its origin is believed to be related to the pagan worship of fertilization and to the winter solstice.

AP Photo: Ben Curtis
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Chadian soldier

A Chadian soldier, fighting in support of Central African Republic President Francois Bozize, is part of a truck convoy near Damara, north of the capital Bangui, Central African Republic, on Wednesday. After troops under Bozize seized the capital in 2003, he dissolved the constitution and parliament. Now it is Bozize who could be ousted from power: Rebels have seized more than half the country and made their way to the doorstep of the capital in less than a month.

AP Photo: Vahid Salemi
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Day of mourning

Iranian mourners beat their chests in a ceremony commemorating Arbaeen, the final day of the annual 40-day mourning period for the seventh century martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, in Tehran on Thursday.

AP Photo: Jae C. Hong
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Rose Bowl champions

Stanford cornerback Usua Amanam celebrates after an interception against Wisconsin late in the second half of the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game on Tuesday in Pasadena, Calif. Stanford won 20-14. It was Stanford’s first Rose Bowl victory in 40 years.

AP Photo: Gary Wiepert
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Snow-covered in Buffalo

Fans sit in snow-covered stands at Ralph Wilson Stadium before an NFL football game between the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills on Sunday in Orchard Park, N.Y.

AP Photo: J. Scott Applewhite
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Fighting for his constituency

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., whose district includes Long Island, expresses his anger and disappointment Wednesday after the House GOP leadership decided late New Year’s Day to allow the current term of Congress to end without holding a vote on aid for victims of Superstorm Sandy.

AP Photo: Patrick Semansky
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Happily married in Baltimore

Darcia Anthony, left, and Danielle Williams celebrate at their wedding ceremony at  Baltimore City Hall on Tuesday. Same-sex couples in Maryland are now legally permitted to marry under a new law that went into effect after midnight on Tuesday. Maryland is the first state south of the Mason-Dixon Line to approve same-sex marriage.

AP Photo: Alex Brandon
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Thumbs up

Vice President Joe Biden gives two thumbs up following a Senate Democratic caucus meeting about the “fiscal cliff” on Monday in Washington.

AP Photo: Andoni Lubacki
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At war and play

A Syrian rebel plays football in the Saif al-Dawlah neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria on Wednesday. The United Nations estimates that more than 60,000 people have been killed in Syria’s 21-month-old uprising against authoritarian rule, a toll one-third higher than what anti-regime activists had counted. The U.N. human rights chief called the toll “truly shocking.”

AP Photo: Muhammed Muheisen
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Prayers for ambush victims

Pakistani schoolgirls pay tribute to five female teachers and two aid workers who were killed by gunmen on Tuesday, at a school on the outskirts of Islamabad on Thursday.

ZUMA Press
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New gorilla baby

Gorilla Kijivu holds her 9-day-old baby at the Prague Zoo, Czech Republic, on Monday.

Reuters: Carlo Allegri
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Firefighter remembered

Members of the West Webster, N.Y.,fire department load the casket of slain firefighter Michael Chiapperini onto a fire truck following his funeral service on Sunday. Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka were killed on Christmas Eve as they responded to a fire at the home of William Spengler in the upstate New York community. Spengler, 62, wounded two others in the ambush, killed himself, and left a typewritten note saying he planned to burn down his neighborhood and start “killing people.”

Reuters: Randall Hill
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Watch Night

Benjamin Ancrum,18, prays during the Watch Night service at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. on Monday. New Year’s Day 2013 was the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which declared free all slaves in the rebellious states of the Civil War. The Watch Night tradition at black churches dates back to “Freedom’s Eve” 1862, when slaves, free blacks and abolitionists gathered in churches and homes to wait for the Emancipation Proclamation to take effect on Jan. 1, 1863.

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