A photo blog of world events by Sacbee.com Assistant Director of Multimedia Tim Reese.
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February 27, 2013
Pope recalls 'joy,' difficulties in final audience

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Benedict XVI bid an emotional farewell Wednesday on the eve of his retirement, recalling moments of "joy and light" during his papacy, but also times of difficulty when "it seemed like the Lord was sleeping."

Some 150,000 people, many waving banners proclaiming "Grazie!" flooded St. Peter's Square, eager to bear witness to the final hours of a papacy that will go down in history as the first in 600 years to end in resignation rather than death.

Benedict basked in the emotional send-off, taking a long victory lap around the square in an open-sided car, and stopping to kiss and bless half a dozen babies. Seventy cardinals, some tearful, sat in solemn attendance -- and gave him a standing ovation at the end of his speech.

Benedict then made a quick exit, forgoing the meet-and-greet session that typically follows his weekly general audience, as if to not prolong the goodbye.

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Pope Benedict XVI greets pilgrims at the end of his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. Pope Benedict XVI basked in an emotional sendoff Wednesday at his final general audience in St. Peter's Square, recalling moments of "joy and light" during his papacy but also times of great difficulty. He also thanked his flock for respecting his decision to retire. AP / Gregorio Borgia
February 25, 2013
Talk of peace with Pakistan Taliban angers victims

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) -- Hazratullah Khan, who lost his right leg below the knee in a car bombing, answers immediately when asked whether the Pakistani government should hold peace talks with Taliban leaders responsible for attacks like the one that maimed him.

"Hang them alive," said the 14-year-old, who survived the explosion on his way home from school. "Slice the flesh off their bodies and cut them into pieces. That's what they have been doing to us."

In recent weeks, the Pakistani government and Taliban forces fighting in northwestern tribal areas have expressed an interest in peace talks to end the years-long conflict. An estimated 30,000 civilians and 4,000 soldiers have died in terrorist attacks in Pakistan since Sept. 11, 2001 -- many at the hands of the Pakistani Taliban.

To many victims of Taliban violence, the idea of negotiating with people responsible for so much human pain is abhorrent. Their voices, however, are rarely heard in Pakistan, a country where people have long been conflicted about whether the Taliban are enemies bent on destroying the state or fellow Muslims who should be welcomed back into the fold after years of fighting.

The Associated Press spoke with victims of terrorist attacks in Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi, Quetta and the tribal areas and their families to find out how they felt about negotiating peace with the Taliban.

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Pakistani Kawthar Javaid, 42, who was injured by a remote control bomb in Faisalabad in 2005, poses for a picture in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on Aug. 2, 2012.. To many victims of Taliban violence, the idea of negotiating with people responsible for so much human pain is abhorrent. Their voices, however, are rarely heard in Pakistan, a country where people have long been conflicted about whether the Taliban are enemies bent on destroying the state or fellow Muslims who should be welcomed back into the fold after years of fighting. AP / Muhammed Muheisen
February 22, 2013
Snowstorm dies down, Midwest travel woes tick up

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A major winter storm turned Midwest commutes into treacherous challenges Friday before the system petered out over the Great Lakes.

At least four deaths were linked to the storm, including three from traffic accidents, brought on by gusty winds and snow-covered roadways.

Places in Kansas and Missouri saw a foot or more of snow on Thursday, and spent Friday digging out and clearing its miles of roadways. Impressive totals included 18 inches in the southern Kansas town of Zenda; 17 inches in Hays, Kan.; 13 ½ inches in northeast Missouri and south-central Nebraska; and 12 inches in parts of Kansas City, Mo.

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A car is buried under a blanket of snow in Omaha, Neb., Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, following a large winter storm that travelled through the heartland. The snowstorm left behind varying amounts of snow and ice across the Midwest, and has caused difficult travel conditions. AP / Nati Harnik
February 19, 2013
Images from 2013 Spring Training

In Major League Baseball, spring training is a series of practices and exhibition games preceding the start of the regular season. Spring training allows new players to try out for roster and position spots, and gives existing team players practice time prior to competitive play. Spring training has always attracted fan attention, drawing crowds who travel to the warmer climates to enjoy the weather and watch their favorite teams play, and spring training usually coincides with spring break for many college students. -- Wikipedia

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In this photo made using a fisheye lens, Milwaukee Brewers players run a drill during a spring training baseball workout Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, in Phoenix. AP / Morry Gash
February 12, 2013
Rio de Janeiro's samba schools vie for title

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) -- Carnival revelers danced until dawn on Tuesday as Rio de Janeiro's samba schools held their annual sequin-drenched parade competitions at the city's iconic Sambadrome.

The all-night-long parade saw six top-tier samba schools deploy powerful percussion sections, larger-than-life floats and battalions of nearly nude samba dancers.

Tens of thousands of people watched the dance parades from the bleachers and swanky VIP stands inside the Sambadrome, while millions more caught the spectacle via television.

Tragedy overshadowed Carnival festivities in Brazil's port city of Santos, where a fire on a float killed four people and injured five others early Tuesday.

Results of the showcase parades in Rio, which saw 12 samba schools compete for this year's Carnival title, will be announced later this week. The winning schools from various categories will hit the Sambadrome again on Saturday for a parade of champions.

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Performers from the Unidos de Vila Isabel samba school parade during carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. AP / Hassan Ammar
February 7, 2013
Images of Daily Life from January 2013

A look at daily life around the world in January 2013 as seen by the photographers of the Associated Press and its member newspapers.

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Nepalese children walk home from school at Bhaktapur, Nepal, Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. AP / Niranjan Shrestha
February 5, 2013
Life in the zoo, 2013

A zoo (short for zoological park or zoological garden, and also called a menagerie) is a facility in which animals are confined within enclosures, displayed to the public, and in which they may also be bred.

The abbreviation "zoo" was first used of the London Zoological Gardens, which opened for scientific study in 1828 and to the public in 1847. The number of major animal collections open to the public around the world now exceeds 1,000, around 80 percent of them in cities. -- Wikipedia

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A polar bear swims in the newly inaugurated Arctic Circle, in Copenhagen Zoo on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013. The area will be open to the public from Feb 5. AP / Bidstrup Stine