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Heavy smog shrouded Beijing with pollution at hazardous levels beginning on January 12. Above, a general view of the pollution-covered watchtower of the Forbidden City in Beijing.
On Saturday, the Algerian army carried out a final assault on al Qaeda-linked gunmen holed up in a gas plant in the country's arid south. The army killed 11 of the fighters after they took the lives of seven more foreign hostages. In total, 685 Algerian hostages and 107 foreign hostages were freed from their captors, while 23 were understood to have been killed.
Heavy monsoon rains triggered severe flooding in large swathes of the Indonesian capital Jakarta on Thursday, with many government offices and businesses forced to closed because staff could not get to work.
On January 19, a man pointed a pistol at the leader of Bulgaria's Turkish minority Movement for Rights and Freedoms party, Ahmed Dogan, during his speech at a national party conference in Sofia. Dogan was addressing the delegates at the conference when the man rushed up to the podium and put a pistol to his head. However, the attacker failed to fire his gun and was quickly disarmed by the delegates.
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Boeing 787 Dreamliners around the world sat on the tarmac after being grounded until a fire risk is fixed. An emergency landing this week sparked the worldwide grounding of Boeing's flagship plane.
Supporters of Pakistani Sunni cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri celebrate the signing of an agreement at the conclusion of an anti-government rally in Islamabad, Pakistan on January 17. Pakistani officials struck a deal late Thursday to end four days of protests by thousands of people that largely paralysed the capital and put intense pressure on the government.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu campaign rally in the southern city of Ashdod on January 16. Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party, allied with the nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu, continues to lead opinion polls ahead of the January 22 parliamentary election.
A rebel sniper takes aim at a target in the city of Aleppo on January 18. UN leader Ban Ki-moon warned that Syria is in a "death spiral", as his top humanitarian and human rights officials pleaded with the UN Security Council to take firmer action.
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Aminata Foumba and her children have walked six days from the town of Diabaly in northern Mali, where fighting has taken place. West African leaders urged more global involvement to fight Islamists in Mali as President Francois Hollande said French troops would remain there as long as needed to "defeat terrorism".