In Pictures

Week in pictures: 13-19 December 2014

Our selection of some of the best news photographs taken around the world this week.

Image copyright Ben Curtis/ap
Image caption A Maasai warrior does the high jump, in which athletes must touch a high line with the top of their heads, at the annual Maasai Olympics in the Sidai Oleng Wildlife Sanctuary near Kilimanjaro, in southern Kenya.
Image copyright Maxim Zmeyev/reuters
Image caption President Vladimir Putin has insisted Russia's under-fire currency, the rouble, will stabilise, but warned the economic crisis could last two years. Mr Putin insisted the nation's currency reserves were sufficient to keep the economy stable, saying the central bank should not "burn" its $419bn reserves.
Image copyright Baz Ratner/reuters
Image caption Adama Tarawallie is seen with her husband Ibrahim, 31, a suspected Ebola victim, as they wait to be transported from Devil Hole, west of Freetown, Sierra Leone. The country has overtaken Liberia to have the highest number of Ebola cases, World Health Organization figures show.
Image copyright Tony Gentile/reuters
Image caption Pope Francis celebrated his 78th birthday as he arrived to lead his general audience at the Vatican.
Image copyright CHRIS JACKSON/afp
Image caption Prince Harry shows children a photograph he has taken during a visit to a school constructed by his charity, Sentebale, in Mokhotlong, Lesotho.
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Chinese soldiers endured freezing temperatures of about -30C (-22 F) during a training session in Heihe, Heilongjiang province.
Image copyright Zohra Bensemra/reuters
Image caption More than 140 people, most of them children, were killed when Taliban gunmen stormed a school in Peshawar, Pakistan. Here, women mourn their relative Mohammed Ali Khan, 15, one of the students killed in the attack.
Image copyright Jason Reed/reuters
Image caption Two people died, along with the gunman, after commandos stormed a cafe in Sydney, Australia, to bring a 16-hour siege to an end. Prime Minister Tony Abbott questioned why the gunman was not on the country's terror watch list.
Image copyright AP
Image caption An oil spill from a crashed tanker in Bangladesh's Sundarbans waterways is threatening a rare dolphin sanctuary and part of the world's largest mangrove forest. Villagers have been collecting oil from the rivers using pots and pans, some of which is sold on.
Image copyright Andrew Matthews/PA
Image caption Members of the Winchester Cathedral Choir skated on the cathedral's ice rink to mark its opening.