Week in pictures: 15-21 December 2012

US President Barack Obama wants to reinstate an assault weapons ban in the wake of the mass killings in Newtown, Connecticut, in which gunman Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six adults

The Queen became the first British monarch to attend a peacetime meeting of the cabinet since 1781 and later posed with PM David Cameron and other members of the cabinet

Re-enactors from the Roman Deva Victrix 20th Legion parade through the city of Chester as they celebrate the ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia. During the festival there was a reversal of roles, with slaves wearing fine garments and sitting at the head of the table while they were waited upon by their masters.

An Egyptian woman types on her laptop prior to the start of a demonstration opposing president Mohammed Morsi at the Presidential Palace in Cairo. Earlier, president Morsis Muslim Brotherhood said 57% had backed the draft constitution in the first round of the referendum.

Bigiltuu Kefeni from Keta town in the Oromia region of Ethiopia is one of the first of four million people to be examined as part of a global project to map the blinding disease trachoma. Funded by the UK government, a consortium of NGOs led by Sightsavers is surveying one-third of Africa to confirm estimates that up to 180 million people might be at risk from this neglected tropical disease.

Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg delivers a speech to the think tank Centre Forum at The Commonwealth Club in London. In his speech, entitled Governing Britain from the Centre Ground, Mr Clegg reasserted his partys differences from Labour and the Conservatives

Thousands of people gathered at ancient ruins in Central America and elsewhere in anticipation of what they believed would be the end of the world. The date - 21 December 2012 - is the apparent end of the "long count" calendar of the Mayan civilisation.

A visitor rides an escalator to the art exhibition Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal in Hong Kong. The exhibition runs until 31 March 2013 before travelling to Shanghai, Beijing and Tokyo as part of a 26-month Asian tour to mark the 25th anniversary of the artists death.


A woman braves the cold in central Moscow as the temperature dropped to -20C (3F), but because of high humidity and strong, cold winds, weather experts said it would feel more like -27C (-13F).