Weekly topshots

—Images by AFP

A picture shows the St Peter's basilica at sunset on the eve of the conclave at the Vatican. Catholic cardinals had a final day of jockeying for position the same day before shutting themselves into the Sistine Chapel to elect a new pope after Benedict XVI's shock resignation, with an Italian and a Brazilian who both head powerful archdioceses among the top contenders.

An Indian sadhu (holy man) washes himself from a leaking water pipe near the Sangam in Allahabad. The Sangam is a holy bathing site during The Kumbh Mela, which runs from January till March, and takes place every 12 years in Allahabad while smaller events are held every three years in other locations around India.

Balinese Hindu devotees carry effigies known as "Ogoh-Ogoh" during a parade one day before 'Silent Day' in Denpasar on Indonesia's resort island of Bali. The predominantly Hindu island of Bali in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-populated nation, will celebrate the 'Day of Silence' on March 12, locally known as Nyepi.

An elderly man sits as he and with his wife (not pictured) visit a cemetery to pay respects to their son who was killed in the March 2011 tsunami, in Minamisoma in Fukushima prefecture. March 11, 2013 marks the second anniversary of the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that sent a huge wall of water into the coast of the Tohoku region, splintering whole communities, ruining swathes of prime farmland and killing nearly 19,000 people.

The "Silver Bullet" airstream trailer (C) carrying US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is pictured inside a US Air Force C-17 aircraft transporting him and his staff from Kabul to Ramstein Airbase in Germany. US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's first trip to Afghanistan was overshadowed on March 10 by a contentious speech by Afghan President Hamid Karzai and a security scare that forced their press conference to be cancelled.

A French soldier of the 92nd Infantry Regiment (92eme R.I) secures the area in the village of Amakouladji, north of Gao, to assess the needs of the local population there.

Marseille's fans react during the French L1 football match Olympique Lyonnais (OL) vs Olympique de Marseille (om) at the Gerland stadium in Lyon, southeasthern France.

A woman holds a banner that reads "rise up" in front of police as they attempt to disperse protesters in front the Greek parliament in Athens. Greece's 'Indignants' gathered at Syntagma Square in front of the Greek parliament under the 'banner' ?Poverty, unemployment, suicides. Enough is enough!?, following the example of Portugal, which held a similar protest on March 2.

A young Tibetan exile residing in India looks on during a protest rally in New Delhi. The protest marked the 54th anniversary of the Tibetan national uprising, the 1959 rebellion against China's rule in Tibet.

A protester holds a placard amongst the crowd during an anti-nuclear rally in Tokyo. Waves of anti-nuclear rallies were held across Japan on the eve of the second anniversary of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster that triggered a nuclear crisis in northern Japan.

Picture of figurines of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez being sold outside the Military Academy in Caracas as people queue to pay their last respects to their leader. Venezuelan political parties begin registering candidates Sunday for a snap election on April 14, setting the stage for a bruising campaign to succeed the late president Hugo Chavez.

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