The week that was, in pictures

Every day is a new day, full of surprises and happenings around the world. Here are some of the highlights of events that happened around the world. 

France wins EHF EURO 2018

France women's handball team pose with the trophy and their gold medals, during the podium ceremony after winning the EHF EURO 2018 Handball Championship Final against Russia at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris, on December 16, 2018. 

(Photograph:AFP)

Catriona Elisa Gray wins Miss Universe 2018

Catriona Gray of the Philippines (C) is congratulated by contestants after she won the Miss Universe 2018 on December 17, 2018 in Bangkok. 

Gray is the fourth Filipina to win Miss Universe and the second in three years. The Philippines previously won Miss Universe titles in 2015, 1973 and 1969.

(Photograph:AFP)

Messi and his five Golden Shoe awards

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi poses with his five Golden Shoe awards after receiving the 2018 European Golden Shoe honoring the year's leading goalscorer during a ceremony at the Antigua Fabrica Estrella Damm in Barcelona on December 18, 2018. 

(Photograph:AFP)

'Santa' Barack Obama

This photograph, obtained courtesy of the Obama Foundation, shows former US President Barack Obama delivering gifts, greeting patients and their parents at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, December 19, 2018. 

Wearing a Santa hat and carrying gifts, Obama was seen hugging and chatting with young patients and their attendees.

(Photograph:AFP)

IBU World Cup

Anton Babikov of Russia competes during the Men's 10Km sprint competition of IBU World Cup Biathlon in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic, on December 20, 2018.

Johannes Thingnes Boe of Norway won ahead Alexander Loginov of Russia and Martin Ponsiluoma of Sweden was placed third.

(Photograph:AFP)

Catalan independence movement

A man scuffles with police forces as Catalan pro-independence protesters block a road in Barcelona on December 21, 2018 ahead of a Spanish cabinet meeting to be held in the city.

The meeting comes a year to the day after Madrid held snap elections in Catalonia after blocking the wealthy northeastern region's move for independence and many separatists have called the timing of the meeting "a provocation".

(Photograph:AFP)

'State of insurrection' in France

Protestors light flares in the colours of the French flag during a "Yellow Vest" (Gilets jaunes) anti-government protest on December 22, 2018, in Bordeaux, southwestern France, as part of a nationwide day of demonstrations.

Three days from Christmas, fewer French "yellow vests" turned out for a sixth on December 22 of protests, targeting border points as a fatal road accident brought the death toll to 10 since the movement began last month.

Around 23,800 people joined demonstrations across France, compared with 33,500 a week earlier, the Interior Ministry said.

(Photograph:AFP)

Another tsunami hits Indonesia

Damage caused by a tsunami is seen in the Sumber Jaya village in Sumur, Pandeglang, Banten province on December 23, 2018. caused by activity at a volcano that hit the west coast of Indonesia's Java island.

The tsunami killed at least 429 people and injured more than 1,400, while 128 remain missing on the islands of Java and Sumatra, an official said. 

(Photograph:AFP)

US President Trump and the First lady

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump answered calls from people calling into the NORAD Santa tracker phone line in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC. 

(Photograph:Reuters)

It's Christmas time

A record four million lights transformed one family's country estate in central Croatia into a Christmas-themed fairy tale delighting visitors and locals.

The seven-hectare park grew out of a childhood dream of Zlatko Salaj, a local man from the village of Grabovnica in central Croatia who had grown up in poverty and could not afford Christmas lights or decorations.

This year's display opened its doors on November 30 and will last until January 13, and some 130,000 people are expected to come to the estate to enjoy the unique sights, which include daily fireworks, lit up snowmen and Santas as well as hundreds of decorated trees and shrubs. (Courtesy: Reuters)

(Photograph:Reuters)

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