BBC News

Year in pictures 2013

image captionIn June thousands of people fled their homes as deadly flood waters caused havoc across central Europe. Here a swimming pool is surrounded by flood water from the River Elbe near Magdeburg in Germany.
image captionProtesters clashed with the police in Brazil's largest cities, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, after marches in support of striking teachers. Among the several thousand teachers were more militant groups, known as the Black Blocs. Television pictures showed small groups of masked people attacking banks and lighting fires around Rio's historic city centre.
image captionAt least 67 people died when suspected al-Shabab militants stormed Nairobi's Westgate shopping centre on 21 September. The Kenyan army has said that all four of the attackers died during the resulting siege.
image captionMeteorites struck Russia's Ural mountains, injuring some 1,200 people, including 200 children, mostly by shattered glass. A large fragment was thought to have landed in a frozen lake near Chebarkul, a town in the Chelyabinsk region. A Russian army spokesman said a crater 6m (20ft) wide had been found there.
image captionA deadly tornado near Oklahoma City, USA, was a record-breaking 2.6 miles (4.2 km) wide and packed winds of up to 295mph (475kph), according to weather officials. Hundreds of people were injured, many of them on roads as they tried to flee. Heavy rain left many areas flooded.
image captionSouth Africa was in shock and disbelief as news spread that Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius was to be accused of the "premeditated murder" of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. He says he shot her after mistaking her for an intruder. The prosecutor in the case said the dates of 3-20 March 2014 had been mutually agreed for the trial.
image captionA man runs up the gostra, a pole covered in grease, during the religious feast of St Julian, outside Valletta in Malta. In the traditional gostra, a game stretching back to the Middle Ages, young men, women and children have to make their way to the top and try to uproot one of the flags to win prizes.
image captionCardinal Bergoglio of Argentina was elected as the new head of the Catholic Church. Crowds in Vatican City cheered and bells rang out as the announcement was made on the balcony of St Peter's Basilica.
image captionA Boeing 777 aircraft crash-landed at San Francisco international airport, killing two people and injuring dozens more. A senior pilot in the cockpit only realised the plane was flying too slowly when it was 200ft (60m) above the ground, according to officials.
image captionTwo volcanoes in Indonesia - Mount Sinabung in Sumatra, seen here, and Mount Merapi in Yogyakarta - erupted, causing disruption to flights and the evacuation of five villages by more than 5,000 people.
image captionTurkish riot police moved into Istanbul's Taksim Square, which had been occupied by anti-government protesters for close to two weeks. The unrest began after a crackdown on a protest over Gezi Park's redevelopment.
image captionFree Syrian Army fighters rush to help their comrade after he was shot by a sniper loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, in Aleppo. The wave of popular unrest that swept the Arab world came late to Syria, but its once peaceful uprising has now evolved into a brutal and increasingly sectarian armed conflict.
image captionA twin bomb attack at the finishing line of the Boston Marathon on 15 April killed three and injured more than 260. One of the suspects, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, has pleaded not guilty to all charges in his first court appearance. Mr Tsarnaev's older brother Tamerlan, 26, was killed days after the attack during the massive police operation. He is also suspected of carrying out the attacks.
image captionMore than 1,100 people were killed when an eight-storey clothing factory collapsed on the outskirts of Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka. Many of those who survived were seriously injured and have been unable to return to work.
image captionProtesters in Thailand surrounded several government ministries during street demonstrations in Bangkok. The protesters wanted Yingluck Shinawatra's government to resign, saying it is controlled by her brother - ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
image captionRussia's lower house of parliament, the Duma, passed a law imposing heavy fines for providing information about homosexuality to people under the age of 18, sparking violent clashes between gay rights campaigners and anti-gay activists in Moscow. Here Russia's gay rights activist Nikolai Alexeyev is punched during a rally in Moscow.
image captionUS President Barack Obama shook hands with Cuban President Raul Castro in South Africa ahead of his speech at the national memorial service for former President Nelson Mandela. It was an unprecedented gesture between the leaders of two nations that have been at loggerheads for more than half a century.
image captionThe BBC television show Doctor Who celebrated its 50th anniversary with a special episode, the Day of the Doctor, which was broadcast in 94 countries at the same time as it aired on BBC One. Fans have praised the show as "epic" and "phenomenal". Here children from Loreto High School in Balbriggan, Dublin, launch a Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition.
image captionThe mayor of Toronto came to power as an outsider, with strong backing from his suburban neighbourhood. However, Rob Ford came under pressure to resign from former allies on the city council after admitting he had smoked crack cocaine while severely inebriated.
image captionHindu devotees perform Garba, a traditional folk dance, during the celebrations to mark the Navratri festival at Surat in the western Indian state of Gujarat.
image captionSerena Williams celebrated her victory against Li Na of China after their WTA tennis championships final match in Istanbul. It was her 11th title of the season improving her 2013 record to 78 wins with only four defeats.
image captionA woman shields herself and her baby from a sandstorm in Timbuktu, northern Mali, a community that had been living under Islamist rule for nine months. About 800 French soldiers, including hundreds of paratroops, took part in an operation that saw Timbuktu recaptured in January, part of an offensive to oust Islamist rebels from the north of the country.
image captionTyphoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms to make landfall ever recorded, swept through the central Philippines in November. The storm left a trail of devastation and killed almost 6,000 people. After this picture appeared on the front of the Times newspaper and appeal posters, this boy was traced. Joshua Cator, 11, lost his mother and sister in the storm, though his father survived.
image captionNelson Mandela's body was laid to rest in a family plot, after political and religious leaders paid tribute to South Africa's first black president, at a state funeral service. Mr Mandela died on 5 December aged 95.