More coverage of the fallout in Ferguson, Mo., space travel, a lame-duck Congress and bunch of nuns at The Vatican. They were among the week’s top news stories. Here’s a look at some of the best photos.
Wednesday night, protesters angry about the verdict in the Eric Garner case tried to shut down the Rockefeller Center tree ceremony in New York.
Protesters were met by the New York Police Department. (Photo: Stephanie Keith/Polaris)
NASA’s Orion spacecraft is scheduled to launch Friday. It was designed to allow travel to destinations never before visited by humans, including an asteroid and Mars.
The spacecraft will orbit Earth twice, reaching an altitude of approximately 3,600 miles above Earth before landing in the Pacific Ocean. (Photo: Radislav Sinyak/Nasa/Newscom)
A mockup of NASA’s Orion spacecraft. No one will be aboard Orion for this flight test, but the spacecraft is designed to allow them to take the journey. (Photo: Robert Markowitz/NASA/Newscom)
An animation of the Orion exploration flight test. (Photo: NASA/Newscom)
Watch out for volcanic gases in Portela, Fogo Island, Cape Verde.
Hot lava and clouds of smoke and gases spew from a volcano opening on the island of Fogo, near Cha das Caldeiras, Cape Verde. (Photo: Joao Relvas/Newscom)
Geologist Helio Semedo of Cape Verde National Service for Civil Protection uses special gear to measure gases near the volcano. According to Volcanologic Observatory information, the volcano became more active with ‘intense explosions’ with greater lava flow and a bigger crater diameter. (Photo: Joao Relvas/Newscom)
Reports say President Obama has selected a former Pentagon official to replace Chuck Hagel.
President Obama will nominate Ashton B. Carter, left, senior administration officials said. (Photo: U.S. Government/ZUMA Press/Newscom)
At the Vatican, nuns arrived at the opening mass of the “Year of Consecrated Life” in St. Peter’s Basilica. It began Nov. 30, the first Sunday of Advent, and concludes Feb. 2, 2016.
Two nuns make their way up the steps of St. Peter’s Basilica. (Photo: Massimiliano Migliorato/Newscom)
Because the start of the 2015 Year of Consecrated Life coincided with Pope Francis’ trip to Turkey, his message was read out in his absence by Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz at the beginning of Mass. (Photo: Massimiliano Migliorato/Newscom)
Nuns from around the world pray together during the opening mass. (Photo: Massimiliano Migliorato/Newscom)
Nuns arrive in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on Dec. 3. (Photo: Evandro Inetti/Newscom)
Hundreds of activists gathered around the world to mark World Aids Day on Dec. 1.
An organized rally in front of the National Assembly House in Dhaka, Bangladesh, during the World AIDS Day celebration. (Photo: Mohammad Asad/Pacific Press/Newscom)
The Edge, Larry Mullen Jr., Bruce Springsteen, Carrie Underwood, Kanye West, Chris Martin and Adam Clayton at a surprise World AIDS Day concert at Times Square on Dec. 1. (Photo: Newscom)
Indonesian activists wear masks and hold red ribbons during a World AIDS Day campaign. (Photo: Fully Handoko/Newscom)
A group of men and women in New York have trained their dogs to help rid of the city’s immense rat population, often catching up to 20 rats in a single night.
At a single dumpster, the team were able to catch 11 rats. (Photo: (Johnny Milano/Polaris)
Matt Combs dumps a rat out of the snap trap as he prepares to weigh, sampke, and categorize the finding. (Photo: Johnny Milano/Polaris/Newscom)
Occupy Central pro-democracy protests continued in Hong Kong.
Joshua Wong, head of Hong Kong student group Scholarism, continues his indefinite hunger strike on Dec. 2. Wong, 18, along with two student members began the hunger strike the previous day to press for a second round of talks with the government over Beijing’s decision on Hong Kong’s upcoming leadership election. (Photo: Kyodo/Newscom)
Pro-democracy protesters clash with police. (Photo: Guillaume Payen/Newscom)
Jeh Johnson, Homeland Security secretary, testified before the House of Representatives and struggled to explain how “amnesty” for illegal immigrants is good for Americans.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson at a House hearing . (Photo: UPI/Kevin Dietsch/Newscom)
Lionel Messi broke Telmo Zarra’s record of 251 goals during Barcelona’s win against Sevilla, giving him to 253 goals.
Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona is thrown into the air at the end of the match by his teammates. (Photo: Giuliano Bevilacqua/Newscom)
Parkland and wilderness provisions added to a national security measure have outraged friends of the military.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, fires back at what he calls a government “land grab.” (Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Newscom)
The legislation ranks high on the priority list of outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., for the current lame-duck session. (Photo: Newscom)
The Royal Guards of the Royal Thai Armed Forces performed a military parade and pledged loyalty to the monarch. The parade, also known as Trooping of the Colors, occurs every Dec. 2 in celebration of the birthday of Bhumibol Adulyadej, the king of Thailand.
A Thai police officer salutes as balloons are released at the end of the Trooping of the Colors parade on Sanam Luang in Bangkok. (Photo: Jack Kurtz/ZUMA Press/Newscom)
Victoria’s Secret models filmed their annual fashion show in Earl’s Court, London, on Dec. 2.
Backstage hair and makeup. (Photo: Newscom)
Model Karlie Kloss gets her hair and make up done prior to the show. (Photo: Hugo Philpott/Newscom)
A parting school of fish allowed an exploring snorkeler to swim amongst them.
Diver Whitney De Neef delved into the colony while her husband Steve photographed her dives from above. (Photo: Steve Neef/Newscom)
The federal government hit a new milestone Friday: The total federal debt now tallies more than $18 trillion.
Just six years ago when President Obama took office, total debt stood at $10.6 trillion, which means it now has increased by almost $8 trillion—roughly 70 percent—during his tenure as president. (Photo: Polaris/Newscom)
Protests and riots haven’t let up this week after the grand jury decision.
A protest held outside the U.S. embassy in London. (Photo: Jay Shaw Baker/Nurphoto/Newscom)
A large group of protesters demonstrating in New York’s Times Square. (Photo: Christopher Sadowski/Newscom)
Natalie DuBose, owner of Natalie’s Cakes & Things in Ferguson, Mo., may lost her livelihood in the violent protests last week. But one man has come up with eight ideas to save Christmas in Ferguson and help DuBose and other business owners and employees.
Valencia Clay, a worker at Natalie’s Cakes & Things bakery, shows off freshly made cupcakes. The bakery was among 20 businesses that were set ablaze Nov. 24. (Photo: Bill Greenblatt/Newscom)
Community members had to board up their “I Heart Ferguson” shop that fundraised for businesses that have been victims of looting and vandalism. (Photo: Zach D. Roberts/Newscom)
A business in Ferguson, Mo. ruined by the riots. (Photo: Newscom)
Reports this week say President Obama will issue an executive order designed to improve a federal program that allows local police departments to obtain military surplus equipment. One expert says Obama shouldn’t end military equipment going to police departments.
An armored vehicle carries police officers in tactical gear down West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson. (Photo: Timothy Tai/Newscom)
Police officers in riot gear stand guard during a protest in Ferguson. (Photo: Xinhua/Ting Shen)
Police ride on a vehicle past a burning building. (Photo: Tannen Maury/Newscom)
Although uplifting images were hard to find regarding Ferguson, The Daily Signal was able to capture the hope and determination of one young man in Ferguson. Terrence Williams, 23, is a St. Louis native working hard to change the narrative that has inundated this city over the past several weeks.
Williams takes to the streets with a garbage bag in hand—helping to clean up and rebuild both the city and its relationships. (Photo: Jamie Jackson)
Williams served in his school’s ROTC program. (Photo: Jamie Jackson)
Meanwhile, our nation’s capital is preparing for Christmas in between votes. Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, lit the Capitol Christmas tree Dec. 2 at the West Front Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.
The 2014 Capitol Christmas tree is a white spruce from the Chippewa National Forest in Cass Lake, Minn. (Photo: Xinhua/Bao Dandan)