RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - A polar bear shakes his body to remove water at the St. Felicien Wildlife Zoo in St. Felicien, March 5, 2009. According to Environment Canada, Canada is home of approximately 15,000 of the estimated 20,000-25,000 polar bears worldwide. The species is also listed as a special concern by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada while last year, the U.S. listed the polar bear as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act because their sea ice habitat is melting down.
RNPS YEAR 2009 - An ethnic Hungarian wearing an historical uniform stands at attention in heavy snowfall during celebrations of Magyars Day marking 161 years since the 1848 revolution against the Habsburgs in the Nyerges pass, 250km (155 miles) north of Bucharest, March 14, 2009.
RNPS YEAR 2009 - Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir delivers a speech during a rally in Al Fasher, northern Darfur March 8, 2009. Al-Bashir threatened on Sunday to expel diplomats and more aid groups, brandishing a sword at a Darfur rally days after a Hague court issued a warrant for him for war crimes.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - England's Delon Armitage (C) celebrates his try against France with Mark Cueto (L) and Ugo Monye during their Six Nations rugby match at Twickenham in London March 15, 2009.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - Tom Cruise (R) and his wife Katie Holmes, who is holding their daughter Suri, smile upon their arrival at Narita International Airport March 8, 2009. Cruise and his family flew into Japan on Sunday to promote his movie "Valkyrie".
RNPS YEAR 2009 - Tourists from China wave as they arrive on a cruise ship in the northern Taiwan port of Keelung March 16, 2009. A total of 1,600 employees from Amway China arrived on Monday, the first large-scale tour group from the mainland via a foreign-owned cruise ship since the opening of direct transport links from the mainland last year.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - A worker's son plays in a salt pan near Bhavnagar, in the western Indian state of Gujarat March 5, 2009.
RNPS YEAR 2009 - A Sri Lankan Muslim boy (R) performs during a Muslim religious festival the instant a bomb exploded in Akuressa March 10, 2009. A suspected Tamil Tiger suicide bomber killed 14 people and wounded 35, including Sri Lanka's telecommunications minister, during a Muslim festival in the island's south on Tuesday, officials said.
RNPS YEAR 2009 - Laundry hangs outside a student dormitory at a college in Wuhan, Hubei province March 5, 2009. Picture taken March 5, 2009.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - Iraqi policemen frisk tribal sheikhs before entering a reconciliation meeting in Baghdad March 8, 2009.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - Members of the congregation of a local Catholic Church say a prayer near Massereene army base after two British soldiers were shot dead and four other people wounded in a shooting on Saturday, in Country Antrim, Northern Ireland March 8, 2009. Gunmen killed two British soldiers and wounded four other people at an army base in Northern Ireland but political leaders said on Sunday the attack would not derail the peace process.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - Protesters, who were recently made unemployed, sit with their belongings in the foyer of the China Resource Building as police and security staff surround them in central Beijing March 16, 2009. China, concerned about the prospect of rising unrest, has warned that it faces a severe test this year in providing enough new jobs with the global economic slowdown taking its toll on China and threatening to swell its ranks of the unemployed. Steadying the jobless rate is China's top priority as the stability-obsessed Communist Party seeks to head off strikes and protests it fears could threaten its rule.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - Workers harvest soybeans at a farm in Tangara da Serra, Mato Grosso state in western Brazil, March 5, 2009. Brazil's 2008/9 soybean production is estimated to be 57.2 million tonnes.
RNPS YEAR 2009 - Soldiers carrying the coffin of Guinea-Bissau President Joao Bernardo "Nino" Vieira arrive at the parliament for the official funeral, March 9, 2009. Vieira was shot dead in his own home last week after his longstanding rival, armed forces chief General Batista Tagme Na Wai, was killed in an explosion at the military headquarters.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - Unidentified protestors loot snacks from a restaurant during a demonstration in Kenya's capital of Nairobi, March 10, 2009. Thousands of students protested against alleged police killings in Kenya on Tuesday, but the demonstration slid into violence with shops ransacked, journalists beaten and officers pelted with stones.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - Dorothy Hughes (L) and Winifred Phillips (2nd L) pass male Chelsea pensioners during a photocall in central London March 12, 2009. The two women are the first to be allowed into the ranks of The Royal Hospital Chelsea, retirement home to some 300 veteran British soldiers, and recognised by their distinctive scarlet uniforms.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - A Haitian woman gestures as she walks in a street in Port-au-Prince March 8, 2009. The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday warned that the global crisis had shifted to the world's poorest nations and 22 countries may need as much as $25 billion in additional funding in 2009 to cope with the downturn.
RNPS YEAR 2009 - Tanzania's President Jakaya Kikwete (C), International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn (L) and IMF Advisor Gerry Rice (R) hold a joint news conference after the completion of a two-day conference at the Bank of Tanzania conference centre in Dar es Salaam March 11, 2009. African nations and the IMF agreed on Wednesday to a new partnership and called on industrial countries to keep their promises of increased aid despite the global financial crisis.
RNPS YEAR 2009 - A bullet hole in a window and American flag is seen as investigators enter Bradley True Value Hardware store March 11, 2009 where hours earlier a gunman on the rampage shot up the store in Samson, Alabama. The shooting spree by the suspected gunman killed at least eleven people, including himself, at several locations in Samson, before the suspected gunman killed himself near Geneva, Alabama, on March 10, 2009, Geneva County Sheriff Greg Ward said.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - Hungarian riot police face anti-goverment protestors in Budapest March 15, 2009 during the celebration of the 161th anniversary of the 1848 revolution against the Habsburgs. Hungarian police detained 16 anti-government protesters in Budapest on Sunday as they tried to disrupt celebrations of the country's national holiday.
RNPS YEAR 2009 - Children play, as forensic officers carry out searches, in the Drumbeg housing estate in Craigavon, Northern Ireland March 16, 2009. Police in Northern Ireland said on Monday they had arrested two more people in relation to the killing of one of their officers last week by a republican splinter group.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - Kong Siu-kau, 63, a cage home resident for several years relying on government pension, sits in his cage bed in Hong Kong March 20, 2009. The monthly rent of a caged-bed, the lowest standard for a shelter in Hong Kong besides sleeping on the street, costs $150. Hong Kong's unemployment rate has risen to five percent, the highest level since June 2006, government said on Tuesday. Labour Secretary Matthew Cheung said the worsening job market was noticeable and he expects unemployment to rise further, government radio reported.
RNPS YEAR 2009 - Madagascar's opposition leader Andry Rajoelina greets his supporters after making his way into the presidential palace in the centre of Madagascar's capital, March 17, 2009. Madagascar's President Marc Ravalomanana handed power to a navy admiral on Tuesday after a power struggle with the opposition on the Indian Ocean island, a presidential aide said. "The president has handed power to the military," spokesman Andry Ralijaona said. Ravalomanana had left his presidential palace and was at an undisclosed location. The spokesman said he believed the president had quit in the best interests of Madagascar.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - Police arrest a pro-Tibet protester outside the Chinese embassy, during a visit by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, in central London February 1, 2009. The Chinese Premier arrived in London on Saturday in the latest leg of a European tour aimed at tackling the global financial and economic crisis and improving relations between the trading partners.
RNPS YEAR 2009 - Montreal Canadiens Roman Hamrlik (44) and Ottawa Senators Chris Kelly (22) dive for the puck during first period NHL hockey action in Montreal, February 21, 2009.
RNPS YEAR 2009 - Smoke billows into the sky off the coast of Dubai after two ships collided causing a fire February 10, 2009. An oil tanker on fire off the coast of Dubai was carrying around 30,000 tonnes of oil condensates from Iran to the United Arab Emirates, two industry sources said on Tuesday.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - U.S. entrepreneur Charles Simonyi undergoes a training session on a rotating chair in the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, March 18, 2009. U.S. software mogul Simonyi plans to make history this month by becoming the first tourist to travel to space twice.
RNPS YEAR 2009 - England's Delon Armitage scores a try against Wales during their Six Nations rugby union match at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales February 14, 2009.
RNPS YEAR 2009 - A Palestinian boy climbs through an opening in Israel's controversial barrier in Shuafat in the West Bank near Jerusalem February 17, 2009.
RNPS YEAR 2009 - Smoke is seen after an underwater volcano erupted in Hunga Ha'apai, Tonga March 18, 2009. The eruption is only 34 nautical miles off the coast of Tonga's capital Nuku'alofa. Picture taken March 18, 2009.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - Congolese girls displaced by war stand on the outskirts of a makeshift camp near Goma in eastern Congo, February 11, 2009. Rwandan Hutu rebels are melting into eastern Congo's bush before advancing Rwandan and Congolese forces, in a sign the surprise joint offensive will not quash militia groups at the heart of 15 years of conflict.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - Demonstrators protest outside the Goldman Sachs building in New York, March 19, 2009. The action was part of a national protest against major U.S. banks and firms with participants calling on Congress to take action on employee free choice, health care, and banking reform.
RNPS YEAR 2009 - Money changer Kwami Longange poses for a portrait on a streetcorner in Goma in eastern Congo, February 9, 2009. Longange, nicknamed "le Bon" - the Good - is a Sappeur, the local name for a dandy dresser. He has some 200 different matching outfits that he wears to work as a money changer and musician.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - Former US President Bill Clinton (L) covers his face as his wife, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R), mentions him in remarks after her ceremonial swearing-in at the State Department in Washington, February 2, 2009. Also pictured are Clinton's daughter Chelsea Clinton (2nd L) and mother Dorothy Rodham (2nd R).
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - The entrance of the Provence university is blocked with chairs stacked up by students to protest against the French government's education reforms in Marseille, March 31, 2009. The placard reads "And tomorrow, you continue the struggle ?".
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - A dead whale is hoisted onto a dock in Zhoushan, Zhejiang province March 19, 2009. The whale, which measured 12 m (39 feet) in length and weighed more than 10,000 kg, was found dead on Thursday and the reason of its death is still under investigation, local media reported. Picture taken March 19, 2009.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - Girls play in a deserted boat on a dry lake caused by a lack of water upstream in Zhengzhou, Henan province February 12, 2009. Dry weather will continue in China's major wheat producing regions, but reservoirs have enough water to meet demand in the peak period and timely irrigation could reduce the damage, a senior drought relief official said on Tuesday.
RNPS YEAR 2009 - Sasha Obama runs down the colonnade as she returns from a weekend visit to Chicago with her father, U.S. President Barack Obama, to the White House in Washington, February 16, 2009.
RNPS YEAR 2009 - Manchester United's goalkeeper Edwin Van Der Sar makes a save against West Ham in their English Premier League soccer match at Upton Park in London February 8, 2009.
RNPS YEAR 2009 - German riot police blocks left-wing protestors during a demonstration against a far-right march in Dresden, February 14, 2009. Around 10,000 people take to the streets of the east German city to commemorate the victims of Dresden's destruction in World War Two and also to set a sign against a march of 4,000 far-right wing demonstrators on Saturday.
RNPS YEAR 2009 - U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama talk to second grade students at the Capital City Public Charter School (Lower School) in Washington February 3, 2009.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes (L) keeps both feet in the end zone as he beats Arizona Cardinals safety Aaron Francisco to catch the game winning touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter of the NFL's Super Bowl XLIII football game in Tampa, Florida, February 1, 2009.
RNPS YEAR 2009 - Miley Cyrus is positioned by her publicist at the 81st Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 22, 2009.
RNPS YEAR 2009 - European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet gestures as he attends a news conference during a G7 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in Rome February 14, 2009.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - Actress Renee Zellweger arrives on the red carpet for the screening of the movie "My One and Only" at the 59th Berlinale film festival in Berlin February 12, 2009.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - U.S. President Barack Obama, sitting next to 5-year-old Nick Aiello (L), sips his beverage while attending the Washington Wizards NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls in Washington February 27, 2009.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - Kuwait City airport employees wipe the sand from the red carpet during a sand storm before the arrival of France's President Nicolas Sarkozy in Kuwait February 11, 2009. After an unannounced visit to Iraq, French President Sarkozy is visiting Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait.
RNPS YEAR 2009 - Nathan Peterson of Liberty Tax Services, dressed as the Statue of Liberty, waves a sign at drivers in Westminster, Colorado February 4, 2009. Peterson was trying to encourage customers to come into the tax office to have their taxes prepared and was advertising loans against tax refunds. U.S. tax forms are due to be filed April 15th.
RNPS YEAR 2009 - (L-R) Kate Winslet accepts the Oscar for best actress for "The Reader" in front of former best actress winners Sophia Loren, Shirley MacLaine, Nicole Kidman, Halle Berry, and Marion Cotillard during the 81st Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 22, 2009.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - Sri Rosyati (R) and Sri Irianingsih (L), known as Bu Kembar (twin) walk to Kartini Emergency School at a slum area in north Jakarta February 26, 2009. The Kartini Emergency School is run by twins Sri Irianingsih and Sri Rosyati since 1996. Despite coming from a typical middle-class background in Jakarta, the twins, better known simply as Rossy and Rian, have been the driving force behind the free education of more than 2,000 poor children from a slum in northern Jakarta. Uniforms, textbooks, school equipment and everything else needed to teach the children the necessary skills to make their own living are paid for from Rossy and Rian's pockets. The twins also helped open similar schools in 64 areas of the country.
RNPS YEAR 2009 - Chelsea's Michael Ballack looks on during the fifth round FA Cup soccer match against Waford at Vicarage Road, Watford February 14, 2009.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - A demonstrator is seen holding a placard outside the Total Lindsey refinery during a protest over the use of foreign workers in Lincolnshire, northern England, in this February 2, 2009 file photo. Whether or not that is true -- and there is plenty of evidence that hundreds of thousands of migrant workers from new European Union states who have come to Britain in the past four years have added much more to the economy than they have taken away -- it highlights a worrying aspect of the downturn in Britain: an accelerating drift towards economic nationalism.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - Members of The President's Own United States Marine Band listen through a door as musician Stevie Wonder performs during a ceremony honoring him for the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize at the White House in Washington, February 25, 2009.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - Actors Anil Kapoor (L), Dev Patel (C) and Freida Pinto of "Slumdog Millionaire" arrive at the 81st Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 22, 2009.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - A passenger, wearing a thermo blanket walks away from a Turkish Airlines passenger plane which crashed while attempting to land at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport February 25, 2009. The plane broke up when it hit the ground next to the runway with the tail section of the fuselage broken off, and a wide crack in the fuselage just behind the cockpit. The jetliner did not appear to be on fire. As many as 50 passengers escaped injury, the CNBC Turkey channel said. Officials at Istanbul's Ataturk airport said the plane had departed earlier from Istanbul.
RNPS YEAR 2009 - Leon Panetta, the nominee for Central Intelligence Agency Director, testifies at his Senate Select Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, February 5, 2009.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - Hungary's goalie Levente Szuper (C) lies on ice as his teammates fight for puck during their Olympic Qualification tournament Group F men's ice hockey game with Ukraine in Riga February 8, 2009.
RNPS YEAR 2009 - England's Nick Kennedy (L) is tackled by Italy's Gonzalo Garcia during their Six Nations rugby match at Twickenham in London February 7, 2009.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - Switzerland's Roger Federer cries as he watches the trophy being handed, by Tennis Australia President Geoff Pollard (L), to Spain's Rafael Nadal after their men's singles final match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne February 1, 2009. Looking on is Kia Motors President Euisun Chung (2nd L).
RNPS YEAR 2009 - Passengers stand on the wings of a U.S. Airways plane as a ferry pulls up to it after it landed in the Hudson River in New York, January 15, 2009. Local media said the plane was an Airbus with 146 passengers and five crew which had just taken off from La Guardia Airport and was trying to return after apparently striking a flock of birds.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - U.S. pop star Madonna walks while holding her adopted Malawian son David Banda at a school she financed, some 50 km south of Malawi's capital Lilongwe, March 30, 2009. A court in Malawi is expected to rule on Friday whether Madonna can adopt a second child from the southern African country, a move likely to be opposed by human rights groups. Madonna appeared in court on Monday seeking to adopt a four-year-old girl, Mercy James. The case was adjourned until April 3.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - A police officer wields his shield at demonstrators during a protest in Chisinau April 7, 2009. Protesters denouncing a Communist election victory in Moldova seized the president's offices on Tuesday and broke into parliament where they hurled furniture and computers into the street, Reuters reporters said.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - Buddhist devotees wait to offer gold to the Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda, also known as the Golden Rock Pagoda, in Mon State April 13, 2009. Built on a granite boulder precariously balanced on the edge of a rock mountain over 3000 feet (0.9 km) above the sea level, the pagoda is a complete mystery to visitors from home and abroad. The pagoda is estimated to weigh 19.5 tons (17,645 kg), and the granite boulder weighs 611.5 tons (554, 704 kg).
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - Dwain Chambers of Britain reacts as he crosses the finish line to win the men's 60 meters in the European Athletics Indoor Championships at the Oval stadium in Turin March 8, 2009. Chambers won ahead of Fabio Cerrutti and Emanuele Di Gregorio of Italy.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - Muslim women sit on a park bench overlooking the Golden Horn on Marmara Sea in Istanbul, April 3, 2009.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - A video grab from television footage shows U.S. first lady Michelle Obama (C) standing with Britain's Queen Elizabeth during a reception for G20 leaders at Buckingham Palace in London April 1, 2009. World leaders arrived in London on Wednesday ahead of a G20 summit meeting under intense pressure to produce a morale-boosting response to the worst economic downturn since the 1930s.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - A Canadian soldier takes a nap after taking part in a search operation for improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Kandahar May 21, 2009.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - A woman carries her child while viewing destroyed houses the morning after an earthquake struck the Italian village of Onna April 7, 2009. Rescuers used mechanical diggers and their bare hands to search through the night on Tuesday for survivors of Italy's worst quake in three decades which killed nearly 180 people. More than 24 hours after the quake shook the central Italian region of Abruzzo, emergency workers dug out two students early on Tuesday from collapsed buildings in L'Aquila, the medieval mountain city of 68,000 people worst hit by the disaster.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - Bilyana Prodanova of Bulgaria performs with the ball during the final of the Hungarian Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup in Budapest March 8, 2009.
RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - An Afghan boy falls off his donkey as it fights with another outside the German armed forces Bundeswehr camp in Kunduz, northern Afghanistan April 16, 2009.