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Every year again

Since the financial crisis of 2008, the heads of major American banks have had to report regularly to the US Senate. There, they like to warn against overly strict regulation – currently in the form of the so-called Basel III regulations. "A lot of loans are becoming unprofitable," JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, for example, quipped, referring to solar, wind and municipal loans. "What your banks want is to maximize quarterly profits, regardless of costs and others," Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio countered the bank bosses.

Photo: Will Oliver / EPA

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Force of nature

A flash of lightning can be seen over the port of Batroun in northern Lebanon.

Photo: Ibrahim Chalhoub / AFP

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New traditions

Tchaikovsky's »Nutcracker« ballet is now also ringing in the Christmas season in Kenya: During the intermission, the dancers of the Dance Centre Kenya (DCK) come to rest for a short time. The centre was founded in Nairobi in 2015 and has since grown to become the country's leading dance school, educating dance enthusiasts from all walks of life.

Photo: Luis Tato / AFP

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4 / 20

Warning over the air

Israeli forces drop leaflets over Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. The army is engaged in heavy fighting with Islamist Hamas fighters in the Hamas stronghold. Thousands of residents fled the shelling of the city and the fighting, which was among the most intense since the beginning of the war.

Photo: Said Khatib / AFP

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Withdrawal from the crisis area

Kenyan soldiers of the regional troops of the East African Community (EAC-RF) are preparing to leave the Democratic Republic of Congo. The regional force began withdrawing on December 3 after the country failed to renew its mandate. The EAC first sent troops to the violence-plagued region in November last year after rebels from the M23 militia reappeared. Thousands of people had been displaced from their homes, and many died.

Photo: Alexis Huguet / AFP

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Get up or lie down?

In Milan, a visitor takes a closer look at a larger-than-life sculpture by Australian sculptor Ron Mueck. According to the Triennale Museum, it is Mueck's first solo exhibition in Italy. It will be open until 10 March 2024.

Photo: Claudio Furlan / AP

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7 / 20

Do They Know It's Bolo Time At All?

The »Bolo Fest 2023« has ushered in the Christmas season in Mexico City. For the past nine years, the parade has been marching through the Mexican capital at the beginning of December, delighting residents with giant dolls and balloon figures.

Photo: Jose Mendez / EPA

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8 / 20

Are not green

In the Dutch fan corners, things are sometimes, well, rougher than in German football, for example. This is partly due to the supporters of Feyenoord, here in front of a fog of smoke during a league match against league leaders PSV in Rotterdam. Part of the fan scene repeatedly attracts attention through violence or anti-Semitic chants against arch-rival Ajax.

Photo: Maurice van Steen / EPA

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A woman stands in a makeshift shelter made of a meagre wooden frame and tarpaulins. Displaced Palestinians who have fled their homes due to Israeli attacks are seeking shelter here in a camp in Rafah near the Egyptian border.

Photo: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / REUTERS

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Braking to accelerate

At the DLR Institute of Space Systems in Bremen, a brake sail for satellites has been spread. The technology has been successfully tested and is expected to reduce space debris in the future. Decommissioned satellites often orbit for decades. Brake sails are designed to slow them down so that they leave their low orbit around the Earth more quickly and burn up as they enter the denser atmosphere.

Photo: Sina Schuldt / dpa

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11 / 20

Dance Santa Claus

Ramiro Hinojas monitors traffic at an intersection in Pasay City, a suburb of the Philippine metropolis of Manila. To make it fun for him and the commuters or passers-by, Hinojas wears a Santa Claus costume during the Advent season and dances across the street in it.

Photo: Aaron Favila / AP

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12 / 20

Radiator in the frost

Consolation for the people of Munich: Other cities also snow in and then nothing works for the time being. This was the case in Moscow, where more than a quarter of the usual amount of snow in December fell in a single day on Monday. However, the Russian capital was then able to move 25,000 employees and 18,000 snow ploughs for winter service to remove the masses of snow.

Photo: Yuri Kochetkov / EPA

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Animal rights activists protest in Barcelona against the trade in animal furs. The action was organized by the animal rights organization Anima Naturalis.

Photo: Pau Barrena / AFP

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Cold Peaks

Icicles hang from a hawthorn bush in Gateshead, northern England, on St. Nicholas' Day.

Photo: Lee Smith / REUTERS

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No to amnesty

In Madrid, many people have once again taken to the streets to protest against the planned amnesty law by the socialist head of government Pedro Sánchez. The main opposition party in Spain, the conservative Partido Popular (PP), had called for this. Sánchez has promised those concessions to the separatists who wanted to secede Catalonia under Carles Puigdemont in 2017 in return for support – even though he had previously ruled out an amnesty. Many Spaniards are strictly opposed to this.

Photo: Thomas Coex / AFP

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Over the mountain

This image of Santa Claus on a locomotive, which at first glance looks relatively unspectacular, is in fact a gigantic ray of hope. Projected from a distance of 2300 meters, the luminous circle that appeared on the Rochers-de-Naye near the Swiss city of Montreux had an area of 28,000 square meters. A world record, says the Swiss light artist Gerry Hofstetter, who created the installation.

Photo: Valentin Flauraud / EPA

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Saviour of the world

Environmentalists protest at the climate summit in Dubai. They back up their demand for an end to the use of fossil fuels with a globe that is obviously in need of help. The blue ball lies on the ground and must be kept alive with a heart massage.

Photo: Peter Dejong / AP

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Banksy Raid

Banksy did not authorize the show, but that didn't stop the Berlin exhibition space Kleisteck from assembling works by the world's most famous street artist. Here, the shadow of a visitor and the work »Flying Copper« complement each other to form a new motif.

Photo: Fabian Sommer / dpa

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Tree... swims?!

Seagulls in front of the Christmassy fir tree on Hamburg's Inner Alster.

Photo: Christian Charisius / dpa

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Big and small money

Wearing a reindeer mask and wrapped in a sleeping bag, a Bosnian street musician plays on the Eiserner Steg, a pedestrian bridge over the Main in Frankfurt. While the man is likely to be happy about every euro, much larger sums are being moved in the high-rise building behind him: Here, the European Central Bank determines the monetary policy of the euro area – probably soon with a reduction in key interest rates.

See all the pictures of the week on our topic page.

Photo: Frank Rumpenhorst / dpa