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The Week in Pictures: Dec. 12 - 19

Reflections on Mandela, dizzying steps over the Alps, a frigid dip at Coney Island and more.

A journalist, wearing slippers to protect the glass floor, stands in the "Step into the Void" installation at the Aiguille du Midi mountain peak above Chamonix, in the French Alps, on Dec. 17, 2013. The Chamonix Skywalk is a five-sided glass structure installed on the top terrace of the Aiguille du Midi, where visitors can step out with a 3,280-foot drop below. The glass opens to the public on Dec. 21. Robert Pratta / Reuters
A Palestinian family sits in a tent after their house was flooded following huge storms that left the Gaza Strip under flood waters in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, on Dec. 17. Mohammed Abed / AFP - Getty Images
Thick fog covers Lahore, Pakistan, on Dec. 17. At least 11 people were killed and 67 injured overnight in Punjab province due to transport accidents related to the fog.


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Students hold each other for warmth as they sleep during a break in between high intensity training at Tianjiao Special Guard/Security Consultant camp on the outskirts of Beijing on Dec. 1. Former Chinese soldier Chen Yongqing has big ambitions for his bodyguard training school Tianjiao, which he says is China's first professional academy to train former soldiers and others as personal security guards.

NBC News received this picture on Dec. 19. Jason Lee / Reuters
A couple skates on the frozen waters of Lake St. Moritz during a sunny winter day in the Swiss mountain resort on Dec. 14.


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Visitors to the Voortrekker Monument watch as a ray of sunlight shines on the unmarked tomb in the basement of the monument during Day of Reconciliation celebrations in Pretoria, South Africa on Dec. 16. Under apartheid, the day was known as Day of the Vow, in commemoration of a promise Voortrekkers made to God to build a church should they be granted victory against attacking Zulus, but under democracy the day is used to foster reconciliation and national unity. Markus Schreiber / AP
A wounded Syrian woman walks with her children following airstrikes on a rebel area of the war-torn northern city of Aleppo on Dec. 15. The Aleppo Media Center, an activist network on the ground, reported several helicopter attacks on rebel areas of the city, once Syria's economic hub. Mohammed Al-Khatieb / AFP - Getty Images
Smoke rises from a burning building on Dec. 15, in Guangzhou, China. A fire broke out in the unfinished Jianye Building at about 7 p.m. on Sunday.


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Members of the Coney Island Polar Bear Club warm up before swimming at the beach in New York City on Dec. 15.


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Army cadets hold a large photo of Army head coach Rich Ellerson during a football game against Navy on Dec. 14 in Philadelphia. Navy won 34-7.


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Mnikelo Ndagankulu is draped in a South African flag as he sits on a hill overlooking the place where former South African President Nelson Mandela will be laid to rest in his ancestral home of Qunu on Dec. 15. Roberto Schmidt / AFP - Getty Images
A local boy, Anda, looks out from his window at the burial ground of former South African President Nelson Mandela ahead of his funeral in Qunu on Dec. 15. Yannis Behrakis / Reuters