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In Focus

The Week in Pictures: April 12 - 19

Migrants move through Mexico, Castro reign closes in Cuba, a gorilla celebrates a milestone, and more.


Syria strikes

Missiles light up the Damascus sky as the U.S. launches an attack on Syria targeting different parts of the capital early on April 14, 2018.

The United States, France and Britain launched military strikes in Syria to punish President Bashar Assad for a suspected chemical attack against civilians and to deter him from doing it again, Trump said in his announcement the same night.

Hassan Ammar / AP
Image: A boy walks along a damaged street at the city of Douma in Damascus

Destruction in Douma

A boy walks along a damaged street in Douma, a suburb of Damascus, Syria on April 16.

Douma was the site of a suspected poisonous gas attack on April 7 that first responders and activists say killed more than 40 people. 

Omar Sanadiki / Reuters
Image: China's largest freshwater lake turns into prairie

River of grass

A boat is stranded on the grass-covered riverbed of the Poyang Lake, which has been hit by drought, in China's Jiangxi province on April 17.

Poyang Lake, once the largest freshwater lake in China, is fast drying-up and might soon become a prairie or a desert like the Aral Sea in Kazakhstan.

Chinese scientists are reporting with alarm that more parts of the lake have dried up, leaving huge swathes of grassland in areas once inundated by up to 82 feet of water. That depth has been reduced on average to only 26 feet and even this level is in danger since water levels have fallen continuously.

Xiong guotao / Imaginechina

Glacier race

Skiers climb in front of the Matterhorn mountain at the start of the 21st Glacier Patrol race in Stafel, outside the ski resort of Zermatt, Switzerland on April 17.

The Glacier Patrol, organized by the Swiss Army, takes place from April 17 to 21. Highly-experienced hiker-skiers trek for over 33 miles along the Haute Route which runs along the Swiss-Italian border from Zermatt to Verbier.

Valentin Flauraud / Keystone via AP
Image: Tornado Hits Greensboro

North Carolina tornado

Nick Sims, 18, surveys the damage to his grandmother's house in Greensboro, North Carolina on April 16 after a tornado ripped through the neighborhood, destroying several houses. Sims' grandmother was not injured.

A storm system that stretched from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes dumped 2 feet of snow on parts of the Upper Midwest, coated roads with ice and battered areas farther south with powerful winds.

No injuries were reported in the Carolinas, but tens of thousands of homes and businesses were without power in the storms aftermath.

Chuck Liddy / TNS via Zuma Press
Image: Cuba's new president Miguel Diaz-Canel, left, and former president Raul Castro, raise their arms after Diaz-Canel was elected

Passing the torch

Cuba's new president Miguel Diaz-Canel, left, and former president Raul Castro, raise their arms after Diaz-Canel was elected as the island nation's new president, at the National Assembly in Havana, Cuba on April 19.

Castro left the presidency after 12 years in office when the National Assembly approved Diaz-Canel's nomination as the candidate for the top government position.

Castro, 86, remains head of the Communist Party as former VP Miguel Diaz-Canel becomes the first non-Castro president in over 40 years.

Photos: Cuban President Raúl Castro steps down

Irene Perez / Cubadebate via AP file
Image: Tammy Duckworth

Baby in the Senate

Sen. Tammy Duckworth arrives at the Capitol with her 10-day-old daughter on April 19, one day after the Senate voted to allow babies onto the chamber's floor.

Duckworth took a brief break from her maternity leave and headed to the Capitol to cast her vote in opposition to a controversial nomination. Her appearance was the second time she has made history in as many weeks. On April 9, Duckworth became the first senator to give birth while in office.

Frank Thorp / NBC News
Image: Feeding of endangered Javan green magpie in Prague

Fooling a magpie

A zookeeper uses a puppet to imitate a bird parent as it feeds a one-month-old baby Javan green magpie at a zoo in Prague, Czech Republic on April 17.

The Javan green magpie (Cissa thalassina) is one of the world's most endangered birds.

Martin Divisek / EPA

Desert race

Competitors cross sand dunes as they take part in in the 33rd edition of Marathon des Sables, across the Sahara desert near Merzouga, southern Morocco on April 13.

Mosa'ab Elshamy / AP
Image: A Picture and its Story: Inside the Congo camp haunted by an unknown war

Scars of war

Mave Grace, 11, who had part of her arm chopped off by militiamen when they attacked the village of Tchee, stands with her sister Racahele-Ngabausi, aged two, in an Internally Displaced Camp in Bunia, Ituri province, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on April 12.

According to witnesses, militiamen killed her pregnant mother, her three brothers and injured her sister, Racahele-Ngabausi.

Goran Tomasevic / Reuters
Image: Central American migrants, moving in a caravan through Mexico, journey an open wagon of a freight train after stopping it on the rail line, in Hidalgo state

Heading north

Central American migrants, moving in a caravan through Mexico, journey in an open wagon of a freight train in Hidalgo state, Mexico on April 14.

Photos: Inside the migrant caravan targeted by Trump

Edgard Garrido / Reuters
Image: A devotee, dressed as Hindu God Shiva, looks out from a window as he waits to perform during the annual Shiva Gajan religious festival on the outskirts of Agartala

Bengali new year

A devotee, dressed as the Hindu God Shiva, looks out from a window as he waits to perform during the annual Shiva Gajan religious festival on the outskirts of Agartala, India on April 13.

The festival celebrates the arrival of the new year in the Bengali calendar. 

Jayanta Dey / Reuters

Smoke at the border

Palestinians burn tires at the border fence with Israel, east of Jabalia during a protest on April 13.

Several thousand Gazans gathered for a third consecutive Friday of mass protests along the border with Israel after violence in which Israeli forces have killed 33 Palestinians and wounded hundreds of others.

Mohammed Abed / AFP - Getty Images
Image: Trump's Personal Lawyer Michael Cohen Appears For Court Hearing Related To FBI Raid On His Hotel Room And Office

Media storm

Adult film actress Stormy Daniels (Stephanie Clifford) and her lawyer Michael Avenatti, left, arrive at the United States District Court Southern District of New York for a hearing related to Michael Cohen, President Trump's longtime personal attorney and confidante, April 16 in New York.

Cohen and lawyers representing President Trump are asking the court to block Justice Department officials from reading documents and materials related to Cohen's relationship with President Trump that they believe should be protected by attorney-client privilege.

Officials with the FBI, armed with a search warrant, raided Cohen's office and two private residences last week.

Yana Paskova / Getty Images
Image: Desiree Linden

Marathon victory

Desiree Linden, of Washington, Michigan, wins the women's division of the 122nd Boston Marathon on April 16.

The two-time Olympian splashed her way through icy rain and a near-gale headwind to finish in 2 hours, 39 minutes, 54 seconds.

She is the first American woman to win the race since 1985.

Charles Krupa / AP

Paris color

Runners celebrate with colored powder as they complete the 5-kilometer Color Run race in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris on April 15.

Christophe Simon / AFP - Getty Images

Got rice cake?

Female Gorilla Fatou eats a 'rice-cake' to celebrate her 61st birthday at the zoo in Berlin on April 13.

According to Zoo officials, Fatou, along with Trudy, a gorilla from a Zoo in Little Rock, Arkansas, are the oldest living female gorillas in the world.

The Week in Pictures: April 5 - 12

Markus Schreiber / AP