Photo Essay

  • A Palestinian family sits inside their makeshift house during power cuts in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, March 15, 2014.
  • A Chinese relative of a passenger onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 sleeps after a briefing meeting for families at Lido Hotel on March 15, 2014 in Beijing, China.
  • A child sick with malaria and from malnutrition lies on a bed in a hospital in Bor, South Sudan, March 15, 2014.
  • A boy dressed up as a medieval king stands amid Orthodox Jewish men during the Jewish holiday of Purim in a synagogue in Bnei Brak, outside Tel Aviv, March 15, 2014.
  • Indonesian Search And Rescue (SAR) personnel keep a lookout on a rescue ship that is heading to the Andaman Sea conducting a search operation for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, in the Indian Ocean, near the tip of Sumatra Island, Indonesia, March 15, 2014.
  • Eduardo, a street vendor who sells snacks to beachgoers, strikes a pose on the shore of La Herradura beach in Lima, Peru, March 15, 2014. Some street vendors in Lima will dress to achieve a voluptuous body type using balloons and banter with potential customers to attract attention, in hopes of increasing their sales.
  • Riders compete on the frozen Yenisei River during the 44th Ice Derby amateur horse race near the settlement of Novosyolovo, some 155 miles south of the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Russia, March 15, 2014.
  • Crimea referendum day in Simferopol, Crimea. People go to polling stations to vote for annexation to Russia, March 16, 2014.
  • Cossacks guard the regional parliament building during the Crimean referendum in Simferopol, Crimea, Sunday, March 16, 2014.
  • Crimea referendum day in Simferopol, Crimea. People go to polling stations to vote for annexation to Russia, March 16, 2014.
  • Crimea referendum day in Simferopol, Crimea. People go to polling stations to vote for annexation to Russia, March 16, 2014.
  • Ukrainian police with riot gear guarding the regional administration building clash with pro-Russian protesters in the center of Kharkiv, Ukraine, March 16, 2014.
  • Crimea referendum day in Simferopol, Crimea. People go to polling stations to vote for annexation to Russia, March 16, 2014.
  • Crimeans walk to a polling station in Simferopol, Crimea, March 16, 2014, to vote on secession from Ukraine.
  • A woman is seen in a bus in front of a polling station during the vote for the regional unique Crimean referendum on breaking away from Ukraine and joining Russia, March 16, 2014.
  • Police guard a government building in Donetsk, Ukraine, as pro-Russian activists approach during a rally on March 16, 2014.
  • National guards transport an anti-government protester detainee during a protest against Nicolas Maduro's government in Caracas, Venezuela, March 16, 2014. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro warned protesters in Caracas on Saturday to clear a square they have made their stronghold, or face eviction by security forces.
  • A woman writes a message for family members of passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 at an event to express solidarity in Subang Jaya, Malaysia, March 16, 2014.
  • An Israeli settler dressed up in an animal outfit takes part in a parade to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim in al-Shuhada Street, in the West Bank town of Hebron, on March 16, 2014. The carnival-like Purim holiday is celebrated with parades and costume parties to commemorate the deliverance of the Jewish people from a plot to exterminate them in the ancient Persian Empire 2,500 years ago, as recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther.
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio hugs his wife Chirlane McCray after speaking at the Church of God of Third Avenue as the congregation welcomed members of the Spanish Christian Church after the church was destroyed by an explosion in the East Harlem neighborhood of New York, March 16, 2014. The Spanish Christian Church was located on the first floor of one of the destroyed buildings.
  • Palestinian Fatah supporters hold pictures of President Mahmoud Abbas during a rally in support of Abbas during a rally in support of Abbas in the West Bank, March 17, 2014.
  • Members of a self-defense volunteer group line up before marching to parliament in Kiev, Ukraine, March 17, 2014.
  • The colorful festival of Holi is celebrated on Phalgun Purnima which comes in February end or early March.
  • Indians, faces smeared with colored powder, dance during celebrations marking Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, in Gauhati, India, March 17, 2014. The festival also marks the advent of spring.
  • Intoxicated Orthodox Jewish men take a break during celebrations of the Purim holiday in the ultra-orthodox Mea Shearim neighborhood in Jerusalem, March 17, 2014.
  • Pakistani kabaddi players get ready for bouts in Gujar Khan, Pakistan, March 17, 2014. Kabaddi, mostly popular in Pakistan's rural areas, is a traditional sport that combines the characteristics of wrestling and rugby.
  • A Bedouin man carries plants to feed his camels in Gaza City, on March 17, 2014.
  • An Indian woman celebrates Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, in Mumbai, India, March 17, 2014.
  • Indians play in a mud pool during celebrations marking Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, in Hyderabad, India, March 17, 2014.
  • A girl looks at planes through the window of the departure hall at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, March 17, 2014.
  • An Afghan woman receives her voter registration card from an employee of the Afghan Independent Election Commission at a women's voter registration center in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 17, 2014.
  • Public sector workers scuffle with police during the arrival of a team of inspectors from the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank at the Finance Ministry in Athens, Greece, March 17, 2014.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi review an honor guard on March 17, 2014 at the chancellery in Berlin, where German-Italian governmental consultations take place.
  • An elderly woman carries boxes for recycling as she walks past a billboard ad in Hong Kong on March 17, 2014. One in three people in the city is expected to be 65 years old or above by 2041, threatening to curb economic growth in the major financial hub, the Hong Kong government has warned.
  • Marine One, carrying President Barack Obama, arrives on the South Lawn of the White House, after Obama visited wounded service members at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, March 17, 2014.
  • Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER flight MH318 to Beijing sits on the tarmac as passengers are reflected on the glass at the boarding gate at Kuala Lumpur on March 17, 2014. Malaysia Airlines flight number MH318 replaces the flight number of the missing airplane, MH370, that was retired as a mark of respect to the passengers and crew while the flight route remains unchanged.
  • Members of a "Maidan" self-defense battalion take part in a training at a Ukrainian Interior Ministry base near Kiev, March 17, 2014. The first 500 volunteers arrived at the base for training to qualify for service in the newly created National Guard. Ukraine's parliament, seeking to boost the country's military force in the face of Russia's takeover of the Crimea peninsula, endorsed a presidential decree on Monday to carry out a partial mobilization involving 40,000 reservists.
  • A Palestinian youth throws a stone toward Israeli soldiers as he jumps over burning tires during clashes that followed a rally to support President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Hebron, March 17, 2014.
  • People in fancy dress swim in the sea for charity, in an event which is part of the St. Patrick's day celebrations in the town of Portstewart, north of Belfast, Ireland, March 17,  2014.
  • Iraqi security forces fire during clashes with the al Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Jurf al-Sakhar, Iraq, March 17, 2014.
  • Orthodox Jews from the Belz Hasidic group are taking part in a "Tisch," which is a public gathering of Hasidim around their Rabbi, during the holiday celebration of Purim on March 17, 2014 in Jerusalem.
  • Vice President Joe Biden is seen in a plane window after landing in Vilnius, Lithuania, March 18, 2014.
  • A Bahraini boy holds a stencil of Jawad Ahmed Al-Haawi, during his funeral on March 18, 2014, in the village of Sitra, south of Manama, Bahrain. Al-Haawi, 49, died in hospital after developing respiratory complications which his relatives claim were due to the inhalation of poisonous tear gas that riot police used during a protest in March 2014.
  • People attend a rally called "We are together" to support the annexation of Ukraine's Crimea to Russia in Red Square in central Moscow, March 18, 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin, defying Ukrainian protests and Western sanctions, signed a treaty on Tuesday making Crimea part of Russia but said he did not plan to seize any other regions of Ukraine.
  • A relative of a passenger onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 watches a TV news program as she waits for information about the missing plane at a hotel in Beijing, March 18, 2014.
  • A fisherman waits for a catch in front of the beach of Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, March 18, 2014.
  • Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers sit on an armored vehicle before a patrol at the Hussain-kot district of Kabul, March 18, 2014.
  • The mother and wife of Reshat Ametov follow his coffin during his funeral ceremony in Simferopol on March 18, 2014. Crimean Tatar Reshat Ametov, who had been protesting against Russian troops in the Black Sea peninsula, was found dead days after he was seen being hauled away by men in military-style jackets.
  • A Syrian man evacuates a child found in the rubble of a residential building reportedly hit by an explosives-filled barrel dropped by a government forces helicopter on March 18, 2014, in Aleppo.
  • A man exercises in front of of Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, March 18, 2014.
  • A Tatar woman cries as she sits in a car after the burial of Reshat Ametov, a Tatar pro-Ukrainian activist and father of three, who disappeared after attending a rally in Simferopol, Crimea, Tuesday, March 18, 2014. Ametov was last seen on March 3 being led away by unidentified men at the rally, according to his relatives. His body was found on March 16.
  • Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark, watches Sophie Turner, her "Game of Thrones" co-star and on-screen sister Sansa, play with an interactive virtual-reality exhibit at an after party for the HBO show's fourth-season premiere at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, March 18, 2014.
  • Ukrainian servicemen, back, struggle to defend an entrance of the Ukrainian navy headquarters in Sevastopol, Crimea, March 19, 2014. Crimea's self-defense forces on Wednesday stormed the Ukrainian navy headquarters in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, taking possession without armed resistance a day after Russia signed a treaty with local authorities to annex the region.
  • A masked Crimean self-defense forces' man sits outside the Training Centre of the Naval Forces of Ukraine while taking under its control in Sevastopol, Crimea, March 19, 2014.
  • An elderly woman, one of the relatives of Chinese passengers aboard missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, covers her face out of frustration as she leaves a hotel ballroom after a daily briefing meeting with managers of Malaysia Airlines in Beijing, China, March 19, 2014.
  • Palestinian children during a protest in front of UNRWA headquarters to demand a lift to the siege of Gaza City, March 19, 2014.
  • An immigrant receives help from his friends after they managed to jump over the fence at the border in Melilla, the Spanish enclave on the Northern African coast, March 18 2014. A new massive assault to cross the border has led hundreds onto Spanish territory. Some have received medical attention as they arrived to the local temporary immigrant holding center (CETI) in Melilla after getting injured as they jumped the fence.
  • A protester shouts as police officers try to remove the chairs displayed to block the entrance of the Taiwanese Parliament, which is occupied by activists protesting moves by the ruling Kuomintang party to ratify a contentious trade agreement with Chinain, in Taipei on March 19, 2014. Late on March 18, around 200 students and activists broke through a security barrier and took over the main chamber in Taiwan's parliament, singing and dancing in protest against the trade agreement.
  • Afghan military officers attend their graduation ceremony at the National Military Academy in Kabul on March 19, 2014. Some 507 officers have graduated after studying for four years at The Marshal Mohammad Qasim Fahim university in Kabul.
  • A boy from a local dance group practices a somersault in a slum area in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad, India, March 19, 2014.
  • Children play in the sea at the El Chorrillo port in Panama City, March 18, 2014.
  • Salima Akhtar (65) is the mother of Akmal Omar (21) one of eleven victims that was killed by suicide bombers in an attack on a court complex on the March 3, 2014, grieves while embracing his photograph in his bedroom, in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on March 18, 2014.  "They ripped my heart from my chest, how can I live after you my Akmal."
  • A fishmonger is seen at the fish market in Panama City, March 18, 2014.
  • A Crimean self-defense forces' man smokes a cigarette outside the Training Center of the Naval Forces of Ukraine, after taking control of the building in Sevastopol, Crimea, March 19, 2014. Troops in unmarked uniforms also took over a Ukrainian military training facility in Sevastopol on Wednesday evening. Following negotiations, Ukrainian soldiers left the base in civilian clothes and then a convoy of military vehicles drove into its territory and took control.
  • Peter Norbot and Kris Hamilton (L), dressed up as fictional comic book superhero Spider-Man, look through a magazine as they wait for their turn to audition to be a part of a promotional campaign for the upcoming release of the new movie "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" in Chicago, March 19, 2014.
  • A protester stands behind a banner during a rally against layoffs in the public sector in Athens, Greece, March 19, 2014. Thousands of striking public workers marched through Athens on Wednesday to protest against planned job cuts demanded by foreign lenders in the first day of a 48-hour nationwide strike called by the country's biggest public sector union ADEDY.
  • Pro-Russian supporters after breaking into the territory of the naval headquarters in Sevastopol, Crimea, March 19, 2014.
  • The misty Lijiang River in Guilin, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, March 19, 2014.
  • An anti-government protester takes cover behind a makeshift shield from police water cannon in Caracas, Venezuela, March 20, 2014.
  • A man believed to be a Russian serviceman walks as he carries two rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launchers while he and his comrades change shifts, near a military base in Perevalnoye, near the Crimean city of Simferopol, March 20, 2014.
  • Al Qaeda fighters celebrate on vehicles taken from Iraqi security forces on a main street in Fallujah, 43 miles west of Baghdad, March 20, 2014.
  • Supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah hold posters of him during an election rally in Parwan province, northern Afghanistan, March 20, 2014.
  • An African migrant leaves one of the tents mounted on Tuesday, outside a refugee center in Spain's north African enclave of Melilla, March 20, 2014. Spain has more than doubled the strength of security forces at its North African enclave of Melilla, after about 500 people stormed its fences in the biggest border rush for years. Madrid sent 100 more police on Tuesday and Wednesday, raising the total to 150, a source at the Interior Ministry said, and will reinforce the rapid response unit with 20 more personnel, bringing the total to 80. In February, the European Union asked Spain to explain why police had fired rubber bullets in warning when a group of African migrants tried to wade and swim to Ceuta. Fifteen died drowning and the shots could have caused panic among the migrants, according to Cecilia Malmstrom, the European Commissioner for Home Affairs.
  • A French farmer walks behind a tractor which sows a field near Arras, northern France, March 20, 2014.
  • An Indian woman carries a bucket filled with drinking water as she walks on dry mud against blowing sand, along the Brahmaputra river on the eve of World Water Day in Gauhati, India, March 21, 2014.
  • Children buy toys during the Afghan New Year (Newroz) celebrations in Kabul, March 21, 2014. Afghanistan uses the Persian calendar, which runs from the vernal equinox. The calendar takes as its start date the time when the Prophet Mohammad moved from Mecca to Medina in 621 AD.
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This Week in Pictures: March 15-21

Updated

The search for Malaysian Airlines flight 370 continued this week, nearly two weeks since it disappeared on March 8. A glimmer of hope surfaced on Thursday, when two large objects were spotted off the western coast of Australia. But by Friday morning there remained no physical trace of the missing airliner.

Crimeans voted in a referendum on Sunday to break away from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation, a move that has been condemned by the U.S. and Europe. The West ratcheted up sanctions against Russia this week. Russia’s annexation of Crimea marks the first time since World War II that the country has expanded its borders, heightening tensions with the West. 

But the week was also marked by celebrations across the globe, as people celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in the U.S. and Ireland; India errupted in color during Holi celebrations, which mark the beginning of spring and the triumph of good over evil; Jews celebrated Purim, the commemoration of rescue from genocide in ancient Perisa; and Afghan children reveled in new year celebrations.

For more feature photography, go to msnbc.com/photography