Photo Essay

  • This photo from March 22, 2014 shows the blue flame of burning sulfur at the crater of the Kawah Ijen volcano in Banyuwangi regency, East Java, Indonesia. The natural phenomenon, which can be seen at night, is caused by sulfuric gases from the volcano that ignite into blue flames when they come into contact with the air.
  • Demonstrators attack police after the month-long "March for Dignity" protest ended with violent clashes between police and youth in Madrid, Spain on March 22, 2014. The protesters converged on the Spanish capital by foot and buses from several Spanish regions in an attempt to highlight the plight of the country's poor.
  • A Palestinian man is detained by Israeli border policemen during clashes near Damascus Gate at Jerusalem's old city, March 22, 2014. Palestinians protested on Saturday after Israeli forces shot three Palestinian militants dead in a raid during an arrest attempt on a home in the West Bank refugee camp of Jenin earlier in the day.
  • A would-be immigrant with a bandage on his head stands outside the Temporary Immigration Center on March 22, 2014 in Melilla, Spain. Some 500 would-be immigrants entered the Spanish enclave of Melilla on March 17 from Morocco, forcing the Temporary Immigration Center (CETI) to shelter around four times its capacity, which is 480 people. The army has placed temporary tents outside the Center to make space.
  • A resident salvages recyclable materials after a fire razed a slum area in Manila, Philippines, on March 22, 2014. Nearly 100 houses were destroyed in the blaze that left some 200 families homeless, and one dead, according to local reports.
  • Indian residents walk through a street following a hailstorm in the northern hill town of Shimla on March 22, 2014. Cold, rainy weather has continued to affect parts of northern India.
  • A riot police officer tackles a masked protester during violent clashes at the end of a protest march in Forestal Park, in Santiago, Chile, March 22, 2014. At the end of the protest march that included more than 30 activist groups pressing newly installed President Michelle Bachelet to follow through with her campaign promises, about 300 masked demonstrators staged violent clashes with police.
  • An anti-government protester walks near a burst of lights caused by a fire cracker launched by protesters at Bolivarian National Policemen during clashes in Caracas, Venezuela, March 22, 2014. Two more people were reported dead in Venezuela as a result of anti-government protests as supporters and opponents of President Nicolas Maduro took to the streets on Saturday in new shows of force.
  • Residents gather in the Prazeres pacified favela community on March 22, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The favela was previously controlled by drug traffickers but is now occupied by the city's Police Pacification Unit (UPP). The UPP is patrolling some of Rio's favelas amid the city's efforts to improve security ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games.
  • Men climb trees outside the grounds to try to get a glimpse of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at an AK Party rally in Istanbul, Turkey, March 23, 2014.
  • A woman supporting Turkey's prime minister cheers and waves Turkish and AK Party (AKP) flags during an election rally in Istanbul on March 23, 2014. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan rallied hundreds of thousands of supporters on Sunday, dismissing accusations of intolerance by Western and domestic critics. "I don't care who it is. I'm not listening," he said to cheers.
  • AKP (Justice and Development Party) supporters shout slogans and wave party flags during a election campaign rally in the Yenikapi area of Istanbul, Turkey on March 23, 2014. Turkish  Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party organized the rally ahead of upcoming local elections.
  • A resident collects scrap metal from the rubble of burnt shanties after a fire gutted a residential area in Caloocan city, north of Manila, Philippines, March 23, 2014. At least 1,700 families have been left homeless after three separate fires gutted 700 homes in a span of 24 hours. The fires took place as the country observes Fire Prevention Month.
  • A man holds a Ukrainian national flag at Belbek air base in Sevastopol, on the Crimean peninsula, March 23, 2014.
  • A man collects nails and other metal scraps that he can sell to junk shops after an overnight fire razed a slum settlement in the Tondo area of Manila on March 23, 2014.
  • People play soccer on a muddy field in the Complexo do Alemao pacified 'favela' community on March 23, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The 'favela' was previously controlled by drug traffickers and is now occupied by the city's Police Pacification Unit (UPP). A number of UPP's were attacked by drug gang members on March 20 and some pacified favelas will soon receive federal forces as reinforcements.
  • People stand in a voting booth in the first round of the French municipal elections on March 23, 2014 in Lille, northern France.
  • Amateur wrestler 'Meteorito' (Lil' Meteor) sits in the stands of the Arena Obreros in Saltillo, Mexico on March 23, 2014.
  • Steve Skaglund walks across the rubble on the east side of Saturday's fatal mudslide near Oso, Wash. on March 23, 2014.
  • A protester runs from a water cannon used by Turkish riot police to disperse a demonstration of Kurds after Newroz celebrations on March 23, 2014 at Kazlicesme in Istanbul.
  • President Barack Obama and two Secret Service agents are silhouetted as he walks toward Marine One helicopter upon arrival at Schiphol Amsterdam Airport, Netherlands, March 24, 2014.
  • Deepak Mane, a 19-year-old wrestler, poses inside a traditional Indian wrestling center called Akhaara in Mumbai, March 24, 2014. Deepak said that he wants better internal security and stricter anti-terrorism laws from the new government after the elections. He is among more than 100 million registered new voters, who will cast their ballots when the world's biggest democracy holds a general election that will run from April 7 to May 12.
  • A worker walks out of the Connaught Tunnels section of the Crossrail construction project in East London, March 24, 2014. Crossrail is Europe's largest civil engineering project and is due for completion in 2018.
  • Two boys are silhouetted as they fly a kite on the Marina beach in Chennai, India, March 24, 2014.
  • Supporters of politician Ali Benflis listen to him speak in Adrar, 1,400 km southwest of the capital Algiers, March 24, 2014, as campaigning kicks off in Algeria for the April 17 presidential vote. Incumbent Abdelaziz Bouteflika is widely expected to clinch a fourth term. Benflis, 69, a former prime minister who decided to stand in the election after a 10-year absence from politics after he lost the 2004 poll, is considered Bouteflika's key challenger.
  • The Museum of Revolt of Cars opens In Pargolovo's settlement, near Petersburg, Russia, March 24, 2014. The robots, made from automobile parts, reach five meters. Characters from movies such as Iron Man, Terminator, Spiderman, and Strangers, are represented.
  • A man bring flowers to Spanish Prime Minister Adolfo Suarez’s wake at the Parliament in Madrid, Spain, March 24, 2014. Suarez, Spain’s first democratically elected prime minister after decades of right-wing rule under Gen. Francisco Franco, died in Madrid’s Cemtro Clinic hospital. He was 81-years-old.
  • Potala Palace in Lhasa, the capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, March 24, 2014. A spring snow fell on Lhasa over the weekend.
  • A family member of a passenger aboard Malaysia Airlines MH370 falls down an escalator as he cries after watching a television broadcast of a news conference, in the Lido hotel in Beijing, March 24, 2014. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has told families of passengers of a missing Malaysian airliner that the plane ended its journey in the southern Indian Ocean.
  • Residents are seen at sunset at their balconies of an apartment building in central Donetsk, Ukraine, March 24, 2014. Donetsk is a city of almost 1 million inhabitants and was founded in 1869 when Welsh businessman John Hughes built a steel plant and several coal mines in the area.
  • The massive mudslide that killed at least eight people and left dozens missing is shown in this aerial photo, Monday, March 24, 2014, near Arlington, Wash.
  • Students protesting against a China-Taiwan trade pact are forced by riot police to leave the government Cabinet buildings in Taipei, Taiwan, March 24, 2014. Hundreds of protesters opposed to a far-reaching trade pact with China invaded Taiwan's Cabinet offices, marking a sharp escalation in a student-led movement against the island's rapidly developing ties with the communist mainland.
  • Tea fields in the Jiangbang Village of Xixiang County, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, March 24, 2014. Xixiang County is the northernmost tea producing area in China, owning about 19,133 hectares of tea fields so far.
  • People visit the art exhibition "A Dream I Dreamed" by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Shanghai, March 25, 2014. Kusama was born in Nagano, Japan in 1929, today she is acknowledged as one of the most important living artist of Japan.
  • A student carries a fence to add to a barricade, with smoke rising from a fire started during the first day of a student strike to protest a government education reform and cutbacks in grants and staffing, at Complutense University in Madrid, Spain, March 26, 2014.
  • A family member of a passenger onboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 cries on a bus before heading to the Malaysian embassy, outside Lido Hotel in Beijing, China on March 25, 2014. 
  • A searcher uses a small boat to look through debris from a deadly mudslide Tuesday, March 25, 2014, in Oso, Wash. At least 14 people were killed in the one-square-mile slide that hit in a rural area about 55 miles northeast of Seattle on Saturday. Several people also were critically injured, and homes were destroyed.
  • Thousands of juvenile salmon are dispatched into a holding tank in the Sacramento River in Rio Vista, Calif. on March 25, 2014. The salmon were trucked more than 200 miles from a hatchery on the northern part of the river, as drought conditions in the state have made the river impassable to the young fish.
  • People wait in line to receive food distributed by the Red Cross at a food bank in Ronda, southern Spain, on March 25, 2014. About 400 families, who are in a municipal social assistance program, received food sent by the European Union, according to local media, as Spanish citizens struggle to get by under the crippling economic situation facing the region.
  • A student carries wood to add to a fire, started by students, during the first day of a student strike to protest a government education reform and cutbacks in grants and staffing, at Complutense University, in  Madrid, Spain, March 26, 2014.
  • A military police officer patrols during an operation in the Mare slum complex, ahead of its "pacification," in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, March 25, 2014. Elite federal police and army troops will be sent to the city to help quell a wave of violence in so-called "pacified" slums. Recent attacks on police bases in the favelas is raising concerns about an ambitious security program that began in 2008, in part to secure the city ahead of this year's World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.
  • Afghan security forces stand guard on the roof of an Independent Elections Commission (IEC) building after a gun battle between security forces and insurgents in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 25, 2014. Gunmen stormed into the building, trapping dozens of employees inside and killing many people. A candidate for a seat on a provincial council was among those killed, along with an election worker, a civilian and a policeman.
  • Afghan policemen leave an election commission office following an attack in Kabul on March 25, 2014. Suicide bombers and gunmen in Afghanistan attacked the election commission office beside the home of presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday, rattling nerves in the Afghan capital less than two weeks before a crucial election.
  • Ethnic Albanian women weep during the funeral ceremony of 19 ethnic Albanians killed during the 1998-99 Kosovo war in the town of Mala Krusa on March 26, 2014. The victims were killed in two separate rampages by Serbs forces in the town of Suva Reka and Mala Krusa just days after NATO began a bombing campaign to end an onslaught by Serbia on separatist ethnic Albanians.
  • An Afghan policeman stands next to a wall splattered with blood after the Taliban launched an assault with a suicide bomber detonating his vehicle outside an election office in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 25, 2014. Gunmen stormed into the building, trapping dozens of employees inside and killing many people. A candidate for a seat on a provincial council was among those killed, along with an election worker, a civilian and a policeman.
  • A man views a five-alarm fire that ignited inside an apartment construction site at the corner of Marconi Street and Dallas Avenue, on Tuesday, March 25, 2014, in Houston, Texas. All construction workers who had been in the high-rise building were accounted for, and no injuries have been reported.
  • A woman carries a mannequin past police officers patrolling during an operation at the Mare slums complex in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, March 25, 2014. Brazil will deploy federal troops to Rio de Janeiro to help quell a surge in violent crime following attacks by drug traffickers on police posts in three slums on the north side of the city, government officials said on Friday. Less than three months before Rio welcomes tens of thousands of foreign soccer fans for the World Cup, the attacks cast new doubts on government efforts to expel gangs from slums using a strong police presence.
  • A man sleeps on a bench in the city center of the Andalusian capital of Seville, March 25, 2014.
  • Syrian army soldiers loyal to President Bashar al-Assad hold their weapons as they stand near a tank in al-Maamel area in Aleppo's countryside, after claiming to have advanced and regained control of it, March 25, 2014.
  • A Jordanian worker constructs steel houses at Azraq Syrian refugee Camp, Azraq city, Jordan, March 25, 2014
  • Egyptian students who support the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi run from tear gas fired by riot police during clashes following a demonstration outside Cairo University on March 26, 2014.
  • A model runs backstage before the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology (BIFT) and Shih Chien University Emerging Design Collection during China Fashion Week in Beijing, March 26, 2014.
  • Pakistani construction worker Mohsin Ali, 22, bathes at a construction site at the end of his workday, during rainfall in Islamabad, Pakistan, March 25, 2014.
  • Artist Alexandra Holownia -- known as 'Alexandra Fly' -- looks at an art installation by Manuel Merida titled "Usuyuki/chantier II", during the Art Paris Art Fair in Paris, on March 26, 2014.
  • The president of the People's Republic of China, hosted by French President Francois Hollande, on the red carpet in the courtyard of the Elysee, March 26, 2014.
  • An anti-government supporter waves a national flag during a march through streets in Bangkok, Thailand, March 26, 2014. People's Democratic Reform Committee protesters marched in Bangkok for the third day to invite people to join their mass rally on Saturday. Thailand’s Constitutional Court ruled that February's general election was invalid.
  • Ice and snow accumulate on a door at Bristol Community College as a student enters during a spring snowstorm on campus in New Bedford, Mass., March 26, 2014. The spring storm brought high winds that whipped snow across portions of Massachusetts and eastern Maine Wednesday, causing near-whiteout conditions on Cape Cod and roiling the Atlantic as it moved up the coast.
  • A swing set is seen at Veterans Park Beach during a snowstorm March 26, 2014 in Hyannis, Mass. An early spring storm brought high winds and some snow accumulation.
  • Russian Soyuz-FG rocket with the Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft and a crew of US astronaut Steven Swanson, Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev aboard, blasts off from a launch pad at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, early on March 26, 2014. A crew of two Russian cosmonauts and an American astronaut blasted off from Kazakhstan on a Russian Soyuz rocket for the International Space Station, with US-Russia space cooperation pressing on despite the diplomatic standoff over Ukraine.
  • Members of Saudi special forces aim their guns during a training session in Darma, west of Riyadh, March 26, 2014.
  • A policeman performs a search inside a building during an operation in the Mare slums complex in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, March 26, 2014.
  • Residents react as policemen take position during an operation in the Mare slums complex in Rio de Janeiro, March 26, 2014. Brazil will deploy federal troops to Rio de Janeiro to help quell a surge in violent crime following attacks by drug traffickers on police posts in three slums on the north side of the city, government officials said on Friday.
  • A rescue worker with a search and rescue dog looks for a three-month-old baby in the mudslide near Oso, Wash. as rescue efforts continue on March 26, 2014. The mud-stricken community braced for a higher body count as search teams combed through debris looking for scores of people still missing four days after the disaster.
  • Afghan lawmaker Fatema Aziz, from Kunduz, poses under an oil painting in the parliament in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 26, 2014. When the Taliban ruled, women rarely left their home. When they did venture beyond their four walls, they wafted through crowded markets covered from head to toe in the all-encompassing burqa. While most women in conservative Afghanistan may still wear the burqa, today™ Afghan women have choices they never had before, such as running for parliament.
  • An apartment building is seen on a hazy day in Hefei, Anhui province, China on March 26, 2014. China's energy-hungry, high-polluting industries continued to grow too fast in 2013, putting "huge pressures" on the environment and causing air quality to worsen, the country's pollution agency said on Tuesday.
  • Maximiliano Velazquez (L) of Argentina's Lanus and Angel Romero of Paraguay's Cerro Porteno fight for the ball during heavy rain in their Copa Libertadores soccer match in Buenos Aires, Argentina on March 27, 2014.
  • Members of Special Unit (BOPE) stand guard during a demonstration against the upcoming FIFA World Cup as well as to demand better social health services and education in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on March 27, 2014.
  • A boy with an umbrella walks through the Alfama neighborhood in Lisbon, Portugal on March 27, 2014.
  • Abdul, 32, a hotel worker, poses for a portrait on the way to begin his workday in the Andalusian capital of Seville, Spain on March 27, 2014.
  • Models wearing flamenca dresses wait on a street before taking part in an event to mark the 20th anniversary of the International Flamenco Fashion Show SIMOF in the Andalusian capital of Seville, March 27, 2014.
  • A searcher walks amid a massive pile of debris at the scene of a deadly mudslide, March 27, 2014, in Oso, Wash. The death toll is expected to rise considerably within the next two days as the Snohomish County Medical Examiner's Office catches up with the recovery effort, Snohomish County District 21 Fire Chief Travis Hots said Thursday.
  • Protesters chants slogans during a demonstration against the upcoming FIFA World Cup as well as to demand better social health services and education at Central do Brasil metro station, March 27, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • A Balinese man takes seawater during Melasti Ceremony at Purnama Beach on March 28, 2014 in Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia.The Melasti ritual is held annually ahead of the Nyepi Day of Silence, a ceremony intended to cleanse and purify the souls of the Balinese Hindu participants. Nyepi is a Hindu celebration observed every new year according to the Balinese calendar. The national holiday is one of self-reflection and meditation and activities such as working, watching television or travelling are restricted between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
  • Oscar Pistorius sits in the dock inside court as members of his defense team talk over benches, in Pretoria, South Africa, March 28, 2014. The murder trial of Oscar Pistorius has been delayed until April 7 because one of the legal experts who will assist the judge in reaching a verdict is sick, abruptly ending expectations on Friday that the double-amputee athlete was about to testify on his fatal shooting of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
  • Sub-Saharan migrants climb over a metallic fence that divides Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla, March 28, 2014. Officials said several hundred African migrants tried to cross barbed-wire border fences to enter the Spanish enclave of Melilla from Morocco but most were turned back by security forces from both sides. An Interior Ministry spokesman in Melilla said the migrants attempted to scale the fences several times early Friday and a handful managed to get across. Thousands of migrants seeking a better life in Europe are living illegally in Morocco, hoping they can enter Melilla and Spain's other north African coastal enclave, Ceuta.
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This Week in Pictures: March 22-28

Updated

Family members of passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 were given the heartbreaking news this that week that their loved ones most likely perished and that the missing aircraft went down somewhere in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of western Australia. Search efforts for evidence of the plane continued to be thwarted by poor weather conditions, however, and frustration grew with each passing day that presented few answers as to what happened to the jet nearly three weeks ago.

A wave of violence gripped Afghanistan in the lead-up to presidential elections as a suicide bomber detonated his vehicle Tuesday outside an election office in Kabul, near the home of presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani. In Brazil, authorities have ramped up efforts to quell violence in the favelas less than three months before the start of the World Cup.

In the U.S. this week, crews continue to search for survivors in the wake of a massive mudslide in Washington that has killed more than a dozen people.

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