Photo Essay

  • Policemen stand guard under heavy rain in front of PAOK Salonika fans before their Greek Cup soccer final against Panathinaikos at the Olympic stadium in Athens, Greece, April 26, 2014.
  • Tightrope walkers perform above a canal in Brussels April 26, 2014. Approximately 44 tightrope walkers made an attempt to cross the canal during a performance.
  • A student is arrested by the Bolivarian National Guard during clashes at an anti-government protest in Caracas, Venezuela, April 26, 2014. Student organizers at the last minute decided against marching downtown to avoid a confrontation with security forces in the government-controlled district. Instead they concentrated on the wealthier, eastern neighborhoods that have been the hotbed of unrest since February.
  • A member of the Malaysian military band performs during a state dinner at Istana Negara, the National Palace, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, April 26, 2014. Obama's visit to Malaysia, following stops in Japan and South Korea, is the first by an American president since Lyndon B. Johnson.
  • Racka sheep are seen during celebrations of the start of the new grazing season in the Great Hungarian Plain in Hortobagy, east of Budapest, April 26, 2014.
  • A competitor trains on day three of the FINA/NVC Diving World Series at the London Aquatics Centre on April 26, 2014 in London, England.
  • Kashmiris attend the funeral procession of one of three Kashmir militants that were killed in an overnight gun battle with Indian government forces on April 26, 2014 in Drobgam, 34 miles south of Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian administered Kashmir, India. The militants had been holed up in a residential house. An Indian army major and a trooper were also killed after one of the militants hiding in the debris fired indiscriminately, police said.
  • Will Minson (L) of the Bulldogs and Sam Jacobs of the Crows contest for the ball during the round six AFL match between the Western Bulldogs and the Adelaide Crows at Etihad Stadium on April 27, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.
  • Two popes become saints in a historic canonization ceremony. Pope Francis declared John Paul II and John XXIII saints on Sunday morning, under grey skies, a crowd estimated at 250,000 in the Vatican's St. Peter's Square and the streets nearby erupted in applause.
  • A Free Syrian Army fighter fires a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) towards forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, during heavy clashes with them in the old city of Aleppo on April 27, 2014.
  • Bishops attend the canonization mass of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II on St Peter's on April 27, 2014 in Vatican City, Vatican. Dignitaries, heads of state and Royals from Europe and across the World observed the canonizations.
  • A man reacts next to a body wrapped in shrouds following a reported bombardment with explosive-packed "barrel bombs" by Syrian government forces in the Al-Mowasalat neighborhood in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on April 27, 2014. Aleppo is divided between government and opposition control, and clashes on the ground, rebel fire and regime aerial bombardment have all increased there in recent weeks.
  • Masked pro-Russian activists carry a flag to the top of a government building in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine on April 28, 2014.
  • Canonization ceremony of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII presided over by both Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Square.
  • A runner stretches after crossing the finish line in the 37th Madrid Marathon in Madrid, Spain, April 27, 2014.
  • Riot police stand guard at an illegal mining operation in Huepetuhe district in Peru's Madre de Dios region in Peru, April 28, 2014. Some 1,500 soldiers, police and marines have begun destroying illegal gold mining machinery in Peru's southeastern jungle region of Madre de Dios. Authorities began enforcing a ban on illegal mining Monday in the Huepetuhe district. They had given the state's thousands of illegal miners until April 19 to comply or halt operations.
  • An Egyptian woman overcome by emotion falls to the ground after a judge sentenced to death more than 680 alleged supporters of the country's ousted Islamist president over acts of violence and the murder of policemen in the latest mass trial in the southern city of Minya, Egypt, on Monday, April 28, 2014. Attorney Ahmed Hefni told reporters outside the court in Minya on Monday that the death sentences first have to be approved by Egypt's mufti, the top Islamic official, a step that is usually considered a formality.
  • Scenes from Kentucky Derby and Oaks workouts in heavy rain at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY, April 28, 2014.
  • Uprooted trees are pictured after a tornado hit Vilonia, Ark. on April 28, 2014.
  • Pro-Russian activists gesture during a rally in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, April 28, 2014. Several dozen pro-Russian and pro-Ukranian activists argued and exchanged threats as they gathered to rally at the same place in the city.
  • A police officer sprays a fire extinguisher over cooking oil covering the road outside Taipei Railway Station after anti-nuclear demonstrators were removed from the area in Taipei on April 28, 2014.  Taiwan police used water cannons to dislodge hundreds of overnight sit-in demonstrators demanding the scrapping of a nearly completed nuclear power plant, one of the most controversial issues to have gripped the island for 30 years.
  • Riot policemen wait for a pro-Ukrainian rally to start in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine April 28, 2014. Several people were wounded when pro-Russian separatists attacked a rally in support of Ukrainian unity in the separatist-held city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine on Monday.
  • Russian navy cadets march during a rehearsal for a May 9 victory parade in Dvortsovaya Square in St. Petersburg April 28, 2014. Russia prepares to mark the 69th anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II on May 9.
  • Pro-Russian (R) and pro-Ukrainian supporters clash during a pro-Ukrainian rally in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine April 28, 2014. Several people were wounded when pro-Russian separatists attacked a rally in support of Ukrainian unity in the separatist-held city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine on Monday.
  • A woman walks with her belongings to spend the night after a day traveling with an armed peacekeeping convoy from the African Union operation in CAR (MISCA), escorting about 1,000 internally displaced Muslims from the capital Bangui to the northern towns of Kabo and Sido on the border with Chad, Kaga Bandoro on April 28, 2014.
  • A distant view of the Crimean Black Sea coast as seen from Mount Ai Petri on April 28, 2014.
  • A Filipino mother carries her children while their house is on fire in a residential slum area in Manila, Philippines on April 29, 2014. The Manila Fire Department said fire left more than 30 families homeless and three residents were hurt.
  • A Kashmiri man removes his belongings from burnt houses in Srinagar, summer capital of Indian Kashmir, April 29, 2014. At least 27 shanties, two residential houses and shops were gutted in the fire. No casualties have been reported so far, according to officials.
  • A victim of a bomb attack, which occurred in Khanaqin, Iraq, is wheeled on a gurney into a hospital in Sulaimaniya April 28, 2014. A suicide attacker killed at least 30 people and wounded 50 others at a Kurdish political gathering in the town of Khanaqin, northeast of Baghdad, security sources said.
  • Kashmiri people mourn their burnt houses in Srinagar, summer capital of Indian Kashmir, April 29, 2014.  At least 27 shanties, two residential houses and shops were gutted in the fire. No casualties have been reported so far, according to officials.
  • Lighting strikes from a TVS (tornadic vortex signature) storm in Tuscaloosa, Ala. April 28, 2014. On a second day of ferocious storms that have claimed at least 21 lives in the southern United States, a tornado tore through the Mississippi town of Tupelo on Monday destroying homes and businesses, according to witnesses and emergency officials.
  • Decorations and accessories with the colors of Brazil's national flag, are shown for sale in a popular street market, in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil, on April 28, 2014. On June 12, 2014 Sao Paulo will host the FIFA World Cup 2014 opening match, between Brazil and Croatia.
  • A crew prepares for the arrival of Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews as President Barack Obama returns to Washington following his week-long trip to Asia on April 29, 2014.
  • Larry Smith's camper shelter near Stedman, N.C., was destroyed after a possible tornado passed by his house April 29, 2014.  At least five counties in eastern North Carolina reported tornadoes on Tuesday.
  • Soldiers of the 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment of the French Foreign Legion stand guard during the rehearsal of the ceremony marking the commemoration of the battle of Camaron, which occurred on April 30, 1863 between the French Foreign Legion and the Mexican army, on April 29, 2014 in the ancient theatre of Orange. The ceremony will mark the regiment's last public appearance in Orange before its move to its new base in Carpiagne.
  • A residential neighborhood is seen destroyed by a tornado in this aerial photograph taken near Vilonia, Ark. April 28, 2014. A ferocious storm system caused a twister in Mississippi and threatened tens of millions of people across the U.S. Southeast on Monday, a day after it spawned tornadoes that killed 16 people in Arkansas and other states.
  • The daughter of a Haitian immigrant looks on as she waits to eat at the Nossa Senhora da Paz Catholic Church, where she lives inside a shelter of the church, in the Glicerio neighborhood of Sao Paulo on April 28, 2014. Two years ago, the Brazilian government announced the creation of a humanitarian visa that would be exclusively issued to Haitian refugees after the devastating 2010 earthquake on the island. Around 800 Haitians immigrants have arrived in Sao Paulo in the last two weeks looking for work from the northern state of Acre.
  • Russian naval cadets attend the launching ceremony of the aft of Russian Navy Mistral class amphibious assault ship (helicopter carrier) Sevastopol at Baltiysky (Baltic) Shipyard on April 30, 2014.
  • A Jewish settler dips in a natural spring near the West Bank settlement of Bat Ayin, south of Bethlehem April 30, 2014. Israel pursued plans for nearly 14,000 new homes for settlers during now-suspended peace negotiations with the Palestinians, an Israeli watchdog group said on April 29 as the original deadline for a deal expired.
  • Members of Ukraine's State Security Administration (R) clash with members of the Euromaidan movement's self-defense units during a rally outside the cabinet of ministers building in Kiev on April 30, 2014.
  • A view shows a tattooed arm of the driver of a steam locomotive of the HSB light railway in Schierke in the Harz mountains of Germany, April 30, 2014. Legend has it that on Walpurgisnacht, or May Eve, witches fly their broomsticks to meet the devil at the summit of the Brocken Mountain in Harz. In towns and villages scattered throughout the mountain region, locals make bonfires, dress in devil or witches costumes and dance into the new month of May.
  • Laborers work at the construction of oil and water tankers using iron sheets at an industrial area in Khartoum on April 30, 2014.
  • Prisoners who underwent Sri Lankan traditional dance training take a shower before their "graduation ceremony" at Welikada Prison in Colombo on April 30, 2014. According to the prison, about 26 prisoners went through months of training this year as traditional dancers under a rehabilitation program. The program, which was first introduced in 1982, aims to equip prisoners with skills to allow them to find jobs or join traditional dancing troupes upon their release.
  • A worker walks through a salt pan on the eve of May Day or Labor Day on the outskirts of the southern Indian city of Chennai on April 30, 2014. India is the third largest salt producing country in the world after China and the U.S. according to government
  • A woman and children use umbrellas to guard against rain and wind as they cross a street in Times Square, New York on April 30, 2014.
  • Bert Newman sprays water on his home as a wildfire driven by fierce Santa Ana winds closes in on him in Rancho Cucamonga, California, April 30, 2014. The wind-driven brush fire burning out of control in drought-parched Southern California wildland on Wednesday forced the evacuation of about 1,000 residents north of the town of Rancho Cucamonga, officials said.
  • A girl holds a candle during a service to pay tribute to the victims of the sunken ferry Sewol in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, April 30, 2014. Two weeks after the ferry sank off South Korea's southern cost, divers have recovered over 200 bodies from the wreckage, but they fought strong currents and floating debris inside the ship Wednesday as they searched for 90 passengers still missing.
  • Cars sit on the edge of a sinkhole in the Charles Village neighborhood of Baltimore, April 30, 2014, as heavy rain moves through the region. Road closures have been reported due to flooding, downed trees and electrical lines elsewhere in the mid-Atlantic. The National Weather Service issued flash flood warnings through Wednesday afternoon in Washington, northern Virginia and central Maryland.
  • Women react during a protest demanding security forces to search harder for 200 schoolgirls abducted by Islamist militants two weeks ago, outside Nigeria's parliament in Abuja April 30, 2014. Scores of suspected Boko Haram gunmen stormed an all-girls secondary school in the village of Chibok, in Borno state, on April 14, packing the teenagers onto trucks and disappearing into a remote, hilly area along the Cameroon border.
  • Trucks carrying internally-displaced Muslims arrive after having travelled in a convoy escorted by the African Union operation in CAR (MISCA) on a four-day journey from the capital Bangui, at the transit IDP center on the outskirts of the Central African Republic-Chad border town of Sido on April 30, 2014. All of the remaining Muslims that have been sheltered from sectarian violence in the neighborhood of PK 12 in Bangui have been evacuated towards the northern town of Kabo and Sido on the border with Chad.
  • Russian Trade Unions' members parade on the Red Square in Moscow on May 1, 2014, during an officially authorized May Day demonstration. Russian workers paraded today on Red Square marking May Day, also known as International Workers' Day, for the first time since 1991, the latest Soviet tradition to be revived as a wave of patriotism sweeps the country.
  • Police officers take cover under their shields as pro-Russian activists storm the prosecutor’s office on May 1, 2014 in Donetsk, Ukraine. Activists marched to the prosecutor's office and overran the police guarding the building. After taking control of the building and confiscating the policemen's riot gear, police officers were set free.
  • A sub-Saharan migrant agues with a Spanish Guardia Civil officer holding a baton, as they sit on top of a metallic fence that divides Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla, May 1, 2014. Spain says around 700 African migrants have rushed its barbed wire border fences in the North African enclave of Melilla, and although police repelled most, 140 managed to enter Spanish territory. The migrants charged the fences in two waves, with 500 arriving in the early hours and another 200 later Thursday morning. Spain and Morocco stepped up border vigilance in Feb. when 15 migrants drowned trying to enter Spain's other north African coastal enclave, Ceuta.
  • Protesters shield themselves from a police water cannon during a May Day demonstration in Istanbul, Turkey, May 1, 2014. Turkish police fired water and tear gas on Thursday to prevent hundreds of protesters from defying a ban on May Day rallies and reaching Istanbul's central Taksim Square, the focal point of weeks of protests last summer.
  • An elderly couple dances as local citizens gather to mark May Day in Slovyansk, eastern Ukraine, May 1, 2014. Russian state news media were quick to dismiss the protests as the work of Ukrainian neo-Nazis, a particularly loaded accusation because Ukrainian nationalists collaborating with the Nazis are blamed for horrific reprisal attacks during World War II.
  • A woman dressed up as a witch walks at the summit of Brocken mountain in the Harz region of Germany celebrating the Walpurgisnacht pagan festival, April 30, 2014. Legend has it that on Walpurgisnacht or May Eve, witches fly their broomsticks to meet the devil at the summit of the Brocken Mountain in Harz. In towns and villages scattered throughout the mountain region, locals make bonfires, dress in devil or witches costumes and dance into the new month of May.
  • Indonesian Workers' Unions (KSPI) members march during a May Day rally at the business district in Jakarta May 1, 2014. Thousands of union members filled the streets of Indonesia's capital to demand higher wages, better health care and more workplace protections, according to local media.
  • Demonstrators of the General Confederation of Work (CGT) carry a giant flag during May Day celebrations in Valencia May 1, 2014. Spain's unemployment rate rose to 25.9% in the first quarter of this year, data from the National Statistics Institute showed on Tuesday, up slightly from the revised 25.7% rate in the previous quarter.
  • A handicapped man is helped by a climber during the first ever attempt to rappel from the Nuselsky bridge in a wheelchair during 'Go On' festival organized by Jedlicka Institute on May 1, 2014 in Prague, Czech Republic. The Jedlicka Institute and Schools were founded in 1913 by Rudolf Jedlicka and they are a specialist school educating children and young people primarily with physical disabilities.
  • Chicago White Sox center fielder Adam Eaton catches a ball off the bat of Detroit Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter (not pictured) during the first inning at U.S Cellular Field, on April 30, 2014.
  • A protestor throws stones at riot police during clashes after hundreds of people tried to reach the city's main Kizilay Square to celebrate May Day in Ankara, Turkey on May 1, 2014. Earlier, riot police in Istanbul used water cannons and tear gas against thousands of protesters who tried to defy a May Day ban on demonstrations, injuring at least 50 people. After a final warning, hundreds of riot police moved on the crowd seeking to breach the barricades leading to Taksim Square, declared off limits to Labor Day demonstrators as the epicenter of anti-government protests in recent months. In the capital Ankara, police fired volleys of tear gas and jets of water on hundreds of protesters trying to march to the Kizilay Square, also declared off limits.
  • People gather at the site of a car bomb explosion in Abuja, Nigeria, May 1, 2014. A car bomb exploded on a busy road in Nigeria's capital late that night, killing at least nine people days before the city will host a major international economic forum.
  • Ukrainian soldiers stand with an armored personnel carrier at a checkpoint near the town of Slaviansk in eastern Ukraine May 2, 2014. Pro-Russian rebels shot down two Ukrainian helicopters on Friday, killing two crewmembers, as troops tightened their siege of separatist-held Slaviansk and Moscow accused Kiev of launching a "criminal" assault that wrecked hopes of peace.
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This Week in Pictures: April 26-May 2

Updated

Mother Nature bared her teeth this week, as deadly storms tore through the American south, flattening homes and taking lives in Arkansas and Mississippi, two of the hardest hit states.

As of Friday morning, a deadly car bomb in the capital of Nigeria had killed at least 19 only days after militants kidnapped about 230 girls from a school in the town of Chibok, in the far northeast of the country. A deadly bombing outside a polling station shook the heavily Kurdish Iraqi city of Kirkuk, as Iraqis prepared to cast their ballots in the country’s parliamentary elections. 

President Obama completed his Asia tour, reiterating America’s commitment to maintaining stability in the region, as pro-Russian rebels in the eastern Ukrainian city of Sloviansk shot down two Ukrainian military helicopters on Thursday, threatening acute military conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

May Day celebrations across the globe and labor kicked off the month, as the 140th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs rounds off the week.

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