Photo Essay

  • A demonstrator is detained by riot police officers during clashes following a demonstration against a reform of the penal code and an upcoming trial of protesters detained during a demonstration in the Parliament of Catalonia in 2011, in Barcelona, Spain, March 29, 2014.
  • US President Barack Obama disembarks from Air Force One upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, March 29, 2014. Obama returns to Washington following a week-long trip to the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Saudi Arabia.
  • An Israeli border policeman detains a Palestinian protestor during clashes ahead of Land Day in east Jerusalem, March 29, 2014. Land Day, which is observed on Sunday in Israel, commemorates the killing by security forces of six Arabs in 1976 during protests against government plans to confiscate land in northern Israel's Galilee region.
  • Shanghai's skyscrapers Shanghai World Financial Center (L), Shanghai Tower (R) and Jin Mao Tower (top) are seen at the financial district of Pudong during Earth Hour in Shanghai, March 29, 2014. Earth Hour, when everyone around the world is asked to turn off lights for an hour from 8.30 p.m. local time, is meant as a show of support for tougher action to confront climate change.
  • Asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan protest the Israeli government's neglecting to review asylum requests, and the State's detention policies, at a demonstration held at Rabin Square, central Tel Aviv, March 29, 2014.
  • A man is seen through waved Turkish flags as supporters of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) take part in an election rally at Kadikoy in Istanbul on March 29, 2014.
  • A man has his mouth covered by a scarf resembling a gag during a rally against Spanish monarchy at Neptuno square in Madrid, central Spain, March 29, 2014.
  • A spectator smokes a cigarette as she waits for the start of the Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai March 29, 2014.
  • Delegates pray during the Kurultai, the assembly of Crimea Tatars, in Bakhchisaray, Ukraine, March 29, 2014.
  • Gay couple Andrew Wale (R) and Neil Allard hold hold each other as they are interviewed by the media after marrying in the first same-sex wedding at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, southern England, March 29, 2014. Saturday will be the first day gay couples will be allowed to tie the knot in England and Wales after the government legalized same-sex marriage last July.
  • Rainwater drips from cherry blossoms at a Tokyo park during the beginning of the cherry blossom season in Tokyo on March 30, 2014.
  • Visitors inspect an installation as part of the Luminale festival in Frankfurt, Germany, March 30, 2014. Frankfurt is once again dominated by the art of lighting, with over 180 projects of the 7th Biennale of Lighting Culture transforming the metropolis into a city of light.  EPA/Boris Roessler
  • A member of Afghan presidential candidate Dr. Abdullah Abdullah's entourage drives through traffic in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, March 30, 2014.
  • A Philippine Marine of a military detachment stationed aboard the BRP Sierra Madre, lifts weights on his last day of deployment in the disputed Second Thomas Shoal, part of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, March 30, 2014. The Philippine government vessel made a dash for shallow waters around the disputed reef in the South China Sea on Saturday, evading two Chinese coastguard ships trying to block its path to deliver food, water and fresh troops to a military outpost on the shoal.
  • Supporters of Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan celebrate their election victory in front of the party headquarters in Ankara March 31, 2014. Tayyip Erdogan's ruling AKP party appeared on Sunday to be heading for a clear victory in local polls that have become a referendum on a prime minister facing corruption scandals and security leaks he blames on "traitors" embedded in state bodies.
  • Supporters wait to speak with the candidate at a meeting between Afghan presidential candidate Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and supporters after a rally in Kandahar, Afghanistan, March 30, 2014.
  • A Balinese man throws a burned coconut husk during the "Mesabatan Api" ritual ahead of Nyepi Day on March 30, 2014 in Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia.
  • The New Zealand rugby team dance after winning the Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament against England in Hong Kong, Sunday, March 30, 2014.
  • A Brazilian military police officer keeps watch after entering the unpacified Complexo da Mare, one of the largest 'favela' complexes in Rio, on March 30, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Sgt. Martyn Piggott from Pittstown, New Jersey with the U.S. Army's 2nd Battalion 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division patrols across barren foothills outside of Forward Operating Base (FOB) Shank looking for positions the enemy has used to send rockets onto the FOB  on March 30, 2014 near Pul-e Alam, Afghanistan. The primary mission of soldiers with the 10th Mountain Division stationed at FOB Shank is to advise and assist Afghan National Security Forces in the region.
  • People walk as Brazilian Navy soldiers in a tank enter the unpacified Complexo da Mare, one of the largest 'favela' complexes in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on March 30, 2014. The Brazilian government has deployed federal forces to occupy the group of violence-plagued slums ahead of the June 12 start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
  • Brazilian Navy soldiers enter the unpacified Complexo da Mare, one of the largest 'favela' complexes in Rio, on March 30, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Brazilian government has deployed federal forces to occupy the group of violence-plagued slums ahead of the June 12 start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The group of 16 communities house around 130,000 residents and have been dominated by drug gangs and militias. Mare is located close to Rio's international airport and has been mentioned as a likely pacification target for the police amid the city's efforts to improve security ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
  • Afghan presidential candidate Dr. Abdullah Abdullah prays before lunch in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Sunday, March 30, 2014.
  • Crews head out for early morning training before the Rowing World Cup at the Sydney International Rowing Centre on March 30, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.
  • Civilians walk after police trucks drove past on a road leading to the site of the Independent Election Commission headquarters, which was attacked by insurgents, in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 29, 2014. Taliban insurgents attacked the headquarters in the Afghan capital of Kabul on Saturday, staff and police said, in their third big assault on the capital this week aimed at derailing the April 5 presidential election.
  • Supporters leave after Afghan presidential candidate Dr. Abdullah Abdullah addresses a rally in Kandahar, Afghanistan, March 30, 2014. On April 5th, Afghans will go to the polls in a historic election, but fears of widespread fraud and insecurity caused by the ongoing insurgency mainly in the South and the East of the country, and a Taliban promise to disrupt the voting, threaten to undermine the election.
  • Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning the men's singles final of the Sony Open at Crandon Tennis Center against Rafael Nadal (not pictured), March 30, 2014.
  • Supporters wave as a helicopter carrying India's ruling Congress party vice president Rahul Gandhi, leaves after an election campaign rally at Semiliguda in Koraput district, Orissa, India, March 31, 2014.
  • A fan reacts to a base hit by New York Mets third baseman David Wright during the team's opening game against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field in New York, March 31, 2014.
  • Presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah (in grey), sitting atop a vehicle, arrives for an election campaign in Panjshir province, March 31, 2014. The Afghan presidential election will be held on April 5.
  • A fisherman carries a shark on his head from the Indian Ocean waters to the market in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, March 31, 2014.
  • This picture taken on March 31, 2014, shows residents trying to move a car submerged by flood waters after storms hit Dongguan, south China's Guangdong province. At least 16 people were killed in rain and hailstorms that triggered flooding and landslides in southern China, officials said on March 31.
  • A Hindu devotee returns after performing morning rituals on the banks of the Ganges River on the first day of the nine-day Hindu festival of Navratri, in Allahabad, India, March 31, 2014. Navratri honors the Hindu goddess Shakti, or divine mother.
  • Staff Sgt. Michael Cohan from the 141st Logistical Readiness Squadron based out of Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington, uncovers a tattered American flag and displays it after pulling on a thin red string buried in a pile of debris from the massive mudslide that struck Oso, Washington, March 31, 2014. Survivors of a mudslide that left dozens dead or missing in Washington state said they would like to turn the disaster site into a shrine for the victims once bulldozers clear away the mud and debris.
  • A storm cloud can be seen behind a yacht as it sails off the coast of Sydney, Australia, March 31, 2014.
  • American and South Korean Marines participate in an annual Combined Joint Logistics over the Shore (CJLOTS) exercise during the Ssang Yong (Double Dragon) exercises against a possible attack from North Korea, in Pohang, 360 km southeast of Seoul, South Korea, March 31, 2014.
  • A cat looks through a window in a temporary housing complex at Funahiki area in Tamura, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, March 31, 2014. For the first time since Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster more than three years ago, residents of a small district 12 miles from the wrecked plant are about to be allowed to return home.
  • An Afghan man watches the crowd supporting presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah during a campaign rally at a stadium in the northwestern city of Herat on April 1, 2014.
  • Balinese people soak each other with water during a tradition called 'Omed-Omedan', also known as the kissing festival, in Denpasar on Indonesia's resort island of Bali on April 1, 2014. The annual ritual is held one day after the Balinese Day of Silence or 'Nyepi'.
  • Turkish riot police use a water cannon to disperse protesters outside the Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) in Ankara on April 1, 2014. Turkish police on April 1 deployed water cannons against protesters who alleged vote-rigging in weekend local polls in which the Islamic-rooted party of Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed sweeping victories.
  • Women are  reflected in a window as they view cherry blossom trees in full bloom on Meguro River, on April 1, 2014 in Tokyo, Japan.
  • Divers check the bow of the vehicle-carrier "Baltic Breeze", damaged following a collision with a fishing boat, at Vigo's harbour on April 1, 2014. Three fishermen were killed and two were missing after a giant cargo ship crashed into their trawler off northern Spain.
  • Congressional staff stand against the wall as General Motors CEO Mary Barra (L) is broadcast on television as she testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee for a hearing on the GM ignition switch recall on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, April 1, 2014.  Relatives of car crash victims and lawmakers demanded accountability from embattled US automaker GM Tuesday as its CEO faced Congress, amid claims that a $2 fix could have saved lives.
  • People on the Mexican side of the international border worship while Cardinal Sean O'Malley leads mass, April 1, 2014, in Nogales, Ariz. A delegation of Roman Catholic leaders celebrated Mass along the U.S.-Mexico border to raise awareness about immigration and to pray for policy changes.
  • Sparks fly on a burning tractor-trailer as a Henry County, Ga., firefighter works to extinguish the flames on Interstate 75 southbound near Exit No. 228, in Stockbridge, Ga., on April 1, 2014. The blaze shut down all southbound lanes. The trailer was owned by Ira Higdon grocery stores, based in Cairo, Ga. No injuries were reported.
  • A woman stands on a street after an earthquake in Iquique, Chile, on April 1, 2014. The magnitude-8.2 earthquake sent waves more than 2 meters high barreling into Chile's northern coast.
  • A Hindu woman touches the wall of a temple as she offers prayers on the second day of the nine-day long Navratri festival in Kolkata, India, April 1, 2014. Devotees worship various forms of Hindu goddesses during the festival. The Hindu festival literally means "nine nights."
  • A Rohingya man carrying his child looks at police and volunteers conducting a national census at a Rohingya village in Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine State, Myanmar, April 1, 2014.
  • Residents ride past a burning public security kiosk during a protest against a chemical plant project, on a street in Maoming, Guangdong province, early April 1, 2014. The city in southern China, which has been the site of violent protests against a proposed chemical plant, said it will not go ahead with the project if a majority of residents object to it, as authorities seek to head off more unrest.
  • Anti-government protesters and students block an avenue in front of the United Nations office with tents in Chacao district in Caracas, April 1, 2014. Since early February, demonstrators have routinely used debris and burning trash to block the streets of Chacao, a district in the east of Caracas.
  • A rescue worker's muddy boots are seen in Oso, Washington, April 1, 2014. Recovery teams pressed on with their search for victims of the March 22 mudslide.
  • Supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Zalmai Rassoul arrive for an election campaign in Bagram, April 1, 2014. The Afghan presidential elections will be held on April 5.
  • A model presents a creation from Patricia Motta's Summer 2015 collection at Sao Paulo Fashion Week, April 1, 2014.
  • The housing ministry is set on fire by anti-government supporters in Caracas, April 1, 2014. Venezuelan troops dispersed opposition demonstrators with tear gas on Tuesday and blocked anti-government activist Maria Corina Machado, recently stripped of her seat in the National Assembly, from reaching the legislature.
  • Fishermen navigate their boat out of the Chorrillo dock in the Pacific Ocean waters of Lima, Peru, April 2, 2014. Chilean authorities discovered surprisingly light damage Wednesday from a magnitude-8.2 quake that struck in the Pacific Ocean, Tuesday evening, near the mining port of Iquique, about 87 miles from the Peruvian border.
  • Men drive a car near a site hit by what activists said was an air strike by government forces in Aleppo's al-Ansari al-Sharqi neighborhood, April 2, 2014.
  • An Afghan man rides his bicycle past a woman and a boy sitting on a flooded street begging for money, following a heavy rain in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, April 2, 2014.
  • A Palestinian boy climbs a fence as he watches members of Palestinian security forces loyal to Hamas during a military graduation ceremony in Gaza City, April 2, 2014.
  • Afghan supporters of presidential candidate Abudullah Abdullah chant slogans during a political rally on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, April 2, 2014.
  • Afghan supporters run to get a good spot near the stage after they entered a field to see Afghan presidential candidate Abudullah Abdullah speak at an election rally on the last day of campaigning by presidential candidates on the outskirts of Kabul on April 2, 2014. Some 12 million Afghans go to the polls on April 5 to choose a successor to President Hamid Karzai and to decide the make-up of 34 provincial councils in elections seen as a benchmark of progress since the Taliban were ousted from power in 2001. Eight candidates are running in the April 5 presidential election, with a second round run-off between the two leading contenders expected in late May.
  • Boys with their heads shaven play "Dongjasung," or little monk, soccer to celebrate upcoming Buddha's birthday on May 6 at a temple on Jeju Island, South Korea, April 2, 2014.
  • Iraqi workers clean furnace pipes at a cement plant in Najaf, south of Baghdad, April 2, 2014.
  • An Afghan family spends their time outdoors observing the ancient festival of Sizdeh Bedar, an annual public picnic day on the 13th day of the Iranian new year, at Pardisan Park, in Tehran, Iran, April 2, 2014.
  • A man takes a nap on a couch under an electronic board displaying share prices during trading session at the Karachi Stock Exchange in Pakistan, April 2, 2014.
  • A man walks through an arcade in the Hofgarten gardens, which are flooded by sunlight, in Munich, Germany, April 2, 2014.
  • Teodocio Perez, 71, covered with a thin layer of wet sand, looks out at the Pacific Ocean during his morning exercises on the Playa de Pescadores shore in Lima, Peru, April 2, 2014.
  • Sub-Saharan migrants shout slogans and wave as they sit on top of a metal fence that divides Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla on April 3, 2014. Spanish and Moroccan police have thwarted a fresh attempt by dozens of African migrants to try to scale border fences to enter the Spanish enclave of Melilla.
  • An Afghan girl looks out the window of her home in Kabul, Afghanistan, April 3, 2014.
  • An Afghan girl helps her brother down from a security barrier set up outside the Independent Election Commission (IEC) office in the eastern Afghan city of Khost, April 3, 2014.
  • Opposition demonstrators clash with National Bolivarian police members in the Chacao area of Caracas, Venezuela, April 2, 2014.
  • Elizabeth Mendez, a member of the Madungand community of Panama, attends the Inter American Court of Human Rights (IAHR court) headquarters in San Jose, Costa Rica, April 2, 2014. The court held a hearing into a claim by indigenous villages against the state of Panama for alleged violations of their rights due to the construction of a hydroelectric power plant.
  • Fishermen look to salvage any remains in the port of Iquique, Chile, April 2, 2014. The earthquake, which hit regions of Arica, Parinacota, Tarapaca and Antofagasta, has left at least six dead.
  • A rebel fighter gestures as he runs across a street in Mleha suburb of Damascus, during what the rebel fighters said was an offensive against them by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, April 2, 2014.
  • A crew member sits in the cockpit of a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft as it continues searching in the southern Indian Ocean for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, April 1, 2014. Up to 10 planes and nine ships from a half-dozen countries on Wednesday scoured a stretch of the Indian Ocean roughly the size of Britain, where Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is believed to have crashed more than three weeks ago.
  • Residents walk to higher ground after following Tuesday's earthquake, in the northern port of Iquique, Chile, April 2, 2014. The quake struck off northern Chile late on Wednesday, prompting tsunami alerts and evacuations along the coast and in neighboring Peru.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry looks out of a window while waiting to meet with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in Zeralda outside of Algiers, April 3, 2014.
  • A demonstrator stands in front of riot police officers during a European trade union protest against austerity measures, in central Brussels April 4, 2014.
  • A masked Palestinian takes cover during a protest calling for the release of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, outside Ofer,  an Israeli military prison near the West Bank city of Ramallah, April 4, 2014.
  • A girl runs past a tree along the roadside in the outskirts of Islamabad April 4, 2014.
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This Week in Pictures: Mar. 29-Apr. 4

Updated

It was a week of election rallies and campaigning, as countries from Afghanistan to Turkey and India prepared for upcoming elections. In Afghanistan, security concerns continue to threaten hopes that the election will bring about a peaceful democratic transfer of power. The news Friday morning of the death of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, Anya Niedringhaus, by an Afghan police officer, brought these concerns into stark relief.

Cherry blossoms in full bloom marked the arrival of spring in Japan, while less beneficent weather hindered ongoing search efforts for victims of last week’s mudslide in Oso, Washington, and accelerated the race against time to find the black box - and any debris at all - from Malaysia Airlines flight 370, which disappeared nearly a month ago. A massive earthquake hit off the northern coast of Chile, triggering fears of aftershocks along the coast into Peru.

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