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This week in pictures: Turkey tragedies, coronavirus panic and Groundhog Day

Polish military personnel wearing protective suits stand on board a military aircraft that was used to transport evacuees from Wuhan, China.
Polish military personnel wearing protective suits stand on board a military aircraft that was used to transport evacuees from Wuhan, China. Copyright Arek Rataj/AP Photo
Copyright Arek Rataj/AP Photo
By Natalia Liubchenkova
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Here is our selection of the best pictures from this week.


It was a tragic week for Turkey where avalanche and a plane crash claimed lives. Around the world, panic over coronavirus was spreading as quickly as the infection and a famous groundhog predicted an early spring. Here's a look on this week in pictures carefully selected for you.

Italian train derailed

A high-speed passenger train has derailed in northern Italy, killing two railway workers and injuring 27 people.

Antonio Calanni/AP Photo
A police officer inspects an overturned carriage of a high-speed train after the train derailed in the countryside near the town of Lodi, northern Italy.Antonio Calanni/AP Photo

Avalanche and plane crash in Turkey

An avalanche slammed into a mountain road in eastern Turkey on Wednesday, wiping out a huge team of rescue workers sent to find people missing in an earlier avalanche. The number of people known to have died was put at 38.

Yilmaz Sonmez/IHA via AP
Emergency service members work in the snow around overturned vehicles, near the town of Bahcesaray, Van province, eastern Turkey.Yilmaz Sonmez/IHA via AP

A plane broke into pieces after it skidded off the runway and crashed into a field at Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen Airport on Wednesday. As the wreck of the Pegasus Airlines plane was still being examined on Thursday, survivors of the ordeal - that killed three - have described their experience.

Emrah Gurel/AP Photo
Turkish police guard the wreckage of a plane operated by Pegasus Airlines after it skidded Wednesday off the runway at Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen Airport, in Istanbul, Turkey.Emrah Gurel/AP PhotoEmrah Gurel

Coronavirus panic spreading

Coronavirus panic was only encreasing this week with photographs of extraordinary measures coming from different parts of the world. Britain and Germany announced more cases of the Wuhan coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the total number of confirmed virus cases in Europe to 29.

Chinatopix via AP
Workers arrange beds in a convention center that has been converted into a temporary hospital in Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province.Chinatopix via AP
Chinatopix via AP
Workers in protective suits sit outside a hotel being used for people held in medical isolation in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province.Chinatopix via AP

Protests and clashes in Lesbos

Riot forces used tear gas on the Greek island of Lesbos on Monday against asylum seekers, two thousand of whom demonstrated against the new law tightening asylum procedures in Greece, we learned from police sources.

Manolis Lagoutaris / AFP
A young child creams during clashes between asylum seekers and riot police during a demonstration outside the Kara Tepe camp, on the island of Lesbos, Greece.Manolis Lagoutaris / AFP

After Brexit

Britain is getting used to its new status after leaving the EU. Both sides face a huge challenge to strike a trade deal and address the future relationship before a standstill transition period ends in December 2020.

Frank Augstein, Pool/AP Photo
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlines his government's negotiating stance with the European Union after Brexit, during a key speech at the Old Naval College in Greenwich, London.Frank Augstein, Pool/AP Photo

Spring is around the corner?

Pennsylvania’s famed groundhog, 'Punxsutawney Phil', has predicted (according to his handlers) that spring will come early this year. The annual Groundhog Day festivities have their origin in the superstition that if a groundhog emerging from its burrow on February 2 sees a shadow due to clear weather, it will retreat to its den and winter will persist for six more weeks.

Barry Reeger/AP Photo
Groundhog Club co-handler holds Punxsutawney Phil, the weather prognosticating groundhog, during the 134th celebration of Groundhog Day. Phil's handlers said that the groundhog has forecast an early spring.Barry Reeger/AP Photo
Barry Reeger/AP Photo
Groundhog Club co-handlers John Griffiths and Al Dereume hold Punxsutawney Phil, the weather prognosticating groundhog, during the 134th celebration of Groundhog Day.Barry Reeger/AP PhotoBarry Reeger

Missile tests

A captivating image was created by the launch of a US Air Force unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile as part of a developmental test. The missile blasted off from a base in California just after midnight local time and its reentry vehicle travelled 6,500km to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

Senior Airman Clayton Wear/U.S. Air Force via AP
This photo provided by the U.S. Air Force shows the launch of an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile during a developmental test early Wednesday, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.Senior Airman Clayton Wear/U.S. Air Force via AP

French strikes

Pension reform is being debated in the French parliament and resistance remains high in public opinion. Strikes by different groups of of different public workers, including lawyers, continued this week.

Jean-Christophe Verhaegen/AFP
Lawyers prepare an action beside a skeleton in front of the courthouse in Sarreguemines, northeastern France, to protest against the French government reform of the pension system.Jean-Christophe Verhaegen/AFP
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