On Feb. 26, U.S. President Barack Obama visited Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Virginia, where he spoke about the impact the sequester would have on the defense industry and its workers. Above, President Obama waves to the crowd that gathered at the shipyard. As March 1 fell, Congress had still failed to reach a deal and cuts were scheduled to go into effect. Here, Justin Hienz writes about how the sequester could actually make air travel better, while Norm Ornstein argues that, regardless of what happens, it has already done real, long-term damage to the government.
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On Feb. 26, former NBA star Dennis Rodman, three members of the Harlem Globetrotters, and a film crew traveled to Pyongyang for some exhibition games and an audience with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a devoted basketball fan. Above, in a picture that was plastered across the front page of the state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper, Kim Jong Un and Dennis Rodman watch an exhibition game in Pyongyang on Feb. 28. Kim Jong Un later invited the group to a party at his palace.
Beijing was hit by its first sandstorm of the year on Feb. 28, ratcheting its air pollution levels up to hazardous heights. Above is a general view of the skyscrapers in the sandstorm, taken on Feb. 28 in Beijing.
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On Feb. 27, Britain's Prince Harry visited Lesotho, where his charity Sentebale (meaning "forget-me-not"), which he co-founded with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho, helps the country's most vulnerable children. In this photo, taken a day before Prince Harry's visit, a herd boy looks on during a visit by Sentebale staff in Mokhotlong, Lesotho.
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On Feb. 23, thousands of public health workers, civil servants, and disaffected citizens converged on central Madrid to protest against the austerity measures of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. Above, the demonstrators are pictured on Calle Alcala during the march.
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In this photo, Italian former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi casts his ballot at a polling station on Feb. 24 in Milan. The results of the election were murky. While the center-left won a majority in the Chamber of Deputies, Berlusconi's center-right party scored a majority in the Senate. Moreover, the anti-establishment, anti-EU Five Star Movement earned 24 percent in the Senate, meaning that only laws that have the support of two euroskeptic parties, Berlusconi's People of Freedom and the Five Star Movement, will be passed. Gianni Riotta wonders here whether anyone can rise above the muck of Italian politics, while here, FP looks at the larger-than-life career of Silvio Berlusconi in pictures.
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A villager wearing traditional war dress poses in Bawomataluo village in Nias Island, Indonesia, on Feb. 22.
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Former Cardinal Keith O'Brien is pictured inside his official residence on Feb. 26 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The former Cardinal, who was Britain's most senior Roman Catholic and head of the Scottish Catholic Church, has resigned following allegations from three priests and one former priest that he made "unwanted advances" towards younger clergy.
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Feb. 28 was Pope Benedict XVI's last day in office. The former pontiff cited ailing health as his reason for retirement and will spend the rest of his life in solitude away from public engagements. Above, a nun takes a photograph as the sun sets behind St. Peter's Basilica on Feb. 26 in Vatican City, Vatican. The next pope's greatest challenges will stem from the fundamental divide between conservatives and progressives in the church, writes Paolo Mastrolilli. Malte Lehming wonders how Germans will remember their fellow countryman's tenure as pope, while Gautam Mukunda explains why old leaders -- including Benedict -- shouldn't be trusted.
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After a tumultuous confirmation hearing in the Senate, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel was sworn in during a small private ceremony on Feb. 27 at the Department of Defense (DOD). In this photo taken later on the same day, Hagel speaks to service members and employees of the DOD during a daily staff meeting at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia.
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Princess Cristina of Spain's husband, Inaki Urdangarin, Duke of Palma, arrives at the Palma de Mallorca courthouse to give evidence during the during the "Palma Arena trial" on Feb. 23 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. The son-in-law of King Juan Carlos of Spain will testify in court over allegations that he misused millions of euros of public funds during his tenure as chairman of the non-profit Instituto Noos from 2004 to 2006. Public prosecutors suspect the foundation of siphoning away funds from public contracts and distributing the money to companies run by Urdangarin and to offshore bank accounts.
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In this Feb. 23 photo, a newly stenciled rat holding a sign that says "Why?" appears on the side of a building in London, England, right next to where old Banksy artwork was gouged out of the wall a few weeks ago. The original Banksy artwork, entitled "Slave Labour," suddenly turned up in Miami to go to auction, but the auction was canceled amongst public uproar.
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A South Korean man spins a fire can during "Jwibulnoli" -- a South Korean folk game -- alongside the Han River on Feb. 23 in Seoul, South Korea. The event is part of a Korean holiday that celebrates the first full moon of the lunar new year.
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Above, a man enjoys the muddy thrills of a waterslide dug into a hillside in Waimauku on Feb. 23 in Auckland, New Zealand. The 650-meter water slide, the world's longest, was open for two days to raise funds for the Live More Awesome charity and to raise awareness about depression.
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Ultra-Orthodox Jews celebrate Purim at a synagogue on Feb. 23 in Bnei Brak, Israel. 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.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel walk along a section of the recently constructed fence at the U.S.-Mexico border on Feb. 26 in Nogales, Arizona. The newest generation of fencing allows Border Patrol agents to see through the fence and is harder to scale from the Mexican side.
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In this photo, people walk around a Buddha statue holding candles for prayers during Makha Bucha Day at Buddhist Park on Feb. 25 in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand. Makha Bucha Day is celebrated in Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos on the full moon of the third lunar month.
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Marine recruits listen to instructions as they prepare for a swimming test during boot camp on Feb. 25 at Parris Island, South Carolina. Male and female recruits are expected to meet the same standards during their swim qualification test.
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Pedestrians walk down a street in Prairie Village, Kansas, on Feb. 26 after a snowstorm hit the Midwest. This was the second major snowstorm in the American heartland this week.
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A Syrian man stands on the rubble of his house while others look for survivors and bodies in the Tariq al-Bab district of Aleppo on Feb. 23. Three surface-to-surface missiles fired by Syrian regime forces left 58 people dead, among them 36 children, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Sen. Bob Casey argues here that it's time for the United States to take a more assertive approach in helping the Syrian opposition.
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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talks on a mobile phone while sitting in his limousine following his arrival at Tegel Airport for a two-day visit to Germany on Feb. 25 in Berlin, Germany. On Feb. 28, Kerry met with Syrian opposition leaders in Rome, and the Obama administration promised $60 million of direct non-lethal assistant to the Syrian rebels.
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