The frontrunners for the US Republican presidential nomination: former Sen. Rick Santorum, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich at a debate in Tampa Bay, Florida. Photo: Scanpix

Damaged houses from the Syrian government forces’ shelling in Homs province, Syria, in early February 2012. A government offensive here has created a deepening humanitarian crisis. 
Photo: Scanpix

Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba speaks as Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda attends a rally to call on Russia to return a group of islands, called Northern Territories by Tokyo and the Southern Kurils by Moscow, in Tokyo on February 7, 2012. The banner in the background reads,”Return the four northern islands”. Moscow is said to be planning a referendum on the future of the islands.  Photo: Scanpix