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AP PHOTOS: Top pictures from Europe and Africa

December 9, 2014

LONDON (AP) — Fighting between government forces and Russian-backed rebels remained intense in eastern Ukraine last week, prompting Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to announce plans for a one-day test truce to help build a more lasting peace.

The declaration to hold a “day of silence” in the fighting marks a new attempt to revive a September cease-fire deal that has been violated almost daily.

A gun battle also broke out in the capital of Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Chechnya, just hours before Russian President Vladimir Putin gave his annual state of the nation address in Moscow. The clashes in Grozny dented a carefully nurtured image of stability created by Chechnya’s Kremlin-backed strongman after two separatist wars and raised fears of widening unrest in Russia’s volatile North Caucasus region.

In Greece, police detained 211 people after a march in Athens marking the anniversary of the fatal police shooting of an unarmed teenager turned violent. Marchers damaged storefronts and bus stations. In the neighborhood of Exarchia, a haven for extreme leftists, youths ambushed police with firebombs and rocks thrown from balconies.

In Madrid, people protested against homophobia at a Burger King restaurant after a security guard asked a kissing gay couple to leave.

Victoria’s Secret brought its annual catwalk show to the British capital, dazzling guests with a high-octane mix of fashion and entertainment that featured 47 extravagantly dressed models and a performance by pop princess Taylor Swift.

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