The day in pictures - 11th February 2013

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Performers entertain thousands of revellers on the streets of Rio de Janeiro. The extravaganza, which brings the country to a standstill, began on Friday and culminates on Tuesday.

Samba schools prepare all year for their chance to show off their skills in the Sambadrome.

Thousands of revellers gather in Brazil's capital city. Credit: Reuters/Ricardo Moraes

Beijing, China

A performer guides a live snake through his nose and mouth in Beijing to celebrate the transition between the Year of the Dragon and the start of the Year of the Snake.

A performer inserts a live snake through his nose and mouth during a performance at the Ditan Temple Fair. Credit: REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic

Bani Hushaish, Yemen

A tribesman waves the Yemen national flag on top of a cliff. It marks the commemoration of the second anniversary of the uprising against Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

A tribesman waves the Yemen national flag. Credit: REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi

Rome, Italy

A puppet of Italy’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is operated by an Italian actress. The puppets of Berlusconi and other political leaders were featured on the satirical television show “Gli Sgommati” ahead of national elections.

An Italian actress operates the puppet of Italy's former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Credit: REUTERS/Tony Gentile

Vatican City, Vatican

Pope Benedict XVI made a shock resignation announcement today, he said he was stepping down because of his "advanced age."

Pope Benedict XVI has announced his resignation. Credit: REUTERS/Osservatore Romano

North Yorkshire, England

Horses are exercised on the gallops at Middleham, North Yorkshire after more snowfall over the weekend.

Horses are exercised in Middleham. Credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong

Fireworks explode over Victoria Harbour during Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations. The Lunar New Year began on February 10 with celebrations taking place across the world.

Fireworks explode over Victoria Harbour to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year in Hong Kong. Credit: REUTERS/Tyrone Siu