WEEK IN PHOTOS: Speedboat Santas, Baby Hippo, and More

WEEK IN PHOTOS: Speedboat Santas, Baby Hippo, More
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Vatican City, December 18, 2008--The Christmas tree lighting ceremony in front of St. Peter's Basilica carried on despite days of downpours that had flooded parts of Rome, whose government declared a state of emergency.

Every year a different region gives the Vatican a tree. This year's 108-foot-high (33-meter-high) Norway spruce was donated by Gutenstein, Austria. The town will also provide 40 smaller trees to be displayed around Vatican City.

This year's tree is the tallest since Pope John Paul II launched the tradition in 1982, according to the Associated Press. The spruce is adorned with 2,000 gold and silver balls, white lights, and a glowing star.
—Photograph by Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images
 
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