12 captivating pics that sum up what happened this week around the globe.

Whether you missed the big headlines this week because you were busy living your own life (YOLO!) or you simply needed a break from the 24/7 news cycle (believe me, I get it), don't worry — I got you covered.

Here's this week in news, in 12 captivating photos.


1. The "British Forrest Gump," who'd had a bad case of wanderlust, completed a 10,500-mile journey on foot.

Photo by Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images.

Jamie Ramsey finally made it home to Britain on Jan. 10 after running from Vancouver, Canada, to Buenos Aires, Argentina. It took him roughly 17 months to complete the cross-continental trek, and he raised a boatload of money for charity along the way.

2. The world said goodbye to one of music's all-time greats, Mr. David Bowie.

A fan mourns Bowie's death near a mural of him in London. Photo by Chris Ratcliffe/AFP/Getty Images.

Bowie died of cancer on Jan. 10 at the age of 69. The world took a moment to remember how he profoundly changed the music industry in more ways than one.

And, of course, Bowie wasn't the only beloved British entertainer lost to cancer this week. On Jan. 14, the world learned that Alan Rickman had died in London.

3. President Obama confessed one of his "few regrets" during his final State of the Union address.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

“It’s one of the few regrets of my presidency — that the rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better,” Obama said in Washington on Jan. 12. Sure, a lot of things have improved on Obama's watch (job creation, LGBT rights, an increase in clean energy use) but bipartisanship isn't one of them.

4. This Hindu holy man had a smoke before taking a dip in honor of Makar Sankranti.

Photo by Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty Images.

A Hindu holy man, or sadhu, smoked cannabis on Gangasagar Island (also known as Sagar Island) on Jan. 13 in India. He was one of about half-a-million Hindu pilgrims that made the voyage to take a holy dip where the Ganges River and the Bay of Bengal meet in recognition of Makar Sankranti, a holy day of the Hindu calendar, according to Getty.

5. Lawrence Erekosima made ... confetti angels? ... in celebration of his team's big win on the football field.

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images.

Roll tide! The University of Alabama's football team knocked off the Clemson Tigers, 45-40, in the College Football Playoff National Championship game on Jan. 11 in Arizona. As seen above, Alabama's #43 Lawrence Erekosima clearly enjoyed the win.

6. This woman used her animal instincts to help protect creatures in China.

Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images.

A woman dressed up like a giraffe and fed a real giraffe at Songcheng Theme Park in Sanya, China, to promote animal protection, Getty reported. She was just one of 10 others in the park that day who used body paint to send the message to onlookers.

7. Taraji P. Henson snagged a Golden Globe for her role in "Empire" ... and looked great doing it.

Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images.

Taraji P. Henson won big at the 73rd annual Golden Globes in Los Angeles on Jan. 10. Leonardo DiCaprio, Brie Larson, the creator of "Mr. Robot," and many others all had stellar nights to write home about too.

8. The ocean lost a few of its most magnificent creatures.

Photo by Remko de Waal/AFP/Getty Images.

Five sperm whales died on Jan. 13 after being beached on the Dutch island of Texel. Rescue teams were unable to save the poor things after they were spotted ashore on Tuesday.

9. China's unstable stock markets continued sparking global anxieties.

Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images.

An investor checks out how his country's economy is fairing in Hangzhou, China, on Jan. 11. Stocks over there haven't had the best 2016 so far (to put it lightly). They plummeted after the New Year, as CNBC reported, but seem to be reaching at least a bit of stability in recent days.

10. The National Guard had to step in to help save Flint, Michigan, from poisonous public water (yes, in America).

Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images.

Two years ago, Flint, Michigan, switched up the community's water supply to save a buck. The decision — which was ultimately the state's — turned out to be a disaster, as residents began consuming poisonous levels of lead. This week — after the National Guard began delivering water to residents (seen above on Jan. 13) and news broke that the failure may be linked to a spike in cases of Legionnaires' disease — community members are (justifiably) furious with Gov. Rick Snyder.

11. A shoe-shaped church (for real) now exists in Taiwan. So, naturally, tourists are all about it.

Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images.

If you've ever wondered if a glass slipper shaped church exists, well now you know. This one's in the Southwest Coast National Scenic Area of Taiwan — not in Eagleton, Indiana ("Parks and Recreation" reference, anyone?). It'll officially open its doors in February. But in the meantime, these tourists, spotted on Jan. 11, couldn't help but a snap a pic.

Although it may technically be a church, there won't be religious services there, as BBC News points out. It'll mostly be used as a space for weddings. And if you're wondering ... why a shoe? Well, duh — they're trying to attract brides to use the location. Because everyone knows that all women just adore shoes, right? (Smart move, guys.)

12. An artist created this masterpiece gown out of 5,940 ruffles of red paper ... and some elbow grease.

Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for Sotheby's.

Zoe Bradle completed her ridiculously cool art piece made out of (just shy of) 6,000 ruffles at Sotheby's in London on Jan. 14. (Yes, you're looking at a red paper dress sculpture, not an actual dress.)

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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via Wikimedia Commons and Goalsetter

America's ethnic wealth gap is a multi-faceted problem that would take dramatic action, on multiple fronts, to overcome. One of the ways to help communities improve their economic well-being is through financial literacy.

Investopedia says there are five primary sources of financial education—families, high school, college, employers, and the military — and that education and household income are two of the biggest factors in predicting whether someone has a high level of financial literacy.

New Orleans Saints safety, two-time Super Bowl Champion, and social justice activist Malcolm Jenkins and The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation hope to help bridge the wealth gap by teaching students about investing at a young age.

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2020 was difficult (to say the least). The year was full of life changes, losses, and lessons as we learned to navigate the "new normal." You may have questions about what the changes and challenges of 2020 mean for your taxes. That's where TurboTax Live comes in, making it easy to connect with real tax experts to help with your taxes – or even do them for you, start to finish.

Not only has TurboTax Live helped millions of people get their taxes done right, but this year they've also celebrated people who uplifted their communities during a difficult time by surprising them with "little lifts" to help out even more.

Here are a few of their stories:


Julz, hairdresser and salon owner

"As a hairdresser and salon owner, 2020 was extremely challenging," says Julz. "Being a hairdresser has historically been a recession-proof industry, but we've never faced global shut down due to health risk, or pandemic, not in my lifetime. And for the first time, hairdressers didn't have job security."

Julz had to shut down her salon and go on unemployment benefits for the first time. She also had to figure out how she was going to support herself, her staff and her business during this difficult time. But many other beauty industry professionals didn't have access to the resources they needed, so Julz decided to help.

"My business partner and I began teaching basic financial literacy to other beauty industry professionals," she says. "Transitioning our business from behind the chair to an online academy was a challenge we tackled head-on so that we could move hairdressers into this new space of education, and create a more accessible curriculum to better serve our industry.

Julz connected with a TurboTax Live expert who helped her understand how unemployment affected her taxes and gave her guidance on filing quarterly estimated taxes for her small business. "I was terrified to sit at a computer and tackle this mess of receipts," Julz says, so "it was great to have some virtual handholding to walk me through each question."

In addition to giving Julz the personalized tax advice she needed, TurboTax Live surprised her with a "little lift" that empowered her to help even more beauty professionals. "When my tax expert Diana surprised me with a little lift, I was moved to tears," says Julz. "With that little lift, I was able to establish a scholarship fund to help get other hairdressers the education they deserve."


Alana, new mom

Alana welcomed her first child in 2020. "I think my biggest challenge was figuring out how to be a mom, with no guidance," she says. "My original plan was to have my mom by my side, teaching me the ropes, but because of COVID, she wasn't able to come out here."

She was also without a job for most of 2020 and struggled to find something new.

So, Alana took it as a sign: she decided to launch her own business so she could support her new baby, and that's exactly what she did. She started a feel-good company that specializes in creating affirmation card decks — and she's currently in the process of starting a second, video-editing business.

TurboTax Live answered Alana's questions about her taxes and gave her some much-needed advice as she prepared to launch her businesses. Thanks to their "little lift," they provided her with a little emotional support too.

"I got my mom a plane ticket to finally [have her] meet [my daughter] for her first birthday," Alana says. "I was also able to get a new computer," which helped her invest in her new business and work on her video editing skills. "It's helped my family and me so much," she says.


Michael, science teacher

When schools shut down across the country last year, Michael had to learn how to adapt to a virtual classroom.

"As a teacher, I had to completely revamp everything," he says, so that he could keep his students engaged while teaching online. "At the beginning, it was a nightmare because I had no idea. I had to go from A-Z within a couple of weeks."

Michael's TurboTax Live expert answered his questions about how working from home affected his taxes and helped him uncover surprising tax deductions. To top it all off, his expert surprised him with brand new science equipment and supplies, which allowed him to create an entire line of classes on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. "Now I can truly potentially reach millions of children with my lessons," he says. "I would never have taken that leap if not for the little lift from TurboTax Live."



Ricky, motivational youth speaker

As a motivational speaker, Ricky was used to doing his job in person, but, he says, "when COVID-19 hit, it altered my ability to travel and visit schools in person [because] schools moved to fully virtual or hybrid models."

He knew he had to pivot — so he began offering small virtual group workshops for student leadership groups at middle and high schools.

"This allowed me to work with student leaders to plan how they would continue making a positive impact on their school community," he says. He wasn't sure how being remote would affect his taxes, but TurboTax Live Self-Employed gave him the advice and answers that he needed to keep more money in his pocket at tax time — and the little lift he received from them has helped him serve even more students.

"[It] has been a major blessing," he says "There will be multiple schools and student groups from across the country that I can hold leadership workshops with to empower them with the tools to be inspirational leaders in their school, community, and world."

Plus, he says, it was great knowing he had an expert to help him figure out how being remote affected his taxes. "I felt confident and assured in the process of filing my taxes knowing I had an expert working with me, says Ricky. "There were things my expert knew that I would not have considered when filing on my own."

Filing your taxes doesn't have to be intimidating, especially after a year like 2020. TurboTax Live experts can give you the "little lift" you need to get your taxes done. File with the help of an expert or let an expert file for you! Go to TurboTax Live to get started.