Yemeni protesters show their ink-stained fingers at a demonstration encouraging people to take part in the February 2012 presidential vote. Abd Rabbuh Mansur al-Hadi, the former vice president under President Ali Abdullah Saleh, ran uncontested on the ballot. The vote came after a popular uprising against Saleh, who ruled Yemen for more than three decades.
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Afghan children play in the hills above the capital Kabul. As the US-led war entered its eleventh year, in May NATO-member countries endorsed an exit plan that would turnover control of the country to Afghan forces in 2013. However, the Taliban has made gains and stepped up attacks on NATO and government targets, including the infiltration of the security forces.
Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai reads a book as she recuperates in Birmingham, UK, in November. Malala, 15, was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman for advocating girls' education in Pakistan.
Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu points to a red line he has drawn on the graphic of a bomb as he addresses the 67th UN General Assembly. Israel has long threatened a strike on Iran if it doesn't halt its nuclear programme, which Tehran argues is for peaceful purposes. US-led sanctions on Iran, in place since after the 1979 revolution, were strengthened in 2012.
Israeli border police officers use pepper spray on a Palestinian protester during Land Day demonstrations on March 30.
Matthew Cassel/Al Jazeera
Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's president, addressed supporters after winning round one of the country's presidential elections in May 2012. Morsi would go on to win the second round against Ahmed Shafik, who served under as the last prime minister under Hosni Mubarak before the former president was forced out of office in February 2011.
A fighter from the opposition Free Syrian Army takes cover during clashes with Syrian forces in central Aleppo in August. By the end of the 2012, the UN estimated that more than 40,000 people had died in the war that began as a popular uprising against Assad's rule in March 2011.
Matthew Cassel/Al Jazeera
A Syrian refugee stands with his daughter in the Islahiyeh refugee camp in southern Turkey. As the conflict inside Syria continues, UNHCR, the UN agency for refugees, estimates more than 500,000 people have sought refuge in neighbouring countries.
Palestinian emergency services in Gaza City extinguish the burned out destroyed car of Hamas's top military leader Ahmed Jaabari after he was assassinated in an Israeli air strike on November 14. The killing set off a week of fighting between Israel and groups in Gaza that left six Israelis and more than 150 Palestinian dead.
A protester reacts as the US Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames during a demonstration by an armed group said to have been protesting an anti-Islam video produced in the US. The September 11 attack on the consulate left Christopher Stevens, US ambassador to Libya, and three other employees of the diplomatic mission dead.
†South African police stand over the bodies of striking mineworkers they shot dead near the Marikana platinum mine in Rustenburg on August 16. Thirty-four workers were killed in the deadliest use of force by security forces since the end of the apartheid era nearly two decades ago. The strikes at Marikana spread across the country lasting for weeks as miners and politicians called for nationalisation of the country's mines.
Azad Essa/Al Jazeera
M23 rebels withdrew from areas of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in November.
†Senegal, once considered a beacon of democracy in the troubled West African region, was plagued by violent demonstrations against President Abdoulaye Wade's re-election bid in February 2012. Thousands took to the streets of the capital Dakkar and other cities to protest against Wade's attempt to bypass a constitutional reform that restricts a president to a two-term limit. The 85-year-old lost the elections to former prime minister Macky Sall, bringing to an end his 12 years in office.
Britain's Mo Farah reacts as he wins the men's 5000m final at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 11.
Members of the Movement of Landless Rural Workers, who are protesting for change in the process of land reform, hold a flag up by burning tyres on a highway in Brasilia, Brazil, on November 21.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez addresses hundreds of thousands of supporters under the rain during his closing campaign event in Caracas on October 4. The incumbent Chavez beat his challenger, Henrique Capriles Radonski, by more than 10 per cent of votes in an election that saw an 80 per cent voter turnout.
†A physically disabled woman on her wheelchair clashes with riot police in the centre of La Paz on February 23. Hundreds of physically disabled people arrived in the Bolivian capital after completing a protest march of some 1600 km over a hundred days to demand that the government offer more support to the country's disabled.
Rosa Maria Sastre Castilla, 46, (left to right), her mother Carmen Castilla, 77, and her sister Carmen Aurora, 49, sit with their belongings on the street that has been their home for the past two weeks in Madrid on June 8. All of them were evicted from their rental apartment on April 24 after Rosa, the sole breadwinner, lost her job and couldn't pay for the monthly rent. Spain, which has suffered from the economic crisis, has struggled to deal with a rising number of suicides from people evicted from their homes in 2012.
A uniformed police officer joins a rally held by members of the Greek security forces to stage a symbolic hanging in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens. Protests have lasted for months in debt-ridden Greece against government austerity policies, which include cuts to security forces' pay and benefits.
Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters
Muslim pilgrims sit on Mount Mercy on the plains of Arafat in the early morning during the annual haj pilgrimage near the holy city of Mecca on October 25.
Worshippers try to form a human pyramid to break a clay pot containing curd during the celebrations to mark the Hindu festival of Janmashtami in Mumbai on August 10. Janmashtami, which marks the birthday of Hindu god Krishna, was celebrated across India.
The skyline of lower Manhattan, New York, is mostly in darkness except for the Goldman Sachs building after a preventive power outage caused by Hurricane Sandy on October 30. The storm killed at least 131 people in the US, and more than 100 people in Haiti, Cuba and elsewhere in the Caribbean.
†US President Barack Obama winning re-election on November 6. Obama won his second term in office, beating Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
The Space Shuttle Endeavour is escorted by two F18 jets as it passes the Hollywood sign on the back of a 747 on its arrival in Los Angeles on September 21. 2012 marked the end of NASA's shuttle programme, and also the August 25 death of Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon in 1969.
Lintao Zhang/Getty Images
China's new leader, Xi Jinping, centre, is accompanied by members of the Politburo Standing Committee formed by the 18th congress of the country's ruling Communist Party. The party's central committee elected Xi elected as general secretary on November 15.
Kaung Htet/Getty Images
Khin Khin Thant, a 23-year-old mother of four, sits with other Rohingya refugees after arriving at the Thae Chaung refugee camp in western Myanmar. Tens of thousands were displaced in ethnic clashes between Buddhist Rakhine and Muslim Rohingya which began in June. Myanmar's Rohingya community has long been considered by the UN as one of the world's most persecuted minorities.
Erik De Castro/Reuters
A woman dries her laundry next to her family's makeshift tent in Montevista town in Compostela Valley in the southern Philippines on December 6. Typhoon Bopha left hundreds dead and hundreds of thousands homeless within days of hitting the Philippines.