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December 17, 2012

2012 Year in Pictures: Part I

Another year has come and gone and with it hundreds of thousands of images have recorded the world's evolving history; moments in individual lives; the weather and it's affects on the planet; acts of humanity and tragedies brought by man and by nature. The following is a compilation - not meant to be comprehensive in any way - of images from the first 4 months of 2012. Parts II and III to follow this week. -- Paula Nelson ( 64 photos total)

Fireworks light up the skyline and Big Ben just after midnight, January 1, 2012 in London, England. Thousands of people lined the banks of the River Thames in central London to ring in the New Year with a spectacular fireworks display. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak leaves on a stretcher after a new session of his trial at the Police Academy, in Cairo, Egypt, Jan. 2 2012. The trial of Mubarak will resume Jan. 3, where the prosecution will give its closing argument over three days. (EPA)#

Protesters chant slogans as they march through Ikorodu road during a protest against a fuel subsidy removal in Lagos, Jan. 9, 2012. Thousands of Nigerians took to the streets across Africa's top oil producing nation, launching an indefinite nationwide strike to protest against the axing of fuel subsidies. (Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters)#

A man injured in a bomb blast puts on his shoe before being taken to the hospital in the Khyber region, near Peshawar, Pakistan. A bomb targeting a tribal militia opposed to the Pakistani Taliban exploded in a market close to the Afghan border, killing dozens of people in the deadliest blast in the country in several months, Jan. 10, 2012. (Qazi Rauf/Associsted Press)#

Anti-riot police take cover behind shields after residents threw a Molotov cocktail during the demolition of shanties in Corazon De Jesus village in San Juan city, metro Manila, Jan. 11, 2012. At least 12 people were injured during clashes as a demolition team attempted to clear the area to make way for a new city hall. (Romeo Ranoco/Reuters)#

People travel on an outdoor public escalator at Commune 13 in Medellin, Jan. 12, 2012. A huge, 384 metres (1,260 ft) long outdoor escalator, divided into six sections, has been erected in one of the poorest districts of Colombia's second largest city to help the 12,000 residents there get around. (Fredy Builes/Reuters)#

Internally displaced people in Pibor, Jan. 12, 2012. The World Food Programme (WFP) started distributing food to 60,000 internally displaced people in South Sudan, according to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan. (Isaac Billy/UNMISS/Reuters/Handout)#

An instructor from the Tianjiao Special Guard/Security Consultant Ltd. Co, smashes a bottle over a female recruit's head during a training session for China's first female bodyguards in Beijing, Jan. 13, 2012. According to the company, the training session consists of 20 women, mostly college graduates, who will undergo 8-10 months of training to develop sufficient skills to become security guards. The company will then offer the best trainee a chance to attend the International Security Academy in Israel. (David Gray/Reuters)#

A man rides a horse through a bonfire, Jan. 16, 2012 in the small village of San Bartolome de Pinares, Spain. In honor of San Anton, the patron saint of animals, horses are riden through the bonfires on the night before the official day of honoring animals in Spain. (Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)#

A demonstrator wears a Guy Fawkes mask during an "Occupy Congress" rally at the West Front Lawn of the Capitol, Jan. 17, 2012 in Washington, DC. Hundreds of members of the "Occupy" movement from across the country participated in the Occupy Congress rally on Capitol Hill. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)#

The luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia run aground off the coast of Giglio in this Jan. 17, 2012 DigitalGlobe satellite photograph. Eleven people are confirmed dead and at least 23 are still missing from more than 4,200 passengers and crew after the Concordia ran aground two hours into a week-long cruise of the western Mediterranean. (DigitalGlobe/Reuters/Handout)#

Authorities detained a man during a march in which hundreds of people participated pleading for their demands and called by the Association of Housing Debtors on the main avenue of downtown Santiago de Chile heading to the presidential palace La Moneda, in Santiago, Chile, Jan. 7, 2012. (Mario Ruiz/EPA)#

A Palestinian man reacts upon the arrival of the body of a man, killed by an Israeli strike, at a hospital in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, Jan. 18, 2012. An Israeli aircraft and tank strike killed at least one Palestinian close to the border fence in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. (Mohammed Salem/Reuters)#

An Israeli homeless woman with her child warm themselves by the fire outside of the tents during a cold weather snap in Sacher Park in Jerusalem, Israel, Jan. 23, 2012. The homeless people staying at Sacher Park have lived in tents since the summer 2011 protest and have not been able to find a housing solution. (Abir Sultan/ EPA)#

Two Russian Orthodox priests lift a child from the ice-cold water to mark celebrations of the Epiphany Orthodox holiday, outside St. Petersburg, Russia, Jan. 19, 2012. People believe that dipping into blessed waters during the holiday of Epiphany strengthens their spirit and body. (Anatoly Maltxev/EPA)#

Mother of Palestinian Mohammed Abu Odah kisses his body during his funeral in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, Jan. 18, 2012. Israeli forces attacked a group of suspected Palestinian militants believed to have been planting a bomb along Gaza's border with the Jewish state. (Ali Ali/EPA)#

Severely malnourished two-year-old girl, Rajni, is weighed by health workers at the Nutritional Rehabilitation Centre of Shivpuri district in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, Feb. 1, 2012. India has failed to reduce its high prevalence of child malnutrition despite its economy doubling between 1990 and 2005 to become Asia's third largest. A government-supported survey last month said 42 percent of children under five are underweight - almost double that of sub-Saharan Africa - compared to 43 percent five years ago. The statistic - which means 3,000 children dying daily due to illnesses related to poor diets - forced Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to admit last month that malnutrition was "a national shame" and was putting the health of the nation in jeopardy. (Adnan Abidi/Reuters)#

A protester with tear gas cartridges shot by the riot police during clashes between protesters and riot police near the interior ministry, Feb. 3, 2012 in Cairo, Egypt. The protest follows the deaths of 74 football fans who were killed in clashes between rival fans following the match between al-Masry and al-Alhy in Port Said, Egypt. Three-days of mourning have been announced and marches are scheduled to protest at the lack of protection provided by police who were at the stadium when the violence occurred. (Carsten Koall/Getty Images)#

Two people stand in front of the Colosseum during a snowfall in Rome, Italy, Feb. 10, 2012. Schools and public offices were closed and snow-removal crews were in place as Rome was on high alert for a second winter blast. (Massimo Percossi/EPA)#

A child, with eyelashes covered with hoarfrost, along a street in the eastern Siberian city of Yakutsk in Sakha (Yakutia) Republic, Feb. 10, 2012. The air temperature in Yakutsk is about minus 35 degrees Celsius (minus 31 degrees Fahrenheit). (Viktor Everstov/Reuters)#

Demonstrators throw fire bombs toward riot police during violent protests in central Athens, Feb. 12, 2012. Thousands of demonstrators clashed with police as the Greek parliament prepared to vote on a new and deeply unpopular EU/IMF austerity deal, to secure a 130 billion euro bailout, aimed at saving Greece from bankruptcy and what Prime Minister Lucas Papademos warned would be "uncontrollable economic chaos". (Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)#

A picture combo shows a sightseeing boat on the roof of a guesthouse in Otsuchi, northern Japan, May 7, 2011, and a view of the same guesthouse, Feb. 15 2012. March 11, 2012 marked the first anniversary of the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan and triggered a nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. (Kimimasa Mayama/EPA)#

An Afghan shows a copy of the holy Koran that was allegedly burnt by US soldiers during a protest in Bagram, about 60 kilometres (40 miles) north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Feb. 21, 2012. Thousands of Afghans took to the street in a Bagram to protest the 'burning of the Koran' by NATO-led troops. (S. Sabawoon/EPA)#

Afghan children who lost their parents in a land mine blast in volatile Helmand province, sit near a stove in a refugees camp in Kabul, Afghanistan, Feb. 24, 2012. At least 24 children have died in refugee camps in Afghanistan as a result of freezing temperatures over the past two weeks. (Jawad Jalali/EPA)#

A physically disabled woman clashes with riot police in the centre of La Paz, Feb. 23, 2012. Hundreds of physically disabled people arrived in La Paz after completing a protest march of some 1600 km (994 miles) over a hundred days to demand that Bolivia's government offer support in the form of 3000 bolivianos ($434) payment to each physically disabled Bolivian. (David Mercado/Reuters)#

Bodies of two who were killed after a heavy shelling by government forces are covered with a mat in Sermeen near the northern city of Idlib, Feb. 28, 2012. (Zohra Bensemra/Reuters)#

A man confronts hooded protesters who were vandalizing a bank facility during a protest against spending cuts in public education in Barcelona, Feb. 29, 2012. (Albert Gea/Retuers)#

Steve McDonald stands in the debris from the home of his mother-in-law, Mary Osman, who was killed after a tornado touched down, Feb. 29, 2012 in Harrisburg, Illinois. At least nine people died in tornadoes across the Midwest. (Whitney Curtis/Getty Images)#

The body of a man killed in a suspected drug-related execution lies along the path where he was shot, March 1, 2012 in Acapulco, Mexico. Drug violence surged in the coastal resort in the last year, making Acapulco the second most deadly city in Mexico after Juarez. One of Mexico's top tourist destinations, Acapulco has suffered a drop in business, especially from foreign tourists. Toursim accounts for some 9 percent of Mexico's economy and about 70 percent of the output of Acapulco's state of Guerrero. (John Moore/Getty Images)#

Men wait to buy bread in front of a bakery shop during winter weather in Al Qusayr, a city in western Syria about 4.8km (3 miles) southwest of Homs, March 1, 2012. (Goran Tomasevic/Reuters)#

Students embrace after leaving the burial of Chardon High school student Daniel Parmertor in Chardon, Ohio, March 3, 2012. Three students were killed and two others wounded by suspect TJ Lane in a shooting rampage at Chardon High school. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)#

A doctor at a makeshift hospital displays a bullet removed from the hand of a young girl wounded during what protesters said was an attack by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces, at the Khalidiya neighborhood in Homs, March 8, 2012. (Reuters) #

A pro-reform protester performs prayers using the Bahraini flag on a blocked highway during clashes with police following a march along Budaiya Highway, north of the Bahraini capital Manama, March9, 2012. Thousands of opposition supporters marched on the outskirts of Manama, demanding democratic reforms, in one of the largest rallies to be witnessed by the Gulf island since last year's pro-reform protests. (Mazen Mahdi/EPA)#

Buddhist monks offer prayers for victims of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami at Kitaizumi beach in Minamisoma, Fukushima prefecture, some 25 km (15 miles) from the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant March 10, 2012, a day before the disaster's one-year anniversary. The magnitude 9.0 earthquake on March 11, last year, unleashed a tsunami that killed about 16,000 and triggered the world's worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl. About 326,000 people are still homeless and nearly 3,300 remain unaccounted for. (Yuriko Nakao/Reuters)#

A girl with hearing challenges cries after her ears were cleaned at an event held by Starkey Hearing Foundation at St. Monica in Gulu, 364 km (226 miles) north of Uganda's capital Kampala, March 13, 2012. (Xavier Toya/Reuters)#

A Balinese man carries the body of a flash flood victim at Pinggan village in Kintamani, Bali, Indonesia, March 14, 2012. Flash floods and landslides swept through a village. Six people are reported killed. (Made Nagi/EPA)#

U.S. President Barack Obama accidentially steps on First lady Michelle Obama's dress as they walk onto the North Portico before the arrival of British Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha Cameron at the White House, March 14, 2012 in Washington, DC. Cameron is on a three-day visit to the U.S. and he was expected to have talks with Obama on the situations in Afghanistan, Syria and Iran. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)#

Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews of the Vizhnitz Hasidic dynasty stand on ladders as they follow the funeral procession of their rabbi Moshe Yhoshua Hager's body wrapped in a prayer Shawl before his funeral, March 14, 2012 in Bnei Brak, Israel. Rabbi Moshe Yehoshua Hager, who was the head of Israel's second largest Hasidic community, died aged 95 and was buried beside his father's grave in the Tel Aviv suburb of Brei . (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)#

An Afghan police helicopter flies over Hazrat Ali (Kart-i-Sakhi) shrine where Afghans celebrate the Afghan New Year (Nawroz) in Kabul, March 20, 2012. Afghanistan uses the Persian calendar which runs from the vernal equinox. The calendar takes as its start date the time when the Prophet Mohammad moved from Mecca to Medina in 621 AD. The current Persian year is 1391. (Omar Sobhani/Reuters)#

Military police restrain mourners surrounding the ambulance carrying the coffin of Pope Shenouda III, the head of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church, upon its arrival for burial at St Bishoy Monastery in Wadi al-Natrun, 100km (62 miles) north of Cairo, March 20, 2012. Thousands of mourners dressed in black gathered in Cairo for the funeral of Egypt's Orthodox Christian Pope Shenouda, who spent his final years trying to comfort a community disturbed by the rise of political Islam. (Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters)#

Huang Sufang reacts as she sees a part of her house being taken down by demolition workers at Yangji village in central Guangzhou city, Guangdong province, March 21, 2012. Huang, who is a resident of Yangji village, clashed with demolition workers as they mistakenly took down a part of her home, which is not included in the demolition project. (Reuters)#

Myanmar pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, returns after giving a speech to her supporters during the election campaign at Kawhmu Township, March 22, 2012. (Reuters)#

A boy stands near the coffins of some of the victims of a bus crash in Switzerland, during a ceremony at the Saint Pieters church in Leuven, March 22, 2012. A bus carrying a Belgian school party home from a ski trip crashed into the wall of a tunnel in Sierre in the Valais region of Switzerland, killing 28 people, 22 of them children. The bus transported 52 people, mostly school children from Heverlee and Lommel in Belgian Flanders. (Benoit Doppagne Yorick Jansens/BELGA/Reuters)#

Faithful pray in an evangelical church "The light of world" before the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI in Leon, March 22, 2012. The Pope will arrive on March 23 for a three-day visit to the Mexican state of Guanajuato. (Edgard Garrido/Reuters)#

A coach scolds a young gymnastics student during a training session at a gymnastics school in Shanghai, March 23, 2012. More than 30 children, aged between 5 and 9, were chosen from local kindergartens or elementary schools to attend training courses five times a week. (Aly Song/Reuters)#

A beer bottle is thrown at Italian Police as Alcoa aluminium company workers protest against dismissals from employment in front of the Ministry of Employment building in Rome, March 27, 2012. Alcoa is the world's leading integrated aluminium company, providing jobs to 61,000 employees across 31 countries. (Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters)#

Pope Benedict XVI and Cuban President Raul Castro wave to the media after a meeting at the Consejos de Estado on the second day of his three day visit, March 27, 2012 in Havana, Cuba. Fourteen years after Pope John Paul II visited Cuba, Pope Benedict is making his first trip to the communist country. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)#

Afghan security forces escort Taliban militants clad in Afghan women dresses at the Afghan intelligence department in Mehterlam, Laghman province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, March 28, 2012. Afghan Intelligence forces arrested seven Taliban militants in Qarghayi district of Laghman province. (Rahmat Gul/Associated Press#

Sebahat Tuncel, a Kurdish member of parliament, runs for cover as riot police disperse demonstrators during a protest against a government attempt to railroad a new education bill through parliament in Ankara, March 29, 2012. Members of teachers' union and opposition supporters gathered in the Turkish capital of Ankara to protest against a government attempt to railroad the new education bill through parliament which secular parties say is designed to promote Islamic schooling. The government wants to overturn a 1997 law imposed with the backing of the military which extended compulsory education from five to eight years, but also stopped under-15s attending religious "imam hatip" schools. (Umit Bektas/Reuters)#

Israeli border police officers use pepper spray as they detain an injured Palestinian protester during clashes on Land Day after Friday prayers outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, March 30, 2012. Israeli security forces fired rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades to break up groups of Palestinian stone-throwers as annual Land Day rallies turned violent. Police said they made five arrests at Damascus Gate. Land Day commemorates the killing by security forces of six Arabs in 1976 during protests against government plans to confiscate land in northern Israel's Galilee region. (Ammar Awad/Reuters)#

A Yemeni man learns to walk with a prosthetic limb at a prosthetics center in Sana'a, Yemen, April 3, 2012. According to official statistics, landmines and explosive remnants of war remain a significant problem in Yemen due to the fact that it does not have accurate mapping of the landmine-affected areas. In 2009 only 37,111 landmines and explosives were discovered. (Yahya Arhab/EPA)#

A tornado touches down in Lancaster, Texas, south of Dallas. Tornadoes tore through the Dallas area, peeling roofs off homes, tossing big-rig trucks into the air and leaving flattened tractor trailers strewn along highways and parking lots. (Parrish Velasco/The Dallas Morning News)#

Children sit in front of a tombstone waiting for their relatives at a public cemetery during the Qingming Festival, or Tomb Sweeping Day, in Jinjiang, Fujian province, April 4, 2012. The festival marks a day for the Chinese to remember and honor one's ancestors. Chinese experts have called for legislative efforts to standardize funeral services, in an attempt to regulate the country's unscrupulous funeral service providers who siphon huge profits from the relatives of the dead. (China Daily/Reuters)#

A soldier stands guard in front of the Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) rocket sitting on a launch pad at the West Sea Satellite Launch Site, during a guided media tour by North Korean authorities in the northwest of Pyongyang, April 8, 2012. (Bobby Yip/Reuters)#

Dorothy Jackson and others pray together for Trayvon Martin at the Allen Chapel A.M.E. church after the Florida Special Prosecutor, Angela Corey, announced to the media that George Zimmerman has been charged with second degree murder in the death of Martin, April 11, 2012 in Sanford, Florida. Martin was killed by Zimmerman on February 26th while Zimmerman was on neighborhood watch patrol in the gated community of The Retreat at Twin Lakes, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)#

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un waves during the Fourth Conference of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) in Pyongyang, April 11, 2012. WPK named Kim as "first secretary," the official KCNA news agency said. (KCNA/Reuters)#

Smoke plumes are seen above the Popocatepetl volcano, viewed from the Dolores chappel in San Andres Cholula, Puebla, Mexico, April 18, 2012. (Francisco Guasco/EPA)#

Men use ropes to try and right a supply truck overloaded with wheat straw, used as animal feed, along a road in Dargai, in the Malakand district, about 165 km (100 miles) northwest of Pakistan's capital Islamabad, April 13, 2012. (Mian Khursheed/Reuters)#

A soldier from 16 Air Assault Brigade take part in Exercise Joint Warrior at West Freugh Airfield, April 16, 2012 in Starnraer, Scotland. The exercise will involve more than 1600 troops, and be supported by Apache, Chinook, and Royal Navy Sea King Helicopters from the Joint Helicopter Force. RAF Fast Jets and support aircraft, as well as several US and French aircraft will also support the exercise. This year the ABTF will be joined by a number of French personnel from 11 Parachute Brigade. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)#

Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik gestures as he arrives for his terrorism and murder trial in a courtroom in Oslo, April 16, 2012. Breivik, who massacred 77 people last summer, arrived under heavy armed guard at an Oslo courthouse, lifting his arm in what he has called a rightist salute as his trial began. Breivik, 33, has admitted setting off a car bomb that killed eight people at government headquarters in Oslo last July, then massacring 69 in a shooting spree at an island summer camp for Labour Party youths. (Heiko Junge/Reuters)#

A young boy wears an astronaut costume in the parking lot of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, April 17, 2012 in Chantilly, Virginia. Hundreds of people gathered at the museum early in the morning to watch the arrival of the space shuttle Discovery, teathered to the back of a modified 747 jumbo jet. The oldest and most traveled vehicle in NASA's space shuttle program, Discovery will be placed on permanent display at the museum. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)#

Ayesha Ishaque, sister of Mohammad Saud Ishaque who was killed in a Boeing 737 airliner crash, cries over his casket at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences hospital (PIMS) in Islamabad, April 21, 2012. The Pakistani airliner with 127 people on board crashed in bad weather as it came in to land in Islamabad, scattering wreckage and leaving no sign of survivors. The Boeing 737, operated by local airline Bhoja Air, was flying to the capital from Pakistan's biggest city and business hub Karachi. (Rebecca Conway/Reuters)#

A pedestrian walks past a traditional colonial-era Board House dating back about a century on Pademba Road in Sierra Leone's capital Freetown, April 27, 2012. Scattered across Sierra Leone's capital Freetown stand aging wooden houses, some of which look more like they belong on the east coast of 18th century America than in a steamy west African city. Others look like they may have been built hundreds of years ago in the islands of the Caribbean, another reflection of Sierra Leone's history as a colony established for freed slaves. (Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters)#

A Nuba woman, injured during a raid by Sudan's air force, sits in a makeshift hospital in the Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan, April 28, 2012. Fleeing aerial bombardment by the Sudanese air force thousands of people have abandoned their homes and made make-shift shelters between the rocks and boulders. (Goran Tomasevic/Reuters)#