2012 was an eventful year, from big events like the London Summer Olympics and the U.S. presidential race, to regional conflicts in the Middle East and Africa, to smaller issues closer to home. Reverberations from last year’s transformative Arab Spring still heavily affect Syria and Egypt; and the slow recovery from the recent global economic crisis brought bitter austerity measures to parts of Europe, leading to widespread protests.
A Dutch resident stands in his house as high floodwaters reach up to his window, in Dordrecht, Netherlands, on January 5, 2012. Gale force winds reaching up to 110 kph (about 70 mph) as well as heavy rains hit along the Dutch coast. About a quarter of the country sits below sea level. (Robin Utrecht/AFP/Getty Images) #