2012: The Year in Photos, Part 1 of 3

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. Collected here is Part 1 of a three-part photo summary of the last year, covering its first four months. Be sure to see Part 2 and Part 3. The series totals 135 images in all.

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  • Robert MacFarlane/AP

    Photos of the Week: 4/11-4/17

    This week, we have images of a visit to Coachella, raging fires in Siberia, Yazidi New Year celebrations, a burning Boeoegg in Zurich, the World Pole Dance Championships in Beijing, a gyrocopter on the the lawn of the U.S. Capitol, the Paris Marathon, a robot from the new Star Wars movie, bubbles in Egypt, and much more.

  • Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters

    The Cherished Empty Bedrooms of the Sewol Ferry Victims

    Tomorrow will mark the one-year anniversary of the sinking of the ferry Sewol off the coast of South Korea, and the loss of more than 300 people, including 250 students. Some of the families of those students have kept their children’s bedrooms intact to remember and honor their loved ones.

  • Reuters

    And Then There Was One

    Across China, where new developments are keeping pace with the rapidly growing economy, reports continue to surface so-called "nail houses."

  • Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images

    The Vrontados Rocket War

    Every year, during Greek Orthodox Easter celebrations, members of rival churches sitting across a small valley stage a traditional "rocket war" by firing thousands of homemade rockets towards each other while services are held in the Greek village of Vrontados.

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