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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  • Joseph Eid / AFP / Getty

    Newlyweds in the Ruins: A Syrian Wedding Photo Shoot

    In Homs, Syria, where entire city blocks have been reduced to rubble by years of civil war, a Syrian wedding photographer thought of using the destruction of the city as a backdrop for pictures of newlywed couples to show that life is stronger than death.

  • Brittany Greeson / The Ground Truth Project

    'We Fear the Water'

    Photographs of life in Flint, Michigan, where lead, copper, and bacteria have been contaminating the drinking supply

  • Aris Messinis / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Week: 1/30-2/5

    Revelers in Brazil prepare for Carnival, Dutch police train an eagle to capture drones in midair, a captured monkey menace in Mumbai, Russian infantry training with reindeer, a mock zebra escape in a Tokyo zoo, and much more.

  • © Google, Inc.

    The Looting of Syria's Archaeological Treasures

    In contested areas of Syria, thousands of archaeological sites are being systematically looted by unknown parties, the treasures sold off, disappearing into the black market.

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