Jan. 1, 2012. Fireworks light up the London skyline and Big Ben just after midnight in London. Thousands of people lined the banks of the River Thames to ring in the New Year with a spectacular fireworks display.
Jan. 9, 2012. A resident reads over her ballots before the stroke of midnight when she can cast her vote in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary, at The Balsams Grand Resort in Dixville, N.H.
Eric Thayer—Getty Images
Feb. 13, 2012. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at a Get Out the Vote Rally in Mesa, Arizona. Romney spoke to a crowd of more than 2,000 people.
Feb. 20, 2012. A child stands with his father as they wait to receive blankets and winter jackets from Welthungerhilfe, a German NGO, during snowfall at a camp for internally displaced Afghans in Kabul.
Giogos Moutafis—AFP/Getty Images
March 16, 2012. A portrait of a Free Syrian Army rebel mounted on horseback in Al-Shatouria village, near to the Turkish border in northwestern Syria.
March 20, 2012. Suspended by wires, Chinese artist Li Wei performs in the sky at La Villette in Paris.
Martin Schoeller for TIME—AP
April 19, 2012. Olympic Gymnast Gabby Douglas eats breakfast while stretching on the stairs of ther host family's home in Des Moines, Iowa.
May 8, 2012. A boy cries as he holds his sister in his lap after a confrontation with squatters and police personnel, who arrived to demolish houses that were built illegally in Kathmandu.
June 6, 2012. A music group performs on a path amid fields to greet the farmers at Hwanggumpyong Island, near the North Korean town of Sinuiju and the Chinese border city of Dandong.
June 20, 2012. Vacationers bask in front of the wreckage of capsized cruise liner Costa Concordia near the harbor of Giglio Porto, Italy.
Kevin Schafer—Barcroft Media/Landov
June 29, 2012. A polar bear cub and its mother swim through the Arctic Ocean in Svalbard, Norway.
Daniel Ochoa de Olza—AP
June 30, 2012. A reveler participates in the Gay Pride parade in Madrid.
July 4, 2012. A member of the Libyan special forces performs after completing his training for the upcoming election, in Tripoli.
Pedro Armestre—AFP/Getty Images
July 11, 2012. Participants run in front of Fuente Ymbro's bulls during the fifth San Fermin Festival bull run in Pamplona, northern Spain. The festival is a symbol of Spanish culture that attracts thousands of tourists to watch the bull runs despite heavy condemnation from animal rights groups.
Brooks Kraft—Corbis for TIME
July 14, 2012. U.S. President Barack Obama speaks in the rain during a campaign rally in Glen Allen, Va.
David J. Phillip—AP
Aug. 2, 2012. Samantha Arevalo Salinas of Ecuador starts in a women's 800-meter freestyle swimming heat at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Mario Tama—Getty Images
Aug. 4, 2012. An aerial view of New Yorkers taking in the sun on Manhattan rooftops in New York City.
Aug. 5, 2012. One of the first views from NASA's Curiosity rover of Mars, taken through a "fisheye" wide-angle lens on one of the rover's Hazard-Avoidance cameras. These engineering cameras are located at the rover's base.
Scout Tufankjian—Obama for America
Aug. 15, 2012. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama embrace on a campaign stop in Dubuque, Iowa. The Obama campaign tweeted this photo on November 7, 2012 after his re-election as President. The post was his most re-tweeted—472,000 shares in three hours—according to Twitter's politics account. It was also the most popular ever, topping a message from singer Justin Bieber.
Oct 1, 2012. An Afghan refugee girl stands next to her family's sheep in a field next to a slum area on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan.
Red Bull Stratos via Getty Images
Oct. 14, 2012. In this handout image supplied by Red Bull Stratos, pilot Felix Baumgartner of Austria jumps out of the capsule during the final manned flight for Red Bull Stratos in space. Austrian Felix Baumgartner broke the world record for the highest free fall in history after making a 23-mile ascent in a capsule attached to a massive balloon.
Stephen Wilkes—For TME
Nov. 4, 2012. The rollercoaster from Seaside Heights Boardwalk now sits partially submerged in the ocean after Hurricane Sandy.
Dec. 16, 2012. Twenty-seven wooden angel figures are seen placed in a wooded area beside a road near the Sandy Hook Elementary School for the victims of a school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
Dec. 18, 2012. A girl looks out from the entrance door of a temple as her mother offers daily prayers inside the temple in Lalitpur, Nepal.
Dec. 26, 2012. A Free Syria Army fighter watches from his position during a fight with forces loyal to President Bashar al Assad at the front line in Aleppo.
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