366: The Year in Photographs 2012

Dan Kitwood—Getty Images
Dan Kitwood—Getty Images
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.

The year 2012 was a cyclone of news. The civil war in Syria grew bloodier and more desperate even as the rest of the Middle East was grappling with life after the so-called Arab Spring. Egypt’s democratic evolution at times seemed to verge on revolution again. Libya produced a bloody controversy for the U.S. on an inauspicious date, Sept. 11, with the death of the American ambassador amid an attack on a diplomatic compound in Benghazi. And as the U.S. itself marched toward the scheduled climax of a presidential election, what should slam into the country but superstorm Sandy, wrecking much of the northeast coast. The election itself, while it had many people holding their breath, produced another term for Barack Obama and the country promptly started to worry about falling off the fiscal cliff. And then another unexpected event occurred: the madness of mass murder in a quiet town in Connecticut. The death of children and teachers left the country breathless and in tears. The only news fizzle of the year was the predicted end of the world. No one needs to be concerned about that, just about dealing with what ails it as it goes on and on and on.

Howard Chua-Eoan, News Director, TIME

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