28 December 2012
Last updated at 02:35
After 18 days of nationwide protests in Egypt, President Hosni Mubarak was forced from office having ruled the country for nearly 30 years. Later in the year Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison. The judge said no evidence had been presented proving Mubarak had directly ordered the killing of protesters, but that he was an accessory to murder because he had failed to stop the killings.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall flew to Canada for their first overseas tour as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee events.
In January, a group of performers huddled underneath stretched black material at the Occupy Wall Street West protests in the financial district of San Franscico, California. Through the year, the group arranged a number of protests in major cities around the globe.
The Costa Concordia, a cruise ship carrying more than 4,000 people, ran aground off the coast of Italy, resulting in the deaths of 32 people.
Football fans in Madrid watch as Spain take on Portugal at Euro 2012, a competition they went on to win as they outclassed Italy in the final and claimed a successive European crown to add to their 2010 World Cup triumph.
A woman prepares to swallow a live fish that has been dipped in homemade medicine at the Bathini Goud brothers camp in Hyderabad, India. The brothers draw thousands to their camp to take part in the administering of the fish medicine, which they believe cures them of asthma and respiratory problems.
A girl plays in a skip in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, a country that according to the United Nations has the world's highest murder rate, with much of the killing linked to drug-trafficking. In an address to the UN General Assembly President Lobo again blamed the international drug trade for the violence afflicting his country. "Our misfortune is to be in between the North and South," Mr Lobo said, referring to Honduras's role as a transit point for South American cocaine being smuggled to the US.
In April, the Republic of Sudan declared a state of emergency along its border with South Sudan after weeks of clashes that began when southern forces occupied the Heglig oilfield area for 10 days.
During the G8 conference at Camp David, Maryland, USA, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron celebrated Chelsea's penalty shootout win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League with arms aloft and clenched fists while a few feet away from the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, US President Obama and Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, looked on.
There has been a sharp rise in attacks on Nato forces by rogue Afghan soldiers, believed to account for about 15% of coalition casualties so far in 2012 in Afghanistan. Here, Jake Beaudoin, a US Army private of the 82nd Airborne Division, takes cover during a controlled detonation in Kandahar province.
South African President Jacob Zuma declared a week of national mourning for striking miners killed in violence at a platinum mine. At least 34 people were killed when police opened fire at the Marikana mine, north-west of Johannesburg.
Jamaica's Usain Bolt crosses the finishing line to win gold in the men's 100m final at the London 2012 Olympics. After winning the 100m and 200m in Beijing 2008 and London 2012, plus the 4x100m relay, the latest gold means Bolt now has six Olympic golds before his 26th birthday.
In Britain the Queen's Diamond Jubilee was celebrated throughout the year, yet one wet weekend in June was the highpoint when a series of celebrations took place, including the Thames River Pageant, the first of its kind for 350 years. The Queen called her Diamond Jubilee "a humbling experience", saying she had been "touched deeply" by seeing so many people celebrating together.
In June Mohammed Morsi was propelled to power in Egypt by the Muslim Brotherhood when their original candidate, business tycoon Khairat al-Shater, was disqualified from the presidential race.
In Greece centre-right head Antonis Samaras was unable to form a coalition government following elections in May, yet further voting in June saw a coalition take power with him at the helm. In December, Eurozone finance ministers approved the release of 49.1bn euros ($57bn; £37bn) of bailout funds.
The conflict in Syria between forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and those opposed to his rule entered a second winter with thousands of Syrians having lost their lives, and hundreds of thousands forced across the border to escape the fighting. Here, a Free Syrian Army fighter fires his sniper rifle from a house in Aleppo.
US President Barack Obama was re-elected to a second term, defeating Republican challenger Mitt Romney. America's first black president secured more than the 270 votes in the electoral college needed to win. In his victory speech before supporters in Chicago, President Obama said he would talk to Mr Romney about "where we can work together to move this country forward".
A Somali police officer (right) arrests a suspected member of al-Shabaab among beach goers at the Lido beach north of Somalia's capital, Mogadishu. The al-Qaeda linked group has been driven out of most urban areas over the past two years, but still controls many rural areas of the country.
Following two decades in some form of detention because of her efforts to bring democracy to military-ruled Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi was released in 2010. And on 1 April 2012, after reforms by a new government, she stood for parliament in a by-election, arguing it was what her supporters wanted even if the country's reforms were "not irreversible".
A group of North Korean musicians performed amid fields to greet farmers at Hwanggumpyong Island, near the town of Sinuiju and the Chinese border city of Dandong. In December 2011 leadership of the impoverished, isolated state passed to Kim Jong-un following the death of Kim Jong-il.
Storm Sandy brought hurricane-strength winds, flooding and blackouts to the US Atlantic coast and accounted for more than 90 deaths.
Kuwait commemorated their Constitution Day in Kuwait City with a 60 minute firework spectacular that competed for a place in the Guinness Book of Records.
In November, Israel launched an offensive against militants in Gaza, following an escalation of cross-border violence that has raged between the two sides for years. At least 158 Palestinians and six Israelis were killed in the eight-day conflict, which Israel said was aimed at halting rocket fire from the Palestinian territory. Here people gather around a crater caused by an Israeli air strike in Gaza City.
Swirls of green and reds appear in an aurora, also known as the Northern Lights, over Whitehorse, Yukon.