31 December 2012
Last updated at 01:48
Throughout 2012 young people continued to set themselves alight in Tibetan areas in apparent protest against Chinese rule. Since early 2011, over 90 Tibetans - many of them young monks and nuns - have set themselves on fire. Most have died. Beijing blames the Dalai Lama for the disturbing trend - he rejects this and says China's leaders must address Tibetans' core grievances.
Wang Lijun, the former Chongqing police chief, ignited one of China's biggest political scandals when he sought refuge at a US consulate on 6 February. His flight ultimately brought down his former boss, Bo Xilai. Mr Bo, once seen as the highest of high-fliers, now faces a raft of charges, many related to the murder of a British businessman for which his wife Gu Kailai was convicted.
A breakdown in relations between Pakistan and its US allies left scores of lorries stranded in Pakistan and Afghanistan as Islamabad closed its border to Nato traffic. Here a man walks over the roofs of fuel tankers in a Karachi compound.
Blind Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng sparked a diplomatic crisis between the US and China when he escaped from house arrest on 27 April and sought refuge at the US embassy in Beijing. Mr Chen was eventually allowed to leave China for New York, where he is currently studying law. He recently appealed to China's new leader, Xi Jinping, to "carry out reform" for the country's transition.
The rape and murder of a Buddhist woman in Burma's Rakhine state in May set off a chain of deadly communal clashes in June between ethnic Buddhists and Muslims, many of whom were members of the Rohingya minority. More than 100,000 people have been displaced because of the unrest. But despite the violence, US President Barack Obama visited Burma in November in response to the political reforms taking place in the country - the first US president to do so.
In July, more than 170,000 people fled their homes after fighting between indigenous Bodo tribes and Muslim settlers in India's north-eastern state of Assam. Here, refugees are pictured staying at a relief camp in one of the worst-affected districts, Kokrajhar.
Tension between Japan and China over disputed islands in the East China Sea reached new heights. Chinese boats had run-ins with Japan's coastguard after Japan purchased three of the islands - known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China - from their private Japanese owner in September. The dispute, one of several maritime stand-offs in the region, also affected trade and protests were held in some Chinese cities.
The Indonesian island of Bali marked 10 years after bombings, blamed on the Jemaah Islamiah militant group, killed 202 people from 21 nations on 12 October 2002. An estimated 1,000 Australians travelled to the island for the event. In June Umar Patek, the last key player in the attacks, was found guilty of murder and bomb-making and sentenced to 20 years in jail.
Pakistani girl Malala Yousafzai (L), 15, was shot in the head on her way to school on 9 October. The Taliban said they carried out the attack because the campaigner for girls' education was "promoting secularism". The incident caused both domestic and international outrage. Malala and her family are currently in the UK, where she is undergoing medical treatment.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard's fiery speech calling opposition leader Tony Abbott a misogynist in parliament in October prompted the redefinition of the word, after the speech went viral online. From just ''hatred of women'', Macquarie Dictionary has expand the meaning to include ''entrenched prejudice against women''. The exchange followed the resignation of Speaker Peter Slipper, accused by a former staffer of sexual harassment, who was eventually vindicated in court.
Cambodia in October mourned the death of former King Norodom Sihanouk, who died in China of a heart attack at the age of 89. The former king was a controversial figure - he was a presence in Cambodia through decades of political and social turmoil despite long periods of exile abroad.
In Afghanistan Nato continued handing over to local forces, as violence rose ahead of the departure of combat troops in 2014. A spate of deadly attacks on their foreign colleagues by Afghans in army and police uniform took tensions to new levels. Rockets fired by insurgents in November killed one person and injured many more.
The lone surviving gunman of the Mumbai attacks in India, Pakistani Mohammad Ajmal Amir Qasab, was hanged on 21 November. Qasab and an accomplice carried out the assault on the railway station that left 52 people dead. The attack was part of the 60-hour siege of the city that began on 26 November 2008, claiming 166 lives.
China's Communist Party unveiled a new generation of leaders following a week-long congress in November. The party confirmed Xi Jinping as its leader as it revealed its slimmed down seven-member Politburo Standing Committee. In a short speech, Mr Xi said that stamping out corruption would be a priority.
In November, Sri Lankan police were accused of brutality after clashes with Tamil students in the northern town of Jaffna. The disturbances were the biggest since the civil war ended more than three years ago.
North Koreans celebrated the successful launch of a rocket carrying a satellite - condemned by many nations as a banned test of missile technology - on 12 December 2012. The North's previous rocket launch in April failed. Correspondents say the North's unexpected success is a key step in developing an intercontinental ballistic missile - something set to further increase tensions between the secretive state and the international community.