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 3 of a three-part photo summary of the last year, covering its last few months.
President Barack Obama hugs his wife Michelle, after she introduces him at a campaign event at the Village of East Davenport in Davenport, Iowa, on August 15, 2012. In November, this image was attached to a short message sent by Barack Obama's Twitter account, after his re-election became certain, saying simply "Four more years." The image quickly became the most re-tweeted photo in Twitter's history.
(Scout Tufankjian/Obama for America)
A swimmer warms up in the Aquatic Center during a swimming training session ahead of the 2012 Paralympics in London, on August 29, 2012.
(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
People run for cover as smoke rises from the site of a fire at a fireworks factory on the outskirts of Sivakasi, about 500 km (310 mi) southwest of Chennai, India, on September 5, 2012. Police in southern India said they arrested six employees of the fireworks factory for a massive blaze that killed 40 workers and injured 60 others.
Protesters destroy an American flag pulled down from the U.S. embassy in Cairo September 11, 2012. Egyptian protesters scaled the walls of the U.S. embassy on Tuesday, tore down the American flag and burned it during a protest over what they said was a film being produced in the United States that insulted Prophet Mohammad.
(Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany)
A man reacts as the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi burns, after an attack on September 11, 2012. Four American staff members were killed, including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens. The attack was initially characterized as being part of widespread protests against an anti-Islam movie, but was later identified as a terrorist attack by militants related to Al-Qaeda.
Soldiers perform a haka at the Military Commemorative Service for LCPL Durrer and LCPL Malone at Burnam Military Camp in Christchurch, New Zealand, on August 11, 2012. The two were killed in a gun battle in Afghanistan over the previous weekend. The soldiers are performing their unit haka, acknowledging the lives and feats of their fallen comrades. The powerful, moving ceremony can also be seenhere, in a video from the New Zealand Defence Force.
(Martin Hunter/Getty Images)
Protesters stand behind barman Alberto Casillas as riot police surround the bar during a demonstration organized by Spain's "indignant" protesters to decry an economic crisis they say has "kidnapped" democracy in Madrid, Spain, on September 25, 2012. Casillas stood up to the police, protecting the protesters who sought refuge in his bar. Thousands of demonstrators had rallied near parliament in Madrid in anger at the government's handling of the economic crisis.
(Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty Images)
A police officer stands in a mock gallows outside the Finance Ministry during a protest against budget cuts in Athens, Greece, on September 6, 2012. Nearly 2,000 policemen, coast guards and firefighters protested against planned salary cuts. The measures reportedly include a 3.5-billion-euro slash to pensions, health cuts worth 1.47 billion euros and a 517-million-euro cut to defense.
(Kostas Tsironis/AFP/Getty Images)
A Syrian man holds his robe while walking in the partially destroyed Salaheddin neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria, under the control of the Syrian army, on September 3, 2012. Syrian troops backed by artillery and warplanes fought rebels on multiple fronts on September 5 as peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi described the death toll as "staggering" and destruction "catastrophic."
(Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images)
EBU (European) Heavyweight champion Kubrat Pulev of Bulgaria connects with a punch thrown at Alexander Ustinov of Belarus, during the fight for Pulev's heavyweight title and IBF eliminator for the top spot in the rankings in Hamburg, Germany, on September 29, 2012. Pulev knocked out Ustinov in the eleventh round.
(AP Photo/Gero Breloer)
A woman experiences the "Rain Room" art installation by "Random International" in The Curve at the Barbican Center in London, England, on October 3, 2012. The "Rain Room" is a 100 square meter field of falling water which visitors are invited to walk into with sensors detecting where visitors are standing. The installation runs until March 3, 2013.
(Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
A Pakistani student holds a picture of 14-year-old schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai, who, on October 9, 2012, was shot by a member of the Taliban for speaking out in support of education for women. This photo was taken during a tribute to Malala at the Pakistani Embassy in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. After an airlift to the United Kingdom for treatment, Malala remains in intensive rehabilitation. In October, a spokesman for the Taliban reiterated a threat to kill Malala, should she survive this attempt. The young activist has become an international symbol now, drawing support from across the globe, including calls for her nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.
(AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
A man, who was accused of theft, is tied up and beaten by villagers of Tactic, in Alta Verapaz region, of Guatemala, on September 13, 2012. The local community tied up and beat four men who were accused of theft in the aftermath of a school killing, which had occurred the day before. The man, who had entered a classroom and killed two children, ages 8 and 13, with a machete, was lynched and burnt alive by a mob, local media reported.
(Reuters/Jorge Dan Lopez)
On Mars, NASA's Curiosity rover, newly landed on the red planet, used the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) to capture a set of 55 high-resolution images, which were stitched together to create this full-color self-portrait, on October 31, 2012. The mosaic shows the rover at "Rocknest," the spot in Gale Crater where the mission's first scoop sampling took place. Four scoop scars can be seen in the regolith in front of the rover.
(NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems)
A mourner cries as people gather to wait for the arrival of the remains of the late former Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk at the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh early October 17, 2012. Sihanouk, once an absolute ruler who freed Cambodia from colonialism before becoming a tragic pawn through decades of turmoil, died on October 15 in a Beijing hospital. He was 89.
Pilot Felix Baumgartner of Austria jumps from a capsule during the final manned flight for Red Bull Stratos on Sunday, October 14, 2012. In a giant leap from more than 24 miles up, Baumgartner shattered the sound barrier Sunday while making the highest jump ever -- a tumbling, death-defying plunge from a balloon to a safe landing in the New Mexico desert.
(AP Photo/Red Bull Stratos)
A Syrian man cries while holding the body of his son near Dar El Shifa hospital in Aleppo, Syria, on October 3, 2012. Three suicide bombers detonated cars packed with explosives in a government-controlled area of the battleground Syrian city of Aleppo on Wednesday, killing at least 34 people, leveling buildings and trapping survivors under the rubble, state TV said. More than 120 people were injured, the government said.
(AP Photo/Manu Brabo)
Traymond Harris, left, and Ryan Hudge play basketball as the shuttle Endeavour passes by on Crenshaw Avenue on October 13, 2012 in Inglewood, California. Endeavour was on its last mission -- a 12-mile creep through city streets, past an eclectic mix of strip malls, mom-and-pop shops, tidy lawns and faded apartment buildings. Its final destination was the California Science Center in South Los Angeles where it was put on display.
(Wally Skalij/Getty Images)
An image of New York City's blackout, caused by Sandy's high winds and flooding, taken from a rooftop in Chelsea, on October 29, 2012.
(© Eric Chang [@EricStrange])
A soldier from 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment (The Vikings) stands to attention as his regiment receives their Afghanistan Operational Service Medal at Picton Barracks in Bulford, England, on November 1, 2012. The parade was the first in a series of events marking the end of their successful six-month deployment to Afghanistan as part of Task Force Helmand. The parade comes during the same week that two more British soldiers were shot dead at a checkpoint in Afghanistan by a man wearing a local police uniform.
(Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
A bomb is pictured in mid-drop, part of an Israeli airstrike on Gaza City, on November 21, 2012. For a week in mid-November, Gaza militants intensified rocket fire into Israel and Israeli forces struck hundreds of targets in the Gaza Strip in the latest flare-up of violence in the region. A ceasefire between Hamas and Israel was mediated by Egypt, and has held so far.
(AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Thousands of Congolese flee the town of Sake, 26km west of Goma, following fresh fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo town on November 22, 2012. A rebel group called the March 23 Movement (M23), was able to seize the city of Goma and several other smaller towns for a time, but have pulled back from the larger city now.
(Phil Moore/AFP/Getty Images)
A car stops beside a house in the middle of a newly built road in Wenling, Zhejiang province, November 22, 2012. An elderly couple refused to sign an agreement to allow their house to be demolished. They said that compensation offered was not enough to cover rebuilding costs, according to local media. Days later, the couple accepted a modestly higher offer, and the structure was quickly demolished.
Anti-Mursi protesters gather at Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, on November 27, 2012. Opponents of President Mohamed Mursi clashed with Egyptian police on Tuesday as thousands of protesters stepped up pressure on the recently-elected Islamist to scrap a decree they say threatens the nation with a new era of autocracy.
(Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany)