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2012 year in review: national and world news

Here is a look back at some of 2012's notable national and international stories.

Tom Sullivan, center, embraces family members as they look for his son, Alex Sullivan, who had gone to see "The Dark Knight" at the theater in Aurora, Colo., where a gunman opened fire. James Holmes is accused of killing 12 people and wounding dozens more in his July rampage. Photo by The Associated Press
Republican presidential candidates, from left, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich share the stage in February during a Republican presidential debate in Mesa, Ariz. After a long, bitter primary campaign, Romney emerged as his party's nominee to take on Barack Obama for the presidency. Photo by The Associated Press
Supporters of President Obama's health care overhaul celebrate outside the Supreme Court in Washington after the court ruled in June to uphold the sweeping law. Photo by The Associated Press
Connecticut State Police lead a line of children from the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14. A gunman opened fire at the elementary school, killing 20 children and six adults before turning the gun on himself. It was one of the worst mass killings in the nation's history. Photo by The Associated Press
CIA director and former top U.S. general David Petraeus resigned in November after admitting an extramarital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. Photo by The Associated Press
This photo provided by NASA is one of the first images taken by NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars in August for a two-year research mission and immediately began sending home unprecedented views of the planet. Photo by The Associated Press
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Obama spar during the second presidential debate in October at Hofstra University, in Hempstead, N.Y.  Obama defeated Romney in the November election, winning a second term. Photo by The Associated Press
A riot police officer is engulfed by flames from gas bombs thrown by protesters during November clashes in Athens that stemmed from Greece's debt and budget crisis. Photo by The Associated Press
Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, center, is taken from the Centre County Courthouse after being sentenced in Bellefonte, Pa. Sandusky was sentenced in October to at least 30 years in prison, effectively a life sentence, in the child sexual abuse scandal that brought shame to Penn State and led to coach Joe Paterno's downfall. Photo by The Associated Press
In this image from video, the body of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens is moved by Libyan civilians trying to rescue him after gunmen and protesters rampaged through the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11. Three other Americans were also killed in the attacks, which sparked controversy and a congressional investigation. Photo by The Associated Press
In October, legendary American cyclist Lance Armstrong was stripped of his Tour de France titles and accused of years of drug cheating. Photo by The Associated Press
Drought-damaged corn is seen in a field near Nickerson, Neb., in August. The crops and farmers of the nation's heartland were devastated by the nation's worst drought in decades. Photo by The Associated Press
Two homes were leveled and numerous neighboring homes were damaged in a massive November explosion that sparked a huge fire and killed two people in this Indianapolis neighborhood. Three people have been arrested for setting off the blast and charged with murder and arson. Authorities are weighing whether to pursue the death penalty against them. Photo by The Indianapolis Star
Egypt's ex-President Hosni Mubarak lays on a gurney inside a barred cage at the police academy courthouse in Cairo, Egypt. Mubarak was sentenced in June to life in prison for his role in the killing of protesters during last year's revolution that forced him from power after nearly three decades. Photo by The Associated Press
A Syrian man cries while holding the body of his son killed by the Syrian Army in Aleppo, Syria, this October. The country was wracked by civil war throughout the year, with no end in sight, as rebels tried to topple President Bashar Assad. Photo by The Associated Press
In a giant October leap from more than 24 miles up, Austrian Felix Baumgartner shattered the sound barrier while making the highest jump ever, a tumbling, death-defying plunge from a balloon to a safe landing in the New Mexico desert. Courtesy photo
The impoverished nation of Burma emerged from its long isolation in 2012, and formerly imprisoned democracy advocate and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi was elected to Parliament. In November, President Obama became the first U.S. president to visit the Asian nation also known as Myanmar. Photo by The Associated Press
Inmates relatives clash with police outside a prison after a deadly fire in Comayagua, Honduras. More than 350 inmates perished in the February fire that swept through the prison. More than half the inmates were still awaiting trial.  Many of those who died had been locked up for petty crimes: stealing a wallet, robbing a truck. Some had never been charged. Photo by The Associated Press
George Zimmerman, right, stands with a Seminole County Deputy during an April court hearing in Sanford, Fla.  Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of "7-year-old Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman claimed self-defense in the killing, which shocked and angered many across the nation. Photo by The Associated Press
Mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik salutes in an Oslo courtroom in August. Breivik, who admitted killing 77 people in Norway last year, was declared sane and sentenced to prison. Photo by The Associated Press
A parking lot full of yellow cabs in Hoboken, N.J., is flooded after Superstorm Sandy blew through in October. The storm, which began as a hurricane, killed more than 170 people in 10 states and the Caribbean and ravaged swaths of New York and New Jersey. Photo by Associated Press
Jihad Masharawi weeps while he holds the body of his 11-month old son Ahmad after an Israeli air strike on their family house in Gaza City. The Israeli military and Hamas battled for eight days in November, leading to numerous civilian casualties. Photo by The Associated Press
Britain successfully hosted the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Here, the Olympic rings light up a stadium during the opening ceremony July 27. Photo by The Associated Press