The Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower, is pictured in Dubai on Jan. 3. The Gulf emirate inaugurated on the world's tallest tower, a symbol of its unbridled ambitions of recent years, on Jan. 4 amid continuing fears over cash problems facing the emirate which narrowly escaped a financial catastrophe last month. Karim Sahib/AFP/Newscom
The waters of an adjacent lake reflect the futuristic architecture of the Guggenheim Museum of Modern Art under construction in 1997 in Bilbao, Spain. The structure, designed by Canadian architect Frank Ghery, opened that year. Txema Fernandez/AFP/Newscom/File
The Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge, linking Kobe, Japan to nearby Awaji Island, has the longest central span of any suspension bridge. It was built in 1998, eliminating the need for ferry service to the island. Newscom/File
This four-lane tunnel under Mount Sapae in Euijeongbu, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea opened in 2007. Yonhap/Newscom/File
This photo, taken on Sept. 14, 2009, shows a view of the 1,600-foot Taipei 101 building in Taiwan's capital Taipei. The island of just 23 million people has the world's 26th largest economy, according to the International Monetary Fund in 2008. Patrick Lin/AFP/Newscom/File
A view of the 'Bird's Nest' stadium is reflected in its surrounding pool of water in Beijing on Nov. 4, 2009. More than a year after the Beijing Olympics, the iconic Bird's Nest stadium has been placed under Chinese government management in an effort to stem financial losses, state media reported, as an unnamed state-owned financial institution 'quietly' took over management of the venue in August from CITIC Investment Holdings, which previously owned full rights to the stadium's commercial operations. Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Newscom/File
This aerial photo shows the CCTV Headquarters building in Beijing on Aug. 2, 2008 ahead of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Costing some $800 million to build, the CCTV building reportedly was the most expensive building in the world at the time. Goh Chai Hin/AFP/Newscom/File
Dezhou Solar Valley is seen as it becomes operational on Dec. 24, 2009 in Dezhou, Shandong province of China. Green plants grow on the roof, solar panels hang on outside walls, and windows are equipped with highly efficient heat-absorbing glass and blinds that automatically open or close according to temperature changes inside. As the biggest solar energy complex building in the world, the hall is set to be the main venue of the 4th International Solar Cities Initiative Congress which will be held in 2010. Liang Baohai/ChinaFotoPress/Newscom/File
Fireworks explode near Petronas Twin Towers, the largest pair of towers in the world, during New Year celebrations in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Zuma/Newscom/File
The Leiv Eiriksson, one of the world's largest oil-drilling platforms, passes under the Bosphorus bridge in Istanbul on Dec. 31, 2009, on the Bosphorus Strait as it enters the Black Sea, where Turkey and Brazil will carry out joint oil explorations. Mustafa Ozer/AFP/Newscom
The San Francisco Federal Building, completed in 2007, is seen. The building was designed to use less than half the power of other office buildings its size, including the use of natural ventilation as a replacement for air conditioning. Taylor Lednum/PRNewsFoto/U.S. General Services Administration/Newscom
Iran and five world powers agreed last week to extend by four months a deadline for reaching a final deal aimed at preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb. But a yawning gulf still has to be bridged.
Though diplomats from Iran and six world powers are talking up the “substantial progress” that led to an extension of nuclear talks until November, crucial differences still threaten a final deal to ensure Iran can never produce a bomb.