Britain's Hannah Miley swims her way to a gold medal in the Women's 400m Individual medley at the European swimming championships in Budapest, Hungary, on Monday.
The often-slow arc of good news may not make headlines. But 2012 brought its quiet share: from extreme poverty dropping by half since 1990 to a robot with the bulky profile of an NFL player that may have a role in bringing jobs back to the US.
Charles Taylor: A guilty verdict against the former Liberian president – including charges of murder, rape, use of child soldiers – sets precedent for holding sitting heads of state to account.
Yemen elected a new president this week, but one of the conditions for the vote was complete amnesty for the ousted longtime dictator, Ali Abdullah Saleh. Whether that amnesty will eventually be overturned has implications for Yemen, and other dictators in the region.
Leymah Gbowee's Women Peace and Security Network Africa came out of her confrontation with Liberian warlord Charles Taylor. Now she's sharing this year's Nobel Peace Prize with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Yemen's Arab Spring activist Tawakkul Karman.
Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi trained and funded men - like Charles Taylor - whose reigns of terror in Liberia and Sierra Leone led to the death of hundreds of thousands of West Africans.