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.
According to calculations made by a respected NGO, Venezuela is now far and away the most dangerous country in South America, with Caracas one of the most dangerous capitals in the world.
The process of passing Egypt's Constitution has created more political distrust and anger. Meanwhile, a neglected economy is heading towards grim shoals.
The turmoil in the landlocked African nation has prompted calls for France to intervene militarily in its former colony. 'Those days are gone,' said French President François Hollande.
About 1,000 Russian children were adopted by US families in 2011, and around 50 such adoptions are pending.
An Indian woman who was the victim of a gang rape and brutal beating earlier this month in New Delhi has been flown to Singapore for treatment, while the rest of India debates women's safety.