The Years Best Photos | Reader's Digest

The Year’s Best Photos

By Beth Dreher

Whether you want a refresher on the national and international news of 2012, or you just like to look at compelling photographs, check out CNN.com’s feature, 2012: The Year in Pictures. Highlighting moments from the world of sports, politics, art, and more, the photos remind us what a beautiful, heartbreaking, melting pot of a world we live in.

My favorites come from all over the world, from the image of Palestinian kids practicing parkour, a kind of urban gymnastics (if you want to see this sport in action, check out this amazing video), to Tonya the elephant poking her bristly trunk from a shipping container in The Netherlands. The image that gave me most pause, though, was the chilling photo of a handcuffed Anders Breivik, the man who killed dozens of teenagers on an island off the coast of Norway. It reminded me of the little-publicized story of the couple vacationing on the island who paddled their boat toward the gunshots to save the lives of 40 teens. That’s the beauty of each of these photos—it captures one moment in time, but inspires reflection on many more.

Photo credit: Ali Ali