The past year brought historic changes, democratic milestones, devastating tragedies, and acts of heroism that will never be forgotten.
In 2012 Anderson traveled across the country and around the world seeking the truth. He met people who were struggling against seemingly insurmountable odds: Syrian refugees, gunshot victims in Colorado, New Yorkers who lost everything they had, widows facing a harsh new reality.
There were crimes that divided communities and launched important conversations about discrimination and ethics. In some cases, justice was served. Convicted of child sex abuse, Jerry Sandusky will spend the rest of his life in prison.
The United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to grant Palestinians "non-member observer state" status. Frederik Pleitgen reports from the West Bank.
Fareed Zakaria, Ari Fleischer and David Gergen discuss Romney's recent "two-state solution" gaffe and the candidate's foreign policy.
Jerusalem– Israel's security Cabinet said Thursday it would "liberalize" the system that allows civilians to bring aid to Gaza.
The decision comes after an international outcry over Israel's handling of ships carrying aid to Gaza last month.
A flotilla of ships trying to break Israel's blockade of Gaza was stopped by naval vessels on May 31. Nine people on one of the ships were killed when the Israeli military boarded it and gunfire broke out.
Israel says its troops were attacked with knives, metal poles and other objects.
The security Cabinet said it would "continue existing security procedures to prevent the inflow of weapons and war materiel." Palestinian officials quickly dismissed Israel's move.
CNN Wire Staff
The political repercussions of Israel's raid of boats carrying aid to Gaza last week continued to ripple across the Middle East and showed no signs of slowing Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters outside an Asian security summit in Istanbul, Turkey, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the killing of nine Turkish activists by Israeli naval commandos aboard one vessel in the flotilla "will change many issues in the world" and marked the "final countdown" for Israel's existence.
"It shows that it has no room in the region, and no one is ready to live alongside it," he told reporters.
His comments came as more aid ships, some backed by regional powers, prepared to set sail.
Israel has said its naval blockade is in place to stop weaponry from reaching militants in Gaza intent on attacking Israel. But critics say the three-year blockade - imposed after Hamas took over Gaza - has deepened poverty in the Palestinian territory.
Vice President Joe Biden has "condemned." Secretary of State Hillary Clinton scolded - and then leaked the scolding. On background, U.S. aides fret that the Israeli announcement of new settlement construction may thwart resumption of the peace process.
Let me advance an unorthodox opinion: The most dangerous cause of instability in the Middle East is the so-called peace process itself.
I know this is an unusual point of view. Please hear me out.
By my count, there have been at least 10 major outbursts of violence between Jews and Arabs in the Middle East since 1936.
Every one of these conflicts ended in a similar way. Either outside powers imposed a ceasefire - or else Israel halted military operations just before a ceasefire could be imposed.
Every one of these conflicts began in a similar way, too: with a renewed attack by the Arab side, or else (as in 1956 or 1967) by Arab violations of the terms of the previous armistice or ceasefire.
Think for a minute how unusual this is. Wars usually end when one side or the other decides it cannot continue fighting. The losing side accepts terms it had formerly deemed unacceptable because the alternative - continued fighting - seems even worse.
I doubt many Hungarians are delighted to have lost more than half their territory to neighbors in Romania and the former Yugoslavia. Bolivians still remember the loss of their Pacific coast to Chile in 1884. Some in Indonesia continue to regard East Timor as rightfully theirs.
Yet for the most part, these nations have reconciled themselves to these unwelcome outcomes.
Exactly the opposite has occurred in the Arab-Israeli dispute.
Another person has been added to the list of suspects in the January killing of a Hamas leader in a Dubai hotel, bringing the number of identified suspects to 27, two sources told CNN on Monday.
Twenty-six of the 27 were carrying European and Australian passports, authorities have said. The sources - an official familiar with the investigation and a police source - did not say which nation issued the passport the suspect used.
Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a founding member of Hamas' military wing, was found dead January 20 in his Dubai hotel room. Police believe he was slain the night before, allegedly by the secretive Israeli foreign intelligence unit Mossad.
CNN State Department Producer
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for an immediate resumption of peace talks with Palestinians Monday before meeting with President Barack Obama.
"My goal is to achieve a permanent peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians and soon," Netanyahu said in a speech to the Jewish Federations of North America. “I say to Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the Palestinian Authority: Let us seize the moment to reach an historic agreement, let us begin talks immediately,”
Netanyahu said he would work for a lasting peace with the Palestinians, promising "great concessions" as long as they don't compromise Israel's security.
“With the support of the United States, peace can become a reality,” Netanyahu said, hours meeting with President Obama to discuss the peace process and Iran's nuclear program.
Aaron David Miller
Special to CNN
When Barack Obama receives his Nobel Peace Prize next month in Oslo, Norway, one thing seems clear: It won't be in recognition of his skill in advancing Israeli-Palestinian peace.
For much of the past year, the administration has wandered around the not-so-Holy Land without clear direction, an accurate understanding of Israelis and Palestinians, or an effective strategy.
But all is not lost. The past 10 months could be, to use the president's words, a teachable moment, and with the right lessons learned, maybe, just maybe, the president could get back on track.
Keep your enthusiasm under control: In January, President Obama came out harder, faster and louder on Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking than any of his predecessors. The speech in Cairo, Egypt, and his ultimatum to the Israelis on freezing settlements seemed to suggest that this president was going to be tough and fair. No more business as usual.
Meanwhile, back on Earth, the political laws of gravity that make getting anything done on Arab-Israeli diplomacy very hard kicked in, dragging down the president's hopes and words.
Fawaz A. Gerges
Poor Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas! He returned to Palestine empty-handed and politically weakened after the tripartite summit this week with President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The New York summit yielded no signs of a breakthrough either on freezing construction of Jewish settlements or restarting the long-stalled Palestinian-Israeli talks.
By laying equal blame on the Palestinians and Israelis for the diplomatic stalemate, Obama undermined Abbas' position at home and exposed his weakness and overdependence on the Americans.
It is important to understand the context of Abbas' initial reluctance to attend the tripartite summit in New York. He swallowed his pride and accepted Obama's invitation to meet with Netanyahu, even though he had set a precondition of a settlement freeze, as the U.S. demanded, before agreeing to meet Netanyahu.