KIM KYUNG-HOON | REUTERS
A man walks past cranes at a construction site in a business district in Tokyo December 28, 2012. Japan's factory output fell more than expected in November after a surprise jump in the previous month, keeping up pressure on the central bank to deliver further monetary stimulus as weak global trade weighs on the export-reliant economy.
KIM HONG-JI | REUTERS
Employees of the Korea Exchange pose in front of the final stock price index during a photo opportunity for the media at the ceremonial closing event of the 2012 stock market at the Korea Exchange (KRX) in Seoul December 28, 2012. South Korean shares finished the year higher on Friday boosted by heavyweight Samsung Electronics in a thin trading session despite the unresolved U.S. fiscal negotiations and the slide of automakers. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 0.5 percent to close at 1,997.05 points, a one-week high.
TONY GENTILE | REUTERS
Italian anti-mafia prosecutor Piero Grasso (L) arrives to attend a news conference to present his candidacy with the Democratic Party (PD) ahead of the general election in February 2013, in Rome December 28, 2012.
KYODO | REUTERS
Former New York Yankees player Hideki Matsui holds a bouquet after a news conference to announce his retirement from baseball in New York, in this Kyodo photo taken December 27, 2012. No longer the fearsome, fire-breathing "Godzilla" of old, injury-ravaged Hideki Matsui retired from baseball with his head held high and as a huge source of national pride for Japan. The 38-year-old slugger, World Series MVP in 2009 with the New York Yankees, helped put Japanese baseball on the map after the trail-blazing Hideo Nomo and mercurial Ichiro Suzuki had enjoyed success across the Pacific. Picture taken December 27, 2012.
OMAR SOBHANI | REUTERS
Dogs fight during a traditional dog fighting competition in Kabul December 28, 2012. Thousands of people gather in a circle each Friday to watch large Afghan fighting dogs, known as Kuchis, attack each other in 30-second contests at the foot of mountains on the edge of Kabul.
KHAM | REUTERS
Men sit behind Vietnamese dong notes at a bank in Hai Phong city, east of Hanoi December 28, 2012. The State Bank of Vietnam plans to raise outstanding loans in the banking system by 12 percent in 2013, versus a rise of 7 percent this year, a state-run newspaper said on Friday.