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§Of World Interest

2011 will be known as the Year of the Protests. Time Magazine named the Protester as the Man of the Year. Protests led to the overthrow of governments throughout the Middle East, led to bloody revolutions in others and began the first serious protests in the US and Russia in decades. Protesters, unhappy on a large scale with issues ranging from a desire for true democracy and relief from regimes that spanned decades to the failed economic policies of governments and the growing divide between the rich and the poor, some saying that 1% of the people hold most of the wealth.

In January of this year a large number of fish and birds died around the world. On New Years Day, 5,000 birds fell from the sky in Beebe, Arkansas. Then 100,000 fish died and washed up along an Arkansas river. Then, another 500 birds were found dead near a highway just north of Baton Rouge, La., thousands of dead fish washed ashore along the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. In Brazil, its 100-tons of sardines and small catfish that have died. 100 crows in the town of Falkoping, Sweden died. In New Zealand hundreds of dead snapper fish washed ashore. More than 40,000 Velvet Swimming Crabs have been found dead on UK beaches. In Ontario, Canada hundreds of shad that washed up on shore supposedly died from temperature shock. 70 bats were found dead in Tuscon, Arizona. In New Zealand penguins, and other sea birds are dying of starvation because the fish have left. In Vietnam 150-tons of Talapia died on 41 separate river farms. 8-thousand turtle doves fell from the sky into the town of Faenza, Italy. In Charleston, SC hundreds of dead starfish and jellyfish washed ashore. And, due to Australia's heavy rains 5,000 to 7,000 dead fish covering 11 different species have been found. In December, Clearfield, Utah, city employees collected approximately 400 dead European starlings. The reason the birds died was unknown.

February 22 - Oil prices rose 5%, spiking as high as $98. Analysts are blaming the unrest in Libya, a large oil producing nation.

March 9 - Brent oil prices rose to $115.50 a barrel as fighting in Libya intensified and OPEC saw no need for an emergency meeting to consider raising oil output.

March 8 - 10 - World leaders have stopped short of taking military action against Libya's Colonel Ghadaffi who has taken military action against his own people. While there are military options on the table, such as a no fly zone, no other actions were taken at this point other than France officially recognizing the rebels of Libya.

May 1 - It is announced that DNA findings have confirmed the death of Usama Bin Laden. Considered the mastermind behind the 9/11 World Trade Tower destruction, he was killed in a US operation begun a week ago.

May 21 - The Rapture fails to happen. Biblical end of times predictor, Harold Camping, once again made a fool of himself by predicting that the rapture would take souls to heaven on May 21st and earthquakes would devastate parts of the earth. It was a particularly pleasant day. Obama met with Netanyahu after a particularly icy week because of a statement made earlier by US President Obama. Camping revised his prediction for October 21 which also failed to happen causing him to retire from the Christian Family Radio network.

In response to the financial meltdown of Wall Street, protest began in the Fall throughout the United States following the lead of one particular protest known as Occupy Wall Street. After months of encampment in various parks throughout the country, city mayors began taking action in November by forcibly remove the protesters from the parks citing health and safety concerns. On the heals of the Arab Spring, it seems that US leaders did not believe that meeting protests with force would only foment further protests and eventually lead to revolution in a "Can't happen here" mentality. The Occupy movements centered around the idea that 1% of the people control 99% of the wealth. Various other protests as far afield as the humane treatment of farmed animals were lumped together in many of these protests.

November 25 - Third edition of the English Translation of the Roman Catholic Church is inaugurated. Even the words of transubstantiation have been modified to: On the day before he was to suffer he took bread in his holy and venerable hands, and with eyes raised to heaven to you, O God, his almighty Father, giving you thanks he said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to his disciples, saying:

Take this, all of you, and eat of it: for this is my Body which will be given up for you.

In a similar way, when supper was ended, he took this precious chalice in his holy and venerable hands, and once more giving you thanks, he said the blessing and gave the chalice to his disciples, saying: Take this, all of you, and drink from it: for this is the chalice of my Blood, the Blood of the new and eternal covenant; which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in memory of me.

§Africa

§Algeria

January 5 - 8 At least two people were killed and 300 others injured in riots that erupted across Algeria amid rising food prices and a housing crisis. The protests began over spiraling costs of basic food items, including milk, oil and sugar. Some staples are subsidized by the government.

February 12 - Thousands of Algerians defied a government ban on protests and a massive deployment of riot police to rally in the capital, demanding democratic reforms a day after similar protests toppled Egypt's authoritarian leader.

§Egypt

January 28 - At least 10,000 marchers, battling with police, protest the rule of Hozni Mubarak. The protests were a continuation of smaller protests throughout the country on the heals of Tunisia's overthrow of its "elected" ruler. Opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei ? is doused by a water cannon.

January 29 - The Internet in Egypt is shut down.

January 30 - Western countries have begun removing their citizens from Egypt as more than a million people turn to the streets in protests throughout the country.

February 1 - Mohamed ElBaradei was edging towards taking over as Egypt's interim president on Tuesday afternoon as support fell away from President Hosni Mubarak. The President also announced that he would be not be running in the next election.

February 3 - The Obama administration began discussing with Egyptian officials a proposal for President Hosni Mubarak to resign immediately, turning over power to a transitional government headed by Vice President Omar Suleiman with the support of the Egyptian military, administration officials, Mr. Suleiman, backed by Sami Enan, chief of the Egyptian armed forces, and Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi, the Defense Minister, would immediately begin a process of constitutional reform.

February 5 - The top leadership of Egypt's National Democratic party resigned.

February 11 - Egypt’s military took control of the country as Hosni Mubarak resigned as president after 18 days of massive protests against his autocratic 30-year reign.

February 13 - Egypt's military leaders declare martial law, suspend the constitution and dismisses parliament, all moves the people of Egypt felt necessary to create a new government.

February 22 - Iranian military vessels have used the Suez Canal for the first time since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution.

October - Protests become violent against the military who have assumed temporary power because of their unwillingness to release power as was promised and to end emergency laws put in place by the previous regime.

November 18 - Tens of thousands of protesters flooded into Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday to push Egypt’s military rulers to hand over power to elected officials after the caretaker government floated a controversial proposal this month that would leave the army unaccountable to an elected parliament.

November 25 - Thousands of protesters chant slogans against the Egyptian military council during a demonstration in Tahrir square in Cairo being called "Last Chance Friday".

§Ivory Coast

January 1 - Supporters of Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo threatened to seize a hotel occupied by Alassane Ouattara, the winner of last month’s presidential vote, as the country’s new envoy to the United Nations warned the nation is “on the brink of genocide.”

Gbagbo’s backers plan to “liberate” the building on Jan. 1, Youth and Employment Minister Charles Ble Goude said on state television late yesterday. Ble Goude is also the leader of the Young Patriots, who are militant supporters of Gbagbo.

Ouattara has been holed up at the Golf Hotel in Abidjan, the commercial capital, since the start of a dispute over the results of the Nov. 28 election. The 68-year-old opposition leader, who is being protected by UN peacekeepers, is regarded by the UN, the African Union and the U.S. as the winner of the vote. Gbagbo, the incumbent, has refused to step down.

January 6 - As many as 14 people were killed in clashes surrounding the disputed presidential election. Meetings with African leaders attempting to convince Gbagbo to step down are ongoing.

April 5 - UN and French forces attack the main city Abidjan and President Laurent Gbagbo is reported to be negotiating surrender. But he didn't.

April 11 - French forces captured Laurent Gbagbo. Laurent Gbagbo was captured at the presidential compound in the Cocody neighborhood after helicopter gunships attacked the residence Monday morning.

The French ambassador here says Mr. Gbagbo was captured by fighters backing internationally-recognized president Alassane Ouattara. Those troops were backed by French special forces who used tanks to advance on the compound, where Mr. Gbagbo was holding out in an underground complex, refusing to recognize that he lost November's presidential vote.

Mr. Gbagbo's capture ends the four-month political standoff between the presidential rivals. But Mr. Ouattara must still reconcile Gbagbo supporters who say their leader's fall was engineered by the international community and does not reflect the will of the Ivorian people.

§Libya

January 13 - 16 - Upset at delays and political corruption, protesters in Darnah, Benghazi, Bani Walid and other cities in Libya broke into and occupied housing that the government was building.

January 27 - The government responded to the housing unrest with a $24 billion investment fund to provide housing and development.

In late January, Jamal al-Hajji, a writer, political commentator and accountant, "call[ed] on the internet for demonstrations to be held in support of greater freedoms in Libya" inspired by the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings. He was arrested on 1 February by plain-clothes police officers, and charged on 3 February with injuring someone with his car. Amnesty International claimed that because al-Hajji had previously been imprisoned for his non-violent political opinions, the real reason for the present arrest appeared to be his call for demonstrations.

On the evening of 15 February approximately 200 people began demonstrating in front of police headquarters in Benghazi following the arrest of Libyan human rights activist Fethi Tarbel. Tarbel is known for his work with families of the victims of the 1996 Abu Salim prison massacre, when more than 1,000 prisoners are believed to have been executed.

Over the course of the evening, between 500 to 600 protesters gathered in front of the Benghazi police headquarters, chanting slogans. The protest was broken up violently by police, causing as many as 40 injuries among the protesters.

In Al Bayda and Az Zintan, hundreds of protestors in each town called for "the end of the regime" and set fire to police and security buildings. In Az Zintan, the protesters set up tents in the town centre.

February 16 -

  • Benghazi: Hundreds of protesters gathered at Maydan al-Shajara in Benghazi, and authorities tried to disperse them with water cannon. The police, with help from some criminals clashed with the protesters before escaping in minibuses, and the protesters closed Jamal Abdel Naser street. The protesters noticed that the police officers were not from Benghazi from their accents.
  • Al Baydam: 4 protesters were killed in Al Baydam, near Al Bayda, the Al-Yawm paper said, as the crowd (estimated at more than 1,500 people and was supplied with water by local people) attempted to storm the internal security building, set fire to two cars and burnt down the headquarters of the traffic police on the 16th.
  • Al Bayda: Protesters clashed with police, leading to 6 deaths and 3 injuries.
  • Tripoli: Several pro-Gaddafi rallies of many dozens of loyalist and Tripolitanian people took place. Several other pro-Gaddafi rallies took place as dozens of Libyans, angered by caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad published in the Italian press, rioted outside the Italian consulate, storming the building and setting it on fire. A diplomat said that at least 10 people (both rioters and police) were killed in the ensuing clashes.
  • Al-Quba: More than 400 protesters, with a wide range of ages, set fire to the police station.
  • Other cities where protests took place included Darnah and Az Zintan, but no injuries were reported.
  • In Albert Square in Manchester more than 100 people demonstrated in support of the protesters in Libyan cities, demanding that the Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi step down.

February 17 - "Day of Rage"

A "Day of Rage" in Libya and by Libyans in exile was planned for 17 February. The National Conference for the Libyan Opposition stated that "all" groups opposed to Colonel Gaddafi in Libya and in exile planned protests against him on 17 February, in memory of the demonstrations in Benghazi on 17 February 2006 that were initially against the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons but which turned into protests against Gaddafi. The protest plans were inspired by the 2010–2011 Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings. In early February, Gaddafi had met with "Libyan political activists, journalists, and media figures" and "warned" them that they would be "held responsible" if they participated "in any way in disturbing the peace or creating chaos in Libya".

Protests on the Day of Rage took place in four cities in Libya. In Benghazi, a government authority released 30 prisoners from jail, armed them and paid them to fight against protestors. Several demonstrators were killed by snipers and gunfire from helicopters. The London Evening Standard estimate that 14 were killed.[33] Al Jazeera English estimates that at least 14 were killed since the previous day (16 February).

  • In Ajdabiya at least 10 were killed by police.
  • In Benghazi, Al Jazeera English reported an eyewitness who saw 6 unarmed protesters shot dead by police; BBC reported that "at least 15 people" were killed in clashes with security forces.
  • In Al Bayda, Libya al-Youm reported 4 people shot dead by snipers, and a Libyan human-rights group reported 13 people had been killed.
  • In Darnah at least 6 people were killed by police.
  • In Tripoli protests took place in many places across the city.
  • In Zentan a number of government buildings including a police station were set on fire.

February 18 -

According to BBC News, "violent confrontations" between demonstrators and security forces spread to five Libyan cities "so far, but not yet to the capital Tripoli, in any large numbers."

  • Benghazi: Thousands of anti-government protesters gathered in front of the Benghazi courthouse. According to BBC News, a "doctor at Benghazi's Jalla hospital" told them that he had "seen 15 bodies - all dead from gunshot wounds" - by the time he left the hospital "in the early hours of Friday." Police and army personnel reportedly withdrew from the city after being overwhelmed by protesters. Protesters took control of the local radio station. Some army personnel joined the protesters, and by the early hours of 19 February, protesters had taken control of the airport.
  • Al Bayda: Unconfirmed reports indicated that the local police force and riot-control units joined the protesters. Unconfirmed eyewitness reports indicate that two officers who were accused of shooting protesters were hanged by protesters. The Libyan Oea newspaper, which is allied to Colonel Gaddafi's reputedly pro-reform son Seif al-Islam, said that the two policemen had been lynched by a demonstrators' angry lynch mob on 18 February in the city of Al Bayda.
  • The government of Libya initially restricted access to the Internet in the country for several hours, but later imposed a more comprehensive and sustained blackout.
  • The Libyan newspaper Quryna reported on 18 February that some 1,000 non-political prisoners had escaped from a Benghazi prison, while a security source told Agence France-Presse (AFP) four inmates were shot dead during a breakout bid in Tripoli.

February 19 - Widespread protests continued for a third day. The opposition warned civilians of massacre by the government unless the international community applied pressure. Witnesses in Libya reported helicopters firing into crowds of anti-government protesters. The army withdrew from the city of Al Bayda. Human Rights Watch and the Libyan newspaper Quryna said thousands of demonstrators had poured out onto the streets in Benghazi and other eastern cities on 18 February, a day after the clashes in which 49 people were killed, and that some protests were still continuing. Artillery, helicopter gunships and antiaircraft missile launchers used to kill protesters. Protests were also reported in Misurata.

According to a death toll compiled by the AFP news agency from local sources, at least 41 people have been killed since demonstrations first erupted on 15 February. The toll excludes two policemen newspapers said to have been hanged in Al Bayda on 18 February. The New York-based Human Rights Watch, citing phone interviews with hospital staff and eye witnesses, said that security forces killed more than 80 anti-Gadaffi-regime protesters in unrest-swept eastern Libya.[38] Opposition groups later put the number of dead at over 120. The residents of Bengazi told Al Jazeera that at least 200 people had died while the New York City-based Human Rights Watch put the countrywide death toll at a "conservative" 104 on the 19th. The security forces (troops and police) of Benghazi were in their barracks while the city was in a state of civil mutiny.

February 20 - A crowd gathered outside a courthouse in Benghazi.

Protests escalated with residents also reporting small protests beginning in Tripoli, indicating a widening of the unrest from the Eastern half of the country into Gadhafi's center of power. Hospitals confirmed that they have run out of supplies and doctors estimate the death-toll in Benghazi to be between 200-300. After the people of Benghazi beat back the police and captured several key military barracks local military brigades joined the protesters. By this time protesters in Benghazi numbered in the tens of thousands, possibly in the hundreds of thousands. Reports also emerged of pro-Gaddafi militia by the Elfedeel Bu Omar compound "being butchered by angry mobs." Al Jazeera said that protesters were in control of the city as loyalist security forces fled to the airport. Further military units are reported to have defected in order to protect protesters. Several senior Muslim clerics and tribal leaders from around Libya called for an end to the bloodshed by the regime, and for the government to step down. A large spontanenous protest occurred in Tripoli by night where the protesters quickly overran police. One tribal leader threatened to block oil exports.

The Tuareg tribe in the south were said to have answered a call by the larger Warfala tribe to take part in the protests. The Tuareg towns of Ghat and Ubary were also locations for violence as members of the tribe reportedly attacking government buildings and police stations.

Saif El Islam appeared on state television and blamed the violence and protests, including "acts of sabotage and burning," on "foreign agents," and in particular, Israel, echoing the attempts made by other Arab leaders in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen to dismiss and downplay the unrest. He said that the unrest "may cause civil war" and referred to the civil war in Libya in 1936. He also said that Libya was different from its neighbors. He ends by warning: We will fight to the last man and woman and bullet. We will not lose Libya. We will not let Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya and BBC trick us. The Libyan representative at the Arab League resigned, stating that the reason for his resignation was the "oppression against protesters". There were also unconfirmed rumors that Muammar al-Gaddafi had left for Brazil or Venezuela leaving Saif El Islam in charge. The Libyan ambassador to China, Hussein Sadiq al Musrati, resigned from his post during an interview with Al Jazeera Arabic. He also called on the army to intervene and called for all Libya's diplomats to resign.

February 21 - The government building known as People's Hall burned. The violence came hours after Kadafi's son aired a statement that security forces will fight 'to the last bullet' to put down the protesters.

Saif al-Islam Muammar Al-Gaddafi called for a "general assembly" to discuss grievances while Islamic leaders and clerics in Libya urged all Muslims to rebel against Gaddafi.

February 22 - Gaddafi continues to defy protesters. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told Reuters that the EU was suspending a framework trade agreement it had been negotiating with Libya.

March 27 - Coalition Western Forces have carried out air strikes protecting "civilians" which is anyone not carrying heavy equipment, riding in an armored vehicle, or wearing a uniform. Consequently, rebel forces have begun making advances in their move West toward Tripoli.

April 29 - Libyan rebel forces reject Muammar Gaddafi's ceasefire offer.

§Somalia

February 21 - A suicide car bomber attacked a police base in Mogadishu, killing at least 7 people, including 2 children, amid intense urban fighting that has gripped the capital for the third day.

§Morocco

February 20 - Thousands of Moroccans rallied in the capital, Rabat, to demand that King Mohammed give up some of his powers

§South Sudan

January 15 - Final day of the week long South Sudan independence referendum.

February 8 - The President of North Sudan accepted the independence vote of predominantly Christian Southern Sudan paving the way for the independence in July.

July 9 - South Sudan became an independent state following a referendum that passed with 98.83% of the vote.

§Syria

April 14 - Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad, announced the formation of a new government.

April 17 - Violent clashes with government forces erupt across the country as thousands of Syrians take to the streets in defiance of a warning by Bashar Assad.

April 22 - After removing the emergency measures put in place decades ago protesters again took to the streets believing they now had the right to protest. The military began firing into the crowd killing many including small children and women. With more than 20 protesters killed in two days earlier this week, the army and plain clothes security had put the city under lock-down, ringing it with checkpoints and preventing access to the central Clock Square, scene of an attempted opposition sit-in.

An eyewitness described how a group of about 200 protestors, moving ahead of the main group of around 3,000 protestors, came under fire as they marched down Cairo Street, close to Clock Square.

April 23 - Two MPs ? stepped down after nine people were killed the previous day.

April 29 - Soldiers fired on protesters carrying olive branches and seeking to break the military’s siege of a rebellious town in Syria killing at least 16 people, as thousands took to the streets in what organizers proclaimed a "Friday of Rage" against the government’s crackdown on a six-week uprising. An additional 34 people were killed across the country in uprisings.

November 18 - Syria has agreed "in principle" to allow an observer mission into the country, as security forces killed 11 anti-government protesters and France called for tough UN Security Council action.

November 25 - A deadline passed for Syria to agree to Arab monitors or face sanctions, with no word from the embattled government of President Bashar Assad.

December 12 - UN rights chief Navi Pillay has called on the UN Security Council to launch a crimes against humanity case against Syria, saying more than 5000 people have now been killed in the government crackdown there.

§Tunisia

January 1 - Protests intensify against ruling president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali

January 14 - President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali fled Tunisia after protesters forced him from office after 23 years in power. He had promised more freedoms but it was too little too late. Mohamed Ghannouchi took over the duties as interim prime minister.

January 19 - Protests continued over living conditions, government corruption and people fearing that the temporary government would not step down.

February 7 - More than 4,000 began migrating from Tunisia to the small Italian island of Lampedusa due to continuing unrest in the country where police have melted away in many places, and strikes and protests around the country are disrupting the economy.

February 14 - The EU attempts to conclude a trade deal with Tunisia before the July elections.

§Asia

§China

February 14 - China has become the world's 2nd largest economy replacing Japan.

February 20 - Crowds of Wangfujing shoppers met a massive police and media presence. Police in Beijing detained at least three people, including one man who placed a jasmine flower near a McDonald ?'s restaurant near Wangfujing, and another three people were held in Shanghai, according to the Associated Press. Otherwise, there was little sign of protest.

§Japan

February 14 - Japan's economy fell to third in the world as China's economic growth has overtaken Japan's.

Crisis in Japan

March 10 - 15 - A massive earthquake measuring 8.8 struck off the coast of Honshu sending a devastating tsunami killing over 10,000 with 11,000 missing and causing damage as far away as Tokyo. Also damaged were several nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear plant 240 kilometers northeast of Tokyo. Housings and containment facilities exploded and were ruptured causing radiation leaks raising background radiation levels as far away as Tokyo.

March 11 - Three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima power plant melted down after the Tohoku earthquake.

March 15 - A 6.4 earthquake hit Shizuoka, southwest of Tokyo.

March 25 - The Prime Minister expressed pessimism about the current state of the Fukushima 1 complex. It is still emitting radiation into the atmosphere, and there are worries about a possible breach of the core of one of the six reactors. Temperatures of exposed used fuel rods also remained a serious concern.

March 27 - The nuclear situation in Japan worsens as radioactivity has risen to a level that no longer allows workers to enter the stricken nuclear plant to effect repairs.

§North Korea

December 24 - Kim Jong Un, son of Kim Jong Il, was named the supreme leader of the revolutionary armed forces of the country.

§Europe

§Great Britain

April 29 - Prince William and Kate Middleton marry becoming the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

§Greece

November 6 - Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, left, and Antonis Samaras, the opposition leader, met with President Karolos Papoulias and agreed to form a unity government.

November 14 - Greece's new caretaker government under Prime Minister Lucas Papademos on Monday begins a roughly 100-day dash to complete and implement a raft of economic reforms before fresh elections are held early next year.

November 16 - Greece's new coalition government won a confidence vote in parliament, clearing the final hurdle and capping a two-week political crisis that raised doubts about the country's future in the euro zone.

The motion passed with 255 parliamentarians voting in favor and 38 against. Seven deputies didn't cast a vote.

Speaking just minutes before Greece's parliament began voting, Papademos warned of the disastrous consequences facing the country if it failed to press ahead with economic reforms demanded by its creditors.

Leaving the euro wouldn't solve Greece's economic and fiscal problems, he said. Rather, they would be made worse and lead to both higher inflation and ballooning debt servicing costs.

"There are no magic solutions," Papademos told lawmakers. "I am asking for a vote of confidence in the coalition government."

Greece's political crisis began earlier this month when former Prime Minister George Papandreou proposed holding a referendum on the country's latest European-led aid package that was seen as tantamount to a vote on its membership inside the euro.

The plan angered its European partners, rocked financial markets worldwide and touched off an open revolt within the majority Socialist party. Last week, Papandreou stepped down, opening the way for a new coalition government of Greece's two major parties--the majority Socialists and the opposition New Democracy party. The parties, combined, hold a 237-seat majority in the country's 300-member parliament.

§Italy

February 13 - Thousands of Italian women, led by actresses and intellectuals, took to the streets of Rome to protest against the "sexual exploitation and negative feminine image" that Prime Minister Berlusconi has contributed in spreading through his various sex scandals.

October 15 - Cars burn during a demonstration of the 'Indignant' group against banking and finance in Rome

November 16 - Premier Mario Monti formed a new Italian government without a single politician, drawing from the ranks of bankers, diplomats and business executives to create a team to steer Italy away from financial disaster.

§Spain

January 10 - ETA, the Basque Separatist group declared a permanent cease fire ending a 42 year struggle.

§Switzerland

September 22 - European researchers at CERN said they clocked a neutrino going faster than the 186,282 miles per second, the speed of light.

§Middle East

§Iran

November 18 - The UN's nuclear watchdog has passed a resolution expressing "deep and increasing concern" about Iran's nuclear program.

§Iraq

January 20 - Two bomb attacks near the Iraqi city of Karbala have killed at least 50 people and injured more than 150. The blasts occurred on two routes being used by pilgrims taking part in the Shia Muslim festival of Arbaeen.

December 12 - Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki moved to consolidate power in advance of the American military withdrawal by rounding up hundreds of former Baath Party members and evicting Western companies from the heavily fortified Green Zone.

§Jordan

February 1 - King Abdullah II of Jordan has fired his cabinet and named Marouf Bakhit as the new prime minister and instructed him to 'correct the mistakes of the past.'

§Lebanon

January 12 - Hezbollah Forces Collapse of Lebanese Government Ten of the ministers announced their resignations just as Prime Minister Saad Hariri was meeting with President Obama in Washington. The opposition had hoped that all 11 ministers would resign together, to bring down the government at that time and embarrass Mr. Hariri to the maximum.

§Pakistan

January 4 - Assassination of Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer in Islamabad.

January 19 - A 7.2 earthquake hit southwest Pakistan.

§Palestine

February 13 - The Palestinian Authority leadership in the West Bank has ordered the dismissal of its cabinet, a step to prepare for elections called in response to democratic uprisings sweeping the Arab world.

May 1 - Usama Bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad during a US operation.

§Turkey

October 23 - a Magnitude 7.2 hit the poorer sections of Turkey killing hundreds in building collapses.

November 16 - Turkey and members of the Arab League have called for "urgent measures" to protect Syrian civilians from a brutal government crackdown.

§Yemen

February 10- Protests began demanding the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

February 13 - Several thousand protesters, many of them university students, tried to reach the central square in the capital Sanaa, but were pushed back by police using clubs and tasers. Several protesters were injured and 23 people were detained by police.

February 21 - Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh rejected demands to resign immediately on Monday, declaring that protesters clamoring for an end to his rule must do so through elections rather than through violence and chaos.

February 22 - Thousands of anti-government protesters rallied, continuing their calls for President Ali Abdullah Saleh's ouster.

March 27 - Rebels have taken over parts of towns attacking Yemeni soldiers.

April 17 - Hundreds of thousands of people protested in cities across Yemen, demanding the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh and denouncing his remarks against women joining men for demonstrations

April 23 - Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has accepted a political deal brokered by neighboring Arab countries that would have him step down from power after 30 days in exchange for immunity for himself and his close family.

April 29 - A deal for Yemen's veteran leader to hand over power and end unrest appeared in doubt after President Ali Abdullah Saleh wavered over signing it.

§North America

§Canada

December 12 = Occupy protesters in Vancouver stopped trucks from reaching Canada's largest port as a show of solidarity with other West Coast activists in Washington State, Oregon and California.

§Mexico

January 8 - The headless bodies of 14 men and 1 other dead man were found in Acapulco.

§United States

January 8 - A shooting in Tucson leaves six dead including a Federal Judge, John Roll, a nine year old girl, Christina Taylor Green, Gabe Zimmerman, the director of community outreach for U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and three others. There were fourteen wounded including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords who was shot through the head but made a fairly miraculous recovery. The shooter was Jared Loughner.

January 13 - Watson, the IBM supercomputer, beat Ken Jennings, Jeopardy champion to be the first computer to dethrone a human at this trivia and general knowledge contest.

January 14 - New regulations allow religious organizations and educational institutions to sponsor travel to Cuba. Universities are allowed to organize academic seminars, conferences and workshops in Cuba with participation by faculty, staff and students.

January 31 - A federal judge struck down the entire Obamacare legislation as unconstitutional. While the individual mandate portion of the law was declared unconstitutional by a federal judge in December of 2010.

February 2-3 - A "super storm" covered two-thirds of the US bringing record snow fall and freezing temperatures.

February 16 - 22 Demonstrators gathered at the Wisconsin Capitol to protest Republican Gov. Scott Walker's plan to cut union benefits and end most public workers' collective bargaining rights of State workers. Workers have offered to take benefit cuts rather than lose their rights but the cuts are seen as insufficient to overcome a multi-billion dollar deficit facing the State.

March 9 - The Space Shuttle Discovery landed ending its 27 year mission with 39 missions, 148 million miles, 5,830 orbits of Earth, and 365 days spent in space. It is now destined for a museum.

March 9 - This might seem crazy but USA Today reported that "Since 2009, state legislatures have cut $1.8 billion in non-Medicaid mental health spending, according to a report released today by the National Alliance on Mental Illness."

April 3 - The United States, which long supported Yemen's president, even in the face of recent widespread protests, has now quietly shifted positions and has concluded that he is unlikely to bring about the required reforms and must be eased out of office.

April 29 - The death toll stands at 340 from massive tornadoes that hit Alabama and six other states.

November 17 - Occupy Wall Street: Police arrested protesters who sat on the ground and blocked traffic into New York's financial district on Thursday, part of a day of mass gatherings in response to efforts to break up Occupy Wall Street camps nationwide. Police in riot helmets hauled several protesters to their feet and handcuffed them one block from Wall Street.

November 25 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed three cases of a new flu virus, which originated in pigs but apparently spread from person to person, in three Iowa children.

§U.S. Economy

November 25 - US stocks eased lower Friday, capping the Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst Thanksgiving week performance since markets began observing the holiday in 1942.

§U.S. Industry

November 17 - Google Music debuts to compete with Apple iTunes.

§Russia

January 24 - A suicide bomb explosion at a Moscow airport killed 31 and wounded 130 people.

December 10 - Thousands staged an anti-Putin protest in Moscow.

December 24 - Tens of thousands of citizens converged in Moscow on Saturday for the second huge antigovernment demonstration in a month. The first such demonstration, two weeks ago, was unprecedented for Mr. Putin’s rule, and there were reasons Saturday’s turnout could have been lower — among them, winter holidays and the onset of bitter cold.

Instead, people poured all afternoon into a canyon created by vast government office buildings, and the police put the crowd at 29,000, more than they reported on Dec. 10. Organizers said it was closer to 120,000. Hours later, as the protesters dispersed, they chanted, slowly and rhythmically: “We will come again! We will come again!”

If the movement sustains its intensity, it could alter the course of presidential elections in March, when Mr. Putin plans to extend his stretch as the country’s dominant figure to an eventual 18 years. Opposition voters were furious over the conduct of this month’s parliamentary elections, and will be roused again by Mr. Putin’s campaigning. Still, maintaining momentum will prove a huge challenge, and the initial giddy mood has already hardened into something more serious.

§South America

§Bolivia

Mid-August - Activists from the Amazon Basin left Trinidad in the hope of reaching the national capital of La Paz to protest Morales' initiative. More than 1,700 protesters, including pregnant women and children, joined the 375-mile trek. Following a march for over a month, the protest group reached the outskirts of Yucumo, a predominantly pro-government town, where pro- and anti-government groups clashed.

Following more than a week of protests, the marchers staged a larger demonstration in which they sought to circumvent a police crackdown by forcefully holding Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca to march with them. A group of female marchers grabbed Choquehuanca and insisted that he lead them through the police cordon that separated them from both pro-government marchers so they could continue their journey to La Paz. Several government officials, including Minister of Interior Sacha Llorenti and Minister of Transparency Nardi Suxo said that this was a "kidnapping" (secuestro), but Choquehuanca steadfastly refused to label it as such saying that "the sisters and [female] comrades grabbed me, surely they had thought that they would pass that police encirclement with the Chancellor; I was not insulted, nor mistreated, but yes, they obliged me to walk." Prosecutor[clarification needed] Patrica Santos, who was charged with investigating the events, received Choquehuanca's testimony to this effect on 21 November.

September 25 - After the protesters reached the Yucomo region led to police firing tear gas and detaining some protesters, it also led to several injuries and four deaths. Maria Carvajal, a rights activist, said that the police attacked the protest camp with "extreme violence" and that she "could not believe what was happening." The next day, protesters returned and set barricades on fire at the airport runway in Rurrenabaque in order to secure the release of 300 protesters who had been arrested, according to Mayor Yerko Nunez. Protests also occurred in the capital city of La Paz as riot police had to organise a security cordon around the Quemada government building, where thousands of protesters denouncd the crackdown. Solidarity protests were also held in Cochabamba (the scene of similar anti-government riots prior to Morales taking office, which some said were instrumental in leading the social movements that brought Morales to power), with student protests and members of the Aymara and Quechua indigenous peoples beginning a hunger strike. Other protests were also held in the Beni province and in Santa Cruz.

September 28 - Several thousands again gathered to protest against the government crackdown and to defend the national park. The Central Obrera Boliviana called for a 24-hour general strike; though some businesses stayed open, schools and medical services were affected. The strikers marched outside the capital of La Paz to El Alto chanting "Evo is a fascist!" and "Evo is a lackey of Brazilian companies," miners burnt sticks of dynamite and the marches caused traffic delays. The protesters were said to be encouraged by the solidarity protests in the urban areas and the general strike; they then said that the protest march would continue. One protest leader, Mariana Guasania, told a group of about 200 protesters in Rurrenabaque: "Long live this historic march...the march goes on" in the quest to see a law that would guarantee the highway would bypass the national park.

September 30 - Over 10,000 protesters in La Paz carried banners that criticized Morales on the grounds that his government was "the worst and it should go because it attacked human beings, the indigenous compatriots who had given it their support, and now it's turned its back on them;" they also questioned his commitment to the rights of the indigenous peoples and the protection of "Mother Earth," that he had advocated during his election campaign.

October 1 - Protests resumed with about 1,000 demonstrators continuing the unfinished stretch of 250 km to La Paz. Adolfo Chavez, an indigenous leader, said that "We have resumed the march and our intention is not to clash with anybody. Instead of accusing the indigenous people, what the government should do is resolve the problem of the road once and for all."

October 19 - Almost 2,000 protesters reached the capital city of La Paz. Despite the suspension of the project the protest march continued in order to see the project canceled. Fifteen hundred protesters started the march to be joined by up to tens of thousands of protesters, according to the Al Jazeera English. As the protesters entered the city, people in La Paz cheered them by waving Bolivian flags and white handkerchiefs. As a gesture of goodwill both police and riot control vehicles were withdrawn from their positions outside the presidential palace.

October 21 - Morales announced a possible postponement or cancellation of the proposed Amazon highway. Morales passed a law through the Bolivian Congress that would prohibit construction of a highway through the national park.

§Brazil

January 1 - Dilma Rousseff is sworn in as Brazil's first female president.

January 13 - Floods in Brazil have killed 375 people in the worst natural disaster in Brazil's recorded history.

January 15 - Flooding continued leaving over 500 dead and many missing.

§Southeast Asia

§Burma (Myanmar)

March 24 - A magnitude 6.8 earthquake killed 74 people and injuring 111.

November 18 - In a sudden aboutface, the government of Myanmar has begun a sudden move toward democracy. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's most prominent democracy campaigner, announced on Friday that she would rejoin the political system of the military-backed government that persecuted her.

§Thailand

July - October - Devastating floods kill hundreds throughout the country.

October 15 - Thailand prepares to protect Bangkok from floods from a new weather system. Floods have already killed 297 people since July.

November 6 - Rising flood waters threaten the inner part of Bangkok, the country's capital.

§South Pacific

§Australia

January - Flooding has devastated parts of Australia in areas the size of both France and Germany combined.

January 12 - The Australian city of Brisbane prepared for the worst of its devastating floods.

January 13 - The flood levels did not rise to the previously expected levels.

November 16 - Australia announced that the United States would begin maintaining a cohort of Marines near Darwin, initially 250, eventually increased to 2500. There was also an agreement involving US Navy use of Australian ports and cooperation with the Australian and US Air Force. The move was seen as a veiled defensive move against China's increased presence in the South Pacific, and recent attempts to renew old sovereignty disputes. China responded with a harrumph.

§New Zealand

February 22 - A 6.3 level earthquake hit Christchurch with 2 major aftershocks, 5.6 and 5.5. The quake caused buildings to crumble, including the 130-year-old Christchurch Cathedral. Its spire toppled into the city square. No one was reported dead from the quake.

§Philippines

December 19 - A storm in Southern Philippines has left nearly a 1000 people dead.

§Online

This year Wikihistory will begin documenting history that happens on the Internet. Much of the actions that happen on the Internet cross borders, cultures and languages. History would not be complete without including what is happening in cyberspace. This year, Facebook has risen to new heights, with hundreds of millions of users. There is a trend away from traditional Internet applications, such as e-mail to more dominant social media applications such as the 160 character Twitter message, Skype, Facebook and Myspace messages, or while not truly an Internet application, mobile phone SMS messages. These services, mostly Web based, are drawing users away from the traditional "have a Web page, see a Web page" to "have a Facebook page." Facebook, highlighted in this year's popular movie Social Network about its storied founder, Mark Zuckerberg, is also being credited with providing the technology that supported the overthrow of repressive governments throughout Northern Africa, despite all attempts by those governments to stop it. The Internet was shut off completely during Egypt's uprising, and attempts to shut it off in Libya and Yemen have also restricted access by protest organizers.

February 22 - CBS News reported that the Internet continues to shape culture by allowing others to share their culture, sometimes considered radical, such as the growing number of YouTube ? videos that show teens self-mutilating in "cutting videos." "Researchers found the top videos had been viewed more than 2.3 million times and often got favorable ratings from viewers. Sixty-four percent showed cutting. The rest showed other types of self mutilation.

Many videos show bloody live enactments or graphic photos of people cutting their arms or legs with razors or other sharp objects, the study found. Many also glamorize self-injury and few videos discourage it, the study authors said."

§Space

November 17 - Chinese spacecraft returns from first docking mission.

§Deaths

April 24 - Sathya Sai Baba, Indian religious leader

October 5 - Steve Jobs, Founder of Apple Computer

November 7 - Joe Frazier, US former World Heavyweight boxer at the age of 67 from liver cancer

December 18 - Kim Jong Il, Ruler of North Korea from an apparent heart problem.

December 18 - Vaclav Havel, Former President of Czech Republic and leader of the Velvet Revolution, Dies at 75

December 20 - Jacob E. Goldman, founder of Xerox Parc Place. A physicist by training, Goldman was Xerox’s chief scientist in the late 1960s when he convinced the company to start a laboratory dedicated purely to scientific research. The Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) was then founded in 1970 and went on to originate landmark technological breakthroughs including the first personal computer, object-oriented programming, the graphical user interface, the Ethernet network, laser printing, and the first commercial mouse.

§Sources

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