MOSCOW, January 1 (Itar-Tass) —— Itar-Tass presents the traditional top ten events of the year in the world.
No 1 ARAB SPRING
Revolutionary events, which were later called the Arab Spring, began in the Middle East and North Africa, in January-February. Massive protests in Tunisia, which led to the fall of the regime of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, triggered the sweeping protest rallies. Millions of people in Egypt took to the streets next. In February the validity of the Egyptian constitution was suspended, the parliament was dismissed and President Hosni Mubarak resigned. Simultaneously Tripoli witnessed protests against the regime of Muammar Gaddafi, which developed into an armed confrontation and, finally, into a NATO operation in Libya. Gaddafi was killed in the vicinity of Sirte on October 20. Anti-governmental protests started in Syria in March and continued until now. There were massive protests in Jordan, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco, Oman, Bahrain and Yemen, as well.
No 2 EARTHQUAKE IN JAPAN
The strongest earthquake in the national history happened in Japan on March 11. It measured 9 points and had the epicenter in the Pacific Ocean, 373 kilometers northeast of Tokyo. Tsunami hit the Pacific coast, with waves reaching 15-20 meters. The natural calamity caused a major accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant and radiation leaked. According to some estimates, the earthquake was the sixth by its devastating force in the entire modern history. It killed 15,833 people and injured 5,279. A total of 3,671 people are missing.
No 3 EUROZONE CRISIS
The European Union held urgent summits on October 23 and 26 amid the escalating financial crisis. The EU leaders approved a long-term anti-crisis plan with the global goal of the improvement of the European financial system and the common currency. The action plan includes the restoration of the solvency of Greece, re-capitalization of European banks and the enhancement of the European mechanism of financial stability. The action plan was supplemented with a budget agreement, which implies the formation of a budget and tax union of the eurozone, on December 8-9.
No 4 MOVEMENT FOR FAIR ELECTION
A rally for fair election was held on Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square on December 10. According to different estimates, from 25,000 to 80,000 people attended the rally. The representatives of various political parties and public movements called into question the December 4 election of the State Duma and adopted a resolution, which demanded the dismissal of Central Elections Commission Chairman Vladimir Churov, a new electoral system and a new election. The second rally was held on Sakharov Avenue in Moscow on December 24. According to different estimates, from 30,000 to 120,000 people took part in it. There were similar protest rallies in St. Petersburg, Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk, Gorno-Altaisk, Barnaul, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Bryansk and Arkhangelsk.
No 5 KILLING OF OSAMA BIN LADEN
Osama bin Laden, the head of the Al Qaeda terrorist network, was killed in a U.S. Navy operation in Abbotabad, northern Pakistan, on May 1. The search for No1 terrorist, who was believed to be the main orchestrator of the terror act in New York City on September 11, 2001, lasted for ten years. U.S. officials said that bin Laden was buried in the sea with due account of Islamic norms and traditions.
No 6 STEVE JOBS’ DEATH
U.S. inventor, businessman and Apple Corporation founder Steve Jobs died in New York on October 5 at the age of 56 after a long ailment. He was a key figure of the computer industry and a person who set the vector of the computer industry development. He was named as the inventor or co-author in more than 230 patents, including the most outstanding products iPod, iPhone and iPad.
No 7 KIM JONG IL’S DEATH
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il died at the age of 69 on December 17 during his trip around the country. He was the leader of North Korea and the North Korean Workers’ Party for 17 years. His glass sarcophagus was installed in the Kumsusan Memorial Palace, a building located near the northeast corner of the city of Pyongyang serving as the mausoleum for Kim Il-sung, the founder and president of North Korea. The access was opened until December 27, and the funeral was held in Pyongyang on December 28. The successor is Kim’s youngest son, Kim Jong Un, who had been a deputy chair of the Central Military Commission.
No 8 SEVEN BILLIONTH EARTHLING BORN
The Earth population reached 7 billion on October 31. The baby was born in Kaliningrad. Baby boy Pyotr Nikolayev, 50 centimeters in height and 3,060 kilograms in weight, was born at 00:02 a.m. local time. His mother received a UN certificate confirming that her son’s name was put on the list of the jubilee babies of the planet. The UN Population Fund determines the day and place of the birth of such babies.
No 9 END OF SPACE SHUTTLE PROGRAM
The 30-year-long space shuttle program ended on June 21. The program was started in January 1972, and six space shuttles were build, among them the Enterprise pilot space shuttle, the Columbia, the Discovery, the Atlantis, the Challenger and the Endeavor. The Columbia was the first to make a flight in April 1981. There were two crashes in the history of space shuttles: the Challenger blasted on January 28, 1986, and the Columbia tragedy happened on February 1, 2003. Fourteen astronauts died. In all, there were 135 launches of space shuttles. A total of 355 astronauts from 17 states went on space missions.
No 10 WEDDING OF PRINCE WILLIAM AND CATHERINE MIDDLETON
The wedding of grandson of British Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William, and Catherine Middleton took place on April 29 at the Westminster Abbey in London. The Queen created them the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Forty members of foreign royal families attended the wedding, which had almost 2,000 guests all together. More than 2 billion people watched the wedding on television worldwide.