Here is the time to look back on the last 12 months with a blend of desperation and nostalgia. The year 2011 will persist in our memory for marking some of the greatest news stories of history; Jobs died, Laden killed, Japan shook by tsunami and others. Well, it’s over and ironically as the world grows older, we continue to grow with it. TopYaps lists ten biggest news stories of 2011 that opened the flood gates of the mainstream media with beam of pride as well as with thick layer of grief.
An essential component of the Arab Spring, Syrian uprising started on March 15, in Daraa, demanding the resignation of President Bashar-al-Assad and his government. Through vandalism, hunger strikes, riots and marches, protesters have tried to eliminate the autocracy in order to achieve a greater political freedom. For an organized fighting pattern against the Syrian Government, protesters have established the Free Syrian Army, which involves regular civilians as well as rebels of the Syrian Armed Forces. Terrified with this uprising, Syrian Government has given lot of concessions to civilians with some meaningful reformations in constitutional structure. Since the commencement of Syrian uprising one of the biggest news stories of 2011, over 5,000 people have been killed, thousands have been injured and wide number of protesters have been arrested.
Egyptian revolution, which began on January 25, 2011, is basically a non-violent civil resistance which is still continuing as of commencement of 2012. Egyptians were extremely baffled by uncontrolled corruption, police brutality, high unemployments, food price inflation, state of emergency laws, demographic structural factors and other burning issues related with welfare of common civilians. However, President Hosni Mubarak resigned from his office on February 11 and switched the power in hands of military, yet there are no indications of elections in country. Mohamed ElBaradei, former Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, has played a significant role is retaliating the policies of Hosni Mubarak as well as to end up the military regime so that free elections could be held in coming future.
Best known as the “Dear Leader” and “our father” among people of North Korea, Kim Jong-il, an eminent figure of global political landscape, took his last breath on December 17, leaving behind his long trail of followers in indescribable sadness and pain. The supreme leader of North Korea was 70, when he died of a heart attack while travelling in a train, at outskirts of Pyongyang. The moment when news of his death was aired, entire went openmouthed and started weeping in the streets for their dearest leader. The amplification of emotion and tears prompted by tears were enough to demonstrate devotion to a dead man.
Occupy Wall Street movement is a protest against economic inequalities which was fueled on September 17, by Adbusters, a Canadian-based not-for-profit, anti-consumerist, pro-environment organization. Counted among one of the most biggest news stories of 2011, this movement began at Zuccotti Park, in New York City, with slogan “We are the 99%.” This slogan refers to the developing income and wealth difference in the United States between the wealthiest 1% and the rest of the population. This peaceful protest is conceptualized to retaliate growing inequality in wealth, influence of corporate world on democratic structure and bluntness in legal activities against prominent bankers who are responsible for recent global economic crisis.
Libyan Civil War, which started on February 15, was an armed battle between people loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and his protesters, attempting to overthrow his government. Soon after initiating the protest in city of Benghazi, protesters formed the National Transitional Council of Libya, which was meant to act as the political face of revolution. Baffled by these preparations of rebellions, Gaddafi ordered his people to target innocent civilians. However, backed up by the United Nations Security Council, rebellions managed to recapture their lost domains and eventually on October 20, they captured and killed Muammar Gaddafi, declaring the liberation of Libya. The Libyan Civil War will be always remembered for being one of the biggest news stories of 2011 as well as of this decade.
Counted among one of the most biggest news stories of 2011, the News International phone hacking scandal involves journalists of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation in illegitimate activities. Employees of this media house were accused of engaging in police bribery, phone hacking and utilizing improper methodologies to publish news and articles. It was revealed that they have hacked phones of politicians, celebrities, members of the British Royal Family, victims of the 7/7 London Bombings and others who were gazed as a news material. Rupert Murdoch was widely criticized for this act and he was compelled to shut down “News of the World,” an eminent newspaper which was running from 1843. This case led to the resignation and arrest of some top-notch police officers and high-profile members of the News International.
Ever since its inception on March 20, 2003, Iraq War has played a significant role in the realm of mainstream media for being one of the most biggest news stories of 21st century. Also known as Second Gulf War or Operation Iraqi Freedom, this eminent event of the first decade of 21st century came to end on December, 15, 2011. It all began under the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush and Tony Blair, the then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. United States and United Kingdom, both asserted that Iraq was employing Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) which could be a serious security concern for both of them as well as for their allies. After clearing up things in Iraq and claiming the indications of improvements, troops were eventually withdrawn from Iraqi landscape.
October 5, 2011, will be always remembered as a black day throughout the existence of computer and Internet. This day Steve Jobs, the mega-visionary computer nerd, departed from this materialistic world, leaving behind a monolithic pool of buffs across the world and some radical technologies for which he will be always memorialized. Jobs was suffering from pancreatic cancer and took his last breath at his Palo Alto home in California. Jobs’ entire life was dedicated to innovation through simplicity and that’s why his image will persist in our memories forever.
With the magnitude of 9.0 (Mw), Japan, on March 11, witnessed one of the five most powerful earthquakes ever to have hit in the world. The epicentre of this undersea megathrust earthquake was approximately 70 kilometres east of the Oshika Peninsula of Tohoku region and its hypocenter was tracked at an underwater depth of approximately 32 km. This earthquake, further, triggered lethal tsunami waves that reached up to 133 ft. in height and travelled up to 10 km inland. According to data gathered by Japanese officials, 15,845 people lost their lives, 5,893 were injured and approximately 3,380 are still missing. After the end of World war II, this is considered as the most toughest crisis for Japan.
Labelling the end of an era, May 2, 2011, will be always remembered throughout history; the day when an international terror figurehead of extreme ideologies was wiped out from the beautiful canvas of earth. You might think that why killing of Laden tops the list of biggest news stories of 2011. To be very honest, this brainsick person and a notorious killing machine was more terrifying than a tsunami and then any national uprising or a sad demise of a notable celebrity. In Operation Neptune Spear, carried out by Navy SEALs, a highly methodically trained assassination team of United States Defence Forces, Laden was finally gunned down in his compound in Abbottabad, in Pakistan. Within moments of of the official announcement of his permanent end, entire world started breathing in a safer environment.