The 2012 world review

To say 2012 has been an eventful year would be an understatement. There’s been the deepening war in Syria which has seen Turkey and Lebanon being caught in the crossfire.

A major riot at an Egyptian domestic football match led to the suspension of games and more recently superstorm Sandy ripped through the east coast of the US.

But it hasn’t been all bad, 2012 has also been a year of major achievements and celebration. In the UK they Queen has spent the year marking her Diamond Jubilee, there was the Euro 2012 Championships and records were smashed during the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games.


The year began much the same as 2011 had ended, with the ongoing uprising in Syria. Arab League monitors ended their time in the country in what proved to be a largely failed mission. Syrian troops were told to leave residential areas, but in the end they refused and the protests, violence and killing continued. (Read the story)

Iran blamed the US and Israel for the assassination of nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan in Tehran.  It was a claim denied by the White House, followed by the condemnation of the attack. (Read the story)

On January 14, the cruise ship Costa Concordia partially sank off the Italian coast at Isola Del Giglio, Tuscany. A vast hole was gauged into the ship’s hull when Captain Francesco Schettino took the vessel off course to give those onshore a close sail pass.   The were 30 known fatalities, but there are still at least two people still missing, presumed dead.  The ship’s captain Francesco Schettino faces charges of manslaughter and abandoning ship. (Gallery)



On February 2, violence broke out at a football match in Egypt between Port Said’s team Al-Masry and Cairo's Al Ahli. There were 74 people killed in the violence and hundreds more injured. The violence flared after the match between al-Masry and Al Ahli, whose fans have a history of fierce rivalry. (Read the story)

The music world was left in shock when singing legend Whitney Houston was found dead at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 11. Her lifeless body was discovered in the bath of her hotel room. An inquest was to later reveal the star has died from a lethal cocktail of drugs and alcohol. (Read all our Whitney Houston coverage)

In Greece violent scenes erupted in the streets of the country’s capital, Athens, as the government tried to set a cost slashing budget. It was the beginning of a year of protests that continue to leave Greece’s position in Europe highly unstable. (Read the story)



Vladimir Putin returned as Russia’s president after controversially winning a third term in office. There were mass protests during the elections amid claims of election fraud, but he still took office with more than half the vote.  (Read the story)


On March 11 a rogue US soldier rampaged through an Afghan village killing 16 people, causing outrage both locally and throughout the world. Staff Sgt Robert Bales was later arrested and charged with the murders. He now could potentially face the death penalty. (Read the story)


Kofi Annan held talks with Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. Both sides acknowledged it would be tough to reach a deal, but finally agreed on a ceasefire. Like all the other ceasefires there was clear evidence of breaches by both the army and rebel forces. (Read the story)


Two years after being released from 20 years house arrest the Myanmar activist Aung San Suu Kyi won a seat in the parliament. In the first act of democracy the country saw the opposition dominate the parliamentary election.  (Read the story)

Tension spread across the world as North Korea prepared to launch a ballistic missile, insisting the  launch was only for the purpose of sending a satellite into orbit. But the international community saw the launch as a violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions which insist North Korea does not use ballistic missile technology. (Read the story)

Ko Won-Il, killed seven people and three injured when he went on a shooting rampage at a private California religious college near San Francisco. The 43-year-old was a former student at the Oikos University, a Christian school in Oakland, California. (Read the story)


Chen Guangcheng, a blind Chinese activist, who was held up in the US embassy in Beijing to avoid arrest, said he wanted to leave for the US rather than stay in China, throwing into doubt a deal used to coax him out of the US embassy in Beijing and defuse an impasse that has strained China-US ties. (Read the story)

In France Socialist Francois Hollande swept to a presidential election victory, pushing Francois Mitterrand out of office. (Read the story)

A strong earthquake in northern Italy killed at least six people, injured dozens and damaged historic buildings including a famed mediaeval castle, waking terrified citizens and sending thousands running into the streets. (Read the story)



Egypt's Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison on June 2, 2012, for his involvement in the murder of protesters during the uprising that ousted him last year, after enjoying near absolute power for three decades. (Read the story)

With Syria in a full-scale civil war, on June 12, as UN observers reported they were fired on as they tried to enter a town feared to be the focus of a new massacre. (Read the story)

On June 24 Muhammad Mursi made history when he was declared the winner in Egypt’s first free presidential election, closing the tumultuous first phase of a democratic transition. (Read the story)


On July 1, Spain were crowned victors of European football as they continued with a magnificent 4-0 victory over a hapless Italy in the final of Euro 2012 at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev. (See the action in this gallery)

On July 4 scientists revealed they had found the Higgs Boson, the sub atomic particle that is believed to contain answers to such questions as ‘how did it all begin?’. (Read the story)

Libya's liberal coalition beat Islamist parties in the first poll since the ouster of Muammar Ghadaffi. (Read the story)

On July 20th an armed man walked into a cinema in Denver, Colorado during the midnight screening the Batman movie Dark Knight and opened fire. He killed 12 people. James Holmes, who was arrested shortly after was later revealed to have been seeing a psychiatrist specializing in schizophrenia before the attack, according to court documents. (Read the story)


The London 2012 Olympic Games were launched with a spectacular show which even saw the British Queen star alongside James Bond actor Daniel Craig before appearing to parachute from a helicopter into the enormous stadium. (Read the blog see the video)


At the start of August Egypt's army massed troops in Sinai in a campaign to quell increasingly deadly Islamists. The build up came after state television reported that military helicopters and soldiers killed 20 militants on Wednesday in the first such operation in Sinai in decades, in retaliation for a militant ambush that killed 16 soldiers. (Read the story)

August 16 saw Ecuador grant political asylum to WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange, a day after it said Britain had threatened to raid the Ecuadorean embassy in London to arrest the former hacker. (Read the story)

Three members of the Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot were found guilty of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, and sentenced them to two years in prison. The trio had performed a song in an Orthodox church criticising Vladimir Putin, the Russian president. (Read the story)


A gunman killed six people and critically wounded three at a Sikh temple, just weeks after the Batman movie massacre in Denver, Colorado. Police shot the gunman dead at the scene who was revealed to be right wing extremist Wade Michael Page, an Army verteran. (Read the story)

NASA successfully landed its $2.5 billion Mars Science Laboratory and Curiosity rover on the surface of the Red Planet, marking the most ambitious attempt to reach Mars in history. Within days images of the Red Planet were being beamed back to earth. (Read the story and then see the gallery)

Tens of thousands of people were evacuated from the capital of the Philippines as floods devastated the city. About 80% of the city was submerged by the deadly floods. (Read the story)



The US ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, was killed in a late night raid on the American consulate. (Read the story and watch the video)

The year proved to be a good one for British tennis with Andy Murray not only winning the mens’ singles gold at the London 2012 Olympics, but also smashing his way to victory with his first ever grand slam win at the US Open. (Gallery)

British royal Prince Harry was revealed to be on deployment in Afghanistan just weeks after the prince was surrounded by controversy when naked pictures of were published around the world. He is co piloting Apache helicopters in the troubled country during his deployment. (Video)

The UAE banned the anti-Islam video Innocence Of Muslims, that was posted on the internet sparking worldwide protests. The film, which appeared on YouTube, sparked angry protests throughout the world.  (Read the story)

The London 2012 Paralympic Games followed hot on the heals of the Olympic games that had proved to be a huge success. The Paralympics did not fail to amaze with events attracting record numbers. (Gallery)


In October the US began its hunt for the militants behind attack on its consulate in Benghazi that left Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans dead. Meanwhile the Libyan government was denying any involvement in the incident.(Read the story)

Turkey's parliament authorized the right to cross-border military action against Syria. The mandate came just days after a cross border mortar attack killing a Turkish woman and four children. The actions by Syrian military followed from the shooting down of a Turkish jet, killing both crew. (Read the story)

The Taliban shot and seriously wounded 14-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai. They shot her in the head and neck in retaliation for her speaking out against the militants and their banning of the education of women and girls. (See the video)

Lebanon blamed Syria for a car bomb attack in Beirut that killed a prominent Lebanese security official and seven others. The attack that also left nearly 90 people injured was seen as the war in Syria spilling over into neighbouring countries. (Read the story see the video)

Superstorm Sandy battered the east coast of the US leaving many communities devastated and vast parts of New York city without power. The storm’s path had taken it through the Carribean killing dozens and leaving thousands homeless. (Read the stroy)


President Barack Obama won a second term in office after a closely and hard fought and often vicious  campaign on both sides. The defeat of Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, has left the party re evaluating itself. But Barack Obama has indicated that he will have to find a way to work with the Republicans in order to get policy through. (See the video)

A top Hamas commander was among seven people killed in more than 20 Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip, as Israel began an operation targeting armed groups. The attack sparked a deadly conflict between the two sides – the worse since 2008. (Read the story)


Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine announced on December 3, 2012 the news everyone had hoped for, that they are expecting a baby, destined to be the country's future monarch. (Read the story)

A heavily armed gunman killed 26 people, including 20 children from 5 to 10 years old, in a rampage at a Connecticut elementary school on Friday, December 14, one of the worst mass shootings in US history. The massacre prompted President Obama to demand major changes to the country’s gun laws.(Read the story)

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