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World News

Major World News Stories of 2012

by Beth Rowen
Bashar Assad

Bashar Assad

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The tumult that resulted from the Arab Spring revolutions of 2011 continued throughout 2012. Democratic elections were held in Egypt, Libya, and Yemen. However, the nascent democracies were not without their growing pains and not all political transitions were smooth, especially in Egypt. There was no resolution to the crisis in Syria, which descended into bloody civil war. The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians remained at an impasse. Squabbling over rights to islands in the East China Sea sparked new tension in Southeast Asia. Here's an overyview and analysis of some of the biggest international stories of 2012.

Egypt's New President Faces Challenges, Successes, and Criticism

Anti-government demonstrations gripped several countries in the Middle East in 2012

No End in Sight in Syria's Civil War as Casualties Mount

Situation grows dire in Syria as Assad refuses to step down

Advances in Iran's Nuclear Program Lead to Additional Sanctions and Increased Tension with Israel

Continued progress in nuclear program draws harsher sanctions

Israel Focuses on Iran and Internal Politics

Netanyahu Calls for Early Elections—Twice and Mulls Attack on Iran

UN Upgrades Palestinian Authority's Status After Battles Breakout in Gaza

Palestinians renew their request for statehood at UN and Iran continues to pose a threat to Israel

Libya Holds First Post-Qaddafi Election

Amid political transition, the embassy attack in Benghazi becomes political issue in the U.S.

China's Communist Party Elects a New Leader

Geopolitical maritime dispute shares headlines with party politics

A Look at Kim Jong-Un's First Year as Leader of North Korea

Country successfully launches rocket into orbit

U.S. Continues to Withdraw Troops from Afghanistan

Continued attacks by the Taliban reveal nation's vulnerability during transition

Putin Returns to the Presidency but Protest Movement Against Him Gathers Steam

Russia criticized for blocking sanctions against Syria

London Hosts the 2012 Summer Olympics

More than 10,000 athletes from 205 countries competed in the Games

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