Year in Review, 2011: World News

Updated February 28, 2017 | Infoplease Staff

Major World News Stories of 2011

by Beth Rowen
Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi

Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi

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The year 2011 was undoubtedly one of the most momentous in recent memory. Indeed, the Arab Spring brought down several long-entrenched Middle Eastern leaders, U.S. Navy SEALS killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, the Palestinians requested statehood at the UN, and the euro debt crisis threatened the stability of Europe. With the continued instability in both the Middle East and Europe, 2012 looks to be just as tumultuous. Here's an overyview and analysis of some of the biggest international stories of 2011.

Arab Spring Creates Tumult in the Middle East

Anti-government demonstrations gripped several countries in the Middle East in 2011

European Nations Battered by Euro Debt Crisis

The leaders of Greece, Italy, and Spain lost their jobs as a result of the financial debacle

Osama bin Laden Killed in Pakistan

The mastermind behind the September 11, 2011, terrorist attacks is finally found and killed

Iran Continues to Pursue Nuclear Program

Report of continued progress in nuclear program draws harsher sanctions

U.S. Withdraws Completely from Iraq

President Obama announced in October that all troops will leave Iraq by the end of the year

Hope for Peace Fades for Israelis and Palestinians

Palestinian request statehood at UN dashes hope for peace

Pakistan's Relationship with U.S. Steadily Deteriorates

Series of events further strains already tense situation

Earthquake in Japan Causes Wide Destruction and a Nuclear Disaster

9.0 magnitude earthquake triggered a nuclear crisis

Parliamentary Elections Spark Massive Anti-Kremlin Protests in Russia

Vladimir Putin's Party Accused of Voting Fraud

Phone-Hacking Scandal a Major Embarrassment for Media Mogul

News of the World Controversy Becomes World News

World Population Reaches a New Milestone

The world's population reached 7 billion on October 31, 2011

London Hosts a Royal Wedding

Prince William and Kate Middleton Marry in a Lavish Ceremony

Leader of North Korea Dies

The uncertainty following Kim Jong-il's death put the world on high alert

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