January 2012 Current Events: World News
Here are the key events in world news for the month of January 2012.
Protests Intensify in Syria (Jan. 1): An 88-member Arab Parliament calls for the immediate withdrawal of Arab League monitors in Syria because the government continues to crackdown on opponents, despite the monitors being in the country. (Jan. 6): A bomb explodes in Damascus, killing 25 people and injuring dozens more. It is the second attack in the capital in the last two weeks. (Jan. 11): President Bashar al-Assad appears in public for the first time since the uprising began, thanking the crowd for supporting him. Meanwhile, a French journalist is killed during an attack at a pro-government rally in Homs.
European Union Agrees to Impose Oil Embargo on Iran (Jan. 4): The countries within the European Union agree to impose an embargo on Iranian oil. France stresses the importance for sanctions and an embargo as a way to get Iran to halt uranium enrichment and end its nuclear weapon efforts. Any new sanctions and embargo will come in stages and a final decision by the European Union will not be made until the end of the month. Since December 2011, Iran has responded to talk of new sanctions from Europe and the U.S. by threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz, test-firing new missiles, announcing its first nuclear-fuel rod, and warning a U.S. aircraft carrier not to return to the Persian Gulf.
Iran Blames U.S. and Israel for Death of Nuclear Scientist (Jan. 11): A bomber on a motorcycle kills nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan in Tehran during the morning commute, according to Iranian media. It is the fourth attack on an Iranian nuclear specialist in two years. Immediately following the attack, Iran accuses the United States and Israel. The White House responds by denying any responsibility and condemning the attack.
Azarenka, Djokovic Win Australian Open (Jan. 28–29): Victoria Azarenka from Belarus defeats Maria Sharapova of Russia, 6–3, 6–0, to win the Australian Open Women's Singles Championship. Serbia's Novak Djokovic beats Rafael Nadal of Spain, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7, 7-5, to take the Men's Singles Championship. Djokovic and Nadal's five set match lasts 5 hours and 53 minutes, setting a new record for the longest grand slam singles final in the Open Era.