July 2012 Current Events: World News
Here are the key events in world news for the month of July 2012.
Unrest Continues in Syria as Soldiers Defect (July 2): In one of the largest military defections since the uprising in Syria began, eighty-five Syrian soldiers flee to southern Turkey. The defecting soldiers include one general and over a dozen lower-ranking officers. (July 3): Syrian President Bashar al-Assad tries to diffuse tension with Turkey by expressing regret over the Turkish warplane that his forces shot down last month. The Cumhuiyet, a Turkish newspaper, reports that Assad said his men believed it was an Israeli jet and that he won't allow tensions between Syria and Turkey to deteriorate into an "armed conflict." (July 11): Syrian ambassador to Iraq, Nawaf Fares, defects from Baghdad. In doing so, Fares becomes the first prominent figure to publicly denounce the Syrian government. (July 12): According to opposition activists, more than 200 people are killed by Syrian government forces in Tremseh, a Sunni village near Hama. (July 18): In Damascus, a suicide bomber attacks a meeting of senior ministers and security officials. Syrian's defense minister and President Bashar al-Assad's brother-in-law are killed in the attack. (July 19): Fighting becomes more violent in Damascus between the Army and opposition forces. Residents begin to flee the capital.
Roger Federer and Serena Williams Reclaim Wimbledon Titles (July 7–8): Serena Williams beat first time finalist, Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 to win her fifth Wimbledon women's singles title. Later in the same day, Serena and her sister Venus Williams win the women's doubles championship for the fifth time. Roger Federer breaks the heart of all Brits, including Scotland's Andy Murray when he defeats Murray 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 in the men's singles championship. With the win, Federer claims his seventh Wimbledon singles title, tying the record shared by Pete Sampras and William Renshaw. The win also means Federer will once again be the #1 ranked player in the world. Great Britain hasn't had a men's singles champion since Fred Perry in 1936.
Libya Holds First National Election Since Qaddafi (July 7): For the first time since Col. Muammar Qaddafi was ousted, Libyans vote in a national election. At least two people are killed due to armed assaults on voting centers. In the city of Kufur, some voting centers close due to an ongoing battle between tribes. Despite these obstacles, turnout is over 60 percent. (July 8): Early election results show a coalition led by Mahmoud Jibril is ahead of Islamist parties in votes. Jibril is a Western-educated political scientist. His coalition's lead is a sign that Libya, unlike Egypt and Tunisia, is not trending toward Islamist rule.
Hezbollah Is Accused for Attack on Israeli Tourists (July 18): Outside a Bulgarian airport, a suicide bomber attacks a tour bus of Israelis passengers who were in Bulgaria on vacation. Along with the bomber, five Israelis and the Bulgarian driver are killed. Dozens more passengers are injured. Immediately following the attack, Israel blames Iran-backed militia, Hezbollah, and promises to retaliate. Of the attack, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says in a statement, "All the signs lead to Iran. Only in the past few months we have seen Iranian attempts to attack Israelis in Thailand, India, Georgia, Kenya, Cyprus and other places. Eighteen years exactly after the blast at the Jewish community center in Argentina, murderous Iranian terror continues to hit innocent people. This is an Iranian terror attack that is spreading throughout the entire world. Israel will react powerfully against Iranian terror."
Russia and China Veto U. N. Sanctions on Syria (July 19): Russia and China veto a United Nations Security Council resolution to impose sanctions on the Syrian government. The proposed U.N. sanctions are intended to push Syria into putting a peace plan into action and ending its 17-month-old conflict. The resolution is proposed by Britain and backed by ten other council members, including France and the United States. Russian ambassador Vitaly I. Churkin explains the Russian veto to the council, "We simply cannot accept a document which would open the path for pressure of sanctions and further to external military involvement in Syrian domestic affairs."
2012 Summer Games Open with an Unconventional Ceremony (July 27): Some 80,000 people in Olympic Stadium and billions worldwide watch as Britain celebrates its milestones and points of pride, from the Industrial Revolution to its National Health System to Harry Potter in a high-tech ceremony directed by filmmaker Danny Boyle. One of the most talked about events featured stunt doubles for James Bond actor Daniel Craig and Queen Elizabeth jumping from an airplane and parachuting into the stadium. (July 31): Michael Phelps wins his 19th Olympic medal, becoming the winningest Olympic athlete of all time. He surpassed the record held by Russian gymnast Larisa Latynina.
India Hit By Massive Power Failure (July 30): More than half of India's population—700 million people living in 22 out of the country's 28 states—loses power. The cause of the power failure is not determined. For the most part, Indians take the blackout in stride, as such events are not unusual in a country whose power grid is still in development.