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January: The Arab Spring is in full swing. In Tunisia, protesters camp outside the Prime Minister's office. By January 14, 2011, the government had been overthrown. What had begun with a single protester's act of self-immolation had led a country to oust a President who had ruled the country for 23 years. © Reuters

February: what Tunisia started, Egypt continued. The Arab world's biggest - and arguably key - country toppled President Hosni Mubarak, who had run the country for 30 years. The victory of the protesters came at a cost - some 365 people died in the 18 day uprising. © Reuters

March: The Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan wrought havoc. Here we see the effects of before and after the tsunami's devastating impact. The magnitude 9 earthquake was the most powerful ever to hit Japan. Nearly 16,000 people died. The destruction at the Fukushima nuclear plant caused the biggest nuclear meltdown since Chernobyl.

April: another President who denied his people democracy falls in Africa. This time it's Laurent Gbagbo of the Ivory Coast. After failing to accept that he lost a Presidential election in 2010, he remained in power illegitimately until April 2011, when he was arrested. The violence that was unleashed in the interim period led to him being transferred to the ICC in the Hague in November 2011, where he faces four counts of crimes against humanity.

May: Osama bin Laden dies. Here, Americans in Times Square, in the heart of New York, take to the streets to celebrate the death of the man who had masterminded arguably the city's worst days 10 years earlier. Bin Laden was discovered living in a house in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A team of US Navy Seals stormed the house on May 2 in operation Neptune Spear. Bin Laden died during the raid. © Reuters

June: it's the economy, stupid. Greece's economy goes into meltdown, bringing major consequences both internationally and internally. Here, a protester taunts police in front of the parliament during violent protests in Athens' Syntagma square in June, 2011. The parliament had approved unpopular austerity measures, despite violent protests. The parliament acted to secure international funds needed to prevent the eurozone's first sovereign default. © Reuters

July: the Norwegian massacre. Having detonated a car bomb in Oslo which killed 8 people, a 32 year old right wing extremist set off for Utoya island where 650 young people were at a summer camp. Arriving dressed as a policeman, the gunman opened fire on the youths, killing 69 people. 55 of them were teenagers. © Reuters

August: hot in the city. The UK erupts into summer riots. Parts of major UK cities, including London, Birmingham and Bristol, were overrun by rioting youths, who looted and attacked property and police. The riots were originally triggered by a mistaken fatal shooting by the police. In the ensuing riots and arson attacks, five people died. Over 3,000 people were arrested. © Reuters

September: 10 years on. The US, and the world, mark the moment 10 years on when the September 11 attacks hit New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. It was the first anniversary to be commemorated following the death of Osama bin Laden. © Reuters

October: the end of another bloody dictator. Colonel Gaddhafi's stranglehold on Libya is finally released as his last stand in Sirte comes to an end. The Colonel had been holed up in his hometown as opposition forces surrounded him and the forces loyal to him. This was the final act in a story which had started with his ruthless suppression of his own people, who he called rats, through to international protection of these people by NATO, and finally his capture by these same people.

November: when will it change? Climate change negotiations dragged on at the 2011 UN Climate Change conference in Durban. The deal reached satisfied everybody - or nobody. On the positive side, there was an agreement that a legally binding agreement should include all countries and be ready by 2015 for implementation by 2020. On the negative side, many environmentalists qualified this as too little, too late.

December (I): Goodbye to him. Kim Jong-il, North Korea's dictator since 1994, dies. Pictures of hysterical, weeping civilians are broadcasted on state TV. The official press agency reports that a fierce snowstorm paused upon his death. The country, whose millions of people remain poor and some malnourished, is now run by his son, Kim Jung-un: a young man in his mid-20s. © Reuters

December (2): And goodbye to him. Finally, another man died whose life affected millions - but for good. Vaclav Havel was a poet, playwright, politician and ultimately the first democratic president after the 'velvet' revolution in 1989. During Czechoslovakia's communist regime, he was imprisoned many times for his beliefs and actions, the longest term being from June 1979 to January 1984. His funeral drew world leaders and hundreds of thousands of people. As his coffin left Prague's cathedral, the crowd broke into sustained, warm applause. © Reuters

January: The Arab Spring is in full swing. In Tunisia, protesters camp outside the Prime Minister's office. By January 14, 2011, the government had been overthrown. What had begun with a single protester's act of self-immolation had led a country to oust a President who had ruled the country for 23 years. © Reuters

February: what Tunisia started, Egypt continued. The Arab world's biggest - and arguably key - country toppled President Hosni Mubarak, who had run the country for 30 years. The victory of the protesters came at a cost - some 365 people died in the 18 day uprising. © Reuters

March: The Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan wrought havoc. Here we see the effects of before and after the tsunami's devastating impact. The magnitude 9 earthquake was the most powerful ever to hit Japan. Nearly 16,000 people died. The destruction at the Fukushima nuclear plant caused the biggest nuclear meltdown since Chernobyl.

April: another President who denied his people democracy falls in Africa. This time it's Laurent Gbagbo of the Ivory Coast. After failing to accept that he lost a Presidential election in 2010, he remained in power illegitimately until April 2011, when he was arrested. The violence that was unleashed in the interim period led to him being transferred to the ICC in the Hague in November 2011, where he faces four counts of crimes against humanity.

May: Osama bin Laden dies. Here, Americans in Times Square, in the heart of New York, take to the streets to celebrate the death of the man who had masterminded arguably the city's worst days 10 years earlier. Bin Laden was discovered living in a house in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A team of US Navy Seals stormed the house on May 2 in operation Neptune Spear. Bin Laden died during the raid. © Reuters

June: it's the economy, stupid. Greece's economy goes into meltdown, bringing major consequences both internationally and internally. Here, a protester taunts police in front of the parliament during violent protests in Athens' Syntagma square in June, 2011. The parliament had approved unpopular austerity measures, despite violent protests. The parliament acted to secure international funds needed to prevent the eurozone's first sovereign default. © Reuters

July: the Norwegian massacre. Having detonated a car bomb in Oslo which killed 8 people, a 32 year old right wing extremist set off for Utoya island where 650 young people were at a summer camp. Arriving dressed as a policeman, the gunman opened fire on the youths, killing 69 people. 55 of them were teenagers. © Reuters

August: hot in the city. The UK erupts into summer riots. Parts of major UK cities, including London, Birmingham and Bristol, were overrun by rioting youths, who looted and attacked property and police. The riots were originally triggered by a mistaken fatal shooting by the police. In the ensuing riots and arson attacks, five people died. Over 3,000 people were arrested. © Reuters

September: 10 years on. The US, and the world, mark the moment 10 years on when the September 11 attacks hit New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. It was the first anniversary to be commemorated following the death of Osama bin Laden. © Reuters

October: the end of another bloody dictator. Colonel Gaddhafi's stranglehold on Libya is finally released as his last stand in Sirte comes to an end. The Colonel had been holed up in his hometown as opposition forces surrounded him and the forces loyal to him. This was the final act in a story which had started with his ruthless suppression of his own people, who he called rats, through to international protection of these people by NATO, and finally his capture by these same people.

November: when will it change? Climate change negotiations dragged on at the 2011 UN Climate Change conference in Durban. The deal reached satisfied everybody - or nobody. On the positive side, there was an agreement that a legally binding agreement should include all countries and be ready by 2015 for implementation by 2020. On the negative side, many environmentalists qualified this as too little, too late.

December (I): Goodbye to him. Kim Jong-il, North Korea's dictator since 1994, dies. Pictures of hysterical, weeping civilians are broadcasted on state TV. The official press agency reports that a fierce snowstorm paused upon his death. The country, whose millions of people remain poor and some malnourished, is now run by his son, Kim Jung-un: a young man in his mid-20s. © Reuters

December (2): And goodbye to him. Finally, another man died whose life affected millions - but for good. Vaclav Havel was a poet, playwright, politician and ultimately the first democratic president after the 'velvet' revolution in 1989. During Czechoslovakia's communist regime, he was imprisoned many times for his beliefs and actions, the longest term being from June 1979 to January 1984. His funeral drew world leaders and hundreds of thousands of people. As his coffin left Prague's cathedral, the crowd broke into sustained, warm applause. © Reuters

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