It really has been a big year. A big year for Technology, Protesting and Politics! I’m not going to go into great detail here, but this is the list of the Top 11 News Stories in 2011 according to me… (and what was trending online through out the year.)
11. Kim Jon-il’s Death
Self declared ‘supreme leader’ of North Korea, Kim Jong-il died on December 17th 2011. He ruled this socialist type economy with a Military Fist policy for 17 years, following his fathers footsteps and being succeeded by his son. According to the Human Rights Watch report in 2004, North Korea under Kim was among the most repressive governments in the world, with a population facing, famine, poverty and political oppression. Only time will tell if his son, Kim Jong-un is experienced enough to handle nuclear program negotiations, chronic food shortages and decades of economic hardship.
10. Google+ Launches
Another social media platform threatened to rival that of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or even Tumblr, Google+ launched with a lot of fanfare in June 2011. True to Google form the launch was only to a select few having access to signups. The crack to join leaked shortly there after, flooding and crashing the system. Open to all in August businesses tried to gain access finding profiles being frozen and asked to wait for the Business Pages launch almost 6 months later. By that time, the buzz had died down, and although Google+ has over 40 million users, the penetration has still not been as successful as Facebook.
9. Rugby World Cup 2011
The largest sporting event ever held in New Zealand, the six week championships saw defending champions South Africa being eliminated by Australia (11-9) in the quarter-finals. New Zealand went on to win the Web Ellis Cup as winners of the 2011 Rugby World Cup by defeating France in the finals 8-7.
8. The Arab Spring
The revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests occurring in the Arab world that began in Tunisia, then Egypt and resulted in a civil war in Libya with the capture and killing of Gaddafi and several top regime officials in August 2011 ending his 42 year autocratic reign. This unrest which effected many Arab and North African countries soon spread to Asia and Europe and is seen as one of the sparks for the ‘Occupy Wall Street Movement’.
7. Occupy Wall Street
September 17, 2011 saw the beginnings of ‘Occupy Wall Street’ in Liberty Square in Manhattans Financial district. Since then the cause has spread to hundreds of cities in the United States and thousands of cities globally. Their aim is to fight back against the richest 1% of the population and the economic collapse causing high unemployment and foreclosure rates. Although messages have been inconsistent and ideas vague, this movement set out to bridge the inequality of the 99%.
6. iPhone 4s launches with Siri
Siri is iPhones first voice recognition application that understands your speech meaning, can speak back and follow rather complex instructions. From typing out a text message, searching online or even writing out a to do list, Siri sets out to be the best personal assistant you could have, placed neatly inside your new iPhone 4s in your pocket.
5. London Riots
Following a peaceful march on August 6th for the fatal shooting of Mark Duggan by the Met Police, riots broke out first in Tottenham in London. Spreading to several London boroughs and across England and estimated 200 million pounds of property was damaged or lost through fire, looting and destruction. Five people died and at least 16 injured with over 3,500 arrests being made through the mayhem that lasted 4 days. London is burning seemed to be the caption as many people stayed in doors and feared leaving their homes in case of confrontation with rioting youths.
4. Osama bin Laden Caught
After 10 years of searching, the face of global terrorism and the mind behind the September 11 attacks on the world trade centre is was killed in a firefight by American forces on May 2nd, 2011. This top secret operation in Abottobad, Pakistan was followed closely by some thousand Twitter followers as Mohammad Haroon Rasheed, continuously tweeted about the attack saying; “I heard a thundering sound, followed by heavy firing. Then firing suddenly stopped. Then more thundering, then a big blast.” We later learned it was indeed Osama being captured. He was killed in the attack and later buried out to sea.
3. The Royal Wedding
Estimated at a billion viewers around the world the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton was one of the largest and most spectacular events of the year. Being one of the most loved couples around the world, their love story has been followed and romanticized for many years. With a million people lining the streets of London to get a view of the golden couple they were rewarded with a double balcony kiss!
2. Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
The Great East Japan Earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tohoku on March 11, 2011 was the most powerful earthquake to ever hit Japan measuring 9.0 triggering a powerful tsunami with waves reaching 40.5 meters high. With just under 16,000 deaths and over 3,000 still missing, Japan is still battling to bounce back from this devastating disaster.
1. Steve Jobs dies at age 56
The genius charismatic technology pioneer, Steve Jobs who co-founded Apple Inc, developed industry shattering products such as the Macintosh, iPod, iPhone and the iPad died after a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer at the young age of 56 on October 5th, 2011. He not only transformed the music and film industry with the likes of iTunes and Pixar, but revolutionized personal computers and hand held smart phones. Truly someone who has enriched all of our lives, his legacy will live on for many years.