Around the World

Crises, Scandals, Celebrations: 2012 in Review

While 2012 may not have had such defining movements internationally as the Arab Spring of the previous year, it was punctuated by significant events around the world, from crises to scandals to celebrations.

Fighting between rebels and government forces continued in Syria, claiming more than 40,000 lives and exacerbating a humanitarian and refugee crisis. In September, a trailer for an anti-Islam film posted on YouTube led to massive protests worldwide. In an attack still under investigation, Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, and three other Americans were killed in Benghazi. There was also saw a flare-up of tensions between Israel and Hamas, with eight days of violence along the Gaza border. Meanwhile, an economic crisis plagued Europe, with anti-austerity protests in several cities. And in Africa, rebels in the Democratic Republic of the Congo seized the eastern city of Goma, resisting calls to leave and threatening the capital, Kinshasa.

Elections in several key regions of the world brought new leaders to some countries, while familiar faces retained power as well, including strongmen Vladimir Putin in Russia and Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. Citizens of Burma elected pro-democracy icon Aung Sung Suu Kyi to parliament. In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, Libya held its first democratic elections in decades. Egypt's Islamist president Mohammed Morsi, elected in June, later took the most undemocratic step of granting himself sweeping powers. And in China, a once-in-a-decade power shift saw a new communist leadership in place.

The year also saw some notable celebrations. The spotlight was on Queen Elizabeth II as she celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, 60 years on the throne of England. Later, London welcomed the world's best athletes for the 30th Summer Olympics. And in a celebration for science, NASA's rover -- aptly named Curiosity -- touched down on Mars after an eight month journey from Earth.

  • Ko eyes major breakthrough at LPGA Mission Hills
    Ko eyes major breakthrough at LPGA Mission Hills

    Lydia Ko, at 17 already the youngest golfer ever to reach number one in the world, will try to add a first major championship to her sparkling resume this week at the LPGA's ANA Inspiration. A victory would make the South Korean-born New Zealander the youngest major champion in LPGA history, surpassing American Morgan Pressel, who was 18 when she lifted the trophy on the same Mission Hills Country Club Dinah Shore Tournament course in 2007. Although Ko hasn't finished in the top 25 in two prior appearances at Mission Hills, her remarkable recent consistency makes her the player to beat this week. Ko brings a streak of 28 straight LPGA rounds under par into the tournament -- one shy of matching the record set by Swedish great Annika Sorenstam in 2004.