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Sunday, January 1, 2012

NEWs & events review for 2011 find out here

Japan, Libya, Egypt: RT picks biggest events of 2011

 RT is looking back at the events that shaped 2011. We present the top ten stories of 2011 through the eyes of RT correspondents who witnessed them.
In March Japan was shaken by a devastating earthquake and half an hour later a disastrous tsunami hit the north-eastern coast of the country smashing buildings and wiping away whole towns. The subsequent meltdown of the nuclear reactor at Fukushima power plant added the threat of radiation to the vast destruction already inflicted.
Ivor Bennett was in Japan in the hours which followed the catastrophes.
With his crew stranded by visa problems, he found himself alone in a country living in constant fear and uncertainty.
Another pivotal event of 2011 was the Libyan uprising, which eventually turned into the civil war that ended 42 years of Muammar Gaddafi`s regime. Maria Finoshina recalls visiting Libya as the country was being bombed by NATO and torn apart by rebels, and the dramatic changes it went through as war raged. She also shares her impressions of Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, whom she interviewed during her time in Libya.
While Libya was on fire, its close neighbor Egypt was also experiencing radical changes. The Egyptian revolution did more than just change the course of the country's history. Along with the Tunisian uprising, it spearheaded the Arab Spring, the wave of protests that swept across the Middle East. RT's Paula Slier reported from Tahrir Square, a place that saw hundreds of thousands protesting against the regime of the now ousted President Hosni Mubarak. She shares what never made it into her live news reports.
Across from Africa Europe was fighting its own war as the eurozone was going through the worst economic crisis in decades. For Greece, the country most severely affected by the financial disaster, 2011 was a year of despair and discontent.
The year has certainly been an unusual one for Russian politics. The December parliamentary elections triggeredmass protests in Russia, as people doubted the results, leading to debate about the popularity of the ruling United Russia party.
The United States has also witnessed mass protests in 2011, as thousands of Occupy Wall Street movement supporters took to the streets across the country demanding social and financial equality.
Making its way into the headlines all over the world in mid-March, Syria has not been out of them since. The conflict is ongoing and the country is fractured under the strain of political disputes, anger and violence.
Tragedy shook Russia when a fatal plane crash in the city of Yaroslavalclaimed the lives of the entire first-team squad of the city’s hockey team Lokomotiv. The younger team members left behind managed to focus and start rebuilding the team.
It has been a tough year for the UK, which saw its worst unrest in decades, as several cities, including the capital London, descended into rioting, looting and arson. Five summer days of chaos in August shocked the world, raising questions about the social situation in the country.
Space projects consistently made the news in 2011. RT closely followed the events in the sphere that saw a fair share of both breakthroughs and failures.

The year of dissent: Keeping America’s 1% Occupied

When the Occupy Wall Street movement set up camp in New York’s financial district in September 2011, few people paid much attention to the self-proclaimed 99 per cent. But the tents in Zuccotti Park were like a spark to America’s social kindling.
Soon, the indignant voice of the people spread across the country. People supported a movement aimed at awakening all to the negative effects of the growing, and strangely seldom-questioned, income and wealth disparities in the country. 
Staggering national debt, never-ending job cuts and foreclosures, all amid reports of cushy bonuses for Fortune 500 CEOs, drove the Occupy movement beyond America’s borders. Just a few months after the first tents were pitched in NYC, the movement and its ideology were truly global.
It followed on the footsteps of global unrest. The protesters themselves came up with the slogan "Arab Spring, European Summer, American Fall." 
But even though it was non-violent, unlike rallies in the Middle East and Africa, these media-savvy youths couldn’t have picked a better time. Recent studies show that the gap between the rich and the poor is the biggest in 30 years. In addition, the US is gearing up for presidential elections in 2012.
RT’s Marina Portnaya, who covered the protests in New York, says this may be why American mainstream media avoided the Occupy movement for as long as possible.
“They were marginalized in the very beginning. But there was a moment when the mainstream media couldn’t ignore the movement, because it became the biggest story in the United States. There were clearly biases and different points of view given from mainstream media outlets here in the United States, because they are owned by corporations and these Americans are talking about corporate influence on US politics,” Portnaya told RT.
And even though the movement has lost some of its momentum after camps were raided by police nationwide, this is most definitely not the last time the Occupiers will be heard from. In fact the clampdown on the demos, if it was intended to end them, did quite the opposite, says Max Fraad Wolff, a senior analyst at Greencrest Capital.
“Authorities have hoped that the protest will fizzle out or go away. And when it didn’t, it grew and got more and more attention and adherence, there was a bit of heavy-handed over-response by authorities, the use of force…I do think that that’s going to be a problem because what it tends to do is to bring more protesters and bring public sympathies for the protesters. The ham-handed and over-marshaled response to the protest has actually helped to build the Occupy movement,” he told RT.