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2011: The Year in Review

From the Arab Spring, Japan's quake and tsunami to the death of Osama bin Laden and the global economic crisis, explore our interactive timeline

2011: The Year in Review
2011: The Year in Review

 

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One of the defining events of 2011 was set in motion the previous year, when a fruit merchant in Tunisia set himself on fire in protest of the authorities, an act that unwittingly started what is now called "The Arab Spring."

Soon after, a massive earthquake turned into triple disaster for Japan, and just two months later, came the stunning discovery that al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden was living in a suburb in Pakistan as the world learned of a dramatic covert U.S. military operation that ended with his death.

Africa gave birth to a new country: South Sudan, while Ivory Coast finally ejected a long-time strongman. To the east, Somalia was engulfed by a devastating drought and famine.

In Europe, leaders struggled with an historic debt crisis as the world watched a young and glamorous royal couple exchange vows in Britain.

Explore these events and more by launching our interactive 2011 timeline.

 

The year's most compelling images

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