In every corner of the world, the past few months have proven to be triumphant, marking new beginnings as well as disappointments. With elections that have already taken place and preparations for upcoming ones, demonstrations, and civil wars, Summer 2012 has been historic. Between the beach, pool and cookouts, it’s possible you missed some of the stories—so here are 10 of the top international headlines from this past summer.
1. Euro Crisis—Bailouts and summits have unfortunately not fixed this ongoing financial crisis. Greece has been affected the most—with the possibility of them returning to their former currency, the drachma—but Spain and Italy are at the forefront as well.
2. Syrian Conflict—Civil war has escalated between the Syrian government and the FSA (Free Syrian Army). Assad has not backed down although a breakthrough for the FSA was the killings of three members of the President’s cabinet.
3. Egyptian Elections—Egypt holds first democratic elections, granting the Muslim Brotherhood Candidate Mohammad Morsi presidency. Morsi is a controversial candidate, and many fear he will turn Egypt into an Islamic state.
4. Women Athletes—For the first time, Saudi Arabia agreed to send women athletes to the Summer Olympics in London. Wodjan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shahrkhani competed in judo and Sarah Attar participated in the 800-metre runner.
5. LIBOR—An interest rate—known as The London Interbank Offered Rate— which banks use to borrow funds, is the average interest rate estimated by leading banks in London that they would be charged if borrowing from other banks. This past summer USA and UK banks set this rate, stirring a commotion all over the world for their investors, bankers and customers.
6. Pussy Riots—The legendary Russian feminist punk-rock band caused an uproar in Moscow as they protested Russia’s dictator president, Vladimir Putin. The EU, USA and others are outraged as band members have been sentenced to two years in jail. The case demonstrates the Russian governments intolerability to opposition and arguably, free speech as well.
7. India Power outage—In July, India suffered two major power outages within a span of one week. The first outage in northern India affected more than 350 million people and was the country’s worst blackout in a decade. The second outage left 600 million people and not fully restored for a full two days. The outages are proof that the country is struggling to keep up with the intense expansion and growth of its population.
8. US Presidential Election—With the world watching as the United States prepares for its presidential election in November, Republican Candidate Mitt Romney announced Paul Ryan as his Vice President. A bright economist, Ryan is known for telling it how it is.
9. South Sudan—July 9, 2012 marked the one-year anniversary of the creation of South Sudan. Following decades of conflict and war, the country was crafted in hopes of freedom and separation from hostility in Sudan. It has been a rough start for the country, with accusations of tribalism in their government and general human-rights abuses.
10. Chinese Murder—Gu Kailai, the wife of a former top official in the Chinese Communist Party, Bo Xilai, was found guilty for the murder of a British businessman. Before the coming months of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party, the current President Hu Jintao is expected to begin the process of passing power on for the future generation. This will greatly affect not only Bo Xilai’s chances of assuming power, but also the image of the party.