It is not easy reviewing a year’s worth of news in a few sentences.
But, when it comes to intrigue, suffering, over-reaction, absurdity, power-politics, hope in the depths of the earth and even a bit of well-orchestrated footy-fun, 2010 has had plenty to offer for us journalists.
As secret documents splashed across the headlines, diplomatic schemes from the masters of the universe fascinated us common people.
Qadafi’s “voluptuous” Ukrainian nurse; American troops gunning down Iraqis in real-time video-game war; Israel and the Palestinian Authority collaborating against Hamas; the Saudi elite’s impotent attempts to have Uncle Sam bomb Iran, and thousands more bits of gossip and insight became accessible to average folks far from the halls of power. We think that is important.
Sex scandals focusing on Julian Assange – the WikilLeaks founder – only helped the story snowball, with the site staying in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Moving past the leaks from Wiki, environmental disasters loomed large this year, taking four of our top ten spots.
Volcanic ash wreaking havoc on European travelers; floods displacing millions in Pakistan; a massive earthquake killing hundreds of thousands in politically-shattered Haiti and 180 million barrels of BP oil tarring a pristine environment and feathering the wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico.
Israel’s deadly raid on the Gaza aid flotilla turned world opinion further against the occupying power, costing Israel its main ally in the Muslim world.
And South Africa successfully hosted one of the planet’s largest sporting events, delighting the world with hospitality, while splitting eardrums with the iconic vuvuzela.
On the whole, we at Al Jazeera think this list represents the ten news stories that had the most global significance this year due to the magnitude of their political, environmental, economic or social consequences.
We don’t claim this survey to be infallible, or irrefutable—objectivity and analysis are functions of perspective, not inherent truth. These are our picks from 2010; do with them what you will, send feedback, argue with your friends, complain, agree or make your own content.
We hope you enjoyed reading this year’s news as much as we did writing about it.
Stay tuned to Al Jazeera English, as there is always more to come.