2012 year end world stories

2012-12-30T00:00:00Z 2013-01-17T21:20:52Z 2012 year end world stories nwitimes.com
December 30, 2012 12:00 am

Successful London Olympics deliver rebuke to skeptics

LONDON | For skeptics, the Olympics were deliciously doomed: London's transport network would surely fail, Britain's athletes would flop, rain would prevail and terrorists would strike.

But then the sun came out after months of sodden skies, vehicles moved briskly and there were no attacks.

 

Group at ancient Mayan ruins celebrate start of a new era

MERIDA, Mexico | Dec. 21 started out as the prophetic day some had believed would usher in the fiery end of the world. By Friday afternoon, it had become more comic than cosmic, the punch line of countless Facebook posts and at least several dozen T-shirts.

At the ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza, thousands chanted, danced and otherwise frolicked around ceremonial fires and pyramids to mark the conclusion of a vast, 5,125-year cycle in the Mayan calendar.

The doomsayers who had predicted apocalypse were nowhere to be seen. Instead, people showed up in T-shirts reading, "The End of the World: I Was There."

Attack on embassy in Libya reverberates in U.S. politics

Even amid yearlong turmoil in Libya, it was a jarring incident — a Sept. 11 assault in Benghazi, widely blamed on a group with suspected links to al-Qaida, that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stephens and three other Americans.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, later bowed out of consideration to be the next secretary of state because of her assertions in TV interviews that a spontaneous demonstration over an anti-Muslim video triggered the attack.

Revolt in Syria continues as death toll surpasses 40,000

What began in 2011 as an outbreak of peaceful protests escalated into full-scale civil war pitting the beleaguered regime of Bashar Assad against a disparate but increasingly potent rebel opposition.

The overall death toll climbed past 40,000, as the rebels made inroads toward Assad's bastion of Damascus.

The U.S. and many other nations were supporting the opposition, albeit wary of outcomes that might help Islamic extremists gain power in the region.

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