This Year in the World

A look at the top international stories from a tumultuous 2011.
10:29 | 12/25/11

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Transcript for This Year in the World
He's been a huge eventful year both here and around the world. Time magazine couldn't find a single individual to named person of the year instead. Corning in the year of the protest. And indeed it was from the Occupy Wall Street movement here to European demonstrators protesting budget cuts. And crowds of -- according to election reforms. And most momentous of all the Arab Spring protest -- transformed. That part of the world. Which is now -- with new political life so let's take a look at the big events in the world that -- this year. It began just a year ago when he young too -- -- street vendor named Mohammed was easy. Set himself on fire to protest an unresponsive dictatorship. Suddenly the whole region was of days and young people yearning for change. The majority of our population is on the twenty time. Often -- -- -- and Buddha -- and I Begin Ben Ali fled the country. Egypt -- at the Arab world was next to Iraq. The people took to -- real integration -- by the thousands. We were in the middle of the. I don't we. Don't. -- And suddenly this almost big evil side. Men riding horses and camels Dallas community at breakneck -- -- -- crowd and -- Dan good. Soon this -- it was a battleground. We -- back to the square and quickly found themselves surrounded. I'm angry mob of little Mubarak's of. -- -- it happened because I think it's pretty good look at this moment you want us to go. It. He did that modules that -- now windshields as we drove off. They hate the -- -- that -- over and over again and threw a rock through the front window the glass is shattered all over drive. Violence that that night as firing -- -- into the crowd. -- with -- some calm. Inside. Again the protests have been lining up -- on civil and. What might happen -- -- All over this land and -- do we unity and the wounded. That all of and knows his face -- -- to -- Reinforcements were -- People came with new supplies. In a remarkable eighteen days he forced out one of the regions in. -- -- -- A great ally of the United States and Israel Hosni Mubarak. I was the only journalist to see and told to Mubarak. During those last days in office and -- never forget him telling me that he was tired fed up and would step down. If I'm a guy now he says there will be chaos. And I'm afraid the Muslim Brotherhood will take over. Libya's Moammar Gadhafi was next in line for the -- of his people unlike Mubarak who knew the game was up. Gadhafi was in total denial. I spoke to him in an exclusive interview in February. And they left me or my -- -- relieve -- -- me all. But if they do -- Edmonds died until -- like me in my mind -- -- Instead they lynched in the moment they got their hands on him. Prompted NATO helped the insurgency with and support. Across North Africa into the hearts of the Middle -- dominos fell all the way to Syria. With -- foreign press is banned and more than 5000 Syrians have been killed according to United Nations. The president Bashar Assad has the goal to claim that he was not to blame for the bloodshed that he wasn't in control. He says that in an exclusive interview with ABC's Barbara Walters. Do you think -- -- voices. Crack down too -- Hello my forces. Bill me dutiful for the bill for the government OK if you write a little bit and visited capitol on the -- filled in on Capitol Hill. And -- is December -- for all the world to see. His neighbor King Abdullah of Jordan told -- in May there was no doubt Scott who was running the show in Syria. He is in charge yes and he is called -- I think. The sharp needs to reach out to the people and get people -- on the table. -- had ignored that advice. And the violence in his country has escalated to the brink of civil war. What does all this upheaval mean for the region and for the United States. The big fear has always been that well organized Islamist parties -- Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood. Would emerge as the strongest and turn the Arab world towards Islamic fundamentalism. With the first elections now taking place. Grassroots experience is paying off. Into -- -- a moderate Islamist party won the most votes in elections in October. And -- at pains to insist the -- Islam is not at odds with democracy. In Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood did win the biggest -- this -- parliamentary elections and lately has been seen as more moderate and politically flexible. Although a more radical Islamist party came in a strong second. The real tension in Egypt now is over the role of the ministry. How Long Will it stay in power. The headline said it all. Osama bin -- the most notorious -- -- his street. Shot and killed by American forces the discovery that he'd been hiding in plain sight in -- military garrison town in Pakistan. Was an important milestone in the fight against terrorism. With the Arab Spring had shown that the al-Qaeda ideology was already a spent force in the Muslim world. Relegated to remote corners like Yemen and Somalia. -- the worst drought. -- -- -- -- -- -- Ten million people in desperate and dire straits -- this -- We was the first American network to -- bullet on the looming disaster -- A dying child. A mother grieving. A father helpless. They are the victims of what aid officials are calling the worst humanitarian crisis on earth. Drought combined with a deadly insurgency by Al Sabah al-Qaeda -- rebel group. Led to the first -- of the 21 century tens of thousands perished. And there are predictions that another quarter million Somalia is still might die. As my team and I across Japan to -- almost biblical scenes of destruction. He is a big -- a meltdown. In -- we -- in Japan covering a different kind of -- stuff. A devastating earthquake that treated a terrible tsunami. It killed more than 151000 people and unleash a nuclear calamity. Huge swaths of land along the coast remain on -- We fly -- this massive plume of black smoke billowing 3000 feet into the act. The petrochemical. Ogden though has been burning since the earthquake struck and all it was spinning into the -- And as the disaster in Japan and shook the global economy. Financial tremors were rumblings throughout the world. Parent. On the -- -- you Europeans took to the streets protesting austerity measures to combat the debt ridden countries. The international financial system was imperiled throughout the year by the -- -- debt crisis. -- started as an infection in the toe and was allowed to spread and now. -- past three distinct problems. It has -- debt problem it has a banking crisis and has a -- -- Returned to your initial question. -- stand what impact does this have on the US I think potentially devastating. You -- what an ambush of bullets are coming at us from three sides. And in Afghanistan. In October up the US -- ten years of war. As an Obama administration announced it was -- drawing down its forces. In Iraq this week the last American troops withdrew. Indeed needing nine years of combat -- with 4500. Americans and more than a 100000. Iraqis dead. And at a cost of 800 billion dollars ABC's Martha Raddatz has been this flew out. All US troops may be out of Iraq right now but this does not really ended the war for the Iraqis and there is a very big threat. Of sectarian violence in Iraq. And certainly the threat of al-Qaeda that the biggest question is what kind of influence Iran -- have here. And this week. The year ended with -- -- the dictated down. North Korean -- -- Kim Jong Il's death added more uncertainty to the volatile Korean Peninsula.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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