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5. Occupy Wall Street ProtestsThe Occupy Wall Street (Credit: Newsday/Howard Schnapp, 2011)

5. Occupy Wall Street Protests

The Occupy Wall Street protests began on Sept. 17, 2011, at Zuccotti Park in Manhattan's Financial District. Coining the phrase, "We are the 99 percent," the movement has brought attention to social and economic inequality, corporate greed and corruption and an array of other issues. Since its start, the Occupy Wall Street protests have spread to cities throughout the globe.

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Top 11 nation/world stories of 2011

The top 11 nation/world stories of 2011 from newsday.com.

11. Casey Anthony trialThe trial for the death
(Credit: Getty Images, 2011)

11. Casey Anthony trial

The trial for the death of 2-year-old Caylee Marie Anthony began in May of 2011 with mother Casey Anthony facing charges of first-degree murder. Throughout the trial, Anthony maintained that the toddler's death was an accident, stating that Caylee had drowned in the family pool. A verdict of not guilty was delivered in July, acquitting Anthony of the first-degree murder charge and, instead, convicting her of misdemeanor counts of lying to police officers.

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10. U.S. war in Iraq endsOn Dec. 15,
(Credit: Getty Images, 2011)

10. U.S. war in Iraq ends

On Dec. 15, 2011, the United States ended its nine-year mission in Iraq without the pomp and circumstance. Instead, military officials lowered the flag used by U.S. forces at a compound at a Baghdad airport as part of a 45-minute ceremony. Since the war began, 4,500 Americans and 100,000 Iraqis died and the United States spent more than $800 billion.

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9. Amanda Knox acquittalWith the world watching, an
(Credit: AP, 2011)

9. Amanda Knox acquittal

With the world watching, an emotional scene in an Italian courtroom played out on Oct. 3, 2011, as Amanda Knox, who had previously been convicted of killing her British roommate, pleaded for her freedom. Moments after Knox's 10-minute address, the court began its deliberations, returning a decision to free the American after she served four years in an Italian prison.

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8. Norway massacre and bombingsOn July 22, 2011,
(Credit: AP, 2011)

8. Norway massacre and bombings

On July 22, 2011, a car bomb placed outside the office of Norway Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg detonated, killing eight people and wounding several others. Less than two hours later, a summer camp on the island of Utoya was attacked by a man dressed in a police uniform, leaving 69 attendees dead. The Norwegian Police Service later arrested Anders Behring Breivik a right-wing extremist and charged him in the deadliest attack in Norway since World War II.

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7. The Royal WeddingThe royal wedding of Britain's
(Credit: AP, 2011)

7. The Royal Wedding

The royal wedding of Britain's Prince William to Catherine Middleton took place on April 29, 2011, at London's Westminster Abbey. The pair first met in 2001 while studying at the University of St. Andrews. Their much-anticipated nuptials were aired across hundreds of countries with ratings peaking at about 60 million viewers in the United States alone.

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6. Tuscon massacre/Giffords shootingOn January 8, 2011, Jared
(Credit: AP, 2011)

6. Tuscon massacre/Giffords shooting

On January 8, 2011, Jared Lee Loughner, a 22-year-old Tucson man, opened fire on a constituent meeting being held by U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in a supermarket parking lot in Casas Adobes. Giffords and18 others were shot; six of whom, including Arizona Chief Judge John Roll and one 9-year-old girl, died. Giffords, who was shot through the head at point blank range, was initially listed as being in critical condition, but has since began the journey to recovery.

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5. Occupy Wall Street ProtestsThe Occupy Wall Street
(Credit: Newsday/Howard Schnapp, 2011)

5. Occupy Wall Street Protests

The Occupy Wall Street protests began on Sept. 17, 2011, at Zuccotti Park in Manhattan's Financial District. Coining the phrase, "We are the 99 percent," the movement has brought attention to social and economic inequality, corporate greed and corruption and an array of other issues. Since its start, the Occupy Wall Street protests have spread to cities throughout the globe.

Photos | Video | Read more

4. Arab Spring/Gadhafi deathUprisings in the Arab world
(Credit: Getty Images/AP, 2011)

4. Arab Spring/Gadhafi death

Uprisings in the Arab world this year first began in Tunisia and spread quickly to other countries. Protests in Egypt successfully ousted Hosni Mubarak, while uprisings began in Syria against President Bashar al-Assad's regime. Most notably, a civil war in Libya led to the death of exiled leader Moammar Gadhafi.

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3. Eurozone/U.S. debt crisisTo some degree, the U.S.
(Credit: Getty Images, 2011)

3. Eurozone/U.S. debt crisis

To some degree, the U.S. economy improved throughout 2011; unemployment rates dipped below nine percent, consumer spending increased and hiring rates were up. However, millions of Americans remained without jobs and investors nervously monitored the growing financial crisis in Europe. In the European Union, fiscal measures created turmoil throughout. Greece saw protests and riots triggered by austerity measures while Italy's debt woes ended Silvio Berlusconi's tenure as the country's prime minister.

Video: Europe in crisis

2. Japanese earthquake, tsunami and radiation On March
(Credit: Getty Images, 2011)

2. Japanese earthquake, tsunami and radiation

On March 11, 2011, an 9.0 magnitude earthquake with an epicenter off the northeastern coast of Japan rocked the Miyagi prefecture and triggered a massive tsunami that devastated the country. Tremors from the quake shook cities as far away as Tokyo, located hundreds of miles away. Following the quake, the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, which was severely damaged by the tsunami wave, underwent a complete nuclear meltdown rated at a Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale, the same level given to the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

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1. Osama bin Laden killedOn May 1, 2011,
(Credit: AP, 2011)

1. Osama bin Laden killed

On May 1, 2011, Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2011 attacks, was killed in a firefight with American forces. Despite rumors that bin Laden had been hiding in caves for years, the terror leader had instead been hidden away in a lavish custom-built hideout in Pakistan. The operation took only minutes, and soon after, bin Laden's body was buried at sea in accordance with Islamic law.

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