From discovering 'God' to facing mother Earth's fury, 2012 saw it all. Here are some of the top moments of this year.
Victory for Suu Kyi
It was a momentous victory following a decades-long fight for democracy for National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in the Myanmar elections. On April 1, her party won 43 of the 44 seats they contested, resulting in her appointment as the leader of the opposition. While her victory did not have an effect on the ruling government, it was a victory for the people who lived under military rule for over 50 years.
Fourteen year-old Pakistani, Malala Yousufzai was shot dead on October 9, while on her way back from school, by Taliban terrorists for championing girls right to education. “I don't mind if I have to sit on the floor at school. All I want is an education. And I am afraid of no one,” she said in an interview. Recognising her efforts, the United Nations declared November 10 as Malala Day. Millions, including Canadian PM Stephen Harper, and minister Shashi Tharoor have signed a petition calling for Malala to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
It was a proud moment for Rolf Heuer, director of the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), as he announced the discovery of a new subatomic particle on July 4, calling it consistent with the long-sought Higgs boson - popularly known as the 'God particle' - that helps explain what gives mass to all matter in the Universe. "We have a discovery. We have observed a new particle that is consistent with a Higgs boson," he said.
Lance lanced by drugs
Legendary professional athlete Lance Armstrong, was stripped of the record seven consecutive Tour de France titles, and went down in history as 'one of the most brazen dope cheats that sport has ever seen'. The US anti-doping agency, which published a report that laid bare his guilt, claimed Armstrong was at the heart of "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen". Armstrong conceded he would not contest the charges against him.
Obama back in the White House
US President Barack Obama forged history again, defeating Republican candidate Mitt Romney with a thumping majority. Riding on a message Hope, 51-year-old Obama crossed the 270 electoral votes needed to win. Obama took six of the nine swing states, including the crucial state of Ohio. Soon after the results were in, Obama tweeted, 'Four more years', a tweet which was retweeted over 800,000 times, reportedly making it the most famous tweet ever.
Parts of the Caribbean, the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States were devastated by Hurricane Sandy during the last week of October. The storm became the largest Atlantic hurricane ever, and the second-costliest Atlantic hurricane, behind only Hurricane Katrina, according to reports. The storm, which left parts of the US powerless and with a shortage of food, saw 120 people dead.
Moon man walks to heaven
Neil Alden Armstrong, the first man to walk the moon passed away on August 25 in Cincinnati. Armstrong, who had fulfilled one of mankind's age-old quests, was 38 at the time. His family expressed hope that young people around the world would be inspired by Armstrong's feat to push boundaries and serve a cause greater than themselves. "That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind."
Prank gone bad
What started off as a prank call by two Australian DJs Mel Grieg and Michael Christian, ended up in a tragedy. The nurse, Jacinta Saldanha, who who was manning the reception desk put through the call made by the Australians to Catherine's private nurse. Saldanha committed suicide on December 7, sparking off a debate whether the hoax call by the Australians crossed the line.
China's new leadership
The world's second largest economy's vice president Xi Jinping was elected general secretary of China’s Communist Party Central Committee, succeeding outgoing President Hu Jintao. Xi, will take over as the president of China in March 2013. The 18th Party Congress which concluded on November 14, paved the way for this once-in-a-decade power transition in China.
War in the middle-east
Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza have been trading airstrikes and rocket fire through the second half of 2012. The bordering nations erupted in further violence over the killing of Ahmed Jabari, the leader of Hamas's military wing on November 14. While a ceasefire, preventing an Israeli ground invasion of the Palestinian enclave, is now in place, over 150 people have been left dead by the violence.
Disclaimer: the news events listed above do not resemble any order of importance.