2011 Top Stories: National and International

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times and a contributor to WNYC, and Washington Post political writer, Melinda Henneberger,  reflect on the top national and international stories of the year. 



Melinda Henneberger and David Sanger

Comments [23]

tse topgyal from NYC

This is not really a top story, but I consider this the most underreported news of year 2011. And I say that as a Tibetan and also as someone who likes to keep abreast with news from around the world. Year 2011 will be considered another tragic and sad year for Tibet and Tibetans as (Eleven) 11 young Tibetan monks and one (1) nun made the ultimate sacrifice through self immolation for the cause of freedom. Eight of them died as a result of that. The rest of them are considered to be in critical condition and their whereabout unknown. Few videos of their self imolation have already come out. And here is one that is now on youtube . Please be advised that its a graphic video.
This is a video of the Tibetan nun.

Dec. 28 2011 09:37 PM
Jonathan from Brooklyn, NY

Hi - haven't heard much about the landmark settlement against Westchester County in which the federal government requires the County to develop 750 fair and affordable housing units in predominantly wealthy, white communities throughout Westchester County over seven years. While the settlement occurred in 2009, the County's progress two-years in seems relevant to many other discussions regarding access to education (in better school districts) and distribution of wealth (how the 1% maintain their exclusivity by zoning out affordable housing and refusing to accommodate those of lower economic status).

Dec. 27 2011 11:35 AM
Emanuel from Brooklyn

Due to the fact that NASA is as much a political entity as much as a key component to the US social fabric, that the last Shuttle Launch in July was one of the big stories of the year.

Dec. 27 2011 11:23 AM
Nick from UWS

For Christ's sake...tell your interns to give some minimal thought to what they write, and fix the title of the should read What's The Most Significant Political Development of 2011...not 2012.

Dec. 27 2011 11:12 AM
Nick from UWS

Anyone who doesn't consider the backroom expansion of the Patriot Act to include indefinite detention of US citizens and authorization of the assassination of US citizens to be the top story...the TOP story..of 2011, is a complete and utter fool. Compared to that, all other stories are window dressing. That story ought to be on the front page of all news media, all the time. But of course, like other foolish, childish and ignorant populations, we will walk willingly and passively into a police state, ignoring countless opportunities to avoid or destroy it.

Dec. 27 2011 11:03 AM
Pat Hester from Newark, NJ

What about Obama's insistance on supporting the NATO bombing of Libya which was in support of the rebels and eventually resulted in the downfal and death of Moamar Khadaffi. I am surprised that no one mentioned it.

Dec. 27 2011 10:56 AM
Jessie Henshaw from way uptown

The big story of the year is clearly the utter and total silence on how the way we changed the earth is now directly causing our persistent struggle with economic decline.

The media could do fine on much of the subject, really. What they don't realize is how confused the policy and science communities are by it. What's happening completely contradicts the most important assumption underlying our "expert" design for our economy. That's the assumption that people (our experts) are "so smart" that no matter what resources we run out of we'll ALWAYS find new ones that are even better!!

Well... put simply, the really smart people are too proud to admit how really dumb that is... and as nutty as our media are, they're not so self-certain. The "alternative" science and policy community is confused by it too, but there ARE some good starting points.

Dec. 27 2011 10:53 AM
John A.

The Gabrielle Giffords issue sped the political demise of Sarah Palin, since you mentioned it.

Dec. 27 2011 10:44 AM
jim from new york city

I think the Obama Administration's lack of leadership on environmental issues both nationally and internationally must be one of the most important stories of 2011. As an Obama supporter, I was deeply disappointed in this development. From the Keystone Pipeline to the Durban conference, Obama has failed to use the Bully Pulpit to advocate for saner environmental regulations and a move toward a greener economy.

Dec. 27 2011 10:41 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

The Tea Party's biggest mistake was co-opting themselves with the GOP.

Dec. 27 2011 10:38 AM
John A.

"FaceBook" Or, the power of the internet:
Wikileaks, for weakening the influence of the US State Department in the Middle East. Facebook, for originating the first wave of the Arab spring. Twitter for letting the Arab spring build. International observers may be correct in relating 'Occupy' as a next step in the internet spring revolution, as Time magazine did.

Dec. 27 2011 10:37 AM
Stanley Conrad from Hell's Kitchen

What about the administration's green-lighting the extra-judicial killing of American citizens ?

Dec. 27 2011 10:37 AM
Topgyal from New York

First in Tibetan history that His Holiness the Dalai Lama has devolved the political power and the Tibetans having elected Harvard-trained legal scholar, Lobsang Sangey as the prime minister of exile government or (head of Tibetan administration in exile) taking over the full political power. He is only leader who is giving up power where the rest of the leaders are hungry for power. He said that we must embrace democracry and abide by the internation rule of law.

Dec. 27 2011 10:31 AM
Sebastian from manhattan valley

Two things: the collapse of unity within the Republican Party and the emergence of the reality that the President is a moderate (or maybe not so moderate) conservative.

Dec. 27 2011 10:30 AM
Jeffrey from Manhattan

International: Arab Spring
National: Slow but not-yet-significant decline in Tea Party influence. The saddest "development" to me is not a development but really a failure, and that is of the true moderates and the left in Government, including the president, to speak the truth to the anti-tax (really anti-social safety net) right. The "gridlock" of which you all speak does not find its fault on both sides of the political aisle. The war on social programs and protections for the super-rich, this imbalance between super rich and middle class-to-poor begun by Ronald Reagan and institutionalized by all of his predecessors (w/a slow-down under Clinton) is appalling not in its having happened, but in its having been rewarded such a clear pass by a not-so-fair or perhaps not-so-incisive media.

Dec. 27 2011 10:29 AM
Aticus from Manhattan

In addition to the question of organization, Newt's complaint about a access to the ballot gives the lie to the GOP's arguments for their national effort to restrict access to the polling place for ordinary citizens.

Dec. 27 2011 10:25 AM
Joe Corrao

See you people are part of the problem...Iowa won't matter?...It mattered last election...

Dec. 27 2011 10:22 AM
The Truth from Becky

ohhh first to make it to all of the counties in the state oohh what a force to be reckoned with....puhleese gimme a break.

Dec. 27 2011 10:20 AM
Justy Alicea from Manhattan

I think one of the most important developments of 2011 is the passage of indefinite detentions in the defense bill. That this bill passed nearly unopposed when it goes against several constitutional amendments signals a very scary time in the history of this country

Dec. 27 2011 10:20 AM
John from Fanwood NJ

An important story that got no press coverage was the letter sent to Ben Bernanke by Mitch McConnell and John Boehner warning him not to do anything to improve the economy before the 2012 election.

Dec. 27 2011 10:19 AM
Joe Corrao

Ron Paul 2012

Dec. 27 2011 10:18 AM
Aigenga from Brooklyn

Politically, OWS is the biggest national story and people's awakening is the international story.

Dec. 27 2011 10:17 AM
Ed from Larchmont

One big story is the national and international promotion and protection of abortion by the US (in the Philippines, Kenya, etc.). And the lack of a conscience clause in the new health care law, which comes into effect in the next two years. (The conscience exemption requires that everyone working for and served by the organization must be of this religion, so no one qualifies.)

In a related event, there will be more discussion about the effects of an aging society: the UN has just started a study on the effect of an aging population on economies.

Dec. 27 2011 08:19 AM

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