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Ultimate review of 2011: January

By Naila Missous, Josh Wells, Dave Burridge, Vanessa Martinez, Cristian Meza, Matt Hill and Richard Smith

2011 was a highly dramatic year. From uprisings to near economic despair; 2011 had it all.

WNT looks back at the highs and lows, starting at the very beginning.


Uprisings 

The Arab spring was the first major international political event in 2011. Though only in its early days, 2011 paved the way for what will be known as the biggest revolution to hit the Middle East and North Africa. Tunisia’s government collapses after a month of increased protest by its people; causing President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to flee to Saudi Arabia for refuge after almost 23 years in power.


ECONOMIC

The economic year began on an optimistic note as 2011 would see the return to economies growing and becoming stronger as countries used growth to cut high deficits. An example of this was the rising of the VAT rate from 17.5% to 20% in the UK.

The IMF and central banks all predicted a slow but steady pace of growth for most of the worlds economies. Data showed that China had grown 10.2% the previous year, clear evidence they were still strong despite global hardships.

The German economy grew 3.6% in 2010 and people were optimistic that this year would see further export and economic growth in Europe’s powerhouse.

If there were people out there who new the troubles that lay ahead they were doing a very good job of keeping quiet back in January. The Euro was in fact rising against the dollar in January.

AMERICA

ARIZONA SHOOTING- U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) survived a shot to the head by Jared Lee Loughner, 22, on Jan. 8 in Tucson, Arizona.

Loughner is charged with killing six people and injuring 14 others. Among the victims who died was Chief U.S. District Court Judge John Roll and among those injured was Giffords, who was critically wounded.


MUSIC

2011 began with X-factor winner Matt Cardle’s cover of ‘When We Collide’ on top of the charts. The winner’s single managed to escape the trap which the previous winner, Joe McElderry, fell into when his track was beaten to Christmas number one by Rage Against The Machine’s ‘Killing in the Name of.’ Rihanna climbed to the top of the album chart with Loud.

The second week of January saw Rihanna’s return to the top of the single chart with ‘What’s My Name?’

Bruno Mars’ ‘Grenade’ became the number one single in the UK, replacing Rihanna. Mars’ effort managed to retain its place at the top for three consecutive weeks. Loud also managed to maintain its place at the top of the album chart, continuing American singer Rihanna’s success, until Doo Wops & Hooligans by Bruno Mars replaced it as the number one album in week four.

Next, Ke$ha rose to number one with ‘We R who we R’ but Adele drew the most attention with her album, 21, attracting rapid sales and subsequently reaching the top of the album chart.


SPORT

January saw the conclusion of the Ashes series between Australia and England. England were the current holders having regained the urn on home soil in 2009. This time though it was the turn of the Aussies to host the famous series and this didn’t bode well for the English who hadn’t won the series in Australia for 24 years. However, England put on a stunning display to take the series 3-1 and put memories of the 5-0 whitewash last time out (2007) and 24 years of pain behind them. This was only the beginning of what turned out to be a fantastic year for the English cricket team in the test format.

Staying in Australia, January saw the first grand slam of the tennis season take place with Novak Djokovic (Serbia) beating Britain’s Andy Murray in straight sets to claim the Australian Open for the 2nd time. While Kim Clijsters (Belgium) defeated Li Na (China) in the final of the women’s tournament to win the first grand slam of her career.

January also provided another manic transfer window in the world of football where the 4th highest transfer fee in football history was recorded, when Fernando Torres signed for Chelsea from Liverpool for £49.5 million. Andy Carroll’s same-day move from Newcastle United to Liverpool for £35 million broke the record for the highest transfer free paid for a British player and was also the 8th highest in football history. Elsewhere in football, Qatar hosted the 2011 Asian cup with Japan coming out on top beating Australia 1-0 in the final.

The New Year saw the conclusion of the 2011 PDC Darts World Championship with Englishmen Adrian Lewis beating scot Gary Anderson 7-5 in the final to win the tournament for the first time.





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