2012 was an eventful year. It was both turbulent and destructive yet celebratory and joyous.
In this year, we really saw the “Great” in Great Britain served up and shared with the rest of the world – from the amazing staging of the golden Games to an entrancing summer of sport and the Queen’s diamond Jubilee. Despite the weather, people congregated and partied together in celebration of our British heroes.
Gary Dobson and David Norris were finally found guilty of Stephen Lawrence’s murder of 1993.
Later in the year, the British public saw the BBC in disrepute as the Jimmy Savile case erupted with 450 sexual abuse allegations made against him. BBC director general, George Entwhistle resigned (with a £450,000 severance payment!) after just 54 days in the job (when a Newsnight report led to former Tory treasurer Lord McAlpine being wrongly accused of child abuse on Entwhistle’s watch) and the Lord Leveson report gave rise to question the need for greater press regulation.
Elsewhere, we saw the devastating effects of global climate change taking their toll – not least as we learned that the Arctic sea ice (aka the world’s natural air-conditioning unit) had shrunk to a record low, global sea levels were continuing to rise faster than predicted and the world was at the mercy of more extreme weather conditions – such as Hurricane Sandy that went on to destroy swathes of the east coast of America late in the year.
And while we saw austerity provoke discord in Spain and Greece, calling for a 130 billion euro bailout package for Greece, we also saw Edvard Munch’s harrowing painting, The Scream, (no. 5, 1948) sell for 140 million dollars.
Wars continued, including that in Syria which has seen over 44,551 people killed in the Syria crisis since March 2011 – with over 100 (many of them children) added in the Houla massacre in March 2012.
Soulful songstress, Whitney Houston died, as did Lonesome George, the last of the Pinta Island tortoises- a Galapagos giant and reportedly the rarest creature on earth.
Obama was re-elected to win a second term and a fearless Austrian dare-devil called Felix broke the sound barrier in a fall to Earth from space.
See it all here in the Guardian’s interactive guide to the most extraordinary news and viral videos of 2012.