A look back at the biggest stories of 2010.
Created by StevePro on Dec 30, 2010
Last updated: 03/03/11 at 02:43 PM
or the first time ever, Facebook topped the list as the most-visited website of the year, ahead of giants like Google, Yahoo, YouTube, and Msn.com.
According to data from Hitwise, which provides online competitive intelligence, Facebook "accounted for 8.93 percent of all U.S. visits between January and November 2010."
Google.com made up 7.19 percent of visits and Yahoo! Mail ranked third with 3.52 percent of visits. Yahoo! claimed 3.30 percent of visits, and YouTube 2.65 percent.
The first total lunar eclipse to occur on the day of the northern winter solstice/southern summer solstice since 1638, takes place.
The campaign to repeal "don't ask, don't tell," which bars gays and lesbians from serving openly in the U.S. military, gained a historic victory today with the Senate voting to end the policy and send the bill to President Obama's desk.
WATCH: Gates: 'Disappointed in The Senate Vote' on DADT
WATCH: Susan Collins on DADT: 'Extremely Disappointed'
WATCH: Reid Says Collins 'Had Made Up Her Mind' on DADT
Sixty-five Senators, including six Republicans, voted in favor of the measure. The House approved repeal earlier this week.
NASA announces the discovery of a new arsenic-based life form in California.
The 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference is held in Cancún, Mexico. Also referred to as the 16th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 16), it served too as the 6th meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 6).
The European Union agree to an €85 billion rescue deal for Ireland from the European Financial Stability Facility, the International Monetary Fund and bilateral loans from the United Kingdom, Denmark and Sweden.
WikiLeaks releases a collection of more than 250,000 American diplomatic cables, including 100,000 marked "secret" or "confidential".
Leslie William Nielsen, OC (11 February 1926 – 28 November 2010) was a Canadian and naturalized American actor and comedian. Nielsen appeared in over one hundred films and 1,500 television programs over the span of his career, portraying over 220 characters. Born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Nielsen enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and worked as a disc jockey before receiving a scholarship to Neighborhood Playhouse. Making his television debut in 1948, he quickly expanded to over 50 television appearances two years later. Nielsen made his film debut in 1956, and began collecting roles in dramas, westerns, and romance films. Nielsen's lead roles in the films Forbidden Planet (1956) and The Poseidon Adventure (1972) received positive reviews as a serious actor, though he is primarily known for his comedic roles.
North Korea shells Yeonpyeong Island, prompting a military response by South Korea. The incident caused an escalation of tension on the Korean Peninsula and prompted widespread international condemnation. The United Nations declared it to be one of the most serious incidents since the end of the Korean War.
Researchers at CERN trap 38 antihydrogen atoms for a sixth of a second, marking the first time in history that humans have trapped antimatter.
The San Francisco Giants turned their clubhouse into Mardi Gras and then carried the party onto the field deep into Monday night, turning 56 years of frustration into sheer elation.
The Giants, who had never won a Fall Classic since moving to San Francisco in 1958, are finally champions after beating the Texas Rangers 3-1 in Game 5 of the World Series at Rangers Ballpark.
The World Health Organization declares the H1N1 influenza pandemic over, saying worldwide flu activity has returned to typical seasonal patterns
Néstor Carlos Kirchner (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈnestor ˈkarlos ˈkirʃner]; 25 February 1950 – 27 October 2010) was an Argentine politician who served as the 54th President of Argentina from 25 May 2003 until 10 December 2007. Previously, he was Governor of Santa Cruz Province since 10 December 1991. He briefly served as Secretary General of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and as a National Deputy of Argentina for Buenos Aires Province.
The International Space Station surpasses the record for the longest continuous human occupation of space, having been continuously inhabited since November 2, 2000 (3641 days).
The world tuned in as one by one the 33 trapped miners were pulled out of their shelter after 70 days.
Tony Curtis (June 3, 1925 – September 29, 2010) was an American film actor whose career spanned six decades, but had his greatest popularity during the 1950s and early 1960s. He acted in over 60 films in roles covering a wide range of genres, from light comedy to serious drama. In his later years, Curtis made numerous television appearances.
Seven people are reported to have been killed and around 100 are missing after a landslide in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Gold prices reach a record US$1,300/oz in a prolonged rally.
The project, which is called Park51, has created a national debate over religious tolerance and sensitivity to the victims of the 9/11 attacks.
The proposed center is two blocks from the site of the World Trade Center. It has often been referred to as the "Ground Zero Mosque," although its supporters say it would mainly be a community center, not principally a mosque.
Harrowing details of some 300 cases of alleged sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy in Belgium have been released by a Church investigator.
Peter Adriaenssens said cases of abuse, mostly involving minors, had been found in nearly every diocese, and 13 alleged victims had committed suicide.
The number of deaths for members of the International Security Assistance Force in the War in Afghanistan reaches 500 for the first 9 months of 2010 as opposed to 521 for all of 2009.
A senior Swedish prosecutor reopened a rape investigation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange today, in the latest twist to a puzzling case in which prosecutors of different ranks have overruled each other.
Theodore Fulton "Ted" Stevens (November 18, 1923 – August 9, 2010) was a United States Senator from Alaska, serving from December 24, 1968, until January 3, 2009, and thus the longest-serving Republican senator in history. He was President pro tempore in the 108th and 109th Congresses from January 3, 2003, to January 3, 2007, and the third senator to hold the title of President pro tempore emeritus.
On 5 August 2010, a cave-in occurred at the San José copper-gold mine in the Atacama Desert near Copiapó, Chile. The accident left 33 men trapped 700 metres (2,300 ft) below ground. The miners survived underground for a record 69 days. All 33 were rescued and brought to the surface on 13 October 2010; the first miner emerged from the Fénix 2 rescue capsule at 00:10 CLDT and the last at 21:55 CLDT. After the last trapped miner was winched to the surface, the rescue workers held up a sign stating "Misión cumplida Chile" (English: "Mission accomplished Chile") to the estimated more than 1 billion people watching the rescue on live television around the world.
Heavy monsoon rains begin to cause widespread flooding (pictured) in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Over 1,600 are killed, and more than one million are displaced by the floods.
Wikileaks, an online publisher of anonymous, covert, and classified material, leaks to the public over 90,000 internal reports about the United States-led involvement in the War in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2010
Spain wins their first ever world cup 1-0 over the Netherlands.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010. The bidding process for hosting the tournament finals was open only to African nations; in 2004, the international football federation, FIFA, selected South Africa over Egypt and Morocco to become the first African nation to host the finals.
On 31 May 2010 Israeli naval forces seized an aid convoy of six ships known as the "Gaza Freedom Flotilla". aiming to break through the blockade. The flotilla had declined an Israeli request to change course to the port of Ashdod, where the Israeli government had said it would inspect the aid and deliver (or let humanitarian organizations deliver) Israeli-approved items to Gaza. Nine passengers aboard the MV Mavi Marmara, the main ship of the convoy, were shot and killed in an apparent failure of Rules of Engagement. Up to 60 passengers and ten members of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were injured in the clash.
Gary Wayne Coleman (February 8, 1968 – May 28, 2010) was an American actor, known for his childhood role as Arnold Jackson in the American sitcom Diff'rent Strokes (1978–1986) and for his small stature as an adult. He was described in the 1980s as "one of television's most promising stars". After a successful childhood acting career, Coleman struggled financially later in life. In 1989, he successfully sued his parents and business advisor over misappropriation of his assets.
On May 21, 2010, Science reported that the Venter group had successfully synthesized the genome of the bacterium Mycoplasma mycoides from a computer record, and transplanted the synthesized genome into the existing cell of a Mycoplasma capricolum bacterium that had had its DNA removed. The "synthetic" bacterium was viable, i.e. capable of replicating billions of times. The team had originally planned to use the M. genitalium bacterium they had previously been working with, but switched to M. mycoides because the latter bacterium grows much faster, which translated into quicker experiments. Venter describes it as "the first species.... to have its parents be a computer". The transformed bacterium is dubbed "Synthia" by ETC. A Venter spokesperson has declined to confirm any breakthrough at the time of this writing, likely because similar genetic introduction techniques such as transfection, transformation, transduction and protofection have been a standard research practice for many years. Now that the technique has been proven to work with the M. mycoides genome, the next project is presumably to go back to the minimized M. genitalium and transplant it into a cell to create the previously mentioned M. laboratorium[
A prolonged series of political protests occurred in Bangkok, Thailand in 2010 from March to May against the Democrat Party-led government. The protests were organized by the National United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) (known as "Red-Shirts"). The UDD called for Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to dissolve parliament and hold elections. Repeated negotiations failed to set an election date. The protests escalated into prolonged violent confrontations between the protesters and the military, and attempts to negotiate a ceasefire failed. More than 80 civilians and 6 soldiers were killed, and more than 2,100 injured by the time the military successfully cracked down on the protesters on 19 May. However, unrest rapidly spread throughout Thailand
Nude, Green Leaves and Bust by Pablo Picasso sells in New York for US$106.5 million, setting another new world record for a work of art sold at auction.
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill (also referred to as the BP oil spill, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the BP oil disaster or the Macondo blowout) is an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico which flowed for three months in 2010. The impact of the spill continues since the well was capped. It is the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. The spill stemmed from a sea-floor oil gusher that resulted from the April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion. The explosion killed 11 men working on the platform and injured 17 others. On July 15, the leak was stopped by capping the gushing wellhead, after it had released about 4.9 million barrels (780×103 m3), or 205.8 million gallons of crude oil. It was estimated that 53,000 barrels per day (8,400 m3/d) were escaping from the well just before it was capped. It is believed that the daily flow rate diminished over time, starting at about 62,000 barrels per day (9,900 m3/d) and decreasing as the reservoir of hydrocarbons feeding the gusher was gradually depleted. On September 19, the relief well process was successfully completed and the federal government declared the well "effectively dead."
The 2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull are a timeline of volcanic events at Eyjafjöll in Iceland which, although relatively small for volcanic eruptions, caused enormous disruption to air travel across western and northern Europe over an initial period of six days in April 2010. Additional localised disruption continued into May 2010. The eruption was declared officially over in October 2010, when snow on the glacier did not melt.
Lech Aleksander Kaczyński (Polish pronunciation: [ˈlɛx alɛkˈsandɛr kaˈt͡ʂɨɲskʲi] ( listen); 18 June 1949 – 10 April 2010) was the President of Poland from 2005 to 2010 and a politician of the party Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (Law and Justice, PiS). Kaczyński served as Mayor of Warsaw from 2002 until 22 December 2005, the day before his presidential inauguration. He was the identical twin brother of the former Prime Minister of Poland and current Chairman of the Law and Justice party, Jarosław Kaczyński. On 10 April 2010, he died in the crash of a Polish Air Force Tu-154 while attempting to land at Smolensk-North airport in Russia.
After decades of failed attempts by a string of Democratic presidents and a year of bitter partisan combat, President Obama signed legislation on March 23, 2010, to overhaul the nation's health care system and guarantee access to medical insurance for tens of millions of Americans.
The 2010 Chile earthquake occurred off the coast of the Maule Region of Chile on February 27, 2010, at 03:34 local time (06:34 UTC), rating a magnitude of 8.8 on the moment magnitude scale, and lasting up to 3 minutes. It was felt strongly in six Chilean regions (from Valparaíso in the north to Araucanía in the south), that together make up 80 percent of the country's population. The cities experiencing the strongest shaking—IX (Ruinous) on the Mercalli intensity scale—were Arauco and Coronel, Chile. The earthquake was felt in the capital Santiago at Mercalli intensity scale VIII (Destructive). Tremors were felt in many Argentine cities, including Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Mendoza and La Rioja. Tremors were felt as far north as the city of Ica in southern Peru (approx. 2400 km). The earthquake triggered a tsunami which devastated several coastal towns in south-central Chile and damaged the port at Talcahuano. Tsunami warnings were issued in 53 countries, causing minor damage in the San Diego area of California and in the Tōhoku region of Japan, where damage to the fisheries business was estimated at ¥6.26 billion (USD$66.7 million). The earthquake also generated a blackout that affected 93 percent of the country's population and which went on for several days in some locations. President Michelle Bachelet declared a "state of catastrophe" and sent military troops to take control of the most affected areas. The latest death toll as of May 15, 2010 is 521 victims (down from early reports on March 3 of 802).
The 2010 Haiti earthquake was a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake, with an epicentre near the town of Léogâne, approximately 25 km (16 miles) west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital. The earthquake occurred at 16:53 local time (21:53 UTC) on Tuesday, 12 January 2010. By 24 January, at least 52 aftershocks measuring 4.5 or greater had been recorded. An estimated three million people were affected by the quake; the Haitian government reported that an estimated 230,000 people had died, 300,000 had been injured and 1,000,000 made homeless. They also estimated that 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings had collapsed or were severely damaged.
Burj Khalifa (Arabic: برج خليفة "Khalifa Tower"), known as Burj Dubai prior to its inauguration, is a skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and the tallest man-made structure ever built, at 828 m (2,717 ft). Construction began on 21 September 2004, with the exterior of the structure completed on 1 October 2009. The building officially opened on 4 January 2010, and is part of the new 2 km2 (490-acre) flagship development called Downtown Dubai at the 'First Interchange' along Sheikh Zayed Road, near Dubai's main business district.