Barack Obama's re-election was quite clearly the biggest news
* Barack Obama wins re-election: US President Barack Obama got re-elected by narrowly defeating Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
Obama won Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, New Hampshire, Virginia and Wisconsin, the battleground states, and held a narrow advantage in Florida. The margins narrowed for Romney, with Obama winning at least 303 of the 538 electoral votes. No US president has won re-election with an unemployment rate of over 7.2 per cent since Franklin Roosevelt in 1936.
* Economic turmoil continues: The global economic crisis showed little sign of ending. Stock and bond markets remain volatile, while food and energy prices continue to rise. A real estate bubble is about to burst in China, threatening to plunge the world into further chaos. With protests continuing in many countries, various movements for change are emerging, aided by social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
* Rajat Gupta convicted: Former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta was sentenced to two years in prison for leaking boardroom secrets to the former hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam. Gupta, 63, who ran the consulting firm McKinsey & Company and served as a major adviser to the philanthropic efforts of Bill Gates and Bill Clinton. The court also ordered Gupta to pay a $5 million fine.
* Mubarak Sentenced to life in prison: Former President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak sentenced to life in prison for being an accomplice in the killing of unarmed protestors during the January 2011 demonstrations. The judge rejected corruption charges against Mubarak because the statute of limitations ran out. Lower level officials were acquitted. Angry over the verdict, thousands of demonstrators hit the streets in Cairo and other cities. Egypt's military-led government announced it would appeal the verdict.
* Aung San Suu Kyi wins seat in Myanmar parliament: Aung San Suu Kyi, who in October 2010 was released after spending nearly 20 years under house arrest, won a seat in Myanmar's lower house of the parliament. The Nobel laureate defeated her two rival candidates in a by-election in her constituency. Overall, the opposition dominates the parliamentary election. Her National League of Democracy prevails in 43 out of 45 districts that held races, including the capital, Naypyidaw.
* US embassies attacked over anti-Islam movie: 'Innocence of Muslims', an anti-Islam film on Youtube stoked violent protests against the United States across the Muslim world. The US embassies were attacked in protest over the film which demonstrators felt insult of Islam. Armed gunmen storm the US consulate in Benghazi and killed US ambassador in Libya Christopher Stevens and three other embassy officials.
* Putin becomes Russia’s president for third time: Vladmir Putin became Russia's president for the third time after spending the last four years as the Prime Minister of the country. He got about 60% of the vote in the presidential election. Putin served as president from 2000 to 2008 before becoming prime minister due to term limits. A widespread fraud had been reported by the opposing groups saying many people voted more than once, but Putin insisted on full honesty and transparency while speaking to his supporters at a rally in central Moscow.
* Hurricane Sandy wreaks havoc in US: The massive storm that started out as Hurricane Sandy slammed into the East Coast and morphed into a huge and problematic system, killing over 110 people in the United States. So far Sandy has caused an estimated $30 billion in damages, making it the second-costliest hurricane in the United States, behind Katrina.
* Windows 8 released: Microsoft announced the global availability of its popular Windows operating system, Windows 8. The new OS offers a wide range of applications, including a beautiful new user interface. Windows 8 features a much faster startup, an App Store, integrated web applications, improved digital media support (including AVC HD and 3D video), faster resumes from low-power states, and support for both USB 3.0 and Bluetooth 3.0.
* Spate of shootings in US: There have been quite a few public shootings in the USA this year but the two that stand out are the one at a cinema in Colorado where a random relentless firing left 12 dead. The other one happens to be in Newtown, Connectitut where 20 kids between the ages of 6 and 7 were shot at their school premises. Apart from them six adults also died. President Obama promised tougher gun control laws.