NEWS

The year in headlines: 2011 saw no shortage of Canadian, international news

12/22/2011 12:31 EST | Updated 02/21/2012 05:12 EST
An in-brief look back at some of the most significant news events of the last 12 months, in chronological order:

JANUARY

1 - Rising rivers swamped a massive area of northeastern Australia following weeks of pounding rains. The worst flooding in half a century affected about 200,000 people in an area larger than France and Germany combined and caused more than 30 deaths.

1 - A suicide bomber killed 21 people and wounded 97 others in front of a Coptic Christian church in Alexandria, Egypt as a crowd of worshippers emerged from a New Year's Mass.

7 - Inderjit Singh Reyat, the only man ever convicted in the 1985 Air India bombings that killed 331 people, was sentenced to nine years in prison for perjury at the 2003 trial of two men acquitted in the attacks.

8 - Six people were killed and U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head during a meet-and-greet with constituents at a shopping centre in Tucson, Ariz.

12 - Toronto police Sgt. Ryan Russell was killed by a stolen snowplow during a wild police chase through snowy streets; Richard Kachkar, 44, was charged with first-degree murder.

12 - The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council ruled the 1985 hit song "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits was unacceptable for play on Canadian radio because of a gay slur in its lyrics.

14 - Protesters enraged over soaring unemployment and corruption drove Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali from power after 23 years of iron-fisted rule — the start of what came to be known as the Arab Spring uprising.

17 - Former senator Keith Davey, a legendary Liberal organizer who was dubbed "The Rainmaker" because of his canny political instincts, died after a long illness at the age of 84.

22 - Thousands of Yemeni protesters called for the ouster of their president after 32 years in power. The first demonstration to directly confront the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh was inspired by the ouster of Tunisia's longtime ruler.

24 - A suicide bombing at the international arrivals hall at Domodedovo airport in Moscow killed 37 people and injured more than 180 others. A Chechen rebel warlord later claimed responsibility.

25 - Egyptians began massive protests that would eventually topple the 30-year authoritarian rule of President Hosni Mubarak.

___

FEBRUARY

1 - Ontario's College of Physicians and Surgeons revoked the licence of disgraced pathologist Dr. Charles Smith, whose shoddy work and misguided testimony resulted in a series of wrongful convictions.

9 - TMX Group, which operates the Toronto Stock Exchange, and the London Stock Exchange announced a proposed $3.7-billion merger. It was killed on June 29 because it could not garner enough shareholder support to go ahead.

11 - After 18 days of pro-democracy protests by hundreds of thousands of Egyptians, President Hosni Mubarak resigned after 30 years of rule and handed control to the military.

13 - Montreal indie-band "Arcade Fire" scored a stunning upset at the Grammy awards by winning album of the year for "The Suburbs."

15 - An anti-government uprising that would eventually sweep across the country and topple leader Moammar Gadhafi began in Libya. The protests started in the port city of Benghazi and spread the next day to the capital of Tripoli and other cities.

15 - Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi was ordered to stand trial on charges he paid a 17-year-old Moroccan girl for sex, and then used his influence to cover it up.

16 - Watson, IBM's supercomputer, defeated "Jeopardy's" all-time greatest champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in a two-match contest that aired over three consecutive days. Watson accumulated $77,147 overall, while Jennings notched $24,000 and Rutter $21,600.

21 - A midday magnitude 6.1 earthquake hit Christchurch, one of New Zealand's biggest cities, collapsing buildings and sending rubble tumbling onto cars and people. One-hundred and eighty-one people were killed and much of the city's downtown was destroyed.

23 - In a major policy reversal, the Obama administration announced it would no longer defend the constitutionality of a U.S. law banning recognition of same-sex marriage.

24 - NASA's most travelled space shuttle, Discovery, blasted off on its final voyage after nearly three decades of service.

24 - In a remarkable financial U-turn, once-bankrupt General Motors posted a US$4.7 billion profit for 2010, its first profitable year since 2004.

27 - Frank Buckles, the last American veteran to have served in the First World War, died at age 110.

28 - Actress Jane Russell died of respiratory failure at age 89.

___

MARCH

3 - Ten-year-old Winnipeg singing sensation Maria Aragon performed alongside Lady Gaga at a sold-out show at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

7 - Charlie Sheen was fired from the top-rated sitcom "Two and a Half Men" by Warner Bros. Television following bouts of wild partying, repeated hospitalizations and a bitter media campaign against his studio bosses.

9 - "Discovery" ended its career as the world's most flown spaceship, returning from orbit for the last time after a two-week mission to the International Space Station.

11 - A catastrophic 9.0 magnitude offshore earthquake struck Japan, triggering a massive tsunami that carved a path of destruction along the country's northeastern coast and touched off the worst nuclear crisis since Chornobyl in 1986. The disaster left more than 21,000 people dead or missing and thousands of buildings and homes damaged or destroyed. After a tsunami struck the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Plant, three of its six reactors later melted down, releasing massive amounts of radiation and forcing the government to order the evacuation of a 20-kilometre radius around the plant.

11 - Sen. Raymond Lavigne, 65, was found guilty of fraud and breach of trust for misusing Senate resources and pocketing expenses that were actually run up by his staff.

14 - Former radio talk show host Christy Clark was sworn in as B.C.'s 35th premier.

17 - Five days after a request from the Arab League, the U.N. Security Council voted to authorize military action to protect civilians and impose a no-fly zone over Libya. U.S. and European nations launched the first action two days later, pounding Libya with cruise missiles and airstrikes.

18 - At least 46 people were killed in the bloodiest single day of an anti-government uprising in Yemen. Government forces, including snipers on rooftops, attacked protesters in the capital of Sanaa.

21 - The House of Commons voted to approve Canadian military involvement to help enforce the UN's no-fly zone over Libya.

21 - The Harper government was found in contempt of Parliament by an opposition-dominated House of Commons committee over its refusal to fully disclose the cost estimates for its tough-on-crime agenda, corporate tax cuts and plans to purchase stealth fighter jets.

23 - The controversial "faint hope" clause, which allowed those convicted of first and second-degree murder to request an early parole hearing after serving 15 years, was repealed.

23 - Oscar-winning film legend Elizabeth Taylor died of congestive heart failure. She was 79.

24 - Canadian fighter jets took part for the first time in air attacks to help enforce the UN's no fly zone over Libya.

25 - The federal Conservative government was brought down in a historic vote in Parliament. MPs voted 156-145 in favour of a Liberal motion citing Stephen Harper's minority Tories for contempt of Parliament and expressing non-confidence in the government.

26 - Prime Minister Steven Harper visited the Governor General's residence to dissolve the 40th Parliament and officially start the campaign for a May 2 federal election.

26 - Canadian actor and comedian Roger Abbott, who captivated the country with his hilarious take on the nation's newsmakers for decades on "The Royal Canadian Air Farce," died after a 14-year-battle with leukemia. He was 64.

27 - Montreal indie rockers "Arcade Fire" won a leading four trophies at the Juno Awards - including group and album of the year.

27 - Cpl. Yannick Scherrer of Montreal was killed by an IED blast while on foot patrol near Nakhonay, southwest of Kandahar city. His death brought to 155 the total number of Canadian military members who died as part of the Afghan mission since it began in 2002.

---

APRIL

7 - A 23-year-old gunman opened fire at his former elementary school in Rio de Janeiro in what crime experts said was the worst school massacre in Brazil's history. He killed 10 girls and two boys aged 12 to 15 before he was shot by police and took his own life.

7 - Samantha Ardente, a Levis, Que., high school office assistant, was fired for moonlighting as a porn actress because officials said her cinematic activities didn't correspond with the values being taught at the school.

9 - Sidney Lumet, the award-winning director of such acclaimed films as "Network," ''Serpico," ''Dog Day Afternoon" and "12 Angry Men," died at age 86.

11 - The world's first ban on Islamic face veils took effect in France. A similar ban took effect in Belgium in July.

12 - An Edmonton jury convicted aspiring filmmaker Mark Twitchell of first-degree murder of a stranger, Johnny Altinger, and dismembering his body to match a movie script he had filmed in what the Crown called a grand plan to become a serial killer.

16 - Allan Blakeney, a former Saskatchewan premier who was instrumental in the creation of Canada's publicly funded health care system and the patriation of the Constitution, died following a short battle with cancer. He was 85.

18 - The right-wing Sun News Network , dubbed "Fox News North" by critics, launched in Canada with the promise of a "controversially Canadian" new voice.

19 - Waterloo-Ont.-based Research in Motion launched its new BlackBerry PlayBook tablet in Canada.

20 - Sony shut down its PlayStation gaming network after a massive security breach that affected more than 100 million online accounts. Service was not fully restored until June.

27 - Responding to the relentless claims of critics, U.S. President Barack Obama produced a detailed Hawaii birth certificate in an extraordinary attempt to bury the issue of where he was born and confirm his legitimacy to hold office.

27 - A powerful storm spawned 312 tornadoes in seven southern states over a 24-hour period, the highest one-day total in U.S. history. Some 340 people were killed, two-thirds in Alabama.

28 - Phillip and Nancy Garrido pleaded guilty to kidnapping and raping Jaycee Dugard, who gave birth to two daughters while being held for 18 years in a hidden compound in the couple's California backyard.

29 - An elegant, tiara-bedecked Kate Middleton married Prince William at Westminster Abbey in London in a union that was expected to revitalize the British monarchy. An estimated two billion people around the world tuned in to watch the ceremony via TV or social networks. The Queen bestowed upon the couple the titles of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

29 - About 4.4 million litres of oil spilled from a leaky pipeline located northeast of Peace River in northern Alberta, the province's worst pipeline spill in 36 years.

---

MAY

1 - U.S. President Barack Obama announced a team of elite American forces had killed Osama bin Laden at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

2 - Stephen Harper's Conservatives were re-elected to a third consecutive mandate and their first majority government after winning 166 seats in the federal election. Jack Layton's NDP won a record 103 seats, more than half in Quebec, to become the official Opposition for the first time. The Liberals were reduced to 34, the party's worst defeat, while the Bloc Quebecois held only 4 and lost official party status.

4 - Roman Catholic bishop Raymond Lahey, who was caught at the Ottawa airport in 2009 with hundreds of pornographic photos and videos of boys on his laptop, pleaded guilty to importing child pornography.

4 - Former Minnesota nurse William Melchert-Dinkel was sentenced to 360 days in jail and 15 years probation for encouraging the suicide of an 18-year-old Ontario woman and a British man he corresponded with over the Internet. He remained free pending an appeal.

5 - Canadian soldiers arrived in southeastern Quebec to help residents deal with what turned into the worst flooding along the Richelieu River in 150 years. More than 3,000 homes were flooded in 22 municipalities and as many as 1,000 had to be evacuated.

5 - An Ontario court ordered Blockbuster Canada be sold to pay off $70 million in debts racked up by its former U.S. parent. All stores had closed by Sept. 30.

6 - Canadian Rita Chretien was found alive in her mud-stuck van near the Humboldt National Forest, in northeastern Nevada. She survived seven weeks by rationing snacks and drinking melted snow. Her husband, who ventured off in search of help, is still missing.

9 - Actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced he and his wife of 25 years, Maria Shriver, were separating. He later admitted fathering a child with a member of their household staff more than 10 years earlier.

12 - A German court convicted 91-year-old retired U.S. autoworker John Demjanjuk of 28,060 counts of acting as an accessory to murder at the Sobibor Nazi death camp in occupied Poland. He was sentenced to five years in prison but remained free pending his appeal.

13 - Derek Boogaard, once named in a Sports Illustrated players poll as the NHL's toughest fighter, was found dead in Minneapolis. Officials said the 28-year-old forward with the Minnesota Wild died from an accidental mix of alcohol and the painkiller oxycodone.

13 - A pair of suicide bombers attacked recruits leaving a paramilitary training centre in Shabqadar, Pakistan, killing 87 people in the first retaliation for the killing of Osama bin Laden by American commandos. The Taliban claimed responsibility, blaming the Pakistani military for failing to stop the U.S. raid.

13 - Wallace McCain, the mogul and philanthropist who helped turn a small New Brunswick french fry plant into the McCain Foods multi-billion-dollar frozen foods empire and later went on to control meat processor Maple Leaf Foods, died after a 14-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 81.

14 - Manitoba officials deliberately breached a dike along the Assiniboine River south of Portage La Prairie to try to avert an uncontrolled break they feared could flood 500 square kilometres of land. More than 3,400 people were forced from their homes due to the spring flooding, with an estimated 200 homes suffering major damage.

14 - New York police boarded a Paris-bound flight from JFK airport and arrested International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn. He was charged, then later cleared, in the sexual assault of a maid in his posh New York hotel room. Strauss-Kahn resigned from the IMF on May 19.

15 - Nearly all of the 7,000 residents of Slave Lake, Alta., had to flee when two wind-whipped wildfires damaged or destroyed a third of the town. There were no reports of deaths or injuries. The Insurance Bureau of Canada reported the insured damage totalled $700 million.

17 - Jack Tobin, the son of former N.L. premier and federal cabinet minister Brian Tobin, pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing death in connection with the Christmas Eve 2010 death of his best friend, Alex Zolpis.

18 - While in Ireland on a historic visit, Queen Elizabeth made a powerful statement expressing "deep sympathy" to all who had suffered as a result of the troubled relations between England and Ireland.

22 - A massive EF5 tornado ripped through the town of Joplin, Miss., killing 162 people, injuring more than 900 and destroying over 8,000 homes and businesses. It was the deadliest single twister in the U.S. since records were started in 1950.

24 - What would turn out to be the most deadly outbreak of E. coli food poisoning in history was first detected in Germany. The outbreak killed 52 people, including 50 in Germany and one each in Sweden and the U.S. More than 4,300 became ill.

25 - Street preacher Brian David Mitchell was given two life sentences without parole for kidnapping 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart from her home in Salt Lake City in 2002, and holding her captive and raping her for nine months. Smart was rescued in March, 2003 after motorists spotted her walking with her captor on a suburban street.

26 - Gen. Ratko Mladic, Europe's most wanted war crimes fugitive, was arrested in Serbia.

27 - The Supreme Court ruled an unconscious woman can't give consent to sex and restored the sexual assault conviction of a man who performed an unwanted sex act on his common-law spouse in 2007.

27 - Bombardier Karl Manning of Chicoutimi, Que., was found dead at a remote outpost in the Zangabad area of Panjwaii district in Afghanistan. An investigation determined the 31-year-old was killed in a non-hostile incident.

31 - True North Sports and Entertainment announced it had purchased the Atlanta Thrashers and would move the team back to Winnipeg. The Manitoba capital had been without an NHL franchise since the Jets moved to Phoenix to become the Coyotes in 1996.

---

JUNE

2 - Saskatchewan Conservative MP Andrew Scheer, 32, was elected as the new Speaker of the House of Commons, replacing Liberal MP Peter Milliken.

3 - A Senate page staged an unprecedented protest on the floor of the Senate chamber as Gov. Gen. David Johnston read the speech from the throne. Brigette DePape, 21, held up a stop sign reading "Stop Harper."

6 - The Canadian Forces ended their last full-scale offensive combat operation in Kandahar.

7 - Montreal police shot a homeless man, 40-year-old Mario Hamel, during a public disturbance. Passerby Patrick Limoges, 36, was also struck by a police bullet and killed as he was walking to work.

15 - Surging crowds burned cars, smashed windows and ransacked stores in downtown Vancouver after the Canucks lost Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final to the Boston Bruins. The riot lasted more than four hours, sent nearly 150 people to hospital and caused millions of dollars in damage.

20 - The Bank of Canada unveiled its new polymer bank notes to replace paper-cotton bills. The $100 plastic bill went into circulation in November.

28 - York Regional police officer Garrett Styles, 32, died after being dragged and then pinned under an overturned minivan on a rural highway north of Toronto. The 15-year-old driver was later charged with first-degree murder.

29 - The operators of the Toronto and London stock exchanges killed a $3.7-billion proposed merger, saying the controversial deal could not garner enough shareholder support to go ahead.

30 - Prince William and his wife Kate arrived in Ottawa as the newlyweds began their first official overseas tour since marrying in April. The next day, an estimated 300,000 people welcomed the royal couple to Parliament Hill for Canada Day celebrations.

JULY

1 - Former Canadian technology giant Nortel Networks Corp. completed the biggest patent sale in history, auctioning off 6,000 patents to a consortium that included Apple, Research In Motion and Microsoft for US$4.5 billion in cash.

5 - A Quebec cardiologist who stabbed his three-year-old daughter and five-year-old son 46 times was found not criminally responsible by a jury. Guy Turcotte admitted he caused their deaths in 2009, but denied criminal intent. The Crown announced on July 22 it was appealing the verdict.

6 - Although not on the official royal itinerary, Prince William and Kate viewed first-hand the aftermath of a forest fire that swept through the northern Alberta town of Slave Lake.

7 - News Corp. owner Rupert Murdoch announced he was shutting down the 168-year-old British muckraking tabloid "News of the World" after evidence emerged staff had illegally hacked cellphone voice mails of celebrities, politicians and even crime victims in its search for scoops. The last issue was published on July 10.

7 - Canadian sports doctor Anthony Galea pleaded guilty in U.S. federal court to bringing into the U.S. unapproved drugs, including human growth hormone, which were used to treat pro athletes. Most of the U.S. charges were dismissed with his plea, and he agreed to co-operate with investigators and disclose the identities of his patients and their treatments.

9 - South Sudan celebrated its first day as an independent nation, raising its flag before tens of thousands of cheering citizens elated to reach the end of a 50-year struggle.

12 - Ahmed Wali Karzai, the reputed political kingpin of Kandahar and half-brother of Afghan president Hamid Karzai, was assassinated outside a heavily fortified compound in the provincial capital.

17 - A sudden, violent summer gale toppled the main stage at Ottawa Bluesfest in the middle of a Cheap Trick concert, sending thousands of people scurrying for safety and four people to hospital.

20 - The United Nations officially declared a famine in parts of Somalia and launched a $300 million emergency appeal for aid.

21 - The space shuttle Atlantis returned from a restocking mission to the International Space Station, bringing an end to NASA's 30-year program. The shuttle was to be put on display at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla.

21 - Pentagon chief Leon Panetta certified formally that gays would be allowed to serve openly in the U.S. Armed Forces. Repeal of an 18-year-old legal provision commonly known as "don't ask, don't tell" took effect Sept. 20.

21 - Retired Brig.-Gen. Daniel Menard pleaded guilty before a military court martial to having intimate relations while leading Canada's mission in Afghanistan, and then urging his female subordinate to cover it up. His punishment included a $7,000 fine and a symbolic demotion to the rank of colonel.

22 - A right-wing extremist killed 77 people in two separate attacks in Norway. After setting off a car bomb that killed eight people in Oslo, Anders Behring Breivik shot and killed 69 others at a Labour Party youth camp before surrendering after a SWAT team arrived.

23 - Amy Winehouse, the soul-jazz diva who waged a public struggle with drug and alcohol abuse, was found dead in her London home. She was 27.

25 - Three months after leading his party to its best-ever electoral showing in history, a frail, raspy-voiced Jack Layton announced he'd been diagnosed with a new form of cancer. The NDP appointed rookie Quebec MP Nycole Turmel as interim leader three days later.

25 - BlackBerry maker Research In Motion announced it would eliminate 2,000 jobs, 11 per cent of its global workforce, in an effort to save money amid an increasingly competitive smartphone and tablet market.

31 - Ending a perilous stalemate, Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Congress reached agreement with President Barack Obama to raise the limit on U.S. borrowing to prevent the first government default in American history. The deal would raise the U.S. debt limit by $2.1 trillion and also cut at least $2.4 trillion in spending over 10 years.

---

AUGUST

2 - Johnson Aziga, believed to be the first person in Canada convicted of murder through HIV transmission, was declared a dangerous offender. A judge in Hamilton, Ont., said Aziga, 55, could not be trusted to disclose his condition to future sexual partners.

5 - Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's downgraded the U.S. one notch for the first time since it was granted a Triple-A rating in 1917. The news sent global stock markets tumbling when they re-opened after a weekend break on Aug. 8.

6 - A peaceful protest in London's Tottenham neighbourhood against the fatal police shooting of a young man degenerated into a rampage, with rioters torching buildings, looting and destroying property. Five people died amid the three days of mayhem and more than 1,200 people were charged. Property damage was pegged at $350 million.

9 - Polygamist leader Warren Jeffs, 55, was sentenced to life in prison by a court in San Angelo, Texas, for sexually assaulting two underage followers he took as brides in what his church deemed "spiritual marriages."

12 - Italy's government approved $65 billion in emergency austerity measures over two years to balance the budget by 2013 and avoid financial collapse in response to demands by the European Central Bank.

15 - Winnipeg Jets forward Rick Rypien was found dead in his off-season home in Coleman, Alta. The 27-year-old former member of the Vancouver Canucks had battled depression for years.

19 - Twelve people were killed when a First Air 737-200 plane crashed into a small hillside while landing at the High Arctic community of Resolute. Three people, including a seven-year-old girl, survived.

21 - A tornado with 280 km/h winds raged through the Lake Huron community of Goderich, Ont., dubbed Canada's prettiest town. One person was killed and at least 37 people were injured.

22 - Federal NDP Leader Jack Layton died after a battle with cancer, just months after leading his party to an unprecedented 103 seats in the May 2 federal election. He was 61.

23 - The sexual assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn in New York was dismissed. Prosecutors said they could not trust the word of the hotel housekeeper accusing the former IMF head and once potential French presidential candidate of attempted rape.

24 - Steve Jobs, the mind behind the iPhone, iPad and other devices that turned Apple Inc. into one of the world's most powerful companies, resigned as the company's CEO. He was replaced by Apple's chief operating officer, Tim Cook.

26 - Aloysius Cardinal Ambrozic, the retired archbishop of Toronto, died after a lengthy illness. He was 81.

27 - Hurricane Irene moved into the eastern U.S. from the Caribbean, causing major flooding as it raked the Carolinas to Maine. Irene caused 47 deaths in 13 states, destroying homes, washing out roads, pounding beachfront communities and flooding towns in Vermont and upstate New York. Damage was estimated at $10-$15 billion.

31 - Recently retired NHL enforcer Wade Belak was found dead in a downtown Toronto hotel room of an apparent suicide. He was 35. Belak was the third NHL tough guy to die in a four-month span.

---

SEPTEMBER

1 - Lloyd Robertson, 77, ended his career as the longest national news anchor in North America. He had spent 35 years with "CTV National News" and six years prior to that at the helm of CBC's nightly news broadcast. Robertson was replaced by Lisa LaFlamme.

6 - Former media baron Conrad Black returned to a low security Miami prison to complete the last 13 months of his sentence. He had been free on bail for about a year after an appeal court in the U.S. reversed two of his three fraud convictions.

7 - Three-year-old Kienan Hebert was taken from his home in Sparwood, B.C., prompting a massive search that made headlines across Canada. Hebert reappeared, apparently unharmed, at home several days later.

7 - In one of the worst air disasters in sports history, a plane carrying members of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team of Russia's KHL crashed into the banks of the Volga River moments after takeoff. Forty-three people died in the crash and a player who survived the initial impact died five days later in hospital. The entire Lokomotiv team perished, including Canadian coach Brad McCrimmon and former NHL players Pavol Demitra, Josef Vasicek, Karel Rachunek, Karlis Skrastins and Ruslan Salei.

8 - Gander, N.L., received an international resiliency award at a 9-11 commemoration event in Washington for the kindness and generosity the community showed to the thousands of airline passengers stranded in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

12 - Prairie farmers voted in favour of the Canadian Wheat Board's monopoly over western wheat and barley sales, but Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz promised to press ahead with plans to end it.

17 - About 1,500 people converged near the New York Stock Exchange and some set up camp in Zuccotti Park at the start of the Occupy Wall Street movement that would eventually spread around the world.

20 - Sweeping changes to Canada's criminal-justice regime were tabled in the House of Commons as part of a 110-page omnibus Conservative crime bill, including nine bills incorporating changes to drug laws, youth sentencing, detention of refugees, parole and house arrest and anti-terrorism measures.

20 - Seven scientists and other experts went on trial in Italy on manslaughter charges for allegedly failing to sufficiently warn residents before a devastating earthquake killed more than 300 people in central Italy in 2009.

30 - Notorious serial child killer Clifford Olson died in prison of cancer. He was 71. The self-proclaimed "Beast of British Columbia'' tortured and killed 11 victims before he was caught in the summer of 1981.

30 - The Supreme Court of Canada unanimously upheld British Columbia's right to operate a supervised injection site for drug addicts.

---

OCTOBER

1 - Alison Redford won the Alberta Progressive Conservative leadership in a second round of voting by a narrow 51 per cent. The 46-year-old rookie legislature member was sworn in as the province's first female premier on Oct. 7.

3 - Canadian-born scientist Ralph Steinman was awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine — three days after pancreatic cancer claimed his life. He shared the award with American Bruce Beutler and Jules Hoffmann of France for discoveries about the immune system.

5 - Steve Jobs, the Apple founder and inventor of the company's defining products, died at age 56. He had battled pancreatic cancer since 2004 and stepped aside as Apple's chief executive earlier in the year.

9 - The NHL returned to Winnipeg with its first official game in 15 years, and even the Jets losing 5-1 to Montreal didn't put a damper on the massive civic celebration.

10 - Research in Motion suffered what would turn out to be the worst Blackberry outage in its history. Problems with email, texting and Internet services began in Europe and spread throughout the globe over the next days. Service was not fully restored until Oct. 13.

11 - Kathy Dunderdale became the first woman elected premier of Newfoundland and Labrador as she led the Progressive Conservative party to its third straight majority government.

15 - Occupy Canada protests to decry corporate greed and financial inequality began in 20 cities across the country, including Toronto, Halifax, Montreal, Quebec City, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria.

19 - Food processor Maple Leaf Foods announced it was cutting 1,550 jobs, closing plants in four provinces and streamlining distribution as part of a three-year $560-million restructuring plan.

20 - Moammar Gadhafi, Libya's dictator for 42 years until he was ousted in an uprising-turned-civil war backed by NATO air power, was killed as revolutionary fighters overwhelmed his hometown of Sirte. Gadhafi was buried in secrecy five days later in an unmarked grave in the Libyan desert.

23 - A 7.2-magnitude earthquake in eastern Turkey levelled at least 2,000 buildings and killed more than 600 people.

25 - The Conservative government introduced a bill to scrap the long-gun registry.

31 - NATO ended its air campaign over Libya and military action to protect its civilians following the death of former Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi on Oct. 20.

---

NOVEMBER

4 - At the G20 summit in France, Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney was appointed the world's top banking regulator. The position as head of the Financial Stability Board is part-time, meaning he will continue in his position at the Bank of Canada.

6 - Hickstead, the legendary stallion that helped Eric Lamaze win a gold and a silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, died during a World Cup event after collapsing to the ground. He was 15.

6 - Greece's embattled prime minister and main opposition leader agreed to form an interim government to pass a deeply unpopular austerity plan needed to secure a European bailout to prevent the country from defaulting on its debt. As part of the deal, Prime Minister George Papandreou agreed to resign.

7 - Dr. Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson's doctor, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after a trial that painted him as a reckless caregiver who administered a lethal dose of a powerful anesthetic to his pop-star patient.

8 - Victoria-based author Esi Edugyan won the coveted $50,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize for her novel "Half-Blood Blues," about a group of black jazz musicians trying to survive in Europe during the Second World War.

9 - Legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno and university President Graham Spanier were fired amid a growing furor linked to their handling of sex abuse allegations against a former assistant football coach. They were accused of not doing enough after Jerry Sandusky was accused of molesting a young boy in the showers of the campus football complex in 2002. Sandusky was facing charges of abusing eight boys over a 15-year span, with several of the alleged assaults occurring on Penn State property.

12 - Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi resigned as his country became the latest to be engulfed in Europe's sovereign debt woes.

15 - Vancouver Island native Patrick deWitt's comic western novel "The Sisters Brothers" won the $25,000 Governor General's Literary Award for fiction.

16 - Veteran Mountie Bob Paulson was named the next commissioner of the RCMP. Paulson said his first priority would be getting to the bottom of allegations of sexual harassment within the national police force.

23 - The B.C. Supreme Court ruled that Canada's anti-polygamy laws were constitutional, concluding the harms that polygamy inflicts on women and children outweigh any claim to religious freedom.

23 - Yemen's authoritarian President Ali Abdullah Saleh signed an agreement to resign after a fierce uprising to oust him from 33 years in power, in a deal that gave him immunity from prosecution. He became the fourth Arab leader toppled in the wave of Arab Spring uprisings since January.

28 - The federal government's long-promised end to the Canadian Wheat Board's 60-year monopoly on western wheat and barley sales went into effect.

30 - The federal government effectively took over running an impoverished Ontario First Nation community, one day after a high-profile Opposition tour of Attawapiskat. The move came a full month after the reserve on James Bay declared a state of emergency and the International Red Cross was called in to help alleviate a housing crisis that left families living in tents without access to running water or electricity.

---

DECEMBER

1 - The Maple Leaf flag was hauled down for the last time in Afghanistan's Kandahar in a quiet ceremony at Kandahar Airfield, marking the end of Canada's military presence in the province.

Dec. 7- Rockers Guns N' Roses led the 2012 class of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Also voted in were hip-hop trio Beastie Boys, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the late singer/songwriter Laura Nyro, Donovan and influential British rock group The Small Faces/The Faces, which included Rod Stewart, and Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood.

7- The U.S. and Canada signed a new border security pact that included a controversial new entry-exit system for crossing the 49th parallel.

7- Former junior hockey coach and convicted sex offender Graham James pleaded guilty via videolink to sexually abusing two of his former players, retired NHL star Theoren Fleury and another victim.

8 - The government of Japan issued a "heartfelt apology" to former Canadian prisoners for their suffering during the Second World War.

8 - NBA commissioner David Stern announced that owners and players ratified a new 10-year collective bargaining agreement, the final step to ending a five-month lockout. The season consisted of an abbreviated 66 games.

9 - The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan sold its 80 per cent stake in Canada's biggest sports franchise company, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, for $1.3 billion. Telecom rivals Rogers and Bell Canada teamed up to pay $1.07 billion for a 75 per cent stake.

12 - Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced New Canadians would have to remove any face-coverings, such as the Islamic niqab or burka, while taking the oath of citizenship.

12 - Environment Minister Peter Kent confirmed that Canada had formally pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol, the world's only binding climate treaty.

13 - World figure skating champion Patrick Chan was named the overwhelming winner of the 2011 Lou Marsh Award as Canada's outstanding athlete.

14 - U.S. officials held a ceremony marking the formal end of America's nine-year war in Iraq, which saw 4,500 Americans killed and cost more than $800 billion, . The remaining 4,000 U.S. troops were slated to be out of the country by the end of the year.

15 - A French court found former President Jacques Chirac guilty of embezzling public funds to illegally finance the conservative party he long led, in a historic verdict with repercussions for his legacy and France's political elite.

15 - A murder-suicide left four people dead and a fifth wounded on a stretch of highway near Claresholm, Alta.

16 - Flash floods triggered by a tropical storm killed over 700 people in Iligan, Philippines.

17 - Kim Jong Il, North Korea's mercurial and enigmatic leader whose iron rule and nuclear ambitions for his isolated communist nation dominated world security fears during his 17 years in power, died of a heart attack. He was 69. His twenty-something third son, Kim Jong Un, was named as his successor.

18 - Vaclav Havel, the dissident playwright who became Czechoslovakia's first democratically elected president, leading it through the early challenges of democracy and its peaceful 1993 breakup into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, died at age 75.

MORE:cpNews