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The world news of 2010

By Su Qiang (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-12-27 07:58
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 The world news of 2010

1. Trapped Chile miners were rescued - A cave-in on Aug 5 leaves 33 miners trapped nearly 700 meters underground in a small copper and gold mine near the Chilean city of Copiapo. All 33 miners were rescued on Oct 13.


 The world news of 2010

2. Deadly earthquake crippled Haiti - The earthquake struck on Jan 12, toppling structures and killing tens of thousands of people.

China Daily offers the big stories that brought tragedy, heartbreak and hope to the world stage

As 2010 draws to an end, the international news editors of China Daily, after searching their minds and thumbing through old newspapers, came up with 10 top world stories that had made us sad, angry or cheerful.

In drafting a short list for such an eventful year, we had to drop many stories, which are no less important than the ones you are reading on this page.

But we do hope that the tragedies or miracles on this list could keep us thinking and believing.

The Cancun conference is chosen not because Japanese delegates shocked the world by threatening to kill the Kyoto Protocol - the only legally binding agreement on climate change - but because rising temperatures and sea levels do not allow us to talk for the sake of talking. We chose it because forests are disappearing and carbon dioxide levels are increasing.

Whenever reading stories about the finger-pointing between developed countries and their poorer cousins in almost any climate talks - as if common ground is a no-go zone - many cannot help but ask themselves: Is everybody's business nobody's business?

Iraq, again, makes its way into the top 10 list. But what is different is that, this time, we chose it not on the basis of a huge bomb claiming hundreds of lives, but Washington's announcement of the end of United States combat operations in the country.

Let's hope a democratic and peaceful Iraq can stand proudly along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers after a US withdrawal.

And while various man-made or natural disasters have helped paint a relatively bleak picture, the Chilean mine accident, in which all 33 trapped miners were rescued after being underground for 70 days, sends us a message: The light of the human spirit can shine through the most impenetrable darkness.

It was through a small, winding hole that hope traveled between those trapped 700 meters below the ground and those praying under the sun.

The world needs not only the encouraging smiles on the faces of those miners, but also actions that can help cure long-existing social ills.

Action should be taken, otherwise bombings will continue to rock crowded markets or police stations in Iraq or Afghanistan; action should be taken if disasters like the Haiti earthquake and the BP oil spill were not to result in unnecessary huge death tolls and environmental damage.

Action, moreover, should be taken simply because we have talked too much.

This list also reflects the roles played by world or regional powers in ensuring peace and stability - whether politically or economically.

Thanks to the interventions of the major European players like Germany and France, other EU members such as Greece, Ireland have been able to succeed, at least so far, in keeping their heads above the surface of a turbulent financial sea.

Although it is too early to say that Europe could pass, without too much pain, the age of austerity, it seems every country has been working hard to avoid the worst scenario.

Thanks to swift responses from Moscow, Beijing and Washington, the Cheonan incident didn't develop into a regional conflict, which would, most probably, have brought big powers into a destructive war game.

Dear readers, 2010 was a year of heartache and human triumph, a year that saw progress on some issues and regression on others. The stories we covered shaped our lives, for good or ill.

It is an increasingly small world in which stories could, almost instantly, send ripples thousands of kilometers away.

It is also a complicated world. There is no lack of solutions to thorny world issues. There is only a lack of willingness to cooperate and compromise.

It is a fascinating world. Keep working, keep dreaming and always believe that tomorrow is a better day.

The author is deputy director of International News Department of China Daily.

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