Economics Magazine: S.G.T.B. Khalsa College

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In a year marked by mass protests, the awakening that swept the Arab world stood out. The Arab spring was sparked by rallies in Tunisia that followed the self-immolation in late 2010 of a young market worker angered by police harassment. He died in hospital in January, prompting thousands to take to the streets in sometimes violent clashes that forced the long-time president, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, to flee to Saudi Arabia.
Emboldened by the outcome in Tunisia, protesters soon rose up in other Arab countries. Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians filled the centre of Cairo and camped in Tahrir Square to call for Hosni Mubarak to step down. After three decades in power, Mr Mubarak withstood only three weeks of strife. Although frail, he eventually stood trial (due to resume soon) for the deaths that occurred when his security forces tried to quash the protests.
Elsewhere, Yemen’s president fled in June and eventually signed a transition deal to end his 33-year reign; Saudi troops helped to put down unrest in Bahrain; and reform was embraced in Morocco and Jordan. But the Arab spring was met with stiff resistance in Syria, where protests were brutally put down by Bashar Assad’s regime, resulting in over 7,000 deaths so far.
In Libya Muammar Qaddafi caused a civil war after he tried to crush an opposition movement that spread from Benghazi. NATO aircraft enforced a no-fly zone, endorsed by the Arab League, in support of the rebels. After a summer of conflict, Qaddafi was captured by rebels in his home town and swiftly killed. He had ruled Libya since 1969.
Russia’s Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, hatched a plan to run for president again in 2012. But his coronation might not run so smoothly this time. His United Russia party did not do as well as expected in parliamentary elections (amid allegations of ballot fraud), after which anti-Putin…...

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