Iraq War Tops Year's News, Says Britannica

Other Major Stories Include Terrorism, Sudan, Hurricanes

Dec 23, 2004, 00:00 ET from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.

    CHICAGO, Dec. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The war in Iraq is the most important
 story of the year, say the current-affairs editors at Encyclopaedia
 Britannica, who have just issued their list of the top ten developments of
     The conflict between Iraqi insurgents and the U.S.-led coalition stands
 out among other stories for its many dramatic developments, including the
 prisoner-abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib, the establishment of an interim
 government and preparations for next year's elections.
     The globalization of terrorism, represented by attacks in Spain, Russia
 and elsewhere took second place on the editors' list.
     "There's a great deal of violence in the world right now," said Susana
 Darwin, editor of the Britannica Almanac.  "There's no getting around it.  At
 the same time, there is intense diplomatic, political and economic maneuvering
 under way, some of it very important."
     The entire top-ten list follows:
      1.  Iraq War
      2.  Globalization of terrorism
      3.  Nuclear danger -- Most notable was the growing crisis over weapons
          programs in Iran and North Korea.
      4.  Elections -- Elections took place in the U.S. and other countries,
          including Afghanistan, Spain and Ukraine.
      5.  Sudan -- Ethnic conflict in the Darfur region has caused a massive
          humanitarian crisis.
      6.  Israel and the Palestinians -- Developments included the death of
          Yasir Arafat, the Gaza pullout plan and construction of the West Bank
          security wall.
      7.  European Union Expansion -- The EU added ten new members this year
          and is now an economic superpower.
      8.  Violent storms -- Hurricanes, typhoons and other storms ravaged the
          southeastern U.S., Caribbean, and Asia.
      9.  Russia signs the Kyoto Accords.  Russian ratification sets the stage
          for this treaty on greenhouse gases to go into effect next year.
      10. Human health and well being -- Developments included the AIDS crisis,
          bird flu in Thailand, locusts in Africa and human embryo cloning from
          stem cells.
     Details are available at .
     The Encyclopaedia Britannica Almanac 2005 is available at bookstores and
     Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., based in Chicago, has been the leader in
 reference and education publishing since 1768.  The company is known for the
 32-volume Encyclopaedia Britannica and its pioneering work in electronic
 publishing.  More information is at .

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