Vote: Most influential international story of 2012

This year's contenders: Bulagria bus bombing, hurricane Sandy, US elections, Newtown massacre, London Olympic Games.

Hurricane Sandy 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout)
Hurricane Sandy 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout)
It has been a busy year in International news, from natural disasters to selecting a new US president, below are the top five stories. Don’t forget to vote for the story that had the biggest impact on you this year!
The safety of Israeli citizens abroad was certainly put into question in 2012, when a bus for Israeli tourists in Burgas, Bulgaria was blown up by a suicide bomber on July 18. It may have been the first successful, but many attempts have been made to harm Israeli citizens abroad this year. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu blamed Iran for the bombing that killed seven and injured dozens more.
Hurricane Sandy was one of the biggest storms to ever hit the US, killing almost 100 people and affecting millions from power outages to damage to personal property to injury in late October this year. The US stock markets were closed for the first time since September 11, 2001, and economic losses reached up to $20 million. Sandy has been called the Katrina of the Northeast, and was yet another reminder or the devastating effects of global warming.
The US Presidential elections this year proved that partisan politics exist not in the way that they used to, but now pinned at extremes. It became harder and harder to find common ground between the Republicans and Democrats as social issues took center stage. In addition, rather than looking to compromise in order to solve the issues America is facing, candidates took to criticizing each others faults, which benefits no one. All eyes were on America when November 6 rolled around this year, and for good reason. A popular pre-election discussion was that of which candidate would be better for Israel, and in turn whether American voters should be voting for Israel before the needs of their home country.
Gun violence the world over has increased in the past years, and in 2012 many devastating incidents occurred involving varied motives. This year the French saw a number of shootings, the most talked about being, the shooting in Toulouse on March 19 outside of a Jewish day school. The most recent American mass shootings have been at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, on July 20, and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14. These tragedies have forced lawmakers and US citizens alike to take another look at what is wrong with American policies concerning mental health and gun control. As those unfit to own a firearm gain easier access, the bigger this uniquely American issue will grow, and people are starting to take notice.
The Olympic Games were held in London this year from July 27 to August 12. More than 16,000 athletes from 204 countries competed in the games for the ultimate prize, Olympic gold. Israel made its 15th Olympic appearance, sending 37 athletes to compete in eight sports. Despite a disappointing outcome, Israeli athletes are young and hopeful for a comeback in 2016. This year's Olympic Games also marked the 40th anniversary of the Munich Olympics where eleven Israeli Olympic athletes and coaches were murdered by Palestinian terrorists. The request for a moment of silence was denied by the IOC, and so instead the Minute for Munich was held in various venues around London, with over 20,000 people in attendance, by the British Zionist Federation.
Click here to vote for the top international story of 2012.