A few people have commented that the first End of the Year Quiz was too easy to answer, so here, by request, is a slightly more taxing version. The same rules apply as before, i.e. there are twelve questions, one for each month of the year. The questions are about events and news that occurred in 2011. If you take the first letter of each answer (in chronological order) they will spell out my hopes for you for 2012. I hope you enjoy the challenge and that it reminds you of some of the many things that have happened.
- Japan’s biggest medical dispute was settled on 23rd January with 430,000 people receiving payments. What was the infection that they claimed that they had been exposed to due to the re-use of needles?
- After singing at the Brit Awards in February, this singer shot to number one in the UK singles chart, while her album was already the top seller. She became the first artist, since The Beatles, to achieve a double top five hit, one in each of the singles and albums charts. The song sung at The Brits Awards was a number one hit around the world and her album topped album charts in 18 countries, including the USA.
- In what country, in March, did 29 year old Eman al-Obeidi burst into the Rixos Hotel and tell stunned foreign journalists that she had been detained, beaten and gang-raped by 15 members of the governing militia, thereby fuelling global support for a regime change?
- Which country recorded its first trade deficit in six years on 19th April, blaming the rise in commodity prices for the adverse figures?
- What is the full name of the Prime Minister of Pakistan who, in May, publicly denied that his country was or had been collaborating with al-Qaeda and warned the US that it will defend its air space from incursions, following the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad?
- Can you name the Kurdish artist who hung 208 guitars from 16 lime tress to welcome guests to the German town of Dusseldorf at the time of its hosting the Eurovision Song Contest in June? The art installation was to represent Peace. At the end of the project the instruments were sold off with the proceeds going to the city’s kindergartens.
- What is the full name of the winner of the Men’s Final at Wimbledon (he beat his rival 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3)? He is the only player to have beaten his opponent in two consecutive Grand Slam finals.
- In which London suburb were police cars set on fire on the main thoroughfare, the High Road, in response to the Metropolitan Police shooting of 29 year old, father-of-four Mark Duggan two days previously, which is claimed to have ignited the August riots in England? You might be interested to know that the High Road traces the route of the former Roman Road, Ermine Street and has been the site of trouble at frequent intervals over the centuries.
- Which UK commission, chaired by John Vickers, recommended on September 12th that British banks should separate their retail banking divisions from their investment banking arms to safeguard against riskier banking activities?
- Which organization completed its acquisition of Skype for US$ 8.5 billion on 14th October?
- On 13th November, what guise did undercover British police officer Mark Kennedy admit to assuming, when he was used by the police forces of 22 countries, was responsible for the closing down of the Youth House community centre in Copenhagen and committed two crimes (one of which was arson) on behalf of the German police between 2004 and 2009?
- What is the English version of the name of the female panda welcomed to Edinburgh Zoo in December, along with her fellow giant panda Sunshine (Yang Guang)?
As before, the questions are chosen for the month in which they occur and to provide an appropriate letter, rather than for their level of importance and impact. Please contact me if you want the answers.
Enjoy the last few days of 2011. It has been a pleasure sharing the year with you.