2012 (MMXII) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar, the 2012th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 12th year of the 3rd millennium, the 12th year of the 21st century, and the 3rd year of the 2010s decade.
2012 was designated as:
|2012 by topic:|
|Architecture – Comics – Film – Home video – Literature (Poetry) – Music (Country, Metal, UK) – Radio – Photo – Television – Video gaming|
|Elections – International leaders – Sovereign states|
Sovereign state leaders – Territorial governors
|Science and technology|
|Archaeology – Aviation – Birding/Ornithology – Meteorology – Palaeontology – Rail transport – Spaceflight|
|Association football (soccer) – Athletics (track and field) – Badminton – Baseball – Basketball – Boxing – Cricket – Golf – Horse racing – Ice hockey – Motorsport – Road cycling – Rugby league – Rugby union – Table tennis – Tennis – Volleyball|
|Afghanistan – Albania – Algeria – Antarctica – Argentina – Armenia – Australia – Austria – Azerbaijan – Bangladesh – Belgium – Bhutan – Bosnia and Herzegovina – Brazil – Canada – Cape Verde – Chile – China – Colombia – Costa Rica – Croatia – Cuba – Czechia – Denmark – El Salvador – Egypt – Estonia – Ethiopia – European Union – Finland – France – Georgia – Germany – Ghana – Greece – Guatemala – Hungary – Iceland – India – Indonesia – Iraq – Iran – Ireland – Israel – Italy – Japan – Kazakhstan – Kenya – Kuwait – Laos – Latvia – Libya – Lithuania – Luxembourg – Macau – Malaysia – Mexico – Moldova – Myanmar – Nepal – Netherlands – New Zealand – Nigeria – North Korea – Norway – Oman – Pakistan – Palestine – Philippines – Poland – Romania – Russia – Rwanda – Serbia – Singapore – South Africa – South Korea – Spain – Sri Lanka – Sweden – Taiwan – Tanzania – Thailand – Turkey – Ukraine – United Arab Emirates – United Kingdom – United States – Venezuela – Vietnam – Yemen – Zimbabwe|
|Awards – Law – Religious leaders|
|Birth and death categories|
|Births – Deaths|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Establishments – Disestablishments|
|Works and introductions categories|
|Works – Introductions|
Works entering the public domain
|2012 in various calendars|
|Ab urbe condita||2765|
|Balinese saka calendar||1933–1934|
|British Regnal year||60 Eliz. 2 – 61 Eliz. 2|
|Chinese calendar||辛卯年 (Metal Rabbit)|
4708 or 4648
— to —
壬辰年 (Water Dragon)
4709 or 4649
|- Vikram Samvat||2068–2069|
|- Shaka Samvat||1933–1934|
|- Kali Yuga||5112–5113|
|Japanese calendar||Heisei 24|
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 13 days|
|Minguo calendar||ROC 101|
|Thai solar calendar||2555|
2138 or 1757 or 985
— to —
2139 or 1758 or 986
|Unix time||1325376000 – 1356998399|
The 2012 Summer Olympics, formally the Games of the XXX Olympiad and commonly known as London 2012, was an international multi-sport event that was held from 27 July to 12 August 2012 in London, United Kingdom. The first event, the group stage in women's football, began on 25 July at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, followed by the opening ceremonies on 27 July. 10,768 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) participated.Following a bid headed by former Olympic champion Sebastian Coe and then-Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, London was selected as the host city on 6 July 2005 during the 117th IOC Session in Singapore, defeating bids from Moscow, New York City, Madrid, and Paris. London became the first city to host the modern Olympics three times, having previously hosted the Summer Games in 1908 and in 1948.Construction for the Games involved considerable redevelopment, with an emphasis on sustainability. The main focus was a new 200-hectare (490-acre) Olympic Park, constructed on a former industrial site at Stratford, East London. The Games also made use of venues that already existed before the bid.The Games received widespread acclaim for their organisation, with the volunteers, the British military and public enthusiasm praised particularly highly. The opening ceremony, directed by Danny Boyle, received widespread acclaim throughout the world, particular praise from the British public and a minority of widely ranging criticisms from some social media sites. During the Games, Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time, winning his 22nd medal. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Brunei entered female athletes for the first time, so that every currently eligible country has sent a female competitor to at least one Olympic Games. Women's boxing was included for the first time, thus the Games became the first at which every sport had female competitors. These were the final Olympic Games under the IOC presidency of Jacques Rogge.
The final medal tally was led by the United States, followed by China and host Great Britain. Several world and Olympic records were set at the games. Though there were several controversies, the 2012 games were deemed highly successful with the rising standards of competition amongst nations across the world, packed stadiums and smooth organisation. Furthermore, the focus on sporting legacy and post-games venue sustainability was seen as a blueprint for future Olympics.2012 United States presidential election
The 2012 United States presidential election was the 57th quadrennial American presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. The Democratic nominee, President Barack Obama, and his running mate, Vice President Joe Biden, were elected to a second term. They defeated the Republican ticket of former Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
As the incumbent president, Obama secured the Democratic nomination with no serious opposition. The Republicans experienced a competitive primary. Romney was consistently competitive in the polls and won the support of many party leaders, but he faced challenges from a number of more conservative contenders. Romney clinched his party's nomination in May, defeating Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and several other candidates.
The campaigns focused heavily on domestic issues, and debate centered largely around sound responses to the Great Recession. Other issues included long-term federal budget issues, the future of social insurance programs, and the Affordable Care Act, Obama's marquee legislative program. Foreign policy was also discussed, including the phase-out of the Iraq War, military spending, the Iranian nuclear program, and appropriate counteractions to terrorism. The campaign was marked by a sharp rise in fundraising, including from nominally independent Super PACs.
Obama defeated Romney, winning a majority of both the popular vote and the Electoral College. Obama won 51.1% of the popular vote compared to Romney's 47.2%. Obama was the first incumbent since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944 to win reelection with fewer electoral votes and a lower popular vote percentage than had been won in the previous election, and was also the first two-term president since Ronald Reagan to win both his presidential bids with a majority of the nationwide popular vote.A Song of Ice and Fire
A Song of Ice and Fire is a series of epic fantasy novels by the American novelist and screenwriter George R. R. Martin. He began the first volume of the series, A Game of Thrones, in 1991, and it was published in 1996. Martin, who initially envisioned the series as a trilogy, has published five out of a planned seven volumes. The fifth and most recent volume of the series published in 2011, A Dance with Dragons, took Martin six years to write. He is currently writing the sixth novel, The Winds of Winter.
A Song of Ice and Fire takes place on the fictional continents Westeros and Essos. The point of view of each chapter in the story is a limited perspective of a range of characters growing from nine, in the first novel, to 31 characters by the fifth novel. Three main stories interweave: a dynastic war among several families for control of Westeros, the rising threat of the supernatural Others in the northernmost reaches of Westeros, and the ambition of Daenerys Targaryen, the deposed king's exiled daughter, to assume the Iron Throne.
Martin's inspirations included the Wars of the Roses and the French historical novels The Accursed Kings by Maurice Druon. A Song of Ice and Fire received praise for its diverse portrayal of women and religion, as well as its realism. An assortment of disparate and subjective points of view confronts the reader, and the success or survival of point of view characters is never assured. Within the often morally ambiguous world of A Song of Ice and Fire, questions concerning loyalty, pride, human sexuality, piety, and the morality of violence frequently arise.
As of August 2016, the books have sold more than 70 million copies worldwide and, as of January 2017, have been translated into 47 languages. The fourth and fifth volumes reached the top of The New York Times Best Seller lists upon their releases. Among the many derived works are several prequel novellas, a TV series, a comic book adaptation, and several card, board, and video games.Chennai
Chennai ( (listen); also known by its former name Madras (listen) or ) is the capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal, it is the biggest cultural, economic and educational centre of south India. According to the 2011 Indian census, it is the sixth most populous city and fourth-most populous urban agglomeration in India. The city together with the adjoining regions constitute the Chennai Metropolitan Area, which is the 36th-largest urban area by population in the world. Chennai is among the most visited Indian cities by foreign tourists. It was ranked the 43rd most visited city in the world for the year 2015. The Quality of Living Survey rated Chennai as the safest city in India. Chennai attracts 45 percent of health tourists visiting India, and 30 to 40 percent of domestic health tourists. As such, it is termed "India's health capital". As a growing metropolitan city in a developing country, Chennai confronts substantial pollution and other logistical and socio-economic problems.Chennai had the third-largest expatriate population in India at 35,000 in 2009, 82,790 in 2011 and estimated at over 100,000 by 2016. Tourism guide publisher Lonely Planet named Chennai as one of the top ten cities in the world to visit in 2015. Chennai is ranked as a beta-level city in the Global Cities Index, and was ranked the best city in India by India Today in the 2014 annual Indian city survey. In 2015 Chennai was named the "hottest" city (worth visiting, and worth living in for long term) by the BBC, citing the mixture of both modern and traditional values. National Geographic mentioned Chennai as the only South Asian city to feature in its 2015 "Top 10 food cities" list. Chennai was also named the ninth-best cosmopolitan city in the world by Lonely Planet. In October 2017, Chennai was added to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) list for its rich musical tradition.The Chennai Metropolitan Area is one of the largest municipal economies of India. Chennai is nicknamed "The Detroit of India", with more than one-third of India's automobile industry being based in the city. Home to the Tamil film industry, Chennai is also known as a major film production centre. Chennai has been selected as one of the 100 Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under Smart Cities Mission.Farhan Akhtar
Farhan Akhtar (born 9 January 1974) is an Indian film Director, Screenwriter, Actor, Playback Singer, Producer and Television Host. Born in Mumbai to screenwriters Javed Akhtar and Honey Irani, he grew up under the influence of the Hindi film industry. He began his career in Bollywood by working as an assistant director in Lamhe (1991) and Himalay Putra (1997).
Akhtar, after establishing a production company named Excel Entertainment along with Ritesh Sidhwani, made his directorial debut with Dil Chahta Hai (2001) and received critical acclaim for portraying modern youth. The film also won a National award. Following it, he made Lakshya (2004) and had his Hollywood debut through the soundtrack of Bride and Prejudice (2004), for which he wrote the lyrics. He went on to make the commercially successful Don (2006). He directed a short film titled Positive (2007), to spread awareness on HIV-AIDS.
Although he initially started his acting career with The Fakir of Venice, his official debut was with Rock On!! (2008), for which he won a second National Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi as producer, and indulged in further experimentation before he wrote the dialogues, produced and acted for the critical and commercial success Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011), which won him two Filmfare Awards, including Best Supporting Actor. In the same year, he directed a sequel to Don titled Don 2 (2011), which remains his highest-grossing film till date. He achieved further success by portraying Milkha Singh in the 2013 film Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, earning him the Filmfare Award for Best Actor. In 2016, Akhtar received praise for starring in the crime thriller Wazir and the comedy drama Dil Dhadakne Do.Lana Del Rey
Elizabeth Woolridge Grant (born June 21, 1985), known professionally as Lana Del Rey, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, poet and music video director. Her music has been noted by critics for its stylized cinematic quality, its preoccupation with themes of tragic romance, glamour, and melancholia, and its references to pop culture, particularly 1950s and 1960s Americana.Raised in Upstate New York, Del Rey moved to New York City in 2005 to embark on her music career. Following numerous projects including her debut studio album and the unreleased Sirens, Del Rey's breakthrough came after the viral success of her single "Video Games" in 2011. She then signed with Interscope and Polydor later that year. Her major label debut Born to Die (2012) proved an international success and spawned her first top-ten single on the Billboard Hot 100 with the Cedric Gervais remix of "Summertime Sadness". Since, Del Rey has released the US Billboard 200 number-one albums Ultraviolence (2014) and Lust for Life (2017), along with top-ten releases Paradise (2012) and Honeymoon (2015). She has received nominations for the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album for both Paradise and Lust for Life.
Del Rey has contributed to a variety of film soundtracks, most notably "Young and Beautiful" for The Great Gatsby (2013) and the eponymous theme for Big Eyes (2014), which garnered her a Grammy and Golden Globe nomination, respectively. Del Rey starred in the musical film Tropico (2013) and in short films to accompany her work including Ride (2012), National Anthem (2012), and Freak (2015), all of which she wrote.Lists of deaths by year
This is a list of notable deaths, organized by year. New deaths articles are added to their respective month (e.g., Deaths in January 2019), and then linked here.Olivier Giroud
Olivier Jonathan Giroud (French pronunciation: [ɔlivje ʒiʁu]; born 30 September 1986) is a French professional footballer who plays as a forward for Premier League club Chelsea and the France national team.
He began his career at Grenoble in Ligue 2 before joining Tours in 2008. In his second season at Tours, he was the division's top scorer with 21 goals, earning him a move to top-flight side Montpellier. Giroud was again the top scorer with 21 goals in the 2011–12 season, giving the club their first ever Ligue 1 title before moving to Arsenal. Giroud won the FA Cup with Arsenal in 2014, 2015 and 2017, and totalled 105 goals in 253 games for the club. In January 2018, he transferred to Chelsea on an 18-month contract.
Giroud made his full international debut for France in 2011. He has earned over 80 caps, and was part of the teams which reached the quarter-finals at UEFA Euro 2012 and the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the final of UEFA Euro 2016 in which he received the Bronze Boot as joint second-highest goalscorer, and won the 2018 FIFA World Cup.One Direction
One Direction are an English-Irish pop boy band based in London, composed of Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, and, until his departure from the band in 2015, Zayn Malik. The group signed with Simon Cowell's record label Syco Records after forming and finishing third in the seventh series of the British televised singing competition The X Factor in 2010. Propelled to international success by social media, One Direction's five albums, Up All Night (2011), Take Me Home (2012), Midnight Memories (2013), Four (2014), and Made in the A.M. (2015), topped charts in most major markets, and generated hit singles including "What Makes You Beautiful", "Live While We're Young", "Best Song Ever", "Story of My Life" and "Drag Me Down".
The group have received numerous accolades including seven Brit Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, six Billboard Music Awards, seven American Music Awards (including Artist of the Year in 2014 and 2015), and 28 Teen Choice Awards. In 2013, they earned an estimated $75 million becoming the second highest earning celebrity under 30 according to Forbes. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) honoured them as the Global Recording Artist of 2013. Forbes ranked them as the fourth highest earning celebrities in the world in 2015, and second in 2016.After the release of Four, One Direction became the first band in the US Billboard 200 history to have their first four albums debut at number one. Their third album, Midnight Memories, was the best-selling album worldwide in 2013 with 4 million copies sold globally. The band's Where We Are Tour in support of Midnight Memories and Four, was the highest-grossing concert tour in 2014, the highest-grossing tour by a vocal group in history, and the 18th highest-grossing concert tour of all time, grossing $290.2 million (unadjusted for inflation). In 2014, Billboard named One Direction Artist of the Year. The band went on hiatus in January 2016, allowing all members to pursue other projects. As of 2017, the band has sold a total of 50 million records worldwide.Paul Ryan
Paul Davis Ryan Jr. (born January 29, 1970) is an American politician who served as the 54th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from October 2015 to January 2019. He was also the 2012 vice presidential nominee of the Republican Party, running alongside Mitt Romney.
Ryan, a native of Janesville, Wisconsin, graduated from Miami University in 1992. He spent five years working for Republicans in Washington, D.C. and returned to Wisconsin in 1997 to work at his family's construction company. He successfully ran for Congress to represent Wisconsin's 1st congressional district the following year, replacing an incumbent Republican who ran for Senate. Ryan would represent the district for 20 years. He chaired the House Budget Committee from 2011 to 2015 and briefly chaired the House Ways and Means Committee in 2015 prior to being elected Speaker of the House following John Boehner's retirement.
A self-proclaimed deficit hawk, Ryan was a major proponent of privatizing Social Security in the mid-2000s. In the 2010s, his proposals "The Path to Prosperity" and "A Better Way" advocated for the privatization of Medicare, block granting of Medicaid, repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and significant tax cuts. As Speaker, he was instrumental in the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. His other major piece of legislation, the American Health Care Act of 2017, passed the House but failed in the Senate by a single vote. Ryan's tenure as Speaker of the House saw a massive increase in government spending and deficits despite unified Republican control of government for most of his tenure and the absence of a recession or of a new foreign conflict.
Ryan did not seek re-election in the 2018 midterm elections, where the Democrats under Nancy Pelosi won control of the House with a net gain of 41 seats.Priyanka Chopra
Priyanka Chopra (pronounced [prɪˈjaːŋkaː ˈtʃoːpɽaː]; born 18 July 1982), also known by her married name Priyanka Chopra Jonas, is an Indian actress, singer, film producer, philanthropist, and the winner of the Miss World 2000 pageant. One of India's highest-paid and most popular celebrities, Chopra has received numerous awards, including a National Film Award and five Filmfare Awards. In 2016, the Government of India honoured her with the Padma Shri, and Time named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world. In 2017 and 2018, Forbes listed her among the World's 100 Most Powerful Women.
Although Chopra initially aspired to study aeronautical engineering, she accepted offers to join the Indian film industry, which came as a result of her pageant wins, making her Bollywood debut in The Hero: Love Story of a Spy (2003). She played the leading lady in the box-office hits Andaaz (2003) and Mujhse Shaadi Karogi (2004) and received critical acclaim for her breakout role in the 2004 thriller Aitraaz. In 2006, Chopra established herself as a leading actress of Indian cinema with starring roles in the top-grossing productions Krrish and Don. Following a brief setback, she was praised for playing a troubled model in the drama Fashion (2008), which won her the National Film Award for Best Actress. Chopra gained wider recognition for portraying a range of characters in the films Kaminey (2009), 7 Khoon Maaf (2011), Barfi! (2012), Mary Kom (2014), and Bajirao Mastani (2015), and featured in the commercially successful sequels Don 2 (2011) and Krrish 3 (2013). From 2015 to 2018, she starred as Alex Parrish in the ABC thriller series Quantico, becoming the first South Asian to headline an American network drama series. Chopra has since appeared in the Hollywood films Baywatch (2017) and A Kid Like Jake (2018).
As a philanthropist, Chopra has worked with UNICEF since 2006 and was appointed as the national and global UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Child Rights in 2010 and 2016, respectively. She promotes social causes such as environment, health and education, and women's rights, and is vocal about gender equality and feminism. As a recording artist, she has released three singles. She is also the founder of the production company Purple Pebble Pictures, which released the acclaimed Marathi comedy-drama Ventilator (2016). Despite maintaining privacy, Chopra's off-screen life is the subject of substantial media coverage. She is married to the American singer Nick Jonas.Rangers F.C.
Rangers Football Club are a football club in Glasgow, Scotland, who play in the Scottish Premiership, the first tier of the Scottish Professional Football League. Although it is not part of the official name, they are occasionally referred to as Glasgow Rangers; their home ground, Ibrox Stadium, is in the south-west of the city in the Govan district.
Rangers have won more league titles and trebles than any other club in the world, winning the league title 54 times, the Scottish Cup 33 times and the Scottish League Cup 27 times, and achieving the treble of all three in the same season seven times. Rangers won the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1972 after being losing finalists twice, in 1961 (the first British club to reach a UEFA tournament final) and 1967. A third runners-up finish in Europe came in the UEFA Cup in 2008. Rangers have a long-standing rivalry with Celtic, the two Glasgow clubs being collectively known as the Old Firm, according to some one of the world's biggest football derbies.Founded in February 1872, Rangers were one of the 11 original members of the Scottish Football League and remained in the top division continuously until the liquidation of The Rangers Football Club PLC at the end of the 2011–12 season. With a new corporate identity, the club gained admittance to the fourth tier of Scottish league football in time for the start of the following season. Rangers secured promotion back to the Premiership for the start of season 2016–17 having won three promotions in four years.Ryan Gosling
Ryan Thomas Gosling (born November 12, 1980) is a Canadian actor and musician. He began his career as a child star on the Disney Channel's The Mickey Mouse Club (1993–1995), and went on to appear in other family entertainment programs, including Are You Afraid of the Dark? (1995) and Goosebumps (1996). His first starring film role was as a Jewish neo-Nazi in The Believer (2001), and he went on to star in several independent films, including Murder by Numbers (2002), The Slaughter Rule (2002), and The United States of Leland (2003).
Gosling gained wider recognition in 2004 with a leading role in the commercially successful romance The Notebook. For playing a drug-addicted teacher in Half Nelson (2006), he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor, and for playing a socially inept loner in Lars and the Real Girl (2007), he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award. After a three-year acting hiatus, Gosling starred in the marital drama Blue Valentine (2010), earning him a second Golden Globe nomination. Gosling co-starred in three mainstream films in 2011, the romantic comedy-drama Crazy, Stupid, Love, the political drama The Ides of March, and the neo-noir crime thriller Drive, and received two more Golden Globe nominations. His directorial debut, Lost River, was released to poor reviews in 2014. Greater success came to Gosling when he starred in five critically acclaimed films: the financial comedy-drama The Big Short (2015), the neo-noir black comedy The Nice Guys (2016), the musical romantic comedy-drama La La Land (2016), the neo-noir science fiction Blade Runner 2049 (2017), and the biopic First Man (2018). For La La Land, he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, and received a second Oscar nomination.
Gosling's band, Dead Man's Bones, released their self-titled debut album and toured North America in 2009. He is a co-owner of Tagine, a Moroccan restaurant in Beverly Hills, California. Gosling is a supporter of PETA, Invisible Children, and the Enough Project and has traveled to Chad, Uganda and eastern Congo to raise awareness about conflicts in the regions. Gosling has been involved in peace promotion efforts in Africa for over a decade. He has been in a relationship with actress Eva Mendes since 2011, and they have two daughters together.Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting
The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting occurred on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, United States, when 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children between six and seven years old, as well as six adult staff members. Before driving to the school, he shot and killed his mother at their Newtown home. As first responders arrived at the school, Lanza committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.
The incident was the deadliest mass shooting at either a high school or grade school in U.S. history and the fourth-deadliest mass shooting by a single person in U.S. history. The shooting prompted renewed debate about gun control in the United States, including proposals to make the background-check system universal, and for new federal and state gun legislation banning the sale and manufacture of certain types of semi-automatic firearms and magazines with more than ten rounds of ammunition.
A November 2013 report issued by the Connecticut State Attorney's office concluded that Lanza acted alone and planned his actions, but provided no indication why he did so, or why he targeted the school. A report issued by the Office of the Child Advocate in November 2014 said that Lanza had Asperger's syndrome and as a teenager suffered from depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder, but concluded that they had "neither caused nor led to his murderous acts." The report went on to say, "his severe and deteriorating internalized mental health problems ... combined with an atypical preoccupation with violence ... (and) access to
deadly weapons ... proved a recipe for mass murder".Syrian Civil War
The Syrian Civil War (Arabic: الحرب الأهلية السورية, al-ḥarb al-ʾahlīyah as-sūrīyah) is an ongoing multi-sided armed conflict in Syria fought between the Ba'athist Syrian Arab Republic led by President Bashar al-Assad, along with domestic and foreign allies, and various domestic and foreign forces opposing both the government and each other in varying combinations.The unrest in Syria, part of a wider wave of the 2011 Arab Spring protests, grew out of discontent with the Assad government and escalated to an armed conflict after protests calling for his removal were violently suppressed. The war is being fought by several factions: Ba'athist Syria and Syrian Armed Forces and its international allies, a loose alliance of majorly Sunni opposition rebel groups (including the Free Syrian Army), the majority-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Salafi jihadist groups (including al-Nusra Front), and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), with a number of countries in the region and beyond being either directly involved or providing support to one or another faction (Iran, Russia, Turkey, the United States, as well as others).
Iran, Russia, and Hezbollah support Ba'athist Syria and the Syrian Armed Forces militarily, with Russia conducting air operations since September 2015. The U.S.-led international coalition, established in 2014 with the declared purpose of countering ISIL, has conducted airstrikes primarily against ISIL as well as some against government and pro-government targets. Between 2015 and late 2018, the US also supported the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (Rojava) and its armed wing, the SDF. Turkey, on the other hand, has become deeply involved against the Syrian government since 2016, actively supporting the Syrian opposition and occupying large swaths of northwestern Syria. Furthermore, while officially neutral, Israel has conducted airstrikes against Hezbollah and Iranian forces, whose presence in southwestern Syria it views as a threat.International organizations have accused the Ba'athist Syrian government, ISIL, opposition rebel groups, and the U.S.-led coalition of severe human rights violations and of massacres. The conflict has caused a major refugee crisis. Over the course of the war, a number of peace initiatives have been launched, including the March 2017 Geneva peace talks on Syria led by the United Nations, but fighting continues.The Avengers (2012 film)
Marvel's The Avengers (classified under the name Marvel Avengers Assemble in the United Kingdom and Ireland), or simply The Avengers, is a 2012 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the sixth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film was written and directed by Joss Whedon and features an ensemble cast that includes Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, and Jeremy Renner as the titular Avengers team, alongside Tom Hiddleston, Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgård, and Samuel L. Jackson. In the film, Nick Fury, director of the spy agency S.H.I.E.L.D., recruits Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Bruce Banner, and Thor to form a team that must stop Thor's brother Loki from subjugating Earth.
The film's development began when Marvel Studios received a loan from Merrill Lynch in April 2005. After the success of the film Iron Man in May 2008, Marvel announced that The Avengers would be released in July 2011. With the signing of Johansson in March 2009, the film was pushed back for a 2012 release. Whedon was brought on board in April 2010 and rewrote the original screenplay by Zak Penn. Production began in April 2011 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, before moving to Cleveland, Ohio, in August and New York City in September. The film was converted to 3D in post-production.
The Avengers premiered on April 11, 2012, at Hollywood's El Capitan Theatre and was released in the United States on May 4, 2012. The film received positive reviews from critics, as well as numerous awards and nominations including Academy Award and BAFTA nominations for achievements in visual effects. It set or tied numerous box office records, including the biggest opening weekend in the United States and Canada. The Avengers grossed over $1.5 billion worldwide and became the third-highest-grossing film of all time, as well as the highest-grossing film of 2012. It is the first Marvel production to generate $1 billion in ticket sales.
Two sequels, titled Avengers: Age of Ultron and Avengers: Infinity War, were released in May 2015 and April 2018, respectively, while Avengers: Endgame is scheduled for release in April 2019.The Dark Knight Rises
The Dark Knight Rises is a 2012 American-British superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, who co-wrote the screenplay with his brother Jonathan Nolan, and the story with David S. Goyer. Featuring the DC Comics character Batman, the film is the final installment in Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy, and the sequel to The Dark Knight (2008). Christian Bale reprises the lead role of Bruce Wayne/Batman, with a returning cast of allies: Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth, Gary Oldman as James Gordon, and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox. The film introduces Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) and Bane (Tom Hardy). Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, merciless revolutionary Bane forces an older Bruce Wayne to resume his role as Batman and save Gotham City from nuclear destruction.
Christopher Nolan was hesitant about returning to the series for a second time, but agreed after developing a story with his brother and Goyer that he felt would conclude the series on a satisfactory note. Nolan drew inspiration from Bane's comic book debut in the 1993 "Knightfall" storyline, the 1986 series The Dark Knight Returns, and the 1999 storyline "No Man's Land". Filming took place from May to November 2011 in locations including Jodhpur, London, Nottingham, Glasgow, Los Angeles, New York City, Newark, and Pittsburgh. Nolan used IMAX 70 mm film cameras for much of the filming, including the first six minutes of the film, to optimize the quality of the picture. A vehicle variation of the Batplane and Batcopter termed the "Bat", an underground prison set, and a new Batcave set were created specifically for the film. As with The Dark Knight, viral marketing campaigns began early during production. When filming concluded, Warner Bros. refocused its campaign: developing promotional websites, releasing the first six minutes of the film, screening theatrical trailers, and sending out information regarding the film's plot.
The Dark Knight Rises premiered in New York City on July 16, 2012. The film was released in the United States and the United Kingdom on July 20, 2012. It received positive reviews; the consensus at Rotten Tomatoes calls it "ambitious, thoughtful, and potent". The film has grossed over $1 billion worldwide, making it the second film in the Batman film series to earn $1 billion. In addition to being Nolan's highest-grossing film, it is the 24th highest-grossing film of all time (7th at the time of release), the third highest-grossing film of 2012, the highest-grossing DC Comics film to date, the highest-grossing Batman film of all time, and the eighth highest-grossing superhero film.Victoria's Secret
Victoria's Secret is an American designer, manufacturer, and marketer of women's lingerie, womenswear, and beauty products. Founded in 1977 as a response to packaged underwear, which the company's founder considered to be "ugly, floral-print nylon nightgowns", the company is now the largest American retailer of women's lingerie.Vidya Balan
Vidya Balan (pronounced [ʋɪd̪jaː baːlən]; born 1 January 1979) is an Indian actress. Known for pioneering a change in the concept of a Hindi film heroine with her portrayals of strong-willed women, she is the recipient of several awards, including a National Film Award, six Filmfare Awards, and six Screen Awards. She was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2014.
Vidya aspired to a career in film from a young age and had her first acting role in the 1995 sitcom Hum Paanch. She pursued a master's degree in sociology from the University of Mumbai and simultaneously made several unsuccessful attempts to start a career in film. She subsequently featured in television commercials and music videos. In 2003 she made her feature film debut as the protagonist of the independent Bengali drama Bhalo Theko. In 2005 Vidya garnered praise for her first Hindi film, the drama Parineeta, and followed it with a leading role in the top-grossing comedy film Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006).
This breakthrough was followed by roles in the romantic comedies Heyy Babyy (2007) and Kismat Konnection (2008) which had negative reviews. Vidya went on to establish herself as a leading actress of Hindi cinema by playing five consecutive roles to wide critical acclaim in the 2009 drama Paa, the 2010 black comedy Ishqiya, the 2011 semi-biographical thriller No One Killed Jessica, the 2011 biopic The Dirty Picture, and the 2012 thriller Kahaani. She followed this with a series of films that performed poorly at the box office, although her performance in Kahaani 2: Durga Rani Singh (2016) was praised. This changed in 2017 when she starred as a radio jockey in the successful comedy-drama Tumhari Sulu.
In addition to acting in films, Vidya promotes humanitarian causes and supports the empowerment of women. She initially drew criticism for her fluctuating weight and "questionable" dress sense, but was later credited in the media for "not morphing herself to fit into any conventional slot". She became a member of the Indian Central Board of Film Certification in 2017. Vidya is married to the film producer Siddharth Roy Kapur.Wreck-It Ralph
Wreck-It Ralph is a 2012 American 3D computer-animated comedy film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 52nd Disney animated feature film. The film was directed by Rich Moore, who also directed episodes of The Simpsons and Futurama, and the screenplay was written by Phil Johnston and Jennifer Lee from a story by Moore, Johnston, and Jim Reardon. John Lasseter served as the executive producer. The film features the voices of John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer and Jane Lynch and tells the story of the eponymous arcade game villain who rebels against his "bad-guy" role and dreams of becoming a hero.
Wreck-It Ralph premiered at the El Capitan Theatre on October 29, 2012, and went into general release on November 2. The film was a critical and commercial success, grossing $471 million worldwide against a $165 million budget and winning the Annie Award for Best Animated Feature, as well as receiving nominations for the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. The film was released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 5, 2013.
It is the first installment in the Wreck-It Ralph film series. A sequel, Ralph Breaks the Internet, was released on November 21, 2018.