But 2011 will also be defined by lone nations dealing with difficult internal struggles. Sudan's referendum on succession could split the country in two, hopefully ending the years of conflict and genocide but possibly creating a new set of problems for both North and South. Democratic Iraq will face the challenge of governing and retaining security as the U.S. force withdraws. Elections in Egypt, Turkey, and Nigeria will test those countries' institutions and political freedoms. Haiti and Pakistan will continue working to recover from 2010's devastating environmental disasters.
The biggest stories of 2011, however, will probably be unexpected, just as they were in 2010.
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