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Bin Laden, Japan disaster top 2011's news stories

A look back at the triumphs and tragedies of 2011.

Reuters file

Saudi-born dissident Osama bin-Laden addresses a news conference in Afghanistan, where he and his organization are based, in a May 26,1998 file photo. News of bin Laden's death on May 2 was the top news story on msnbc.com in 2011.

The killing of Osama bin Laden by Navy SEALs at his hideout in Pakistan was the top news event of 2011, followed by the earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan, according to a ranking on msnbc.com by page views as of Dec. 20.

Here's a look at those events and the three other stories with the most page views:

1. The May 2 death of bin Laden, the al-Qaida leader who masterminded the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Several stories about his death generated more than six million page views each, but a story that detailed how the U.S. used intelligence about the people in bin Laden's circle, including his personal couriers, was by far the No. 1 single story:
How the US tracked couriers to elaborate bin Laden compound 

NBC's Bruce Hall takes a look at Osama bin Laden's transformation into the alleged mastermind of numerous world-wide terror attacks.

2. Japan's earthquake and tsunami on March 11 left nearly 20,000 people dead or missing. The quake triggered a tsunami that caused massive inland flooding and crippled the Fukushima nuclear reactor, sparking the largest nuclear disaster since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine. Here are the two stories on Japan's tragedy that got the most attention: 
Vast devastation, search for survivors after Japan quake 
Japan overwhelmed by scale of quake damage 

The search is on for thousands of people still missing in the aftermath of the most powerful earthquake to ever strike Japan. The quake triggered a devastating tsunami that was responsible for at least several hundred deaths. NBC's Kaori Enjoji reports.

See The Year in Pictures: 2011

3. An article on the murder acquittal on July 5 of Florida mother Casey Anthony, who had been accused of killing her toddler daughter, had the second-most page views on the site. After a trial that lasted six weeks, a jury found Anthony not guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and aggravated manslaughter of a child, but guilty of four misdemeanor counts of providing false information to a law enforcement officer. With credit for time served, she was released July 17. 
Casey Anthony found not guilty of murdering daughter  

A Florida jury found Casey Anthony not guilty of killing her 2-year-old daughter. Watch the video of the verdict.

4. The July 23 death of 27-year-old British jazz-soul singer Amy Winehouse, whose problems with alcohol and drugs began to overshadow her brilliant musical talent.  
Singer Amy Winehouse found dead in London home 
Images: Amy Winehouse: 1983-2011

Grammy winning artist Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London home on Saturday. NBC's Kurt Gregory looks at her life.

5. Charla Nash, the victim of a chimpanzee attack, revealed her new face after a transplant. Nash was getting out of her car in 2009 when her friends' pet chimp went berserk and attacked, leaving her without a nose, eyes or lips. After a remarkable recovery, she showed off her new face during an interview on TODAY.
Chimp attack victim reveals her new face

NBC's Meredith Vieira sits down with Charla Nash, who recently underwent a face transplant that's helped her regain the life she had before being brutally attacked by a chimp.

 

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