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Revelers gather at the fence on the north side of the White House while U.S. President Barack Obama announces the death of Osama Bin Laden May 1, 2011 in Washington, D.C. For once, it seems the U.S. wasn't much a newsmaker in 2011. - 

This final note today, as we get ready for a week of year-in-review stuff.

If you think of the biggest, most impactful global news events of the year, you'd have to include the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan. The Arab Spring, and all the dictators who are no longer in power. And of course, the European debt crisis.

Which brings us to the United States -- a country that wasn't at the center of any major crises this year. Yes, we lost our AAA credit rating, but the consequences of that have, so far, been negligible.

So as we close out 2011, take a breather -- it wasn't all about us this year, and given all that happened, that's probably a good thing.

Follow Jeremy Hobson at @jeremyhobson