The death of bin Laden, the al-Qaida leader who masterminded the Sept. 11 terror attacks, received 128 first-place votes out of 247 ballots cast for the top 10 stories. The Japan disaster was next, with 60 first-place votes. Placing third were the Arab Spring uprisings that rocked North Africa and the Middle East, while the European Union's financial turmoil was No. 4.
The international flavor of these top stories contrasted with last year's voting — when the Gulf of Mexico oil spill was the top story, President Barack Obama's health care overhaul was No. 2, and the U.S. midterm elections were No. 3.
Image: Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden is seen in Afghanistan. Bin Laden's died May 2, 2011 during a raid by U.S. Navy SEALs in Pakistan.
Text & Images: AP