What in the World?

A lot happened in 2021. Test your foreign-policy knowledge with our year-end news quiz.

By , a deputy copy editor at Foreign Policy.
Local residents are tested for COVID-19 at a free testing site at Farragut Square as coronavirus cases surge in Washington on Dec. 21.
Local residents are tested for COVID-19 at a free testing site at Farragut Square as coronavirus cases surge in Washington on Dec. 21. Alex Wong/Getty Images


What in the world happened this year? Test your memory with our 2021 recap news quiz!

Have feedback? Email whatintheworld@foreignpolicy.com to let me know your thoughts.

What in the world happened this year? Test your memory with our 2021 recap news quiz!

1. Persian Gulf leaders kicked off 2021 by lifting a blockade on which country?

2. A Feb. 1 coup in Myanmar resulted in the arrest and trial of which leader?

Myanmar’s military coup led to a year of unprecedented change, FP’s Audrey Wilson writes.

3. Russians protested early this year after the opposition leader Alexei Navalny was sentenced to several years in prison. What chemical agent was used to poison Navalny the year before?

FP’s Amy Mackinnon recaps Russia’s year of living dangerously.

4. Former U.S. President Donald Trump was acquitted in his second impeachment trial in February. How many Republican senators joined Democrats in voting to convict him?

5. What is the name of the container ship that was stuck in the Suez Canal for a week in March?

6. Much of the world was vaccinated against COVID-19 this year. Which manufacturer’s vaccine was the first to receive emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration?

7. A new European soccer league was announced in April but then quickly abandoned after stoking mass outrage among fans. What was the now-defunct group’s name?

8. Violence broke out between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza in May. How long did the fighting last?

Read FP’s top five stories on a dramatic year for Israelis and Palestinians.

9. Performers from which nation won this year’s Eurovision Song Contest?

10. In a vote marred by fraud, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad won reelection in May with what percent of the vote?

11. In June, Pedro Castillo was elected president of what Latin American country?

12. Protests exploded across South Africa in July after the imprisonment of which former president on corruption charges?

13. Which of the following was not a new Olympic sport introduced at this year’s Tokyo Games?

FP’s Allison Meakem looks back at our coverage of the Tokyo Olympics.

14. Anti-government protests that swept Cuba in July are thought to have originated in what town near Havana?

15. It only took 10 days for the Taliban to take control of Afghanistan in August as the U.S. military withdrew from the country. Which was the first provincial capital to fall to the group?

FP’s Chloe Hadavas reviews the year Kabul fell—again.

16. Which German politician succeeded longtime leader Angela Merkel as chancellor in December?

2021 was the year Germany bid farewell to Merkel, FP’s Cameron Abadi writes.

17. Which British Commonwealth country became an independent republic in 2021?

18. This year’s Pandora Papers leak detailed how the wealthy and powerful hide their money around the world. Which of the following pop stars was among those implicated?

19. As talks over the Iran nuclear deal dragged on this year, who took over as Tehran’s chief negotiator?

This year was marked by negotiations and uncertainty for Iran and its interlocutors, Abadi writes.

20. Which of the following was not a real diplomatic spat that happened in 2021?

For more details on these high-drama squabbles, check out this roundup of weird diplomatic slights from FP’s Colm Quinn.

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Have feedback? Email whatintheworld@foreignpolicy.com to let me know your thoughts.

Nina Goldman is a deputy copy editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @goldmannk

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