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1. Pokemon Go: The blockbuster game, released in July and developed by Niantic, uses augmented reality and GPS mapping to make animated characters appear in the real world. Players walk around real-life neighborhoods while seeking virtual Pokemon game characters overlaid on their smartphone screens like a scavenger hunt.
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2. iPhone 7: In September, Apple unveiled an iPhone 7 that features a high-resolution camera and the option of a jet-black glossy finish but notably lacks the traditional analog headphone jack.
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3. Donald Trump: The Republican president-elect, who will be sworn in on Jan. 20, ran an unconventional and controversial campaign against Democrat Hillary Clinton. Trump, who was accused of racism and misogyny during the campaign, made promises such as building a wall on the southern U.S. border, cracking down on Muslims entering the country and restricting the influx of Syrian war refugees.
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4. Prince: The music superstar was found dead in his home in a Minneapolis suburb in April after an accidental, self-administered overdose of an opioid painkiller. The intensely private musician, whose hits included "Purple Rain" and "When Doves Cry," was found dead in an elevator at his home at the age of 57, shocking millions of fans around the world and prompting glowing tributes by fellow musicians.
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5. Powerball: The record $1.6-billion jackpot in January was the largest lottery prize ever offered in North America, and no other lottery in the world had ever featured a jackpot of that size that could be won on a single ticket. Three winning tickets were sold in California, Florida and Tennessee.
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6. David Bowie: David Bowie, the visionary British rock star who coupled hits such as "Space Oddity" with trend-setting pop personas like "Ziggy Stardust," died at age 69 in January of liver cancer, just two days after releasing what appears to be the parting gift of a new album.
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7. Deadpool: Marvel's Rated R anti-hero movie, starring Ryan Reynolds, tells the story of former Special Forces agent turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who undergoes a rogue experiment to treat his cancer. The operation leaves him scarred but also with powers that allow him to heal quickly and Wilson, soon Deadpool, seeks revenge on the man who carried out the experiment. The film has pulled in an estimated $760 million worldwide.
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8. Olympics: The Olympics and the 2014 World Cup, which Brazil also hosted, were meant to showcase its arrival on the world stage. Instead, Brazil's economy, and the popular leftist government that presided over its boom years, began to unravel, as if on cue for the big events. The spectacles played out in spite of the economy and politics, not because of them. And questions will linger for years about alleged corruption in contracts for infrastructure and venue construction, not to mention the ultimate price tag for the Games, expected to exceed the already inflated official figure of at least $12 billion. Still, the Olympics unfolded as many Brazilians had expected: the sports went smoothly and the logistical and security problems, allayed by public holidays to reduce traffic and a massive deployment of 85,000 police and soldiers, were not exceptional for a chaotic metropolis of more than 12 million people.
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9. Slither.io: The massive multiplayer online game lets users control a snake avatar, consuming multicolored pellets as they attempt to grow the longest snake against other users playing the game in real time.
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10. Suicide Squad: The DC Comics anti-hero movie, released in August, follows a rogue group of anti-heroes with special powers - Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Boomerang, Killer Croc and El Diablo - who are held hostage by Gotham's government to use as weapons to protect the city. Many critics panned the film, which has a 26 percent rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes. The flurry of negative reviews led tens of thousands of people to sign an online Change.org petition calling for Rotten Tomatoes to be shut down.