The year 2020 has certainly earned its place in the history books, and we are not even a quarter of the way through. In fact, so much has been happening, with many events being of international significance, that you would be forgiven for feeling like you have not quite understood the whirlwind we have all been trying to follow.
From politics to the increasing urgency of our planet’s changing climate, it seems we are on a tipping point which will decide our future. If you are feeling overwhelmed or unsure of what exactly is going on in the world, here is a quick round-up of the world’s biggest news stories of 2020 so far.
7 Biggest News of 2020
Coronavirus ( COVID-19) Out Break
One of the Major incidents of 2020 is the Coronavirus outbreak which is affecting almost all countries of the world.
Coronaviruses are a type of virus. There are many different kinds, and some cause disease. A newly identified type has caused a recent outbreak of respiratory illness now called COVID-19.
COVID-19 can be passed from person to person through droplets from coughs and sneezes. COVID-19 has been detected in people all over the world and is considered a pandemic.
Assassination of Iranian General, Qasem Soleimani
There has been tension between Iran and the US for decades, but after the US placed blame on Iranian militia over the death of a US contractor in December 2019, the relationship soured even further. The Baghdad US embassy was attacked, and then on 3rd January 2020, the US launched a drone strike which killed Qasem Soleimani, a senior and influential military figure in Iran.
It has been reported by researchers at theirandeal that Soleimani “made a tactical error becoming too complacent in his travels and communications”. His death was met with mourning and threats of revenge against the US, and on 8th January, Iran launched missiles at bases which were housing the US military in Iraq; however, there were no fatalities.
Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752
On the same day that Iran launched the airstrikes on the US military housing in Iraq, Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 crashed in Tehran, killing all 176 people on board. Iran initially blamed technical issues, but soon afterward, it emerged that the plane had been shot down because of ‘human error’. The commercial flight included Iranian citizens as well as passengers from Canada, Ukraine, Sweden, the UK, Afghanistan and Germany.
Harry and Meghan ‘Step Back’ from Royal Family
Another event which took place on 8th January was the controversial, and almost unprecedented, the announcement by Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, that they would be stepping back as senior members of the British Royal Family. The pair intend to become financially independent and to live both in the UK and North America. According to reports in the media, the Royal Family were “disappointed” and “hurt” by the news.
After record-breaking temperatures and extreme drought, Australia has been battling some of the most violent and destructive bushfires in history since June 2019. But by January 2020, the damage had reached catastrophic levels. It is estimated that over 18 million hectares of land and more than 5,900 buildings have been destroyed, with at least 34 fatalities. It is also believed that around 1 billion animals have been killed with the possibility of some endangered species now being extinct. The quality of the air is now also hazardous.
UK’s ‘Brexit’ From the EU
On 31st January 2020, the UK officially left the European Union (EU) — three and half years since the public referendum (vote) of June 2016. In that referendum, 17.4 million people, 52% of voters, chose to leave the EU.
The EU is a political and economic union between 28 European countries. It enables free trade between members without extra fees or checks and free movement of people to live and work in any of the EU countries. The UK had been a member since 1973, and is the first member to leave.
After years of controversy, broken deals and public unrest, the UK left the EU on 31st January, although the country will continue to abide by EU rules until December 31st 2020. This is to allow for the UK and the EU to come to a trade agreement.
Donald Trump Impeachment
After becoming the third US president to be impeached in December 2019, Donald Trump faced his trial in January 2020. The two charges involved abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, relating to the President’s conduct regarding Ukraine. Specifically, it was said that Trump allegedly tried to coerce Ukraine and other foreign countries to provide damaging narratives about Joe Biden, the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primary candidate. This also included information about possible Russian interference in the 2016 US elections.
Had President Trump been found guilty by two-thirds of the Senate, he could have been removed from office and disqualified from ever holding office again. However, on February 5th 2020, the Senate acquitted Trump on both counts — 52 votes to 48.
contributed by: Umer Mahmoud