Jan 3-7 ... A series of massacres by the Islamic sect Boko Haram around the town of Baga in Nigeria kills more than 2,000 people.
Jan 7-9 ... In Paris, two hooded al-Qaeda gunmen kill 12 and injure 11 at a satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. They departed shouting "We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad." Several other attacks occur in the area (the Ile-de-France) including against a kosher supermarket where hostages were held, four of whom were murdered.
Jan 11 ... In Paris an anti-terrorism demonstration is said to number about two million, including forty world leaders. The phrase Je suis Charlie (I am Charlie) becomes a slogan of hostility against the attack.
Jan 22 ... In Yemen, central government intrusions against the Houthi (indigenous Shi'a Arabs belonging to the Islamic Zaida sect) are followed by the Houthi seizing Yemen's presidential palace. Yemen's President, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, resigns.
Jan 23 ... Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah dies. His decade younger half-brother, 79-year-old Salman, is confirmed as the new king.
Jan 25 ... Greece is a financial mess since hatred for and cheating on taxes has contributed to the country's inability to balance its budget. Greece has been kept alive financially by creditors including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in exchange for agreeing to austerity measures. Today, the left-wing, anti-austerity Syriza party wins a resounding victory in snap elections.
Feb 12 ... For months pro-Russian separatists have fought Ukrainian forces in two eastern regions of Ukraine. A ceasefire has been agreed to by both sides. Neither side withdraws its heavy weapons and the fighting continues.
Feb 14 ... Two people are killed and five policemen wounded in Copenhagen, Denmark, at shootings at the Krudtønden cultural center and the Great Synagogue.
Feb 16 ... The Egyptian military begins conducting airstrikes against a branch of the Islamic militant group ISIL in Libya in retaliation for the group's beheading of over a dozen Egyptian Christians.
Mar 26 ... Saudi Arabia launches air strikes against Houthi positions in Yemen's capital. It's the beginning of "Operation Decisive Storm," a Saudi-led Sunni coalition (supported by Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, and Bahrain), an operation planned by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS). Iran demands an immediate halt to the air strikes saying they violate Yemen's sovereignty.
May 7 ... Elections in Britain give David Cameron of the Conservative Party a majority government ad his second term ad prime minister.
May 29 ... The Sunni-Shia's conflict has been aggravated by the bombing of a Shi'a mosque on the 22nd and another today in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province (on the Persian Gulf). ISIL claims responsibility.
May 16 ... Mohamed Morsi (President of Egypt until overthrown by the military in July 2013) is with 105 others sentenced to death for his role in a prison break. Amnesty International denounces the court process as "a charade based on null and void procedures." (Morsi was an Assistant Professor at California State University, Northridge, and has two children who are US citizens.)
May 23 ... Ireland votes to legalize same-sex marriage, becoming the first country to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote.
Jun 7–8 ... A G8 summit meeting of world leaders has become a G7 meeting with Putin excluded after his annexation of Crimea (in early 2014). The summit announces a plan to phase out all fossil fuels worldwide by 2100. President Obama tells Chancellor Merkel of his favoring sanctions against Russia being linked to Russia's full implementation of respect for Ukraine's sovereignty.
Jun 16 ... In New York City, Donald J. Trump, real estate developer, announces his entry into the 2016 presidential race. According to the New York Times, "he proclaims that only someone 'really rich' — like himself — could restore American economic primacy."
Jun 17 ... A Confederate sympathizer, Dylann Roof, 21, walks into a historic black church in downtown Charleston and kills nine people.
Jun 18 In Denmark, voting results in the ousting of the country's center-left government. An anti-immigrant, anti-European Union party, the Danish People's Party, emerges second in the polling, elevated from the margins of politics.
Jun 24 ... President Obama hosts a reception at the White House in recognition of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month.
Jun 26 ... In a 5-4 vote the US Supreme Court rules that the US Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage.
Jun 30 ... Cuba becomes the first country in the world to eradicate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis.
Jul 1 ... Greece becomes the first advanced economy to miss a payment to the International Monetary Fund in the 71-year history of the IMF. Prime Minister has moved to stem capital flight (the Euro) by limiting bank withdrawals.
Jul 8 ... The Guardian reports that Exxon knew that burning oil and gas contributed to global warming since 1981 (seven years before it became a public issue), and "despite this the firm spent millions over the next 27 years to promote climate denial."
Jul 14 ... Iran and six world powers — China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and United States — agree that Iran is to limit its nuclear program and accept enhanced monitoring in exchange for an end to sanctions against it.
Jul 16 ... In a referendum the Greeks reject proposed for harsh new austerity measures. Prime Minister Tsipras has surrendered to the will of Greece's creditors and a financial collapse plus Greece leaving the Eurozone is barely averted.
Jul 20 ... Socialist Cuba and the United States, led by Barack Obama, restore full diplomatic relations, ending 54-years of strained relations.
Aug 3 ... President Obama unveils the Clean Power Plan, the first-ever standards to lower carbon dioxide emitted by power generating facilities.
Aug 6 ... Republicans running for President have their first debate. Seven who hadn't qualified for the debate (Rick Perry, Carly Fiorina, etc.) gather for a minor debate. During the main debate, Trump speaks for 10.5 minutes, Jeb Bush for 8.5 minutes, Cruz and Rubio for 6 minutes. Trump says "our politicians are stupid, and he describes the presidency of George W Bush as "a catastrophe." Megyn Kelly asks Trump about calling women "fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals."
Aug 27 ... Officials report that, in July, California residents responded to an ongoing drought in the state by reducing their water use by 31.3 percent, exceeding the 25 percent mandate put in place by Governor Jerry Brown.
Sep 2 ... News images of a drowned three-year-old migrant from Syria, Alan Kurdi, washed up on a beach in Turkey, is published worldwide. Meanwhile, migrants wanting to go to Germany have flooded into and are stuck in Hungary. There, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán proclaims that Muslim refugees pose a threat to Europe’s Christian identity. He describes the European Union (of which Hungary is a member) as having a "misguided immigration policy". The migration issue is to be described as distorting European politics.
Sep 15 ... Gravitational waves have been observed by scientists. Not to be announced until February.
Sep 24 ... In 118-degree heat during the Hajj in Mecca, at least 2,200 are killed in what many reporters describe (unflatteringly) as a stampede. More than 900 others injured and more than 650 missing. Many (464?) of the victims came from Iran, creating more friction between that country and Saudi Arabia. The greatest number of victims were from sub-Saharan Africa.
Sep 28 ... NASA announces that water exists on the planet Mars.
Sep 30 ... Russia begins air strikes in Syria in support of the Assad regime. The Russian defense ministry says 20 sorties were flown against eight "military" targets belonging to ISIL. Reports claim that the air strikes hit anti-Assad rebels other than ISIL, raising fears that Russia's intervention is primarily designed to save Assad.
Oct 15 ... President Obama announces that the United States will extend its military presence in Afghanistan to the end of 2017.
Nov 7 ... China's President Xi Jinping and Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou meet for the first time. Taiwan's leader told China president, "Both sides should respect each other's values and way of life." President Xi said, "We are one family."
Nov 12 ... NASA scientists report that human-made carbon dioxide continues to increase above levels not seen in hundreds of thousands of years. About half of the carbon dioxide released from the burning of fossil fuels is said to remain in the atmosphere rather than being absorbed by vegetation and the oceans.
Dec 2 ... In San Bernardino, California, a married couple, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, kill 14 at a facility for the mentally disabled. They flee and die four hours later in a shootout with police. They are US citizens. Farook, age 28, was a veteran who had served in Iraq and described as a devout Sunni Muslim. Muslim associations in the US would condemn the attacks, and they would raise money for the victim's families. Across the US, death threats and vandalism against Muslims would be reported.
Dec 12 ... A UN climate change conference is being held in Paris. Today, 95 countries adopt the first universal climate agreement, to be known as the Paris Agreement and a great day for the planet. Under the agreement, each country is supposed to determine, plan, and regularly report on the contribution that it undertakes to mitigate global warming. President Obama hails the agreement as "a turning point for the world."
Dec 17 ... President Putin concedes that military intelligence officers have been operating in east Ukraine. He observes that this is not the same as regular Russian troops. Two such officers are now on trial in Ukraine.
Copyright © 2018 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.