The Stories That Made Headlines in 2020
Kanishtha Thapa | On 01, Jan 2021
2020 has been an absolute rollercoaster of a year, and it’s safe to say that no one could have predicted some of the major news stories that would make headlines in 2020. Below we have compiled a list of some of the biggest news stories around the world from 2020.
We said goodbye to some of the greats.
2020 has unfortunately been the year that we have had to say goodbye to some of the all-time greatest celebrities.
- In late January 2020, NBA Legend Kobe Bryant, 41, and his Daughter, Gianna Bryant, who was only 13 years old, tragically died in California’s helicopter crash.
- The soulful singer of classics such as “Lean on Me,” “Lovely Day” and “Ain’t No Sunshine,” Bill Withers, passed away due to heart complications at 81, in late March.
- Glee actress, Naya Rivera, shockingly drowned in a freak boating accident in July at only 33.
- Hollywood actor and Black Panther star, Chadwick Boseman, had been secretly undergoing colon cancer treatment during filming but sadly lost his battle in August at only 43 years old.
- We lost one of the world’s best and most famous guitarists in Eddie Van Halen, 65, who died of a stroke in early October.
- The charismatic Scottish Actor Sean Connery, famous for his role as James Bond, was laid to rest in late October. The late actor passed away in his sleep at the age of 90.
- In late November the world-class Argentinian football player, Diego Maradona, who is most famous for winning the 1986 World Cup by scoring “The Hand of God” goal, died of a heart attack at 60.
The ‘Black Summer’ Bushfires ravaged Australia.
The start of 2020 saw the continuation of the ‘Black Summer‘ bushfires throughout Australia. The Bushfires were some of the worst in Australian history resulting in over 3000 homes being destroyed, 24 million hectares of land being burnt and a staggering three billion animals being killed. Sadly thirty-three people also lost their lives to the fires, including nine brave firefighters.
The world went into lockdown.
Arguably the biggest headline in decades, and definitely of the year 2020, is the COVID-19 pandemic which led to global social and economic disruption, mass cancellations, worldwide lockdowns and the largest economic recession since the 1930s.
The first reported cases of the virus breakout happened in December 2019 in the Chinese city of Wuhan and are believed to be linked to bats. At the end of 2020, there were over 80 million cases worldwide.
The virus has completely changed the world as we know it with many countries still remaining in full or partial lockdown with seemingly no end in sight. The use of face-masks has become mandatory in practically every country worldwide, and many countries remain closed with little to no flights in or out for the foreseeable future.
Fortunately, with the world’s top minds all working together to develop a vaccine, one has been invented in record time and has already begun rolling out in countries like the UK and United States. Australia has also announced that they aim to start vaccination in March 2021.
Harvey Weinstein sentenced.
The world was stunned in 2017 when countless stories began coming out about Harvey Weinstein’s decades of sexual assault and rapes of many Hollywood actresses. The brave stars spoke out sparking the ‘me too’ movement where thousands of victims began sharing their own stories of sexual assault and harassment to highlight how wide of an issue it sadly is.
Finally, after years of legal battles, Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison for his crimes. While it doesn’t take back the horrific crimes he committed, people can take comfort in the fact that he is getting his just desserts and is no longer able to hurt anyone else.
Black Lives Matter movement.
The summer of 2020 saw what has been hailed as the most significant protests for civil rights and racial justice in a generation. While racial tensions have been building for decades, the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement gained worldwide recognition, and massive protests took place worldwide, following George Floyd’s death. A video of Floyd’s death went viral, shocking nations and sparking protests globally. In the 9 minute video, Floyd, a black man, can be seen gasping for air and crying out for his mother as a white police officer kneels on his neck. This horrifying display of police brutality shone a light on the treatment that many African-Americans suffer while being detained (often for seemingly minor offences) and had tens of thousands of people taking to the streets to protest.
In Australia, the movement and protests also shone the light on disproportionately high number of aborigines dying in police custody. More than 20,000 people joined the protest in Sydney alone.
20 Years of humans in space.
2020 marks the twentieth anniversary for humans living in space. Since November 2nd, 2000, the International Space Station has kept people living and working in orbit. The ISS has not been unmanned in 20 years due to overlapping missions.
An explosion in Beirut.
In August, the world was shocked and saddened to hear of the preventable explosion in Beirut caused by a fire that led to the detonation of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse. At least 200 people lost their lives in the blast, and more than 5,000 people were injured. The supersonic explosion was heard in Cyprus – over 200km away! The blast, which was a tenth of the size of the Hiroshima bomb, was one of the most enormous non-nuclear explosions in history and was the same as an explosion of almost 1,500 tonnes of TNT. Ammonium nitrate, when stored correctly, should be perfectly safe. However, it can decay when stored for too long, causing catastrophic results as witnessed in the Lebanese capital.
Joe Biden voted the 46th President of the United States of America.
It is safe to say that the 45th President of America, Donald Trump has been an extremely controversial figure during his four-year term. His defeat in the November 2020 election makes him one of only four incumbents in modern times not to be voted in for a second term. Following a tense and close race, it was finally announced days after the election that former Vice President Joe Biden had indeed won and would be the 46th President of the United States. However, in a shocking turn of events, Trump has yet to concede the election, something that President-elect Biden has described as an “embarrassment” claiming that “It will not help the president’s legacy.”
Another piece of positive news to come out of the 2020 US election is that Biden’s Vice President, Kamala Harris, will be the first female vice president and the first African-American Vice President.
The ‘Christmas Star’ appeared for the first time in 800 years.
Budding astronomers rejoiced this year when the rare ‘Christmas Star’ occurred for the first time in 800 years on December 21st. The celestical event also known as the Great Conjunction or Star of Bethlehem happens when planets Jupiter and Saturn appear extremely close in the sky, creating a shining orb that looks like a single star.
The UK shocked the world back in 2016 when they voted to leave the EU. Finally, after four years, the UK began the process of leaving the EU in 2020. Negotiations have been taking place throughout the year, and it appears as though a deal has been reached and the UK will no longer be a part of the European Union in 2021. It is still unclear precisely what the independent UK will mean for the rest of the world and how it will impact trade deals between the countries and outside countries.
We saw some strange weather events.
2020 felt like an apocalyptic nightmare, and the strange weather events certainly didn’t help change that opinion. Australia wasn’t the only place to experience massive fires this year. California has had the worst wildfires on record this year covering more than 4 million acres, double the previous record. The rest of the Americas also experienced the busiest hurricane season yet with thirty storms and thirteen hurricanes.
It wasn’t just the Americas that experienced weather catastrophes this year either. The Philippines had the strongest landfalling typhoon in history, and Japan also had two record-breaking hurricanes. Siberia experienced unprecedented heatwaves, and India’s heavy flooding caused millions of people to be displaced from their homes.
With so much that’s happened in 2020, we hope that 2021 turns out to be a relatively dull year!