The 10 Most Notable Stories of 2020

January 2: Iranian General Qasem Soleimani Killed

Through a planned American Drone Strike by American President Donald Trump, Iranian General Qasem Soleimani was killed at Baghdad Airport. President Donald Trump stated that General Qasem Soleimani was “directly and indirectly responsible for the deaths of millions of people” in defense of the attack, while Ayatollah Ali Khamenei responded by saying, “severe revenge awaits the criminals” behind the attack.  

January 31: U.K. Formally Withdraws from EU

The United Kingdom formally ratified the 2016 vote, in which 52% of voters voted to leave the European Union and European Atomic Energy Commission. The United Kingdom is the first European Country to leave the European Union, notifying a resurgence of British populist conservatism.

March 11, 2020: WHO Declares Covid-19 a Pandemic.

The World Health Organization declared the Covid-19 outbreak a global pandemic. The virus was believed to have originated from a wet-market in Wuhan, China. The aftermath of the Covid-19 outbreak would result in over 1.5 millions deaths globally and over 70 millions cases, at the time of writing, as well as universal economic hardship.

May 26: George Floyd Protests

The killing of George Floyd, an Black man, by police officer Derek Chauvin in America made international headlines. Floyd’s death resulted in protests globally in response to what was believed to be police brutality. The Black Lives Matter movement also came to prominence, the term becoming popularized around the world. Although most protests were peaceful, violent demonstrations were believed to cause between 1-2 billion dollars in damage.

May 30: NASA-SpaceX’s ‘Launch America’ takes off

A team led by the American governmental body NASA worked with the private company SpaceX to deliver Douglas G. Hurley and Robert L. Behnken into space on the Crew Dragon C206 Endeavor. The historic trip marked the first time in history that a commercially built American spacecraft operated by American crew launched from American soil to the International Space Station

August 4: Beirut Explosion

An explosion of Ammonium Nitrate in the port city of Beirut resulted in the death of at least 205 people and billions of dollars of economic hardship for Lebanon. The explosives from the ship MV Rhosus resulted in a series of protests and the removal of the current Lebanese administration from their positions of power. 

September 14: Japan Elects New Prime Minister

Long-time Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, resigned from his position due to age and health-related reasons. Abe’s resignation came at a time of economic hardship for Japan, which has been suffering from significant demographic challenges, such as an aging population, and a significant debt crisis. It is yet to be seen how Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Abe’s successor, will enact his policy. 

September 15: Abraham Accords Take Place

The United States, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain signed the four-way agreement. The move marked the first time since 1994 that Arab Countries fully recognized the sovereignty of Israel, a milestone for peace and diplomacy in the Middle East. The Accords will bring economic interlinkage between Israel and the Gulf States. 

November 7: Race Widely Called for Joe Biden

Joe Biden defeated incumbent President Donald Trump to become President-elect of the United States in the 2020 Presidential Election. With an increase in mail-in ballots, the election had a record turnout, with both candidates receiving more votes in history than any other candidate. The election was met with much controversy, with some Trump supporters believing that voter fraud had taken place.

December 8, 2020: U.K. Gives first Vaccine Dose

The United Kingdom was the first country to use a globally recognized vaccine on a patient, Margaret Keenan. The Pfizer and BionTech vaccine, developed by American company Pfizer and Germany pharmaceutical company BionTech, is an important milestone for the vaccine program to end Covid-19.

By Quinn Novick