On a global level, 2010 was one of catastrophes, triumphs, success as well as failure. I have picked a few events from around the world, which I believe, will be the things which 2010 will be remembered by.
1) The earthquake in Haiti at the beginning of this year, was by any level, a devastating humanitarian disaster. 230,000 lost their lives and 1million were left homeless. As feared, a fatal outbreak of of cholera followed later on in the year, with political unrest adding to the country’s sorrows.
2) The floods in Pakistan, is arguably the worst natural disaster in modern history. Why wasn’t the Haiti earthquake worse, one may ask? The simple answer is because, a natural disaster is not measured by the amount of deaths, but by the sheer destruction which it causes and by the magnitude of its footprint. Over 22 million were affected by the floods, and an area bigger than the size of England left under water. As Haiti saw an outbreak of cholera a few months later, many predict Pakistan to follow in a similar way, with the potential of millions dying, including babies and children as a result of widespread famine.
3) England welcomed a new coalition Government, comprising of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. The comprehensive spending review followed, with the announcement of many cuts, most notably, that of higher education-seeing many student protesters show their dissatisfaction on the streets. Meanwhile, Labour elected its new leader, Ed Miliband- with many questioning whether he is ‘Primeministerial material?’ Having interviewed Alastair Campbell recently, the former spin doctor of New Labour, it seems that he isn’t even sure if Mr Miliband has what it takes.
4) High levels of public debt amounted among the euro zone, which turned into an absolute crisis for some. The European Union and the IMF bailed out Greece, and then Ireland.
5) President Obama passed more stimulus measures, including: changes to the financial regulatory system (the most sweeping since the 1930s), and a health reform act, and American combat operations ended in Iraq although 50,000 remain in a support role until the end of 2011.
6) There was an International outcry when Israeli commandos raided a flotilla destined towards Gaza which contained humanitarian supplies, shooting dead nine people in the process.
7) The world rejoiced with happiness as all 33 miners who were trapped underground for 69 days down a mine in Chile were rescued.
8) An explosion at a BP well in the Gulf Coast of Mexico killed 11 men and caused the biggest civilian oil spill in history. BP’s share price slumped wiping out half of its stock market value.
9) Aung San Suu Kyi was released from her home by Myanmar’s ruling military junta. She had spent 20 years under house arrest, and her release was seen as a great step forward for Burma.
10) The 2010 World Cup was hosted by South Africa, a disappointing showing by England saw English fans leave frustrated, but the winners Spain won the prestigious prize for their first time.