THE WORLD IN 2020The Mongol Messenger
MONTSAME National News Agency highlights the top 10 events that happened in the world in 2020.
1. U.S presidential election: Biden or Trump?
59th United States presidential election took place this year. Two candidates:
incumbent President Donald Trump (Republican) and former Vice President Joe
Biden ran in the election. To become the president, the candidate must win
majority – at least 270 electoral votes – in the Electoral College.
The election ended with former-Vice President Joe Biden winning the presidency over Republican incumbent Donald Trump as Joe Biden received 306 electoral votes and President Donald Trump received 232 electoral votes. The election, which took place amid the COVID-19 pandemic, saw the highest voter turnout /100 million/ with Biden receiving more than 80 million votes, the most votes ever cast for a candidate in a U.S. presidential election.
2. Hong Kong: Controversial law
Chinese Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress adopted the Hong Kong national security law, officially the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
The law, which caused controversy inside and outside Hong Kong, aims to prohibit any act that threatens the national security of Hong Kong, such as treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Government as well as others. With the adoption of the law, the Chinese authorities deem it will be able to stop the actions of extremists who caused unrest in Hong Kong from June to November last year.
3. Hotspot: Nagorno-Karabakh
The conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, a major dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, occurred again this year. As the efforts to settle the dispute through international negotiations failed, the armed conflict began on September 27.
The ceasefire agreement was reached several times, but the parties continued to violate the deal. On November 9, a ceasefire agreement was signed between the President of Azerbaijan, the Prime Minister of Armenia, and the President of Russia, ending all hostilities in the area. Also, the Russian peacekeeping contingent took control of the disputed area. Military experts called the armed conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh a ‘drone war,’ which showed a dramatic change in tactics.
4. Pandemic frightening the whole world: Coronavirus and vaccine
The COVID-19 outbreak was first reported in Hubei province of China in the beginning of this year and spread globally. The World Health Organization announced COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic on March 11, 2020. The virus has spread to 218 countries and territories so far with over 67 million confirmed cases and over 1.5 million deaths.
Since the outbreak of the virus, many countries are working to develop the vaccine. Among them, three vaccines showed high efficacy during their trials and are ready to be supplied to countries. More specifically, BNT162B2 vaccine developed by U.S. “PFIZER” company, which has 150 years of history, shows 95 percent efficacy. Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is 94.5 percent effective while “Sputnik V” vaccine trial shows 92 percent efficacy. The world countries are anticipating that these three vaccines would help end the globally spread pandemic.
5. Beirut: The Massive Explosion Due to Carelessness
On August 4, 2020, a disastrous explosion took place at the port of Beirut, Lebanon. Over 200 people lost their lives, about 6 thousand people became injured, and about 300 thousand became homeless as a consequence. Causing a total damage of around USD 10-15 billion, some initially speculated that the explosion was caused by an atomic bomb.
In reality, the core reason for the disaster was how 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate was being stored at a warehouse of the port after being confiscated from a ship named, ‘Rhosus’, in 2013. In other words, the authorities believe that the carelessness of the officials that were in charge have brought upon the devastating event and the destruction of the capital city of Lebanon.
6. Black Lives Matter: The Movement that Brought Together Millions
Following the death of an African American man named George Floyd at the hands of the police on May 25, protests began to be organized against racism and police brutality in the U.S. as well as many other countries around the world.
During protests, demonstrators have also paid respect and raised their voices for other African American citizens that have lost their lives due to police brutality in recent years. Just in the U.S., it is estimated that about 15-26 million people have participated in Black Lives Matter protests, making the movement one of the largest movements in U.S. history. One of its biggest achievements would also be how large-scale international companies have begun to pay more attention in their fight against racism.
7. China becomes second nation to plant flag on the Moon
The People’s Republic of China has become the second nation to plant its flag on the Moon.
The pictures which show the five-starred Red Flag were taken by a camera on the Chang’e-5 space probe before it left the Moon with rock samples. The Chinese flag is 2 m wide, 90 cm tall and weighs about a kilogram. All parts of the flag have been given features such as protection against cold temperatures. The U.S. planted the first flag on the Moon during manned Apollo 11 mission in 1969.
8. Japan newborn gets liver stem cells in world first
Doctors at the Japan Center for Child Health and Development have successfully transplanted liver derived from embryonic stem cells into a newborn baby, in a world first.
Child born with urea cycle disorder is required a liver transplant, however, the surgery is not considered safe until a child weighs around six kilograms at around three to five months old. But Japanese medicals decided to try a “bridge treatment” until the baby was big enough, injecting the six-day old with 190 million liver cells derived from embryonic stem cells into the blood vessels of the baby’s liver.
The experiment was reportedly successful after level of blood ammonia did not increase. Clinical trial is expected to continue further with a view to open new possibilities of treatment in infants.
9. Winner of various international awards-’Parasite’
This year’s highlight event for the film industry would definitely have to be the film, ‘Parasite’, by South Korean film director and producer Bong Joon Ho taking home four Oscars.
Not only did the film become the first foreign-language film to win the Oscar award for ‘Best Picture’, it also won the awards for ‘Best International Feature Film’, ‘Best Original Screenplay’, and ‘Best Director’. Prior to the Academy Awards, the film had won 55 awards from 57 international film festivals. With Parasite leading the list for best films, it was an event that proved that it was liked by both the general audience and critics alike.
10. First Olympics postponed due to the reason other than war
The Summer Olympics, originally planned to take place in Tokyo, Japan this year has been postponed due to the pandemic and re-scheduled to start on July 23, 2021.
Prior to it, Olympic Games have not been postponed or cancelled in any
situation besides war. The 1916, 1940, 1944 Olympics were cancelled in time of
the First and Second World War while many countries did not attend the 1980 and
1984 Olympic Games because of the Cold War.