As it’s our last issue of the year, Global is taking a look back at 2015. Reporting by Caitlin Doherty, Grace Fothergill, Lillie Coles, Sophie Atherton, Meg Bradbury and Tom Gordon.
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7th January – Charlie Hebdo attacks
Saïd and Chérif Kouachi broke into the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, and killed 11 people, including the magazine’s editor and cartoonists, in response to the printing of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. The attacks continued around the city; 17 people died in total. On the 11th January, two million people marched in Paris to show unity. The phrase ‘Je suis Charlie’ was also shared across social media.
25th January – Anti-austerity party Syriza wins Greece general election
Syriza, Greece’s anti-austerity party, won the country’s general election falling just two seats short of an absolute majority. The party’s leader, Alexis Tsipras, took the role of the country’s prime minister vowing to end “five years of humiliation and pain”. The party planned to renegotiate Greece’s debt owed to other Eurozone countries blaming the EU and Germany for austerity. In their first month in charge the party successfully renegotiated a deal to extend their bailout repayment by four months.
[/su_tab] [su_tab title=”March”] 24th March – GermanWings flight 9525 crash
Germanwings flight 9525 was crashed in the French Alps, killing all 144 passengers and six crew members. The crash was caused by the co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, who locked the pilot out of the cockpit and purposely crashed the plane. At the time the tradgedy was branded as a suicide attempt due to Lubitz’s mental health conditions; outrage ensued and stringent background checks on pilots were demanded. Black-box evidence revealed that Lubitz had 2 practised a quick descent on another flight on the same day as the crash, and the tracker of his last ever flight also suggested that he attempted to override the descent.[/su_tab] [su_tab title=”April”]
25th April – Major earthquake in Nepal
Nepal was hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake, the worst natural disaster the country has faced since 1934. More than 8,000 people were killed, and hundreds of thousands were left homeless. The global response was immediate, and thousands of pounds were given in international aid. However, more than six months later, many people are still living in temporary camps, and fear that they won’t be able to find more permanent shelter before the winter snow.
[/su_tab] [su_tab title=”May”]22nd May – Ireland legalises same-sex marriage
Ireland became the first country in the world to write same-sex marriage into law by the means of a public vote.
The referendum had a 60.5% turnout, with 62% of 0 the population favouring same-sex marriage. The only constituency to reject the amendment was Roscommon-South Leitrim. The Marriage Act 2015 was signed into law on the 22nd October. Evelyne Paradis, of the LGBT Association, showed appreciation towards the Irish people and political parties, complimenting their ability to “put aside their 1 partisan differences to campaign for the greater goal
of equality”.[/su_tab] [su_tab title=”June”]
26th June – Tunisian beach massacre
A lone Islamic State gunman, Seifeddine Rezgui Yacoubi, killed 38 holiday makers, 30 of whom were British, and injured 39 more on a beach in the Tunisian resort of Port el Kantaoui. Yacoubi disguised himself as a tourist, socialising with others along the beach next to the five-star Riu Imperial Marhaba Hotel, before reaching for a Kalashnikov assault rifle concealed in a parasol and targeting white, western tourists, on the beach, in the hotel and around the pool. Isis are opposed to tourism, believing hotels to be “brothels”. The attack has had a huge adverse impact on the industry which contributes 15% to Tunisia’s national economy. European holiday companies immediately withdrew their customers from Tunisia, and many are still refusing to offer trips to the nation, six months on from the attack.
[/su_tab] [su_tab title=”July”]
4th July – Greece rejects EU bailout
The Greek electorate voted ‘No’ in a referendum on whether the nation should accept a “humiliating” European bailout deal, despite risking expulsion from the Eurozone. 61% of the population supported the governing Syrzia party and rejected the multibillion-euro deal that offered further rescue loans in exchange for more austerity. The referendum was called after the indebted nation defaulted on a payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on 30th June, the first missed payment by a developed nation in history. The country now faces a renegotiation of its €240bn debt with the European Commission, the IMF, and the European Central Bank.
[/su_tab] [su_tab title=”August”]
17th August – Bangkok Bombing
An explosive device was detonated at the popular Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, killing 20 people and injuring 125, most of whom were tourists. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, however, in the minutes preceding the explosion, an individual , who became known in the worldwide media as ‘the man in the yellow t shirt’ , was recorded on CCTV placing a backpack on the floor before walking away. As of 26th September, this individual was in police custody. The Thai government have suggested that this attack was in response to the government crackdown on the human trafficking network, or an opposition to the harsh Thai military regime.
[/su_tab] [su_tab title=”September”]
28th September – Water found on Mars
Nasa announced that liquid water had been found on Mars. Researchers weren’t sure on where it had come from, suggesting condensation from the atmosphere or traces of underground reservoirs of ice. It was already known that Mars previously held water. In March Nasa provided evidence that there was once a huge ocean over around 20% of the planet’s surface, around five billion years ago. Recently, probes, such as Phoenix, launched in 2008, have found evidence of ice below the surface, but this is the first evidence of liquid water on the surface. This is hugely important for space exploration as Mars could provide the perfect checkpoint for longer voyages, where vessels could stock up on oxygen and hydrogen fuel from the water, expanding the range for manned missions massively.
[/su_tab] [su_tab title=”October”]
10th October – Suicide bombs at Ankara peace rally
Bombers detonated improvised explosive devices outside the Central Railway Station in Ankara, during a Labour, Peace and Democracy rally, killing 102 people and injuring more than 400. All influential political movements in the country condemned the attack, however, some directly blamed the ruling Justice and Development Party for the bombing, claiming that they failed to protect the Kurdish population from attack. No organisation has claimed responsibility for the attacks. However, ten days afterwards one of the suicide bombers was identified as the brother of the perpetrator of a suicide bombing in the Turkish city of Suruç, July 2015, both of whom have links to Isis.
[/su_tab] [su_tab title=”November”]
7th November – Sierra Leone declared free of Ebola
The World Health Organisation confirmed Sierra Leone to be free of Ebola, almost two years after the first case was diagnosed, a declaration that prompted celebrations across the nation. Ebola has claimed more than 4,000 lives in Sierra Leone since the start of 2014, and was reporting hundreds of cases every week at the peak of the outbreak in the middle of last year. However the nation is now deemed free of Ebola, as it has managed 42 days -twice the length of the incubation period of the disease – without any new diagnoses. Government officials praised “the heroism of the 35,000 Ebola response workers”.
13th November – Co-ordinated terror attacks in Paris
Seven coordinated terror attacks were carried out across Paris on an ordinary Friday evening. Terrorists targeted the Stade de France, restaurants, bars and the Bataclan concert venue – resulting in more than 130 total fatalities. Isis claimed responsibility for the attacks, declaring that France’s involvement in the Syrian conflict was their motivation. After the attacks, a state of emergency was declared and borders were temporarily closed. President Hollande said the attack was ‘an act of war’ and on the 15th of November, France launched its largest air strike on Syria in retaliation. Multiple raids in Saint-Denis have been carried out, resulting in the killing of Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the group’s ring leader. Belgium introduced more stringent security measures with major raids being carried out in relation to the attacks.