Looking Back at the World News of 2017
by Hannah Langley ’20
December has arrived, and another year has come and gone. From the inuaguration of the 45th President of the United States, to the tragic Las Vegas shooting and Hurricane Irma, 2017 has included many events of lasting significance.
One of the first major events of the year was Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th President of the United States on Jan. 20. Since then, Trump has instated some controversial laws, such as the travel bans for certain countries, the repeal of Obamacare, the ordered missile strike on Syria, and the ban on transgender people joining the military. Trump also fired many of his cabinet and party members, such as Jeff Sessions and Sean Spicer, and was moved to be impeached by the Democrats of Congress. Overall, the first year of Trump’s presidency was very eventful, and only time will tell what is to come in the next several years.
Trump’s election created a whirlwind of controversy and division in America, as well as an empowerment movement by women. Only one day after Trump’s inauguration, people from across the world joined together in the Women’s March in D.C., promoting equality, tolerance, and respect for not only women, but for all people. This nonviolent march totaled over five million people from across the globe, making it the largest coordinated march in U.S. history, and inspired millions of people to take a stand against prejudice and inequality, as well.
On a happier note, it was also a big year in sports, movies, and entertainment. The excitement and suspense of Super Bowl LI crazed everyone in New England, as the Patriots madethe biggest comeback in Superbowl history in the second half of the game, beating the Atlanta Falcons 34-28. This summer, thousands of people watched the fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor, two great fighters of this generation. There were also many great movies produced this year, including Beauty and the Beast, The Fate of the Furious, Wonder Woman, and Dunkirk, all of which exceeded previous box office records. Harry Styles released his first solo album, and Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift came out with their new albums for the first time in several years. Hit singles of the year included “That’s What I Like,” “Despacito,” “Body Like a Back Road,” “Bad and Boujee,” and “Congratulations,” to name a few. The Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen, an inspirational and tear-jerking story about a boy who copes with social anxiety disorder, triumphed in the musical theater world, winning the Tony for Best Musical.
Unfortunately, the world saw many instances of terror and violence during this past year. In Charlottesville, a “Unite the Right” rally was organized by hundreds of white nationalists and led to the death and injury of several people. Around the world, nations in the Middle East experienced terrorist violence, from suicide bombings to mass shootings, leading to the death of millions of people. There were several shootings and bombings in Europe and the United States as well. At an Ariana Grande concert in England, a suicide bomber outside the arena killed 22 people and injured over 50. There was also a bomb in St. Petersburg, Russia, a mass shooting in Chicago that wounded over 100 people, another bombing incident in London, and a terrorist attack in Barcelona. Most recently, however, was the shooting at the Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, in which Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and injured nearly 600, making it the worst mass shooting in American history.
There were also many natural disasters around the world in 2017. September seemed to take the hardest toll on many countries, as there were several catastrophic hurricanes and earthquakes. In early September, Hurricane Irma devastated Houston and the southern Atlantic, most specifically Southwest Florida and South Carolina, causing millions of people to evacuate these areas. Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm, also destroyed much of Puerto Rico, killing and injuring hundreds of people. Since the occurrence of the hurricane in late September, continuous relief funds and rebuilding have been taking place throughout the country. Along with these hurricanes, there was also a 7.1 magnitude earthquake in Mexico City, killing over 120 people and destroying many buildings and homes.
In early October, film producer Harvey Weinstein was exposed for harassing and abusing women, resulting in a large scandal. This resulted in his release from his own company and his wife leaving him. It also resulted in a movement known as “#MeToo,” in which millions of women were empowered to come out about their own personal experiences of abuse and harassment. “The Silence Breakers,”those who spoke up about experiences of sexual assualt and harassment, were named as Time Magazine’s Person of the Year.
In more recent news, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement was announced on Nov. 27, and the wedding is planned for spring 2018. While their relationship and engagement may have been seen as controversial in the past, as Meghan is a biracial American divorcee, the royal family has warmly embraced her and is looking forward to their marriage.
The world experienced a lot of hardships, turmoil, tears of joy and sadness, and excitement this year. Here’s to hoping for a good end to 2017, and an even better new year!