As the year of 2017 quickly approaches its final swan song and the calendars flip over once again, the last twelve months have been filled with the stuff of nightmares.
From shootings in America, terrorist attacks all over the world and North Korea puffing out their chests to constant hurricanes, BitCoin being a thing and whatever Fidget Spinners were meant to be, we must be wondering why alien life have yet to contact us.
If you were on the outside looking in, would you want to make contact with such a species? I sure as hell wouldn’t.
In a world filled with the technology we have now, the better understanding we have of not only our lowly little planet, but the entire Universe and the amount of freedom the whole of humanity have; no one seems to find any real reason why we’re still so primitive.
Senseless killing is at its highest than it’s been in decades, people getting blown up, run down and shot without prejudice by pure evil and after a few news stories, a couple of viral social media posts and the odd interview on Good Morning, the event is quietly swept under the rug and forgotten about. We go back to our lives as if these innocent people never existed and we wait until the next attack happens with the belief, “It’ll never happen to me.” Unfortunately, that is the world we’re living in now.
We live in a world where we care more about what Khloe Kardashian is doing than some terrorist running down a load of Australians in a car.
You only need to look at the Daily Mail website, what would you think would be the top news story today? A baby being abandoned? Terrorism in Melbourne? Some scum bag robbing an old woman? No. It’s Prince Harry having a photo shoot with his hot-shot American actress wife-to-be.
Who cares? Just the over-privileged rubbing it in our faces again. Great stuff.
So as we’ve all probably forgotten about the carnage we’ve had this year, lets remind you of ten of the top news stories that actually mattered this year.
1. Donald Trump Becomes 45th President of The United States and People Aren’t Happy About It
The year kicked off with Donald Trump assuming control of the United States after defeating former First Lady Hillary Clinton. A shock to the entire world as many people assumed Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign to be a joke, a publicity stunt. Everyone running against Trump did all they could to put him in a bad light, but considering the United States is largely filled with Republicans he managed to win anyway.
Protesters lined the streets in awe of his victory, unable to conceive how such a disgusting human could assume office. But at the end of the day, a majority of you voted him and I’m afraid you’re stuck with him.
Being called racist, sexist, misogynist; his only retort had been that it’s all fake news, despite proof being presented to back those claims. You know the only reason he started work on the Mexican border wall was simply out of pure hatred for the people who live there not to control any immigration problem. He then made it his business to undo everything Obama did in his 8 years running the country, even revoking the Patient Protect and Affordable Care Act, the closest thing to the NHS that American’s could ever hope to have.
Since then he’s only gotten worse; recently the biggest talking point is Donald slurring his words during speeches and not being able to hold a glass with one hand, leading people to believe his health is failing. Not a hard thing to believe given the mans age of 71; I think we’d be all surprised if he managed to finish his entire term let alone run for a second.
2. North Korea Is A Giant Bear And Donald Trump Is A Giant Stick Jabbing Its Ribs
The other thing Donald Trump has made news headlines about this year is the ever-increasing tensions with North Korea. Kim Jong-un, the person with the biggest small-mans complex ever has been throwing threats to the entire world, announcing the fact that he’s developing Nuclear Weapons and he’s doing tests and firing test missiles over other countries and this and that and this and that. The man never shuts his mouth, one person whose taken exception to this is Donald himself.
Being the big business man that he is, he’s not used to backing down from anybody. Probably why he’s a billionaire and I work in IT. So when someone threatens the country he’s just taken charge of, he’s got something to prove.
On almost every news site earlier this year you’d have stories on what Trump’s going to do to North Korea, giving it the old big man speech then you’d have Kim replying saying, “go on, I dare you.” To which Trump will reply, “Oh I will, don’t you worry.”
The two have been going back and forth more than a game at Wimbledon, puffing their chests out. The fact is though, neither side will actually do anything. If America launches an attack on North Korea, they’re more than willing to fight back, they do after all, have the 4th largest army in the world and America just wouldn’t want to take the risk.
North Korea on the other hand, Kim Jong-un is just a spoilt little brat, grown up to inherit his daddies business. Throwing his weight around might work in his own country but he knows as soon as he actually does anything to anyone else, the entire world will be upon him before he can touch up that ridiculous haircut.
3. Hurricane Season Is Deadlier Than Ever
Some names you may be familiar with, Irma, Harvey, Maria, Jose. Four the biggest hurricanes we experienced this year as the ever-changing climate resulted in a lot of carnage across the Atlantic.
Hurricane Maria, the deadliest hurricane Puerto Rico had ever experienced, the estimated death toll was as many as a 1,000 people. However the official death toll stands at just 64, but even at 64, that’s still 64 tragedies. Most of Puerto Rico are still without any power as their power grid is rebuilt from scratch.
Hurricane Harvey resulted in the total flooding of southern Texas, dropping over 4 feet of water on areas of Texas and became the costliest natural disaster causing around $200bn in damage. The resulting fatalities of this hurricane currently stands at 91 confirmed and possibly countless unconfirmed even now.
Hurricane Irma seemed to be the main event of these Hurricane’s becoming a category 5 back in late August and ran for two weeks and hit the Caribbean and parts of Florida. The Hurricane caused a confirmed 134 deaths and just as many unconfirmed.
Hurricane Jose formed in early September and projected to hit the same areas affected by Irma, it eventually changed course and caused some heavy rain and light flooding causing in one death as they were caught in a rip current.
I personally couldn’t imagine the terror these people must have felt. Living in England, the most we ever get is a strong wind that may cause us to drive at 60mph rather than 70 to avoid swerving. So my heart goes out to all those affected by this years disasters.
4. Manchester Arena Bombings
On the 22nd of May 2017, thousands of people descended on Manchester to see Ariana Grande perform. As the concert was finishing up and people were leaving terrorist Salman Ramadan Abedi set off a homemade shrapnel bomb resulting in the death of 23 people and injuring a further 500 plus. The suicide bombing was the worst in the United Kingdom since the 2005 London bombings and the first terrorist attack to happen in this type of venue.
Of the people hospitalized from the attack, 12 of those were under the age of 16.
The aftermath of the attack showed how great Manchester could be as they opened their homes to the affected who couldn’t get home after transport was basically halted as a result of the attack.
Weeks later Ariana Grande hosted the One Love Manchester benefit concert raising over £10 million for victims of the attack.
5. Bitcoin Prices Skyrocket
According to website Investopedia, if you had bought $100 worth of Bitcoins back in 2011 shortly after it’s release, in today’s market your $100 would now be worth around $3.7 million. Can you believe that? Imagine how angry everyone must be, if only we all knew what we know now.
The market price had steadily been rising since 2010 until around 2013 when market prices fluctuated due to the currencies use on the dodgy things specialist Silk Road website. However it soon overcame it once Silk Road was shut down and it’s been on the rise since with more companies/countries accepting them as currency.
With the currency seemingly at it’s peak it’s unknown putting any money into it now would return you a sizable profit, however it does seem this is the way things are going as we head towards the 2020’s and with the creation of other online cryptocurrencies such as Zcash and Ethereum it may be worth investing in them instead.
For more information on Bitcoin and its alternatives visit Investopedia’s “If You Had Purchased $100 of Bitcoin in 2011” and “The 6 Most Important Cryptocurrencies Other Than Bitcoin“.
6. Brexit – Article 50 Is Triggered
For some reason unbeknownst to many, David Cameron held a referendum on whether or not we were to leave the European Union; leaving this decision to the public must be one of the biggest cock-ups in history. Not only were all the facts presented incorrectly in the lead up to it, the papers only posting what they wanted in order to get people to vote their way, racists all over the country found this as a ripe opportunity to get rid of the foreigners from out borders as they went in their droves and voted for something they know very little about.
Sure some of the people voting to leave actually had good reasons but in the end, it’s going to mean higher taxes and a higher price on living for the working class, the biggest fact that was left out of the entire lead up. All the members of parliament backing Brexit left once it was decided and it fell on poor Theresa May’s shoulders to try to sort out.
Throw in some suspected foul play from Russia and you have what’s going to be the biggest failure of England since the fall of the British Empire.
But people won’t care about that because it means our passports will go back to being blue rather than red and in the end, that’s what really matters isn’t it?
7. WannaCry Ransomware Disables The World
May 2017, a month of many disasters this year was also host of the WannaCry attack, a ransomware cryptoworm which targeted computers running older versions of Microsoft Windows, encrypting all the files on a PC or Server and demanding payment via Bitcoins.
The virus infected more than 300,000 computers across 150 countries with damages running into the billions of dollars.
NHS in particular had been crippled by this, despite denying they’re still on Windows XP, they were screwed regardless. In what must be considered the largest cyber-terrorist attack to date, luckily someone found a kill switch in the software that stopped it from spreading and was critical in the stopping of the outbreak.
Had this not been found we all could have been in big trouble.
It was recently announced that the United States, United Kingdom and Australia are blaming North Korea for the attack and we can only assume that the whole thing is because Donald Trump has been poking Kim Jong-un with a previously mentioned stick.
If this is the sort of terrorism we can expect from now on, let’s all make sure we’re making daily back-ups of everything!