Jan 03, 2018

Rewind 2017

2017 has been an unpredictable year from start to finish. From politics to movies to the weather. Everything’s gone topsy-turvy during this latest journey of the Earth around the Sun! Here are some of the happenings that grabbed the world’s attention and made it skip a collective heartbeat.

Britain’s Hung Parliament

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After the Brexit vote of 2016, Britain has had yet another difficult year when it comes to it political front. Britain invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which made the Brexit vote of 2016 concrete.

Theresa May’s snap election backfired. As May’s Conservative Party lost its majority status, it resulted in a hung parliament.

As Britain’s debt to the European Union stands at a towering €40-60 billion, Britain is set to face a hard Brexit and a hard 2018. 

The Oscar Goof-Up

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The 89th Academy Awards were viewed by millions of movie buffs from around the globe, just like their

 

predecessors. But something happened during the 2017 ceremony that grabbed the attention of those who may not movie enthusiasts under ordinary circumstances!

This year, not one but two movies got announced as the winner for the Best Picture section, accidentally. La La Land was mistakenly announced the winner instead of Moonlight, after a mix-up with the cue-cards. The mistake was realised only once the cast and crew were on the stage receiving their award. It was then corrected and the team of Moonlight was invited on the stage.

 

The Rohingya Crisis

The plight of the Rohingya people, a huge majority of Muslims and a few Hindus, came to the forefront. The Rohingyas have been living for centuries in Myanmar, a country with a dominant Buddhist population. After an outbreak of violence in August, Rohingyas started fleeing Myanmar for neighbouring countries and almost 400,000 have fled the country to find refuge in places like Bangladesh.

Stories of mass killings, systemic rape and torture taking place in Myanmar have surged. The country is considered to be controlled by the military even though it has a democratically elected government.

The episode is being termed as an act of conscious ethnic cleansing, undertaken by the Myanmar government.

 

The #MeToo Campaign

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When actress Alyssa Milano shared the phrase ‘Me too’ on her twitter account as part of a sexual harassment awareness campaign, the internet exploded with responses. Milano’s allegations of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein, which surfaced in October 2017, spread around the world and gained momentum to become a global phenomenon.

The most high-profile cases have circled around the media and entertainment industry but there are many women around the globe who have spoken up about abuse. This movement is being viewed as a major push that has raised the people out of a deep slumber, and for many, it has changed how they view the world.

TIME Magazine named the #MeToo campaign their ‘Person of the Year’, and their cover features women who have shown the courage to break the silence.

 

Royal Engagement

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Meghan Markle will be the first American to be married into the British royal family since Wallis Simpson married King Edward VIII – a very controversial relationship that triggered a constitutional crisis. The King was abdicated in 1936 and the couple married in 1937.

This incident can very well put the importance of this engagement in perspective. Not only is Miss Markle an American, she is a divorced, biracial, Protestant American. Amongst decisions like Brexit and the terror attacks happening in England, people have welcomed this step towards a more accepting world with open arms.

 

President Trump

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So much has been said in the media, American and global, about President Trump that it seems superfluous to add our words to the mix. Suffice to say that the 45th President of the United States of America, who has been in office nearly the entire year of 2017, has been one of the most controversial Presidents ever.

From the Russia investigation to allegations of sexual scandal, from Twitter-happy fingers to political gaffes, President Trump still maintains his popularity with his base through conservative and rightist economic and immigration policies.

 

 

Just like the rest of the world, Hong Kong has experienced a very fluid 2017, with some happy moments and some moments that were less so. Some of the events that made headlines in Hong Kong are:

 

 1. The government of Hong Kong elected its first female Chief Executive in March 2017, when the ex- Chief Secretary of Administration, Carrie Lam took over that post.

 2. Hong Kong celebrated its 20th anniversary of handover from Britain to China with great pomp and ceremony.

 3. Hong Kong issued the highest level of tropical cyclone warning signals, No. 10, since the year 2012. Typhoon Hato was a strong typhoon that made the Hong Kong Observatory record a record-breaking temperature of 36.6°C, the highest in 132 years.

 4. Hong Kong also registered its hottest January on record. The temperatures soared at an average of 18.5°C, the highest ever in January since 1885. Two clear signs, perhaps, of global warming doing its worst.

 

As we look back upon 2017 and all its turmoil, let’s make a collective decision to make the planet a better, cleaner, more peaceful, and more inclusive place, in the year to come. 

 

 

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