Review of news events in 2018
December 31, 2018 -- A review of major news stories in 2018 includes the Russian spy poisoning in Britain, the Facebook privacy scandal, the extraordinary cave rescue in Thailand and the ongoing fallout from the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Intractable conflicts continued in Syria and Yemen, while Russia’s seizure of three Ukrainian naval ships saw relations between them deteriorate further.
Elections or other power handovers saw new leaders in South Africa, Cuba, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan and Brazil, while the U.S. midterm elections saw Democrat gains in the House of Representatives but the Republicans extend their hold on the Senate.
U.S. President Donald Trump rattled the world order by quitting the Iran nuclear deal and starting a trade war with China. But a thaw on the Korean Peninsula saw North Korea’s Kim Jong-un holding historic summits with both South Korea’s Moon Jae-in and Trump, while Korean delegates marched together at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
Major disasters included the eruption of Guatemala’s Volcán de Fuego, a deadly heatwave in Japan, wildfires in Greece and California, drought in Australia, two earthquakes in Indonesia, the Genoa bridge collapse, and Rio de Janeiro’s museum fire. Many Venezuelans fled to neighbouring countries to escape an economic collapse, and an ever-growing migrant caravan headed from Central America to the U.S.
Public protests included anti-government demonstrations in Iran, mass protests across the U.S. for tighter gun control after a school shooting in Florida, and “Yellow vest” protests in France.
In the business world Apple became the first public company valued at $1 trillion, while scientific achievements included a successful maiden flight for the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, and NASA’s InSight probe’s perfect landing on Mars.
Other stories attracting attention were Britain’s royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, women in Saudi Arabia finally winning the right to drive, and the death of the world’s last male northern white rhinoceros. (Story: Julie Mullins)