Most Significant Events of 2021

With more than 5 million Covid-19 deaths reported worldwide, 2021 has been a tumultuous year with many shocking and unnerving stories. Here are the top 10 world events in the post-pandemic 2021:

US Capitol Hill Riots: Donald Trump supporters stormed the US’ Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021 to overturn the 2020 Presidential election. A complete breakdown of state machinery, the attack on joint session of Congress was regarded as coup d’etat to prevent Joe Biden from assuming office. The riots caused an estimated loss of $1.5 million in damage to the Capitol building.

Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump clash with police officers in front of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington in January, 2021. (Photo: Reuters File)

Myanmar Coup: The military seized control of Myanmar on February 1 following a general election which Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party won with a majority. Suu Kyi has been charged with illegally possessing walkie-talkies and sharing national assets. Nationwide protests against the putsch were met with bloody crackdown with more than 1,300 killed and over 11,000 arrested.

George Floyd’s Murderer Sentenced: A 46-year-old African-American man died in May 2020 after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Chauvin was convicted of murdering Floyd and was sentenced to 22 years and six months in jail in June, 2021. Floyd’s murder caused global protests and against racism and police brutality.

US Troops Retreat from Afghanistan: President Joe Biden announced withdrawal of US military from Afghanistan after 20 years in May, 2021. Biden’s decision came after the administration review of US options in Afghanistan. The war cost a loss of trillions of dollars in addition to at least 100,000 deaths of Afghan civilians and of more than 2,000 US services members.

Israel-Palestinian Conflict: The fight between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas escalated in May, 2021. Aid raid warnings went off across Israel, including for the first time in the country’s north. Israel’s air force said it had launched multiple strikes, targeting what it described as locations linked to “counterintelligence infrastructure of Hamas”.

Germany Elections: The Centre-Left Social Democrats won the German federal election after defeating Angela Merkel, who had been the Chancellor for 17 years, with a narrow margin. Olaf Scholz said it was time to form the coalition with the Greens and liberals. The new chancellor will leader European Union’s foremost economy and will have climate change as top priority.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel waves to an acquaintance as she arrives for a session at the Bundestag in Berlin on September 7, 2021, before the general elections. (Photo: AFP File)

Death of Prince Philip: Queen Elizabeth II’s husband Prince Philip died aged 99 at Windsor Castle in April. The Duke of Edinburg was the longest-serving consort of any British monarch. He supported the queen for 69 years, and retired from the royal service in 2017.

Covid Deaths Cross 5 Million: Worldwide deaths due to Covid-19 surpassed 5 million in October as Delta caused a huge surge in fatalities. More than half of global deaths were reported from the US, India, Russia, Brazil and Mexico.

Qatar-Saudi Arabia Border Reopened: Qatar and Saudi Arabia reopened their land border in January as they restored ties following a landmark deal to end a three-and-a-half-year rift. Saudi shut its side of Qatar’s only land border in June 2017 as part of a package of sanctions it said was a response to Doha’s backing radical Islamist groups and closeness to Iran.

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