With 2015 drawing to a close we look back at the most talked about news stories from the past year.
Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris: Back in January, two gunmen, Cherif and Said Kouachi massacred 12 people after forcing their way into the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. While this was taking place, a terrorist linked to the two suspects, was holding hostages at a supermarket in the east of the city. This kicked off three days of terror in France as authorities tried to find the suspects. The siege ended with the gunmen being killed after fleeing to the north east of Paris. Je suis Charlie started trending throughout the world as millions showed solidarity with the victims.
The Fifa scandal: During the spring, several Fifa executives were arrested as the body in charge of world football was accused of corruption. The bidding process for the Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022 World Cups sparked a Major inquiry by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. After the dawn raids which took place at a hotel in Zurich, Fifa officials were charged for racketeering, wire-fraud and money laundering conspiracies which span over a period of 24 years.
Ireland legalises same sex marriage: On the 28th of May by popular vote, Ireland became the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage. 62% of the public voted in favour of gay marriage.
United States legalises same sex marriage: On the 26th of June the United States Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was legal across the nation. Although Christian conservatives condemned the decision, it meant that all the fourteen states, which had banns on same-sex marriage, would no longer be able to enforce them.
Gunman kills 38 at Tunisian beach resort: A terrorist gunman attacked the resort of Sousse in Tunisia killing thirty-eight people. Later it was confirmed that ISIS claimed responsibility for the massacre.
The Killing of Cecil: American dentist Dr. Walter James Palmer caused outrage after he and a team of illegal big game hunters lured away Cecil, a well-known male lion, from a sanctuary park in Zimbabwe and killed him. Cecil who had been tagged by the wildlife unit of the University of Oxford was the focus of a decade of research.
The Refugee crisis: Hundreds of thousands of migrants, fleeing war torn countries and escaping poverty, made the dangerous journey to the European Union, across the Mediterranean to apply for asylum. This caused a predicament as the powers that be argued over how best to cope with the influx of resettling people.
Labours Election Disaster: Following the general election back in May in which Labour obtained the worst result since 1987, Ed Milliband apologised and stepped down as the Labour leader. After a landslide victory following a Labour party leadership contest, Socialist Jeremy Corbin was voted in.
Cameron and the Pig: The ‘PigGate’ scandal, in which it was alleged that Cameron inserted a ‘private part’ of his anatomy into a dead pigs mouth as part of an initiation at Oxford University, sparked a seemingly never-ending onslaught of jokes and ridicule aimed at the Prime Minister. Cameron refused to ‘dignify’ the allegations saying that he was ‘far too busy running the country.’
Volkswagen scandal: In September the Environmental Protection Agency found that many VW cars in America had been fitted with software, called a ‘defeat device’, that meant that they could cheat emissions tests. This meant that the engines could emit pollutants up to forty times above what is allowed in the US. Following the investigation, the problem has spread to a number of other countries including France, Italy, The UK, South Korea and Germany who have all opened their own lines of enquiry. Volkswagens response to the findings was simply, ‘We’ve totally screwed up.’
Terror attacks in Paris leave at least 130 dead: On the evening of the 13th of November people from around the world received the harrowing news that Paris had been subject to a series of coordinated terror attacks, planned by ISIS. The two primary targets were the Stade de France in which France and Germany were playing a friendly, and the Bataclan Concert Hall where one hundred hostages were held until police stormed in and ended the siege. Shots were also fired at a Cambodian restaurant and on Rue de Charonne. People used twitter to offer sanctuary to anybody who needed it and Facebook set up a safety check page where people could report that they were uninjured and in a safe place.
Britain carries out Syria airstrikes after MPs approve action: Hours after MPs voted in favour of authorising military action, the Ministry of Defence confirmed that four RAF Tornado Jets had conducted the ‘first offensive operation over Syria and have conducted strikes.’