NewsThe 10 big news that have marked 2022

The 10 big news that have marked 2022


The war in Ukraine, the protests in Iran and the steps back taken by the United States on abortion are some of the 10 great events that have marked the year 2022 in the world. Political instability has defined this year, which is about to end, while the violation of human rights continues to be the order of the day in some countries. Likewise, 2022 ends with a climate summit in Egypt that is as hopeful as it is disappointing.

On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine and opened a crisis unprecedented since the end of the Cold War. Before the NATO countries that expressed their support for Ukraine, the head of the Kremlin threatened to use the nuclear weapon, and was willing to use “all means.” The conflict has caused the largest influx of refugees in Europe since the end of World War II, and is costing the lives of thousands of soldiers and civilians. Putin, who said he wanted to “denazify” Ukraine, has found himself diplomatically isolated. The European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States have imposed sanctions to Moscow that they have been successively hardening and have delivered weapons to Ukraine, which has also obtained the status of candidate for the EU.

The testimonies have multiplied against the Russian Army, accusing it of killing civilians, torture and rape. The Russian troops gave up at the beginning of the invasion to surround the capital, Kiev, where the Ukrainian president, Volodimir Zelensky, addresses world leaders daily to ask for economic and military support. The war also unleashed fear of a world food crisis, due to the maritime blockade imposed by Russia in the Black Sea. In July, an agreement allowed Ukraine to resume its abundant grain exports.

In September, Putin decreed the mobilization of some 300,000 reservists and signed the annexation of four totally or partially occupied Ukrainian territories, after referendums described as “illegal” by the international community. At the same time, the Russian Army has been adding one setback after another on the ground. After abandoning the Kharkov region, Moscow ordered the withdrawal of its forces from Kherson, in southern Ukraine, at the beginning of November. As punishment, Russia has launched hundreds of attacks against the Ukrainian energy grid in the run-up to winter.

The rise in prices, initiated in 2021 by problems in supply chains combined with strong demand in the heat of the post-pandemic recovery, has accelerated in 2022 and has reached levels unheard of in decades. Inflation could reach 8 % in the fourth quarter in the G-20 countries, a drag on growth, which also increases companies’ production costs.

Inflation has been accentuated by the war in Ukraine, which plunged Europe into a deep energy crisis. In response to Western sanctions, Moscow has ramped up its retaliation, hitting in particular at the EU’s weak spot: its reliance on Russian gas. Its gas exports, particularly to Germany and Italy, are in free fall.

“The world economy is suffering the most serious energy crisis since the 1970s,” the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has highlighted. The war also raised the prices of cereals, and by extension animal feed. To curb inflation, the US Federal Reserve has raised its interest rates sharply since March, which makes credit equally as expensive. The European Central Bank (ECB) also tightened its monetary policy.

In June, the Supreme Court of the United States returned to each state in the Union the power to prohibit abortion in its territory, thus burying its 1973 ruling in the “Roe v. Wade” case, which had established it as a right constitutional. After this twist, some twenty states totally prohibited or seriously limited the right to abortion. The matter was imposed among the burning issues of the campaign for the legislative elections in November.

The results of the elections did not generate the conservative wave that supporters of former President Donald Trump expected. The Democrats managed to maintain control of the Senate, and the Republicans took a slim majority in the House of Representatives. Despite everything , Trump announced his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election. The race for the leadership of the Republicans is set to be tough, in particular with the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, a new star of the American right.

The former president ‘s candidacy could also be torpedoed by the courts, which in November appointed a special prosecutor to handle two investigations against him. The final report of the parliamentary inquiry commission on the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021 concluded that Trump should not hold public office again, after inciting his supporters to “insurrection“.

After a succession of scandals and resignations in his Government, the British Prime Minister, the Conservative Boris Johnson, submitted his resignation in July. Liz Truss was officially named to succeed him at Downing Street in a ceremony with Queen Elizabeth II two days before the monarch’s death on September 8 after a 70-year reign. On the 10th, Carlos III was proclaimed king.

Truss, the most short-lived prime minister in the country’s modern history, lasted just 44 days in office and resigned after causing a political and financial crisis with her economic program. She was succeeded by Rishi Sunak, who came to power at the end of October, in a period of unprecedented instability in the UK. He is Britain’s fifth head of government since the Brexit referendum in June 2016. The 42-year-old former banker and finance minister faces daunting challenges , including 10% inflation, strikes over rising cost of living and a public systemhealth in crisis.

In the year 2022, disasters linked to climate change have multiplied . The summer was the hottest ever recorded in Europe, hit by temperature records and heat waves that caused droughts and fires. More than 660,000 hectares of forest burned between January and mid-August, a record. The glaciers of the Alps have in turn suffered a loss of historical mass. At least 15,000 deaths are directly attributable to this extreme heat in Europe, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). China also broke heat records in August, and the drought threatens famine the Horn of Africa. Fires and deforestation have also reached peaks in the Brazilian Amazon. In Pakistan, historic monsoon flooding of abnormal proportions killed more than 1,700 people and displaced eight million. A third of the country was drowned.

If projections for this year are confirmed, the eight years from 2015 to 2022 will be the warmest ever recorded, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). After tough negotiations, the United Nations climate conference in Egypt (COP27) concluded on November 20 with a political agreement to create a fund to compensate the most vulnerable countries for losses and damages suffered as a result of the climate change.

On September 16, Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman, died in a hospital three days after being detained by the morality police for violating the dress code for women in Iran, which requires covering the hair in I public with a veil and wear discreet clothing. Her death has unleashed a wave of demonstrations across Iran, the largest since the 1979 revolution.

Young women are the vanguard of the protests. Many of them take off their headscarves and burn them, as can be seen in viral videos. Demonstrations for women’s freedom have progressively transformed into a broader movement directed against the Islamic regime, and have spread to universities and colleges, despite the repression. The authorities have reported more than 300 deaths and a Norwegian-based NGO has counted at least 469. In early December, the authorities made a gesture announcing the dissolution of the morality police. But at the same time the Iranian justice executed by hanging two young people convicted of acts related to the demonstrations.

Chinese President Xi Jinping won a third consecutive term at the helm of the Communist Party in October , surrounding himself with the faithful to become the most powerful leader in modern China. Xi, in power for a decade, showed a great desire for control, meddling in almost all the mechanisms of the State. He incidentally earned international criticism for his balance in human rights policy. At the same time, he maintains an exacerbated rivalry with the United States.

Tensions in the Taiwan Straits reached their highest level in decades after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island in August . In retaliation, China conducted land and sea military exercises of an unprecedented scale in the mid-1990s. And US President Joe Biden said his troops would defend the self- governing island if it is invaded by Communist China, which considers it as part of its territory.

The country’s ” zero covid ” strategy, which involved confinement of entire neighborhoods or cities, barely a case appeared, sparked demonstrations at the end of November of a magnitude unprecedented for decades. The authorities reacted by initially cracking down, but also decided to put an end to the “zero covid” policy. Since then, coronavirus cases have skyrocketed in the country, putting hospitals in dire straits.

After four years in power, Brazil’s far-right leader, Jair Bolsonaro, was narrowly defeated by leftist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in the runoff of the presidential election on October 30. Lula will return to power in Brazil on January 1, 2023 and it will be a great boost for the Latin American left, which in 2022 scored the historic victory of ex-guerrilla Gustavo Petro in Colombia.

In Europe, on the other hand, the ultra -conservatives obtained important successes in the legislative elections of several countries, starting with the fourth consecutive victory of the party of the Hungarian nationalist leader Viktor Orban in April. In France , Marine Le Pen’s National Rally made a historic breakthrough in June, becoming the first opposition party in the National Assembly, where President Emmanuel Macron lost an absolute majority. In Sweden, the nationalist and anti-immigration Swedish Democrats party was the great winner of the legislative elections in September, from which it came out as the second political forcefrom the country. In Italy, Giorgia Meloni won a historic victory in September with her post-fascist Fratelli d’Italia party, and in October she took office as head of government.

After two years of conflict, the Ethiopian federal government and the rebel authorities of the Tigre region (in the north of the country) signed a “cessation of hostilities” agreement on November 2 in Pretoria that is expected to put an end to a war described by NGOs as “one of the bloodiest in the world”. Fighting had resumed at the end of August, after a five-month truce. Since November 2020, the conflict has opposed Ethiopia, supported by forces from neighboring Eritrea, and the rebel authorities of the Tiger. The contest has been marked by possible crimes against humanitycommitted by “all parties” according to the United Nations, and has forced the displacement of more than two million Ethiopians.

In addition to disarming the rebels, the peace agreement must allow the arrival of humanitarian aid to Tigre, almost isolated from the world and whose six million inhabitants have been subjected to a serious shortage of food and medicine for more than a year. The first humanitarian aid convoy since August arrived in the region on November 16.

The organization of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, from November 20 to December 18, earned the host country a shower of criticism. The first Arab country to organize this great event was criticized for its treatment of foreign workers, the LGBTQ community and women . But also for the use of air conditioning in their stadiums, in these times when calls for energy savings are multiplying as part of the fight against climate change.

Much of the criticism points to the situation of immigrant workers, an essential factor in a country where Emiratis only represent 10% of a population of three million inhabitants. Some NGOs speak of thousands of deaths in accidents in the construction sites for the World Cup, a figure that the Doha government has denied. To make matters worse, the Greek MEP Eva Kaili, who had bags full of banknotes in her house in Brussels, has been charged in a high-profile corruption scandal involving Qatar.

On Sunday, December 18, after 36 years of waiting, 120 minutes of play and a penalty shootout, Leo Messi’s Argentina won its third World Cup against France, defending champions.

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