All of Those Terrorist Attacks
2016 was rocked with terrorist attacks. There were so many terrorist attacks in Europe that for the sake of space I will cover the ones that had a body count of at least eight. In March, the Brussels airport was rocked by suicide bombers who killed 32 people. In July, a man driving a truck plowed into a group of people in Nice, France killing 84 and injuring many more. Later that month in Germany, a gunman opened fire at a mall in Munich killing nine people and injuring others. In December, an attack on a Christmas Market in Berlin killed twelve and injured dozens more. Outside of Europe, in June gunmen opened fire in Ataturk Airport killing 48 and injuring more. In the United States, an attack on a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killed 50, including the perpetrator. IS claimed responsibility for most of these attacks.
Continuing Police Brutality
Police brutality against the Black community continued during 2016. This year claimed the lives of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile in Minnesota. According to mappingpolicevilence.org, in 2016 police killed at least 289 black people, thirty percent of whom were unarmed. This continued police brutality led to continued protests in the Black community.
The Worsening of the Syrian Crisis
The Civil War in Syria has already produced one of the largest mass exoduses in history. In 2016 this did not get any better. During this year the Syrian city of Aleppo became the target of bombs and airstrikes by Syrian and Russian forces in order to control the city. Since 2012 Aleppo has been besieged by many rebel forces and through this, the majority of the city has been forced to flee. Since 2016, another 268,389 people have fled the country bringing a total of 4.8 million refugees.
The Rise of Far Right Nationalism
This past year has seen a massive backlash to the globalization of recent decades. In Austria, the presidency almost went to Far-Right Candidate, Norbert Hofer. In France, the world saw the continuing rise of the Le Pens, the father-daughter duo in charge of the National Front, a national conservative political party. In Britain, citizens voted to leave the E.U in a shocking referendum. In the U.S Donald Trump, who ran a campaign based on the slogan “Make America Great Again” , won the electoral vote against Hillary Clinton.
The Spread of Fake News
During the 2016 election season in the U.S, fake news spread through social media outlets such as Facebook. These news sources were often very biased and distributed with the direct intention of misleading people. For example, a fake news website reported that Pope Francis had endorsed Donald Trump. This spread of fake news proved that people will believe anything they read on the internet. It also influenced some voters’ election decision.
Lead Poisoning in Flint Michigan
2016 was a terrible year for the people of Flint Michigan. As early as February of 2015, high levels of lead were detected in the water of Flint residents. Authorities, did not think that this was a general cause for concern. Later in 2015, a study testing the blood of children in Flint detected high levels of lead. Authorities still did not think that this was a cause for concern. Flint was finally declared in a state of emergency in late 2015 to early 2016. The lead crisis lead is responsible for many health problems for the residents of Flint, including Legionnaire’s Disease a sometimes fatal bacterial infection. This crisis is still ongoing and there is no solution in sight.
All of The Celebrity/Public Figure Deaths
2016 started off with the death of British Rocker David Bowie on January 10. This kicked off the long stretch of untimely celebrity and public figure deaths that made 2016 seem like one long funeral. Notable people the world said farewell to were, Alan Rickman, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Harper Lee, Gwen Ifill, Gene Wilder, Leonard Cohen, Arnold Palmer, Patty Duke, Florence Henderson, Glenn Frey, Maurice White, Dave Mirra, Antonin Scalia, George Kennedy, Nancy Reagan, George Martin, Keith Emerson, Phife Dawg, Garry Shandling,Merle Haggard, Doris Roberts, Christina Grimmie ,Anton Yelchin, Bill Cunningham, Pat Summitt, Elie Wiesel, Garry Marshall, Miss Cleo, Kenny Baker, Jose Fernandez, Janet Reno,Robert Vaughn, Sharon Jones, Fidel Castro, John Glenn, Alan Thicke, Craig Sager, Dr. Henry Heimlich, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Vera Rubin, George Michael, Carrie Fisher, and Debbie Reynolds.