Looking back at 2016
The year 2016 has witnessed several political upheavals both domestically as well as internationally. While India has been dealing with the demonetization move, the US has been coming to terms with their new President Donald Trump; the Syrian civil war finally shown some signs of abating. Meanwhile, terror attacks continued to wreak havoc across the globe. Let's see what all made news in 2016.
Britain bids farewell to EU
In a closely contested poll, voters in Britain have voted to leave the European Union. According to sources the final vote tally was at 51.5% for Brexit, against 48.5% to remain. The pound took a pounding and fell 9.4% after the vote. Experts state that this vote dealt the greatest blow to European integration since WW2, and paves the way for more exits.
The Syrian War
In the fifth year of the Syrian civil war, Russian and Syrian efforts finally came through, with the Assad government taking back significant territory from ISIS and rebels. Western support to rebel groups which turned extremists was brought to light; Aleppo was finally liberated from rebel control. However, the civil war is far from over yet, as ISIS extremists are still active.
India's spectacular performance at Rio
Indian athletes put up a spectacular performance at Rio Olympics: badminton player PV Sindhu became the first woman to win a silver. Wrestler Sakshi Malik, from Haryana, won the bronze in freestyle category and gymnast Dipa Karmarkar ranked fourth in the vault finals. India's hockey team, which failed to even qualify in Beijing Olympics made it all the way to the quarter-finals at Rio.
Explosive Samsung Note 7 called back
Samsung Electronics has recalled its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone over a faulty battery issue that has been linked to the phone's explosion during or after charging. Experts have assessed that Samsung would incur a cost of approximately $1 billion to recall and replace all the Samsung Note 7s it has distributed. Several governments have forbidden carrying the Note 7 on flights.
Not a great year for Indo-Pak relations
The Pathankot and Uri attacks led to a significant deterioration of Indo-Pak bilateral relations; India's surgical strike within PoK served as a reminder of the fragile ceasefire along the LoC. Both countries expelled several of each-other's diplomats amid allegations of espionage. China's economic investment into the CPEC has angered India as the proposed routes continue to run through PoK.
Dylan gets nobel prize in literature
Legendary 75 year old singer/songwriter Bob Dylan has been bestowed with the Nobel-Prize in Literature. He has been given the award "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition." Though the award is usually announced along with the Science medals, this year's delay in announcing the literature award, fueled speculation that the panel was in disagreement over a controversial candidate.
The Tata-Mistry split
Having ousted Mistry as the Chairman of Tata group, Ratan Tata said that his dismissal was important to keep up the sanctity of the Tata household. The chairman emeritus believed that Mistry "didn't respect the board and take care of his fiduciary responsibility." Mistry and Nusli Wadia were consequently removed from the boards of several group companies.
India demonetizes Rs.500, Rs.1000 notes
Prime Minister Narendra Modi invalidated old Rs.500 and Rs.1000 denomination notes from 12:00 am, 9 Nov; new notes of Rs.500 and Rs.2000 denominations were circulated from 10 November. The sudden change was followed up poorly, with far lesser new notes in circulation, leading to a cash-crunch; there was an immediate crackdown on tax evaders. In addition, the multitude of policy changes left citizens confused.
Meet President Trump
The Republican Party rejoiced as their candidate Donald Trump won the elections to become the President-elect. Several instances of racial disharmony and hate crimes broke out in the US after Trump's victory. Trump's policy choices continued to be surprising, the latest being his acknowledgement of Taiwan, ignoring the One-China policy.
Tamil Nadu's Amma passes away
On the night of 5th December, 2016, one of India's most popular political figures and Tamil Nadu's CM Jayalalithaa was announced dead after a prolonged illness. Jayalalithaa's death left Tamil Nadu politics in turmoil and the AIADMK party in chaos; her close aide Sasikala is expected to be the new general secretary. Meanwhile, the Madras HC questioned the secrecy behind her death and medical-records.
Terrorism at its worst in 2016
Terrorism was at its worst in 2016, both at domestic and international levels; India had to face the Pathankot air base attack and the Uri attack which killed several Indian soldiers. Europe had another bad year with high profile attacks like the truck attack at Nice, and the Christmas market attack at Berlin. The Orlando shooting was also a prominent stain on 2016.