The World Almanac's Top Ten News Topics of 2012
As we near the year’s end, many take a look back on their experiences throughout the year. As a country, the US, still amidst its recovery from the global economic recession, has seen a turbulent year. News topics ranging from the London Olympics to gun violence in movie theaters made headlines across the country.
The World Almanac has taken a look at important news over the past year and compiled a Top Ten News Topics of 2012. Included in its upcoming The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2013, available December 4th, the top ten news topics reveal an interesting summary of the news that was most important to Americans in 2012.
The Top Ten News Topics of 2012 are as follows:
1. Obama Wins Reelection
President Barack Obama won the 2012 US Presidential race over the Republican candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. The final electoral count totals were 332 for President Obama and 206 for Romney. In popular vote terms, President Obama won 51% over Romney’s 48% which was a closer race for Obama in comparison to his 53% against McCain in 2008.
2. Supreme Court Upholds “Obamacare”
The US Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in a 5-4 ruling held on June 28th. This law, introduced in 2010, was designed to extend healthcare coverage to an estimated 30 million uninsured Americans.
3. Terrorism, Turmoil, and Transition Top Middle East News
The US consulate in Benghazi, Libya was attacked September 11th in what was labeled as a terrorist attack by US officials in which four Americans, including the ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, were killed. Other Middle East news included the Syrian civil war in which more than 36,000 Syrians have been killed in escalating violence by October 2012. In Egypt the populace elected on June 16th and 17th Mohammed Morsi of the Freedom and Justice Party as President.
4. Storm Devastates US Northeast
At 8 pm on October 29th, Sandy, a post-tropical storm, hit the New Jersey coast around Atlantic City. The storm wreaked havoc on surrounding ears including a storm surge that flooded towns on the New Jersey shore, areas of New York City and other Northeast communities. Many Americans suffered from power outages, some for more than a week, while outages brought New York City transportation to a standstill for days.
5. London Hosts 2012 Olympics
10,500 athletes from 204 nations participated in the XXX Summer Olympiad from July 27th through August 12th. The games were hosted by London, England UK and included 302 medal events in 26 sports. Countries that were awarded the highest medal count included the US (104), China (88), Russia (82) and the Great Britain (65).
6. Gun Violence Shocks the Nation
On July 20th at a showing of The Dark Knight Rises, armed gunman James E. Holmes opened fire in Aurora, Colorado movie theater killing twelve and injuring 58 committing the largest mass shooting in US history. On August 5th, armed gunman Wade Page opened fire in a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin killing six and wounding three. On October 21st, Radcliffe F. Haughton opened fire at a day spa in Brookfiled, WI, killing three and wounding four.
7. US Economy Continues Slow Growth
Indicators in the US have shown that the US economy is in a slow recovery from its sever recession of 2007 to 2009. The Department of Commerce estimates the US economy grew at an annual rate of 2% in Q3 of 2012. The US unemployment rate still remained high, holding above 8% for most of the year until it dropped to 7.8% in September.
8. US Drawn Down Troops in Afghanistan, Confronts Iran
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced September 21st that the US had completed its withdrawal of the 33,000 “surge” troops sent to Afghanistan in 2010 sharing that a total of 68,000 troops remain. The US has a timeline from the Obama administration to remove all US forces from Afghanistan by 2014.
9. European Financial Woes Continue
Issues with government debt and slow or stagnant economies have continued to hinder some of the members of the European Union, specifically Greece, Spain and Italy. Greece was given a 130 billion euro bailout to restructure its debt, a plan agreed upon by the EU finance ministers on February 21st. Elections in Greece on June 17th ensured the country would be led by a government that is committed to keeping the nation in the eurozone as well as applying financial aid measures. The Greece and Spain governments reduced spending drastically which contributed to the 25% unemployment rates in the summer and fall of 2012.
10. Penn State Football Program Sanctioned After Sandusky Conviction
Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted on June 22nd of sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15 year period. This abuse was revealed to have taken place at times on university property. Sandusky was sentenced to 30-60 years in prison. In an investigation by Penn State’s board of trustees, it was found that university officials and head football coach Joe Paterno had concealed Sandusky’s activities to avoid a football scandal. Paterno was dismissed by the university on November 9th, 2011 and he died on January 22nd, 2012. The NCAA fined Penn State $60 million, voided the football team’s victories for the past 14 seasons and barred the team from postseason play for the next four seasons.
G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve
Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration.
Who are the G7?
The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like.
The merry band comprises:
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.
Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda.
When was the ‘G’ formed?
Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s.
Why does the G7 exist?
At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted.
The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability.
It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations.
Where is the 2021 G7 summit?
This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall.
What will be discussed this year?
After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”
The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values.
According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.”