Note: Links are to my articles for Al-Ahram Weekly in Cairo, Presstv, DissidentVoice and other sites
My Timelines 2000-2010: United States, Latin America, Europe, Africa&Asia are here
My Timeline 2010-2019: Middle East here
Timeline 2010-2019: United States&Canada
2010 *Republicans retake House of Representatives as Democrats lose 63 seats.
*US starts to bomb Yemen.
*Deepwater Horizon oil rig in Gulf of Mexico explodes, spilling millions of gallons of oil into sea. Worst oil spill in American history.
*US Representative Gabrielle Giffords severely wounded in assassination attempt when gunman went on shooting spree, killing federal judge John Roll and five others. Over the decade, mass shooting attempts became an almost weekly event. The group Everytown for Gun Safety identified 110 mass shootings, defined as shootings in which at least four people were murdered with a firearm, between 2009 and 2014.
2011 *Osama bin Laden killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan by US Navy SEALs, his body supposedly dumped at sea.
*Occupy Wall Street against top 1% electrifies nation, finding common cause with protests and uprisings in Arab world and Europe, a fitting 10th anniversary of 9/11.
*Flooding devastates Mississippi River valley causing $4 billion in damage, tip of US-infrastructure-collapse iceberg. Tornadoes cause heavy damage in South. 324 people killed in deadliest American natural disaster since Hurricane Katrina.
*California suffered drought for most decade.
*Google developed Waymo, world's first self-driving car licensed for use on public roads.
*World's first commercial spaceport opens in New Mexico.
2012 *Barack Obama/ Joe Biden reelected.
*Colorado and Washington vote to legalized marijuana, reflecting public recognition that ‘war on drugs’ imposed by government for a century (starting with 1920s prohibition and shifting to cannabis with Marihuana Tax Act of 1937) tragic, expensive mistake.
*Gunman kills 26, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
*Mars Science Laboratory explores Red Planet. Voyager I crosses the heliopause.
2013 *Edward Snowden leaks documents from National Security Agency and manages to reach Moscow where he is granted asylum.
*Chelsea Manning convicted by court-martial of violations of 1917 Espionage Act, sentenced to 35 years, imprisoned from 2010 until 2017 when sentence commuted. Rearrested in 2019.
*Chechens Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev detonate two bombs at Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring 283 runners and spectators. Tamerlan killed in shootout with police, Dzhokhar captured and executed in 2015.
*Canada apologies to natives for colonialism, along with other oppressors (Britain to Ireland, India, etc.), but tears are crocodilian. Give us back our land!
*Supreme Court strikes down Defense of Marriage Act, legalizing same-sex marriages across US.
*Black Lives Matter emerges as political movement.
*The most destructive wildfire in Colorado history burns nearly 16,000 acres and kills two people.
2014 *Grand jury decides not to charge Officer Darren Wilson in shooting death of Michael Brown, inciting protests and riots against racism and police brutality in St Louis area.
*Republicans win Senate in midterm elections.
*Obamacare, Affordable Care Act, goes into effect for millions of Americans, largest expansion of social welfare state in decades.
*Flint, Michigan's water source changed from treated Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to Flint River, leading to lead contaminated and nationwide outrage.
*Thumbing nose at Conservative PM Harper, former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien awarded Russia’s Order of Friendship, visited Russia numerous times, played key role in helping Russia join G8 in 1990s, continuing peace policy of Trudeau Sr.
*Canada marks first ISIS volunteer killed in action.
*New World Trade Center opened.
*Midlife mortality increases across all US racial groups, caused by drug overdoses, alcohol abuse, suicides, and diverse list of organ system diseases. By 2017, life expectancy drops from 76.9 to 76.6.
2015 *Diplomatic relations are reestablished between US Cuba.
*Bill Browder, grandson of 1930s CPUSA chairman, speculator-hero, who made and spirited out of Russia hundreds of millions, launches own Cold War, immortalized in the Magnitsky Act, which is unconstitutional as Congress has no power to protect Russian citizens.
*Attack at Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California, killing 14.
*Dawn probe carries out spectacular encounter at largest dwarf planet in asteriod belt, Ceres, having first stopped at neighbouring Vesta in 2011. Ceres and Vesta are two most massive members of asteroid belt: 950 km and 530 km in diameter. Of particular interest on Ceres were two distinct bright spots (high-albedo features) inside a crater, highly reflective materials containing ice or salts. Higher resolution images also confirmed that, instead of one or two spots, there were actually several. In addition to being the first probe to explore a dwarf planet, Dawn was also the first to enter into orbit around a celestial body, study it, and then re-embark under powered flight to a second target.
*New Horizons probe, launched in 2006, arrives at Pluto, with a little help from Jupiter.
2016 *Omar Mateen kills 49 people and injures 58 at Pulse nightclub.
*Donald Trump elected president, Mike Pence vice president. He withdraws from nuclear pact with Iran and begins confrontational politics with Iran, Russia and Venezuela. Starts trade war with China, Europe and Canada, demanding new NAFTA United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement, still not ratified by signatories.
*Canada’s pro-Israel, anti-environment Prime Minister Harper loses in a spurt of Trudeaumania, promising to legalize marijuana.
*A wildfire near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada costliest disaster in Canadian history. Alberta tarsands continue despite unprofitability and ecological disaster.
*Mining industry now highly automated. Agricultural robots areincreasingly common on farms. High-definition CCTV cameras ubiquitous.
*First manned flight of SpaceX’s Dragon V2. InSight touches down on Mars. Juno probe arrives at Jupiter.
2017 *US bombs Syria.
*Trump signs largest tax cut since Reagan.
*White supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia leads to three deaths. Term alt-right enters popular consciousness.
*Film producer Harvey Weinstein accused of sexual harassment, marking beginning of the MeToo movement.
*Canada’s new prime minister Trudeau Jr welcomes 30,000 Syrian refugees (vs US zilch) but goes ahead with sale of weaponized Light Armoured Vehicles (LAVs) to Saudi Arabia, despite overwhelming opposition.
*US suicide rate increased 33% between 1999 and 2017, from 10.5 to 14.0 suicides per 100,000 people, the highest rate recorded since 1942 (only 1932 worse).
*SpaceX engages in first reflight of orbital class rocket, which can land vertically on a platform in its goal.
2018 *Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore.
*Democrats retake House, Republicans keep Senate, 4 self-proclaimed socialist Democrat congresswomen.
*California's state commission approved plan requiring solar panels for all residential buildings starting in 2020.
*Woman in Tempe first recorded death in accident involving robot vehicle.
*US copyright begins to expire, starting with all works from 1923.
*Mars Insight probe launched to study into early geological processes that shaped Mars. Solar system's rocky inner planets share common ancestry that began with process called accretion. As each body increased in size, its interior heated up and evolved to become a terrestrial planet with a core, mantle and crust. Despite this common ancestry, each terrestrial planet later shaped and molded through as yet poorly understood process "differentiation".
*New Horizons probe arrives at Kuiper Belt Object 2014 MU69, near Neptune. Nicknamed Ultima Thule, farthest and most primitive object in Solar System visited by a spacecraft.
2019 *Longest government shutdown in US history (35 days) ends January 25, 2019, over Trump’s demand for wall on Mexican border. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to give President Trump $2.5 billion to fund wall.
*Trump withdraws from 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty with Russia, claiming that Russia was in violation of its INF Treaty obligations, and wanting to include China in any treaty.
*Trump refuses to extend 2010 New START, reducing the number of strategic nuclear missile launchers, claiming it was 'one of several bad deals negotiated by the Obama administration.'
*1973 War Powers Act Resolution is invoked to end US military assistance in Saudi Arabia in its bombing of Yemen. Trump vetoes 5 bills ordering an end to arms sales to Saudi Arabia (plus one declaring a state of emergency to build the Mexico wall).
*Despite Trump's loathing for the foppish Trudeau Jr, Trudeau followed most of Harper/ Trump's agenda, and just manages to hold on to a minority government.
*September 27 witnessed worldwide Climate Strike, marking a global awareness of climate dangers.
*The first image of a black hole is taken.
Upshot: The bank bailout of 2008 would ripple through the world for the entire decade, reminding us of just how the US economy really is the world economy.
America's love affair with the planets and outer space revived and provides its one great contribution to the world. So far Trump hasn't ripped up the Outer Space Treaty, the basic legal framework of international space law. Among its principles, it bars states party to the treaty from placing weapons of mass destruction in Earth orbit, installing them on the Moon or any other celestial body, or otherwise stationing them in outer space.
The US continued to retain its global superpower status, though it was eclipsed in the Middle East by Russia, and an assertive China launched vast economic initiatives, and sought to expand its influence in the South China Sea and in Africa. The decade ending with a kind of containment effort and a trade war.
Wireless networking devices, mobile telephones, and cloud computing moved us towards a virtual world, social media replaced face-to-face contact while the Me Too movement, online call-out culture and a tyrannical Politically Correct insurgency disrupted civil society, and slacktivism* reduced protest movements to feel-good selfies. WikiLeaks and its editor Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden became icons for those fighting totalitarian state control.
The gay liberation movement became the ‘gay international’ in its ambitious agenda of transforming family relations, with gay marriage the most divisive change, still opposed by the Catholic church and Islam.
The decade witnessed unprecedented mass terrorist attacks around the world, made worse by US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. There were 18 incidents killing more than 100, vs 6 in the 2000s, including 9/11.** Since 2000, the number and severity of hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding have also increased as oceans warm. Both the increased terrorism and natural disasters are directly the result of unchecked imperialism.
Marijuana finally passed the legal threshold in the West, with 33 US states legalizing at least medical use. Holland decriminalized the sale of marijuana in 1976, but it remains illegal (i.e., not a corporate/ government boondoggle). Uruguay led the way for full legalization in 2014, joined by Canada in 2016, where corporations benefited from restrictions on personal cultivation. Mexico plans to follow suit. US Congress is about to pass the MORE Act to decriminalize cannabis, expunging prior convictions and establishing a 5% federal tax to create an Opportunity Trust Fund to undo the damage caused by the War on Drugs, provide loans and assistance to small businesses in the pot industry. The issue of finances remains a thorn, as overtaxing will mean legal producers cannot compete with illegal producers, and governments will lose out, leaving the black market in tact.
Paralleling the public acceptance of cannabis are attempts to implement a basic income, both responding to the rise of the precariat, the new employment norm for unskilled and increasingly skilled jobs, already showing its value elsewhere, especially in the 3rd world.
Global warming and pollution from fossil fuels, both from burning and from transforming into plastics, in a disposal culture, finally produced a global movement of resistance that culminated in the largest world protest ever.
The media villains of the decade were Iran, Venezuela, Russia and China, coincidentally all strongly opposed to the US imperial agenda. Russophobia in the US and Britain became a (nasty) joke, with sanctions and trade wars defining US foreign policy under both Obama and Trump, despite Trump’s promise and attempts to make peace with Russia and end ‘regime-change wars’, as Democrat hopeful Tulsi Gabbard argued, dragging the term into the mainstream media over fierce opposition. All three victims merely grew in stature, especially Russia. 'Deep State' also entered mainstream newspeak.
*Slacktivism: supporting a political or social cause by means such as social media or online petitions, characterized as involving very little effort or commitment.
**Just taking those terrorist attacks where more than 100 were killed:
2010 Lakki Marwat Pakistan suicide bombing (105),
2013 Zamboanga City siege Philippines (220)
2014 Camp Speicher massacre Iraq (1,566), Peshawar school massacre Pakistan (148)
2015 Baga massacre Nigeria (150+), Sana'a mosque bombings Yemen (142), Garissa University College attack Kenya (152), Ramadan attacks in France, Kuwait, Syria, Somalia (403), Ankara bombings Turkey (109), Metrojet crash Russia (224), Paris attacks (131)
2016 Baghdad bombings (340)
2017 Camp Shaheen attack Afghanistan (140+), Mogadishu bombings Somalia (587), Sinai mosque attack Egypt (311), Sri Lanka Easter bombings (259) (source: Wikipedia 2000s, 2010s.)
Timeline 2010-2019: Latin America
2010 *We left off with Obama meeting and ridiculing Chavez for “reading Peter Pan” (Galeano’s The Open Veins of Latin America). Obama approved of Honduran coup in 2009, overthrowing leftist Manual Zelaya, who had just won a second term, following the imperialist pattern: if leftist elected, undermine and support opposition, don't let leftist run again, and if leftist runs and wins, impeach or if that fails, coup. The decade is litter by this in Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador and Bolivia.
*Raul Castro enacts free-market reforms in Cuba, cutting number of state workers, authorizing privately managed associations to provide construction, retail, transportation, and other key economic services for first time in 50 years. Non-agricultural self-employment jumped from 3% to almost 10% by 2011, and private businesses soon accounted for one third of employment.
*Dilma Rousseff elected to become Brazil's substitute president when Lula not allowed to run again. Rousseff would see imperial diktat through impeachment in 2016.
*Argentina becomes the first country in Latin America to approve same-sex marriages.
2011 *China becomes Brazil's main trading partner.
*Brazilian Supreme Federal Court ruled 10-0 to legalize same-sex civil unions though President Rousseff suspended distribution of sex education videos through the ministries of health and education, saying that "anti-homophobia kits" were "inappropriate for children" and did not offer an objective view of homosexuality.
*19,000 murders in Venezuela in 2011, highest murder rate in South America and four times that of Mexico, as US tightens its financial and economic stranglehold and arms opposition.
*Carlos Slim, world's richest man, controls 80% of Mexico's land phone lines, 75% of its broadband lines and 70% of mobile phone lines.*Deepwater Horizon oil rig nearby in Gulf of Mexico explodes, worst oil spill in American history.
*7.0 magnitude earthquake hits Haiti, killing 230,000.
2012 *Paraguay's ex-priest leftist Ferdinan Lugo, elected in 2008, overthrown in another phony impeachment process, supported as usual by US.
Venezuela's poverty rate falls from 50% in 1998 to 30%.
Mayan calendar reaches end of its current cycle.
2013 *Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez dies of cancer, succeeded by vice president Nicolas Maduro.
*Juan Orlando Hernandez, known drug trafficker, elected Honduras president.
Honduras highest murder rate in world. He would go on to an unconstitutional second term in fraudulent election endorsed by US.
*Former Guatemala dictator Efrain Rios Montt convicted of genocide.
*Michelle Bachelet, once supporter of Allende, nostalgically re-elected 'socialist' president of Chile, though her politics are now neoliberal and endorsed by Washington.
*China Development Bank provides Venezuela with $30 billion loans.
*Uruguay becomes first nation to allow full legalization of cannabis without pandering to corporations.
2014 *Argentina defaults on debt for second time in 13 years.
*Cuba sends 165 doctors to fight ebola epidemics in Africa.
*Leftist candidate Tabare Vazquez wins Uruguay's presidential elections.
2015 *Guatemalan president Otto Perez Molina resigns after judge issued warrant for his arrest on (trumped up) corruption charge. On being elected president, called for legalization of drugs. Leader of Guatemalan Army faction favouring negotiated resolution of 30-year-long Guatemalan Civil War, achieved 1996 Peace Accords. Succeeded by born-again Christian, actor and comedian Jimmy Morales, first to follow Trump in declaring Jerusalem Israel's capital, but this guy really corrupt. Never mind.
*Mexico City's leftist mayor, Gisela Mota, is assassinated one day after taking office. In 2018, another leftist woman, Claudia Sheinbaum, would be elected as part of Obrador's sweep.
*Venezuela arrests Leopoldo Lopez, leader of opposition, for inciting violence. Lightning rod for opposition which wins parliamentary elections after 16 years of socialist control of parliament. Government announces economic emergency to deal with country's worsening recession.
*Brazil's economy shrinks 3.8%.
2016 *US recognizes Cuba, Obama travels to Cuba, does not meet Fidel but watches baseball with President Raul. Castro dies 6 months later. Fidel brother Raul takes power, resigns in 2018, succeeded by 57-year-old Miguel Diaz-Canel. US employees of the US embassy in Cuba fall mysteriously sick. (allergic to good relations?)
*Russia and Cuba sign a sweeping pact on defense and technology cooperation.
*FARC and Colombian government sign ceasefire. President Juan Manuel Santos awarded Nobel Peace Prize. Fighting continues and agreement unravels.
*Brazil’s Marxist president since 2003 Lula not allow to run again and his heir Dilma Rousseff reelected president of Brazil, as right wing frustrations boiled.
*Right-wing governments take power in Argentina, Peru and Chile, ending decade of socialist power. Brazil's Rousseff impeached.
*23,000 people killed in Mexico's war on drugs, making it second deadliest war after Syrian civil war.
2018 *Manuel Lopez Obrador, left-wing former mayor of Mexico City and leader of his Morena party, wins and launches reforms: financial aid for students, doubling pensions for the elderly, doubling the minimum wage, ending war on drugs, construction of 100 universities and universal access to public colleges.
*Central American refugees start walking from Honduras towards Mexico and US, fleeing political turmoil in Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala.
*US signs deal to deport migrants to Honduras. Families leave airport in Guatemala City on ICE deportation flight from US to country rife with drug wars, one of world's highest murder rates.
*Brazil's Rousseff not reelected. Lula imprisoned, after appeal, his sentence increased to 12 years. Trump acolyte Jair Bolsonaro wins and begins dismantling socialist policies.
2019 *US launches latest colour revolution -- Venezuela -- by declaring oppositionist president of national assembly Juan Guaido president, along with Canada and some western European countries, accompanied by a computer virus that blacked out the entire country for a week. Canada at the forefront of US subversion.
*Amazon rain forest saw unprecedented fires and destruction as loggers and cattle farms given free rein. But popular pressure freed Lula! Game's not over.
*Bolivia was next on neoliberal agenda, with coup in November. As in Brazil, Cuban doctors arrested, then expelled. Following rioting by whites, Evo Morales flees to Mexico, and military coup begins war against largely native mestizo population. This recaps the revolution of 1952, when the Revolutionary Nationalist Movement took power, after being denied its election victory in 1951. The RNM survived 12 years before being ousted in a coup in 1964.
*Anti-government protests break out in Ecuador, forcing president Lenin Moreno to annul gas price hikes, and in Colombia, where the Green Alliance candidate elected mayor of Bogota.
*Centre-left opposition candidate Alberto Fernandez is elected president of Argentina, with former president Cristina Kirchner vice-president.
*Chile's government agrees to hold a referendum on changing constitution after 26 people died in mass demonstrations.
Timeline 2010-2019: Europe
2010 *WikiLeaks published series of leaks provided by Chelsea Manning. Sweden issued international arrest warrant for Assange on allegations of sexual assault. Assange granted asylum (and citizenship) in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Expelled in 2019 and in prison awaiting extradition to US. UN condemns the farce and fears for his life.
*The European sovereign-debt crisis led to Greece declaring bankruptcy. Austerity policies particularly affect Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain.
*Viktor Mihály Orbán, leader of national conservative Fidesz party, elected prime minister of Hungary.
*Eruptions of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland caused unprecedented disruption to international air travel, rendering transatlantic flight impossible and closing airways across much of Europe. Largest air traffic shut-down since World War II.
*Solar power plunging in cost; Augmented Reality entering mainstream; first demonstration of solar-sail technology, scientists trap antimatter, speech-to-speech translation is common in mobile phones; robotic manipulation of non-rigid objects
2011 *European countries and IMF forced Greece to accept largest bailout package ever. In return, Greece forced to drastically cut back spending and privatize government assets, resulting in mass emigration.
*Terrorist attacks in and near Oslo by Anders Behring Breivik killed 77, mostly children.
2012* London hosts Olympic Games, with no terrorism, and under budget. That is news!
*Putin returns as president after 4 years as prime minister. Opponents take to streets of major cities to protest conduct of election, police arrest hundreds. NGOs receiving funds from abroad classed as foreign agents. Angered by US bill blacklisting Russian officials in connection with death in custody of accountant Sergei Magnitsky, Moscow bans Americans from adopting Russian children and stops US-funded non-governmental organisations from working in Russia.
2013 *Pope Francis elected, first Jesuit pope, first from Americas, first from Southern Hemisphere, first pope from outside Europe since 8th century Syrian Gregory III. His second encyclical Laudato si' (Praise Be to You) critiques consumerism and irresponsible development, laments environmental degradation and global warming, and calls all people of the world to take 'swift and unified global action.' Humble and jovial, his detractors label him a communist and pagan.
*Gaia space observatory launched by European Space Agency designed for astrometry: measuring positions, distances and motions of stars and compile 3D space catalog of approximately 1bn stars, planets, comets, asteroids and quasars, 1% of all stars within our Milky Way galaxy.
*Meteor explodes over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk
2014 *NATO ends combat operations in Afghanistan.
*Winter Olympics in Sochi Russia, most expensive in history ($51 billion), becomes circus of western gay activists protesting lack of visible gay emblems, amid Russian doping charges resulting in lost medals and suspension of Russian Olympic Committee. Russian athletes forced to compete as independents in future Olympics.
*Coup against Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, leads to ultra-right nationalist government taking power, prompting native Russians in Donetsk and Luhansk to declare breakaway states. 13,000 killed in war with Ukraine state. Minsk accord to ease tensions not observed by Ukraine. Putin fears Srebrenica massacre if Ukraine takes over.
*Crimeans hold referendum on annexation with Russia which passed overwhelmingly. Russian Federation annexes Crimea, causing widespread condemnation, suspension of Russia from G8, and limited sanctions by US.
2015 *Eurasian Union is formed by Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia. Putin's goal to enlarge to all post-Soviet states excluding three Baltic EU member states, and form 'powerful, supra-national union' of sovereign states like EU, to form bridge between Europe and Asia to balance EU and US. Break-away regions of Moldova (Transnistria), Ukraine (Donetsk and Luhansk) and Georgia (South Ossetia and Abkhazia) want to join. Moldova becomes first observer state. Ukraine applied to join as observer in August 2013, key factor in Euromaidan protests and coup.
*Nine Charlie Hebdo employees journalists murder in Paris, including editor Stephane Charbonnier, and three Al Jazeera journalists held in prison in Cairo, though media attention only on Paris.
*Queen Elizabeth II longest reigning monarch in British history.
*Solar Impulse 2, first solar aircraft to circumnavigate globe, takes flight, returning to Abu Dhabi 15 months later after repairs to solar panels.
2016 *Much of western world begins to experience a political backlash against globalization, especially immigration policy and free-trade agreements. Trend more evident after Brexit vote in Britain and rise of alt-right.
*Three-person babies introduced in Britain. Controversial technique uses DNA from parents and combines it with healthy mitochondria from female donor.
*58-km Gotthard Base railway tunnel through Alps world's longest railway, deepest traffic tunnel and first flat, low-level route through Alps.
*Juno probe arrived at Jupiter, 5 years after launch. Goals: to determine how much water in Jupiter's atmosphere, to confirm which planet formation theory correct, and study its enormous magnetic field. Jupiter’s jet streams like nothing on Earth, and give planet its distinctive stripes. Tangled magnetic field under surface, driven by a powerful dynamo, create hundreds of dancing cyclones and zonal winds.
2017 *Catalonia declares independence from Spain, but not recognized, while Madrid imposes direct rule.
*Right-wing Alternative for Germany entered parliament for first time. Socialist Die Linke ahead of Greens and will win in Thuringia in 2019.
2018 *Mass Yellow Vests movement across France, calling for President Macron’s resignation, still alive (barely) a year later, with only harassment to show.
*Italy's anti-establishment Five Star Movement takes power in coalition with right-wing National League.
*Putin wins reelection for second consecutive (fourth overall) term in office with 77% of vote.
*Missile defense shield deployed in Europe.
*Russia hosts FIFA World Cup.
*Europe's Galileo satellite navigation system fully operational. CHEOPS telescope deployed to study exoplanets.
*Stop 5G Space Appeal launched in 2018 to resist blanket implementation of 5G wireless, which is untested and shown to make people electro-hypersensitive.
*Final collapse of Larsen B ice shelf in Antarctica.
2019 *Assange forcibly removed from Ecuadorian embassy and imprisoned in London.
*Macron's party passes law changing 'mother and father' to 'parent one and parent two', and makes anti-Israel criticism the definition of anti-semitism.
*British election defeat of socialism, Corbyn humliated, zionism conquers all (he refused 'Macron test').
*Robot Ai-Da, named after British computer pioneer Ada Lovelace, 'graduate of Oxford', world's first 'artificial intelligence ultra-realistic drawing robot artist'.
*ExoMars rover, joint mission of the European Space Agency and Russian space agency Roscosmo, touches down on Mars; first manned outpost beyond Moon begins assembly; first mission to a gas giant using solar sail propulsion
Timeline 2010-2019: Africa and Asia
2010 *Nigerian Boko Haram jihadists launch campaign of violence that spreads to neighbouring countries. One high-profile incident involves kidnapping of 200 school girls in 2014.
*Niger, major transit route for migrants heading to Europe, effectively occupied by US and France to combat Islamist militants.
*Democratic Republic of Congo, rich in resources, remains unstable throughout decade.
*In Uganda, rebel leader Yoweri Museveni, who seized power in 1986 and expelled Lord’s Resistance Army in 2008, remains in power.
*East Africa already global leader in mobile phone use.
*Lesotho, with few saleable natural resources, first African country to legalize marijuana for medicinal use. Zimbabwe and South Africa followed suit in 2018.
*Japan's Social Democratic Party leader Yukio Hatoyama elected in 2009 but resigns in 2010 over failure to close US military base on Okinawa.
*Benigno Aquino, son of ex-president Corazon Aquino, elected president of Philippines. The government signs framework peace plan with Muslim rebel Moro Islamic Liberation Front, ending 40-year conflict that has cost 120,000 lives. Rodrigo Duterte became president in 2016, populist and nationalist, vocal supporter of the extrajudicial killing of drug users and other criminals.
2011 *Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, largest hydroelectric power plant in Africa, begins construction. Once completed, reservoir will take 5--15 years to fill, depending on agreements reached between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt. Nile Basin Initiative signed by upper riparian states in 2010, but Egypt and Sudan refuse.
Egypt and Sudan grudgingly joined International Panel of Experts in 2012 and Tripartite National Committee in 2014, but talks remain stalled, though by 2017, work 60% completed.
*Japan is overtaken by China as world's second-largest economy.
*China's Three Gorges Dam is fully operational. China's Belt Road Initiative, reviving the Silk Road, captures the world's imagination---except for the US and most of western Europe. China begins promoting 5G cell phone technology, seen as security threat by US as well as health threat.
*Arrest of artist/ activist Ai Weiwei for 'economic crimes' ($2.3m back taxes) sparks international campaign. Freed after two month detention. Foreign donations pay taxes owed.
*Vietnam begins joint operation with US to clean up contamination from toxic Agent Orange defoliant widely used by US military during Vietnam war.
*China and Vietnam sign agreement to manage South China Sea dispute. It includes hotline and twice-yearly bilateral meetings.
*South Sudan becomes independent nation.
*Magnitude 9.0 earthquake caused tsunami that severely damaged Fukushima Daiichi and Fukushima Daini nuclear power plants.
*Global population reaches 7bn
2012 *Tuaregs in northern Mali overthrow president Amadou Toumani Touré and declare independent state Azawad. French troops restored Toure and Canadian troops joined ‘peacekeeping mission’ in 2018 but leave in 2019.
*Since 2012, when new internationally-backed government installed, Somalia inching towards stability, but new authorities still face challenge from Al-Qaeda-aligned Al-Shabab insurgents.
*Statoil and Exxon Mobil oil exploration companies make major discovery of gas reserves off coast of Tanzania.
*Japan recalls ambassador to Seoul in protest at visit to Liancourt Rocks by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak. Both countries claim islets, which Japan calls Takeshima and South Korea calls Dokdo.
*Japan's government approves landmark change in security policy, paving way for its military to fight overseas.
*China protests over Japanese ownership of group of islands in East China Sea administered by Japan as Senkaku Islands and claimed by China as Diaoyu Islands. Taiwan also claims islands.
Japan is to expand its military base in Djibouti to counterbalance China's growing international influence.
*Xi Jinping takes over as Chinese Communist Party chief and assumes presidency.
2013 *Son of Kenya's founding president, Uhuru Kenyatta, becomes head of state and remains in spite of opposition unrest. Kenya was part of African occupation force in Somalia in 2011, and faced bombings in 2013 and 2015 by al-Shabab.
*Eight-story factory building collapsed near Dhaka, Bangladesh, killing 1,129 people and injuring over 2,000 more, becoming deadliest structural failure in history.
*Xi Jinping announced Belt Road Initiative during official visits to Indonesia and Kazakhstan. China ends one-child policy, in force since 1979, and abolishes 're-education through labor' camps.
*China's first unmanned Moon landing.
2014 *Central African Republic, rich in diamonds, uranium and gold, remains unstable, effectively partitioned, in spite of UN peacekeeping force and French mission.
*Bharatiya Janata Party is elected in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi strong Hindu nationalist.
*Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappears on 8 March 2014 after deviating westwards from planned flight path to Beijing, deadliest incident involving Boeing 777 and deadliest in Malaysia Airlines' history, until it was surpassed in both regards by Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, shot down over eastern Ukraine four months later. Malaysia Airlines renationalized in December. Both crashes unsolved, and resulted in conspiracy theories. Search for missing airplane became most costly in aviation history. Several pieces of marine debris from aircraft washed ashore in western Indian Ocean 2015-6.
*Protests against Beijing's plans to vet candidates for elections in 2017 grip Hong Kong. Protests simmer and finally erupt in 2019, protesting extradition to China.
*Philippines Supreme Court approves birth control law, which requires government health centres to distribute free contraceptives.
*India's first Mars mission.
2015 *In Nigeria, former military ruler, Muhammadu Buhari, becomes first opposition candidate to win Nigerian presidential election. Millions of Nigerians are now online, WhatsApp and Facebook are favourite social platforms.
*Kagame, who led the military arm of (Tutsi) Rwandan Patriotic Army in its war against Hutu-controlled government, has effectively run Rwanda since 1994 and becomes president in 2000. Faces criticism at home and abroad over his political and human-rights record and UN accusations he is fueling rebellion in Democratic Republic of Congo.
*International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda holds its last hearings, 10 years after opening, having convicted 93 individuals in connection with 1994 genocide.
*In Myanmar, first openly contested elections since 1990 give National League for Democracy absolute majority. In 2016 Htin Kyaw elected first non-military president since military coup of 1962, and Aung San Suu Kyi assumes newly created role of State Counsellor, sort-of Prime Minister.
*Heatwave in Southern India resulted in 2,500 deaths, and in Pakistan killed over 2,000 people in Karachi alone.
*'Crush and stampede' caused deaths of 2,400 pilgrims during annual Hajj pilgrimage in Mina, Mecca.
2016 *World's largest single-aperture telescope is completed in China.
*China completes largest environmental cleanup in its history.
*ISIS acknowledges operations in Philippines in official video, having recognized Isnilon Hapilon, an Abu Sayyaf leader, as emir there.
*India’s first manned space flight. India launches its second unmanned lunar probe. The International Lunar Observatory begins operations.
2017 *Morocco readmitted to African Union by promising to stop building walls around territories it occupies, and to resolve dispute with Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic peacefully. No-man's-land policed by UN and AU peacekeepers.
*Zimbabwe President Mugabe overthrown.
2018 *Mokgweetsi Masisi become 5th president of Botswana, one of Africa’s success stories. Protects some of Africa's largest areas of wilderness, safari-based tourism important source of income. World's largest producer of diamonds. One of the world's highest rate of AIDS (25%).
*Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launches campaign of political liberalisation. Sahle-Work Zewde first woman president and Ahmed appoints a cabinet with half the posts taken by women. Coup attempt in Amhara State in 2019 quashed. Ends state of war with Eritrea, signs a peace deal with the separatist Ogaden National Liberation Front, ending a 34-year armed rebellion. Awarded Nobel Peace Prize.
*Mahathir bin Mohamad, appointed prime minister in 1981, retired in 2003, returned to the office. He is an outspoken critic of Israel and the West, argues there was no systematic campaign of terror outside Europe until Europeans and Jews created a Jewish state out of Palestinian land. In a 2012 wrote that 'Jews rule this world by proxy' and stated: 'I am glad to be labeled antisemitic [...] How can I be otherwise, when the Jews who so often talk of the horrors they suffered during the Holocaust show the same Nazi cruelty and hard-heartedness towards not just their enemies but even towards their allies should any try to stop the senseless killing of their Palestinian enemies.' Mahathir established the Kuala Lumpur Initiative to Criminalize War Forum.
*Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore.
*Emperor of Japan abdicates in favour of his son Crown Prince Naruhito.
*Two-term limit on presidency removed, allowing Xi Jinping to remain in office for longer than conventional decade for recent post-Mao Chinese leaders.
*New Boeing 737 Max 8 crashes in Ethiopia in March killing all 157 people on board leads to
grounding of 737 Max 8 around the world pending investigations. As of February 2019, Boeing 777 involved in 28 aviation accidents and incidents, including seven hull-losses (five in-flight and two in ground incidents) resulting in 541 fatalities along with three hijackings.
*Last of Nigeria’s rain forest felled.
*First soft landing on the far side of the Moon, by Chang'e 4 probe, named after Chinese Moon goddess. Chang'e 4 landed in the Von Kármán crater, in South Pole-Aitken Basin.
2019 *Sudanese President Bashar overthrown.
*Algerian President Bouteflika overthrown.
*South African Cyril Ramaphosa elected president in 2018 after Jacob Zuma resigned over corruption. ANC wins 2019 parliamentary elections, although its 58% share of vote, lowest since end of apartheid.
*India’s relations with Pakistan worsen, as BJP returned with larger majority. Following suicide attack that killed more than 40 Indian soldiers in February by young Kashmiri, India took administrative control of Kashmir, revoking its special status of limited autonomy.
*Two terrorist shooting attacks at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, during Friday Prayer, killing 51.
*Laurel Hubbard, New Zealand weightlifter who competed in men’s competition before transitioning at 35 (no need for 'invasive' operation), allowed to take part in 2018 Commonwealth Games and Asian games, where s/he won gold in women's 90+kg category. Evidence shows male puberty gives 'woman' male powers even without high testosterone. IOC faces dilemma for 2020+ Olympics: who is female?
*China will host 2020 summer and 2022 winter Olympics.
2000-2010 IN A NUTSHELL
Following the zigzag of politics in Latin America is a textbook on US political intrigue, culminating in coups where necessary. The use of bribery and corruption charges is a convenient way to undermine the insurgent left. Accusations are made in pro-US media and, where there is no people’s voice, they stick whether legitimate or not. A notorious drug trafficker like Honduras’s Hernandez stay in power regardless of the constitution, with US support, even as US Congress exposes his flagrant corruption.
Africa embraced cell phones, with Facebook Youtube school lessons, and cell phone banking -- major factors in opening up the continent and allowing decentralized development. Experiments in Basic Income showed its development potential there and elsewhere. Offshore oil and gas discoveries on both east and west coasts were made.
China continued its Guinness world-record growth, relying on its own banking system independent of world finance, and entered a showdown with Trump’s attempt to keep control of world trade. Along with Russia, it developed as a political and economic counterweight to US hegemony, and (until Trump declared economic war) has stayed out of the many controversies from Europe and the Middle East to Latin America. It is poised to be the world's heavy weight in all areas.
The EU has disappointed in its first two decades since establishing a common currency in 2002. It has no clear foreign policy, with NATO casting a huge shadow, forcing member states to basically follow US imperialist designs. Feeble support for Palestinians is the only exception, and zionism is embedded in all major parties, and Jewish/ zionist lobbies wield huge power. This culminating in a trumped-up claim on ‘anti-semitism’ against Britain’s Labour Party, making a clear victory for socialism impossible, even as Britain teeters in the edge of irrelevancy and outright poverty. On all major issues: US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the EU was fully behind the US. Only on Iraq did France and Germany openly oppose the war. The EU let Trump tear up an international treaty blessed by the UN, leaving Iranians, not to mention Palestinians, to suffer unimaginable hardship.
Again, efforts in outer space provide something positive, even in cooperation with Russia. But sanctions against Russia are blessed by the EU, even as it buys gas from Russia. Corporate destruction of the world continues unabated, caught in a mania of economic 'growth', where statistics no longer have any meaning. 'Growth' includes advertising, work and investment in undoing the toxic effects of industry, which will soon outpace production of 'goods'. By 2016, the police security state arrived, street cameras installed in all major cities, and virtually all communications digitalized, making every person liable to spying in all areas of life.
The many defections from the 'war on drugs' makes it clear that by this time next decade, at least cannabis will be largely legal, though mostly under corporate control. The idea that God's free gift should be the right of anyone, without greedy governments and corporations taking their cut, was never in the cards, given the reign of neoliberals during the decade. At least there will be far fewer victims of this disreputable role of government. Food for thought: 'illegal', 'bad' are attributes that are arbitrary in secular society where there is no moral compass regulating our lives. 'Laws' are also arbitrary, and carry no moral weight in this era. As for the same-sex laws, they surely have reached their logical extreme -- anything goes -- and the next decade will see them as a shallow mockery of 'human rights', which took a beating as Politically Correct took the place of Social Justice.
The past decade has made ‘singularity’ almost a household word, used to refer to the point when technological growth becomes uncontrollable and irreversible, resulting in unfathomable changes to human civilization. But this happened about 250 years ago, when capitalism took over from small scale, unregulated trade, before mass production, which came to mean reproduction of the means of production by machines themselves.
Unregulated capitalism acts as a conscious entity, as enshrined in US and other law of the corporation as a person. Making a computer a person follows logically from this great, initial singularity of modern times. The enshrining of neoliberalism around the world, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, has given full reign to this alien unhuman logic, bringing the world suddenly to an awareness of the possible end of civilization and the Earth itself as a habitable home.
This is the message of the decade.