December 19, 2022

Top 5 News Stories of the 2010s

The decade that followed the start of 2010 has seen some truly remarkable moments in human history – some tragic, some awe-inspiring, and a handful that can only be described as “surreal”.

Here are five events that broke the news during the 2010s:

17 December 2010 – Tunisian Street Vendor’s Death Sparks Arab Spring

Mohammed Bouazizi, an unemployed 26-year-old man who turned to selling fruit and vegetables, was left destitute after the Tunisian police confiscated his wares because he did not have the required license. In despair, he doused himself in petrol and set himself alight. He survived the suicide attempt, but later died in hospital.

Bouazizi’s death energised many to protest the country’s government, and soon other north African citizens joined in a regional demonstration which has since been called the “Arab Spring”.

11 March 2011 – Major Earthquake Near Japan Causes Nuclear Disaster

On the morning of 11 March, a magnitude 9 earthquake just off the coast of northern Japan caused powerful tsunamis which swept across the mainland, leaving thousands of people dead or injured. It also caused three reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

The incident sparked the emergency evacuation of approximately 154 000 citizens within a 20-kilometre radius of the plant, and is considered the second-worst nuclear accident in history.

13 July 2013: The ‘Black Lives Matter’ Movement Begins

The social movement came into being after police officer George Zimmerman was acquitted of shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin during an altercation, which the former claims was in self-defence.

During and after the highly publicised trial, social media users started posting the phrase “Black lives matter”, which eventually gained momentum and became a movement.

8 November 2016: Donald Trump Beats Out Hillary Clinton for US Presidency

Many mocked media personality Donald Trump for running as the republican candidate for the US presidency, but once the counting was done, he had gained over 46% of the electoral vote, beating out liberal presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton.

The victory caused a major upset in American politics, setting the tone for Trump’s next four years in office as the 45th president of the USA.

27 June 2019 – Australian Wild Bushfires Engulf Country

What started as a typical bushfire during the yearly dry period on the Australian seasonal calendar quickly grew out of control and highlighted a symptom of global climate change.

The prolonged drought and high temperatures resulted in many more fires sparking across the country, prompting drastic emergency measures and many more firefighters being called into action to contain the raging conflagration.

By January 2020, heavy rains came pouring down, providing some relief, but not enough to douse the hungry flames. Only by March were the fires finally extinguished, leaving behind untold property damage and a handful of deaths.