COVID-19 has mastered a roller coaster year. But it wasn’t the only event that changed the shape of the world in the past 12 months.
Here’s our refresher on what to remember from 2020. Take a look at the most eye-catching images in the video above.
No one could escape.
Europe was at the epicenter of the global health crisis during the spring, when almost all humanity lived unher some form of confinement, paralyzing the world economy.
Some parts of the continent are in the grip of a second wave, but the launch of vaccines has given hope of a return to normalcy.
As of December 30, nearly 1.8 million people had died of COVID-19, while 81.1 million more had been infected; according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
Black lives matter
The death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in police custody in the American city of Minneapolis in May sparked a civil rights protest movement invisible across the pond since the 1960s, despite restrictions in place to prevent the spread of the pandemic.
European activists called for statues of historical controversies figures to be removed and for investigations into alleged police brutality and / or systemic racism.
United States politics
Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States, was acquitted by a Republican-controlled Senate on impeachment charges. Since his election in 2016, he has been haunted by allegations of abuse of power.
However, he failed to win his bid for reelection in November and continues to denounce the results as rigged.
Joe Biden, 78, will be the country’s 46th president. He has appointed Kamala Harris as his Vice President and nominated for the most diverse cabinet the country has never seen.
The Brexit saga continued through 2020, four years after British voters decided to divorce from the European Union.
Round after round of negotiations ended with both sides lamenting the lack of progress and blaming each other for the stalemate.
The conversations went to the thread and finally an agreement was reached on December 24, just one week before the end of the transition period.
It was signed by EU heads Ursula on her Leyen and Charles Michel on December 30 and by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. British MEPs approved it by 521 votes to 73. It has yet to be approved by MEPs.
Protests in Belarus, Hong Kong, Poland
Alexanher Lukashenko, accused of being the last dictator in Europe, claimed a landslide victory in the presidential elections on August 9.
But political opposition in Belarus, as well as the EU, the UK and the US, say the vote was rigged in favor of Lukashenko. They refuse to acknowledge the outcome of the elections.
Since the vote, thousands of pro-democracy protesters have taken to the streets every week to denounce the vote.
Svetlana Tikhanouskaya, the main opposition candidate, fled to Lithuania and has been pressuring Western powers to impose tough sanctions on the Belarusian regime.
Pro-democracy or anti-corruption protests have also taken place in Bulgaria, Thailand, Kyrgyzstan and Hong Kong.
In Poland, tens of thousands repeatedly challenged COVID-19 measures to protest the almost total ban on abortion in the country.
Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh and Ethiopia
Tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh region broke out in the most violent altercation in decades.
At least 5,000 people have lost their lives and hundreds of thousands have been displaced.
The violence came to a halt on November 9 following the introduction of a Russian-brokered truce. The terms of the peace agreement have seen Azerbaijan claim victory and have fueled resentment in Armenia, prompting anti-government protests.
Violence also broke out in Ethiopia where Prime Minister Abby Ahmed, 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner, launched an offensive against the Tigray region after declaring the region’s government, led by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), illegal.
An explosion in the port of Beirut on August 4, more than 200 people were killed and more than 6,500 more were injured. It also devastated the capital city.
The explosion, caused by the detonation of ammonium nitrate stored for years in unsafe conditions in a warehouse at the port, plunged the country into a new political and economic crisis, with protesters blaming the government for incompetence and corruption.
Iran- United States tensions
Tensions between Iran and the United States, which had escalated since Donald Trump’s election in 2016 and his subsequent decision to withdraw from a landmark nuclear deal, increased even more at the beginning of the year after Washington killed a prominent Iranian military officer, General Qasem Soleimani, in a drone strike in Iraq.
Five days later, Iran’s military shot down an international passenger flight, killing all 176 passengers and crew on board. Tehran, which had initially denied responsibility, admitted that he had mistaken the plane for a cruise missile.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism