2020 will soon become another bad chapter in history books to trouble students academically. The year has been exceptionally tough for most of us with the Coronavirus outbreak, lockdowns, and unstable economy all raising alarms. Political breaking news from across the globe seemed normal until March arrived when many nations closed borders to save their population from impending health crisis. Yet, geopolitical developments in 2020 were extraordinary with Britons changing their trade and US-China shaping new agreements to continue serving their people.
As the year end, let’s look at Top 20 political breaking news that made to the headlines during 2020.
Third time was the charm for Joe Biden after he won the race to become the 46th US President. He had run for the top office in the White House in 1988 and 2008. Biden crossed the winning threshold of 270 Electoral College votes with a victory in crucial state of Pennsylvania. His colleague Kamala Harris was voted to be the first Indian-origin Vice-President of United States. US Elections were among the most searches topics on Google search in 2020.
After it became clear that Joe Biden will became the next President of the United States, sitting President Donald Trump refused to accept his defeat and leave the White House at the end of his tenure. To date, Trump has not accepted his defeat and has alleged voter fraud in the infamous elections. He has lost court cases in many states against his presidential rival and state boards. Initially it was reported that Trump had even refused to leave the White House in January ‘21, during his worst moments of denial. This was among top political breaking news for more than two weeks.
The UK formally left European Union on 31 January 2020. It then entered an 11-month transition period before both parties signed a trade deal. December 2019’s general election broke the parliamentary deadlock and gave majority to Boris Johnson’s government to take a definitive decision on Brexit. Many feared UK’s exit from EU, a political breaking news, will have implications on UK’s relations with other countries due to change in rules and regulations. Others were concerned about the change in policies that might take place on the British island.
To further establish a healthy future trade relationship, UK and EU started working on a trade agreement from 1 February 2020. They expected the new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to be beneficial for both sides but as everyone seeded benefit, the agreement became difficult. The Withdrawal Agreement specified that the deadline for FTA will be 31 December 2020. The nine month long negotiation between UK & EU ended on 24 December 2020 for a trade agreement to be imposed from 1 January 2021.
In February 2020 when the world was preparing itself against COVID-19, India witnessed communal riots in its capital city of Delhi. People protesting against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) were sitting on a particular Delhi street for weeks, blocking it for passage. The blockage became a matter of conflict between the protesters and later turned communal. On February 23, thousands of anti-CAA and pro-CAA activists clashed on the streets of Delhi. Talk about sad political breaking news? This might be among the worst of 2020.
Violent clashes were reported from several areas in Delhi. 44 people were killed while over a thousand were injured.
Coronavirus outbreak was undoubtedly the worst thing from this year. It also caused politicians and those in power, to take harsh steps to control fatalities and curb effects of the pandemic. People were forced to stay in their homes as governments tried to control spread of COVID-19. These restrictive decisions were later termed ‘unconstitutional’ in many countries as they violated basic freedom and rights of the people. With a vaccine onboard, things are soon expected to return to normal.
There is no official record by the World Health Organization (WHO) of where the Coronavirus pandemic started. However, it can be noted that the first case was recorded in Wuhan, China. Leaders from USA and several other countries blamed China for COVID-19 but the Asian nation denied taking any responsibility for it. Moreover, China blamed European countries for the pandemic. Making a top political breaking news, leaders in US, India, Australia, and a number of other countries pointed fingers at the Chinese for lab creating a virus that killed millions of people.
Relations between Australia and China deteriorated as it pushed back Beijing’s assertive foreign policies. Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison also lit the fire by asking WHO to investigate China’s role in origination of COVID-19 pandemic. The Chinese than hit back with a series of statements and economic measures. Australia was hard hit after its biggest trading partner China banned a number of imports from it and imposed heavy duties on others.
India went into a nationwide lockdown in late March 2020. The lockdown was meant to keep everyone indoors, away from each other, but its purpose diverted when its led to a migrant crisis in several major cities. The crisis was first termed as political news in India but it soon became a social cause. Poor laborers and workers who could not afford living without an income in big cities, chose to go back to their native villages and places where they could survive amid the lockdown. Without any means of transportation available, these workers set on foot to their destinations, hundreds of kilometres away.
After a 5-minute clapping session to laud frontliners and essential staff of the country, India Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed the citizens to turn off lights and instead light diyas and candles for 9 minutes at 9 pm. PM Modi’s idea behind this was to show the country’s togetherness in fighting the crisis that led to shutting down of everything. The event turned into a political breaking news after some experts questioned the leaders choice after some supporters held atypical celebrations by bursting firecrackers and leading road marches as if it was some festival and not a call to unite against the virus. PM Modi’s this stunt was termed as a political news in India by many experts.
Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani was killed in a US airstrike near Baghdad’s international airport. Soleimani was considered one of Iran’s most skilled and experienced battlefield commanders. Hailed as a hero in Iran, the brave commander was once called “living martyr of the revolution” by Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Soleimani headed the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, an elite unit that handles Iran’s overseas operations. It was deemed as a foreign terrorist organization by US.
After decades of wait, US removed Sudan’s ‘State sponsor of terrorism’ title. This move was first announced by US President Donald Trump in October 2020 but it took more than a month to get it on paper. Sudan was first put on the list after the twin 1998 attacks on US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. Sudanese government paid USD335 million as compensation to families of those affected in the bombings. The payment was itself a top political breaking news let alone the removal of Sudan from the list. The decision will positively affect Sudan in a number of ways.
UAE signed the ‘Abraham Accords Peace Agreement’ to normalize ties with Israel. The peace deal was brokered by US. The deal made UAE, the third Arab nation to formally normalize its relationship with Israel. Earlier, Egypt and Jordan had normalized ties with Israel in 1979 and 1994 respectively. UAE’s move was hailed by the peace loving communities as it intended to establish unity in the Middle East region. As part of the deal with UAE, Israel also suspended plans for annexing parts of West Bank.
US adopted a revised map of Morocco, soon after the nation recognized Israel. The Donald Trump administration adopted a ‘new official’ map of Morocco that included disputed territory of Western Sahara. Mostly under Morocco’s control, Western Sahara is a disputed former Spanish colony. The move was part of Trump’s push of bring Israel and Arab states together as part of his legacy in office. Morocco was the fourth Arab state in 2020 to normalize ties with Israel.
Israel ended its isolation phase in 2020 after it established normalization agreements with several Arab states. UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco officially established diplomatic relationship with Israel, a move nobody expected could happen in this decade. The interest of United States in Israel also helped the country get more acceptability in international market as it desired to overcome the pandemic and get on the cash rich recovery rocket. These peace eal agreements are considered among top political breaking news made by Trump administration during its tenure.
At least 20 Indian soldiers were martyred after a violent clash broke out between the Indian Army and People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China. The violent confrontation was the biggest between India and China in over five decades. It also heightened tensions in the already volatile region. The fatal clash took place during the midnight of 15 June 2020. Several rounds of talks have since been held to cool down the tension in the region. But the sacrifice of soldiers went away from the eyes or people after some leaders made it a political news in India.
Politicial Breaking News- Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe resigned from his post due to recurring illness. Abe was Japan’s longest serving Prime Minister. He stepped down about a year ago before his term was set to end. The 65-year-old leader suffered from ulcerative colitis, a type of bowel disease. Abe’s close aide Yoshihide Suga succeeded him as Japan’s next PM. He was Cabinet Secretary under PM Abe from 2012 to 2020. Suga also served as the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications from 2006 to 2007.
Conflicted erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Hundreds of soldiers and civilians from both sides were killed in the skirmish that went on for weeks. Both sides blamed each other of provocation. Nagorno-Karabakh is recognized internationally as Azerbaijan’s territory but it had ruled itself for long with Armenia’s support. After six weeks of fierce fighting, the conflict ended with political breaking news, a Russian peace agreement on table.
Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli recommended to dissolve the parliament. He further proposed that mid-term elections in Nepal should be held on 30 April 2021 and 10 May 2021. Oli had arrived in the parliament with a historic mandate and his departure shocked many. Despite objections from colleagues and his own party, Oli decided to dissolve the parliament. According to experts, the prime minister assumed that his party will sooner or later remove him from power and hence he decided to step down on his own.
Farmers in India set out on the streets to protest against farm laws that were passed by the Narendra Modi led government in September 2020. Many farmer unions described the laws as ‘anti-farmer laws’. Tens of thousands of farmers marched towards national capital Delhi hoping that the government will take back the controversial laws that some say will leave farmers ‘in the hands of corporate’. The protests are ongoing with thousands of farmers still on roads in bitter north Indian winters. These protests have also been the centre of political news in India for weeks.
There is no doubt that political breaking news in 2020 was mostly dominated by Coronavirus outbreak and resulting factors. But, a number of other major events such as Brexit also took place during the year. COVID-19 will also most likely dominate top news headlines in 2021 as countries try to recover from the effects of pandemic. With a new president in the White House things will also change with a turnaround in US’ policies. More Arab states might also normalize ties with Israel as the Middle East changes its views and policies towards them.
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