2012: The year in news

By Marcos Duran-Salcedo Posted December 12, 2012

2012. Undoubtedly one of the most interesting years in the history of humankind. Many ups and downs happened this year, nationally, and worldwide.

The Trayvon Martin Case

On the night of February 16, George Zimmerman fatally shot an unarmed teenager, Trayvon Martin in Florida. Zimmerman made a 911 call, reporting that there was a “suspicious black man outside.” There was an apparent struggle between the two, and, a while later, Martin was dead from a gunshot wound from Zimmerman.

Several witnesses say that Zimmerman shot Martin in self-defense, while others say that Zimmerman shot Martin for racial reasons.

Mary Cutcher, a Florida resident says “I heard a whining. Not like a crying, boohoo, but like a whining, someone in distress, and then the gunshot, Zimmerman was standing over the body with — basically straddling the body with his hands on Trayvon’s back, and it didn’t seem to me that he was trying to help him in any way. I didn’t hear any struggle prior to the gunshot. And I feel like it was Trayvon Martin that was crying out, because the minute that the gunshot went off, the whining stopped.”

After the incident, there were several rallies around the nation, with people calling for justice for Trayvon Martin.

The death of Whitney Houston

The beloved singer suddenly passed away on February 11, 2012, from a drug overdose. There were several things done in her honor, like a memorial service, and Jennifer Hudson singing Houston’s soundtrack hit “I Will Always Love You” during the Oscars and the Grammys from her movie “The Bodyguard”. On the night of her death, Bobby Brown, Houston’s ex-husband, was heartbroken and yelled “I love you Whitney” with tears in his eyes during a concert.

Superstorm Sandy

What started as a storm soon became one of the deadliest and most catastrophic hurricanes of all time, battering the east coast. Hurricane Sandy caused damage of nearly 50 billion dollars, with 88 billion in real estate at risk, breaking hurricane Katrina’s record for damage. It is something no one will soon forget.

The London 2012 Summer Olympics

In these Summer Olympics, the United States was triumphant once more, with a total of 104 medals, followed by China, which had a total of 88 medals. There was rejoicing and tears from the athletes and a whole lot of Olympic spirit.

The Batman shooting

On the midnight premiere of the third movie of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, “The Dark Knight Rises”, in Aurora, Colorado, a gunman, James Eagan Holmes, killed 12 people and injured 58 others. About 30 minutes into the movie, Holmes exited the building through the emergency exit, then returned with a 12-gauge Remington 870 Express Tactical Shotgun, a Smith & Wesson M&P15 semi-automatic rifle, and a Glock 22 handgun, which he used on the audience. When arrested Holmes called himself “The Joker” and was imprisoned in the Arapaho County Jail.

The new leadership in Al Qaeda

Egyptian doctor Ayman al-Zawahiri stepped into the top leadership slot at al-Qaeda after the death of Osama bin Laden. Al-Zawahiri is a qualified Egyptian surgeon that was bin Laden’s personal physician and advisor, until bin Laden’s death. He took bin Laden’s place in the top most wanted men in the US as well, and now has a bounty of 25 million dollars on his head.

The Petraeus Scandal

David Petraeus, the decorated four-star Army general and former head of the CIA, resigned on November 9 after admitting that he had an affair with Paula Broadwell who received jealous and threatening e-mails from Jill Kelley, who is believed to be involved in the affair as well. There are still doubts whether Petraeus passed on classified information to Broadwell which resulted in the FBI launching a full inquiry on the case.

The Presidential Election

The most expensive election in history is now over. On Election night, Mitt Romney took an early lead in the electoral college and the popular vote, but as the night progressed, President Obama caught up to Romney, and even surpassed him. Around 8:00 p.m. 7 of the 8 crucial swing states declared their choice of reelection for the President, with Florida giving its 29 electoral votes to President Obama a week later. At 8:15, most major networks declared victory for the President, securing him four more years in the White House. An hour later, Mitt Romney appeared at the Republican Headquarters in Boston to give his concession speech. Minutes after that, the President appeared at Democrat Headquarters, greeted with thunderous applause. In his victory speech, he said, “We are more than just red and blue states, we are the United States of America!”

The rise of Kim Jong-Un in North Korea

Kim Jong Il, the aged dictator of North Korea, died of a heart attack while traveling on a train on December 17, 2011. His heir Kim Jong-Un took power near the very end of 2011. This was greatly received by North Koreans, but not so much by everyone else.

The “reelection” of Hugo Chavez

Chavez has been president of Venezuela since 1999, well exceeding the number of consecutive terms that were served by other presidents. Chavez has been the leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela since 1997, following his ideas of an imperialistic country. He has served two terms so far, and is now serving his third term. In the elections, he somehow manages to win, even though his opponents are more popular. In the latest election, it appeared that his challenger, Manuel Rosales, was going to win by a landslide, but somehow, Chavez managed to squeeze out a victory once more. Many think there was electoral fraud, but we can’t be sure what really happened.