It would be an understatement to say that 2018 was an eventful year. Going into 2019, “KCW Today” has gathered a selection of some of the most memorable and noteworthy events of 2018.
North and South Korea Meeting: Delegates from the two Koreas met in the Demilitarized Zone to discuss de-escalation of military tensions and the North’s participation in the Olympic Games.
Norway Bans Fur Farming: The Norwegian government passed a total ban on all fur farming. 340 fur farms across the Nordic nation have until 2025 to close down entirely.
Nuclear False Alarm: Due to human error, an alert of an incoming nuclear weapon went out to citizens of the US State of Hawaii and caused panic across the state.
Anna Mae Hays; The first woman to achieve the rank of Brigadier General in the United States Military passed away at the age of 97.
PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games: The Winter Olympics in South Korea were also an opportunity for North and South Korea to restart peace talks.
Chinese Army Battles Climate Change: China announced that it would assign some 60,000 members of the People’s Liberation Army to the northern border where they would help with reforestation efforts.
South Africa Gets New President: African National Congress leader Cyril Ramaphosa became the fifth president of South Africa after he replaced Jacob Zuma, who was forced to resign amid a corruption and state *scandal*.
March For Our Lives: Survivors of a U.S. school shooting organized a mass walkout event which saw hundreds of thousands in every major U.S. city take part. Students and teachers around the world also walked out of schools in solidarity.
President Xi Jingping Cleared To Rule For Life: China’s parliament amended the constitution to abolish term limits on the Presidency which would allow President Xi Jinping to rule for life.
Doctors Reject Pay Raise: Doctors in the Canadian province of Québec rejected a raise awarded to them by the government, demanding the money be redistributed to hospital support staff.
Professor Stephen Hawking: Professor Hawking passed away in March leaving an unrivaled scientific legacy. Hawking was greatly respected not only for his immeasurable scientific contributions, but also for changing global perceptions of people with disabilities.
EU Bans Neonicotinoids: The European Union passed a landmark ban on the most widely-used pesticides that are harmful to bees in a major effort to stem the decline of the vital pollinating insects.
Saudi Cinemas Open After 35 Year Ban: In a series of reforms, Saudi Arabia allowed the opening of cinemas within the conservative kingdom.
Cuba’s New President: Miguel Diaz-Canel,Vice President to Raul Castro became President of Cuba after Castro stepped down.
Starbucks Closed for Training: Following an incident at one of its locations, Starbucks closed 8000 locations for one afternoon for around 175,000 staff members to undergo Racial-bias training.
US Student Walk Out: US students from over 2600 schools organized a walkout to protest gun violence. The walkout fell on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine Shooting.
Armenian Velvet Revolution Topples Government: A popular uprising deposed the government of Serzh Sargsyan bringing a new wave of political reform and optimism to the people of Armenia.
Ireland Abortion Referendum: With the approval by 66.4% of voters, the Irish Parliament was cleared to legislate for abortion.
Singapore Summit: US President Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un signed a deal to work towards the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
Saudi Woman Races After Ban: Aseel Al-Hamad celebrated the lifting of the ban on female drivers in Saudi Arabia by taking a celebratory lap around the Le Castellet circuit in a Formula One.
Google Pulls out of Project Maven: Google announced that it would not renew its contract with the US Defense Department.
Canada Legalises Recreational Marijuana: Canada became the second country after Uruguay, and the first industrialised nation to legalise the use of recreational marijuana.
Thai Football Team Rescued: The world watched in awe as a Thai Junior Football team were rescued from a flooded cave in Thailand.
Ethiopia and Eritrea Peace Deal: After years of conflict a peace deal was reached which brought to a close all chapters regarding the Eritrean–Ethiopian War and of the following Eritrean–Ethiopian border conflict.
Sweden Reaches Climate Goal Early: The Nordic country is now 12 years ahead of schedule for its renewable energy goals thanks to wind power generation.
Pope Declares Death Penalty Inadmissible: Pope Francis altered the teachings of the Catholic Church and declared that the Church would work towards the global abolition of capital punishment.
Kofi Annan: 7th U.N. Secretary General and Nobel Laureate Kofi Annan passed away at the age of 80.
John McCain: U.S. Senator and Vietnam War Hero John McCain passed away after a battle with brain cancer.
World’s First Hydrogen Train: Germany launched the world’s first Hydrogen-powered train in its continuing efforts to transition to sustainable energy and zero-emission transportation.
Devastating Tsunami: Sulawesi Island in Indonesia was struck by a devastating tsunami following an offshore earthquake. At least 1,948 people died and almost 75,000 were displaced.
Freddie Oversteegen; WWII Dutch resistance fighter Freddie Oversteegen died at the age of 92. She was the last surviving member of a trio of female resistance fighters.
North and South Korea Minesweep DMZ: North and South Korea began work on removing landmines from the Demilitarized Zone with each nation demining its respective side.
Nobel Prize for breakthrough Cancer treatment :The Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology was awarded to James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo for their breakthrough in the field of immunotherapy which has revolutionised cancer treatment.
Chernobyl Solar Power: Thirty years after the nuclear disaster, a 3,800-panel solar farm was launched on the contaminated grounds.
Paul G. Allen: The co-founder of Microsoft who helped bring about the era personal computing passed away at the age of 65.
Women win big in U.S. Congressional Races: A total of 112 women won seats in the 116th Congress. The most women to serve in Congress all at once in U.S. history.
California Wildfires: The wildfire season of 2018 was the most destructive on record for California with an estimated 1,667,855 acres being burnt. November was especially bad with the spread of the “Campfire” which was the single most destructive wildfire event on record.
George Bush Senior: Former WWII fighter pilot and 41st U.S. President George H.W. Bush, passed away at the age of 94.