2016 Wrap-Up

2016

Now that 2016 is coming to a close, it’s time to reflect on some of the many major events that have happened this year.

In January, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced that Iran had been meeting all of the requirements laid out in the controversial Iran nuclear deal. Some of the rules that Iran followed included the dilution of Uranium enriched at 20 percent and discontinuation of centrifuge production. This allowed the United Nations to lift the numerous sanctions on Iran.

On Feb. 1, the race to be the 45th President of the United States began with the Iowa caucus. Senator Ted Cruz won the most Republican delegates and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took the majority of the Democratic delegates.

On March 22, three bombings from which over 30 casualties arose happened in Brussels, Belgium. The Islamic State (IS), more commonly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attacks.

On April 22, signatures for the climate change control and adaptation plan, the Paris Climate Agreement, began. Countries that have signed now number over 170, including the United States, China and India.

On May 1, the first cruise ship in decades to travel from the United States to Cuba set sail. The Adonia and 700 passengers left Miami, FL and docked in Havana Bay, Cuba. This resulted from the improvement of the United States-Cuba relationship.

On June 12, 49 people were killed and 53 injured in a mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub. The shooter, Omar Mateen, targeted attendees of the gay club, Pulse, as a hate crime and terrorist attack. This happened almost one year after the Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges that ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry.

In July, the Democratic and Republican parties held their National Conventions. The Democratic party announced its presidential nomination of Clinton, who announced Governor Tim Kaine as her running mate. Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders endorsed Clinton but was met with disappointment and anger by his supporters. The Republican Party declared its nominee to be current President-Elect Donald Trump. Trump named the current Vice-President-Elect Mike Pence as his running mate.

In August, the Summer Olympics were held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Multiple controversies appeared regarding infrastructure, the potential spread of the zika virus and the Russians who were banned for doping. A scandal including lying to Brazilian authorities about a crime and returning back to the United States against the Brazilian government’s will surrounded American Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte. The United States finished with 30 gold medals, 37 silver medals and 38 bronze medals.

In September, a gene signature in the brain that is most vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease was published online in a study by the University of Cambridge. The deposits of plaque that are responsible for Alzheimer’s disease are formed by the proteins amyloid-beta and tau. Professor of the Centre for Misfolding Diseases at Cambridge’s Department of Chemistry Michele Vendruscolo and her team discovered the brain tissue that is susceptible to the weaker countermeasures against these proteins.

On Oct. 10, the Nobel Prizes for 2016 were awarded. American artist, singer and songwriter Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” Another notable Nobel Prize winner was Japanese cell biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi, who received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine “for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy.”

Nov. 8 was Election Day for the 45th President of the United States. Trump won the presidency by receiving 306 of the electoral college votes, exceeding the number needed by 36 votes. His competitor, Clinton, won 232 electoral college votes but beat Trump in the popular vote. Reactions to this divisive election have been mixed, but there has been an increase in hate crimes against minorities and numerous protests against Trump’s future presidency.

Given that 2016 has been such a momentous year, it’s a reasonable expectation that 2017 will be just as eventful.

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