2018 Yearly Recap: A Look Back at the News

By, Crystal Y. ’20

“Two months in and already 2018 is [rough],” tweeted one user in response to the Parkland shooting. “I want a refund,” another user responded. “[LOL], remember how we thought 2016 was bad?” tweeted yet another. These three users echo a sentiment felt by many—2018 has certainly been a tumultuous year for the news. Below is a list, in chronological order, of some of 2018’s most noteworthy events.

January 12: The Stormy Daniels scandal breaks.

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February 9-25: The Winter Olympics are held in South Korea.

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February 14: A gunman opens fire in Parkland, Florida.

Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School graduate, shot students and teachers alike for six minutes, killing 17 and wounding 17 more. This massacre is the deadliest school shooting in American history and the deadliest mass shooting of 2018, coming at a time of public anti-gun-control sentiment. In response, students organized protests on a national scale, including the Enough! National School Walkout on March 14, exactly one month after the shooting, and March for Our Lives (MFOL) on March 24, with the latter having approximately one to two million participants, making it one of the largest protests in American history. The protests were organized due to government inaction and hoped “to talk about the real problems our country is facing and to find solutions to the problems that our leaders have failed to address” (National School Walkout).

April 26: Bill Cosby found guilty of sexual assault at retrial.

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April 27: Inter-Korean Summit.

June 12: US-North Korean Summit.

The inter-Korean summit, which marks the first time a North Korean Leader has stepped foot into South Korean territory. It was the third inter-Korean summit, making it the latest one after 11 years. Held at the Peace House on the South Korean side of the Joint Military Zone, the meeting was borne out of preparation meetings for their unified appearance at the Winter Olympics and was brought up by North Korea. North Korea also attended another summit meeting in June, this time with the US. Both summits were concerned with the denuclearization of North Korea, which it agreed to do, and marks another step toward unity between the two.

May 19: Prince Harry is married to Meghan Markle.

The latest royal wedding in seven years, Prince Harry, sixth in line to the throne, was married to Meghan Markle, a divorced, biracial, retired American actress. “I have always had mixed feelings about the royal family regarding money and their contribution to British society,” Athena B. ’20, a Brit herself, says. “I couldn’t care less that Meghan is mixed or divorced. The royal family has such strict rules about the way the women have to be… and I personally think it is ridiculous. I wish the couple all the best!”

June 11: US net neutrality laws expire.

Net neutrality, which is the idea that internet service providers (ISPs) should treat all content on the internet as equal, meaning no favored promotion toward certain products or websites by blocking others, has been a staple of our online experience since 2005. However, back in April 2017, upon becoming the head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as a part of the Trump Administration, Ajit Pai suggested repealing the current net neutrality laws; the decision was made official on December 14, 2017, and the laws officially expired this summer.

June: Facebook security breach.

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September 6: The Supreme Court of India decriminalizes homosexuality.

Back in 2013, the Supreme Court of India reinstated Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and thus criminalised homosexuality. Section 377, which originated during England’s rule of India, states that sexual activities “against the order of nature” are illegal. The Indian Supreme Court revisited the case after petitions in January of this year, before coming to their official decision in September. They overturned Section 377, stating that it was “irrational, indefensible, and manifestly arbitrary” (Chief Justice Dipak Misra). Longtime LGBT+ rights activists have heralded the decision as the “greatest breakthrough for gay rights since the country’s independence” (Independent).

September: Nike reveals Kaepernick as the face of their #JustDoIt campaign.

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October 2: Jamal Khashoggi is murdered at the Saudi Arabian consulate.

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October 6: Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed for the US Supreme Court.

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November 6: The US midterm elections occur.

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Notable Deaths:

March 14: Stephen Hawking was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author with notable contributions to the fields of general relativity and quantum gravity. After suffering from a rare form of slow-progressing ALS all his life, he died at 76 of natural causes.

June 5: Kate Spade was an American fashion designer, businesswoman, and founder of Kate Spade New York. Her death was ruled a suicide by hanging.

June 18: XXXTentacion was a controversial American rapper, singer and songwriter who began his career on SoundCloud. He died of a gunshot wound after being fatally shot at a motorcycle dealership in Florida.

November 12: Stan Lee was an American comic book writer, editor, and publisher, known for creating cult-classics like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, the Avengers, Captain America, the Hulk, and more. He died at 95 in a Californian hospital after being rushed there earlier in the day for a medical emergency.

November 30: George H.W. Bush was Republican, serving as the 41st President of the United States from 1989 to 1993. After his political career, he was active in a variety of humanitarian activities. He died at 94, and is currently the longest-lived President.