As the festive period is upon us once more, it seems only fitting to recount the terrible year humanity has endured and look forward to the (hopefully) better year that will be entered in a matter of weeks.
What follows is a month-by-month review incorporating many elements of 2016 (pop culture, politics etc.) with the most prominent being death. Literal death of people, metaphorical death of all sanity and democracy and the death that will hopefully put 2016 in the history books as being the worst possible year to live in. Enjoy!
January: David Bowie, one of the greatest British musicians and icons, dies aged 69 because of liver cancer. (This, I believe, was the catalyst that started and sped up the horror of this year). Also, during this month, Alan Rickman, an actor famous for playing Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film series and Hans Gruber, a criminal who passes himself off as a terrorist, in arguably the greatest Christmas film ever, Die Hard, also dies at the age of 69 years.
February: A 6.4 rated earthquake hits southern Taiwan. The death toll was 117 and most were because of a collapsed residential building called ‘Weiguan Jinlong’. Also during this month the Democratic Party holds its sixth debate with Hillary Clinton edging ahead of main rival Bernie Sanders.
March: Ronnie Corbett CBE, the last remaining Ronnie, dies aged 85 years. Many regarded him as an “idol” for comedy and a pioneer of modern comedy along with the other Ronnie, Ronnie Barker. Also, five people are killed and many more were injured in Taksim Square, Istanbul, Turkey when a bomb went off.
April: A leak of 11.5 million documents from Panama based law firm, Mossack Fonseca (nicknamed the ‘Panama Papers’), reveals that many world leaders are involved in shell (fake) companies. This provokes anger around the world and leads to some world leaders resigning their posts. Later in the month, the law firm is raided by authorities to discover whether the leak was intentional or accidental.
May: Leicester City are crowned champions of the Premier League despite being 5,000/1 rank outsiders. The club’s fame escalated overnight and the success story was shown around the world. Also in the month, EgyptAir Flight 804 mysteriously disappears between Paris and Cairo. It is later revealed that it crashed of the coast of the Greek island of Karpathos.
June: The United Kingdom votes to leave the European Union with 52% of voters backing the Leave campaign. Also during the month, Iceland gain a shock win over England in the round of 16 (eventually to lose 5-2 to the hosts, France). Also during the tournament, Wales reach the semi-finals of Euro 2016 (only to lose 2-0 to eventual winners Portugal).
July: The centenary of the Battle of the Somme is celebrated at a memorial at Thiepval Memorial, France. The battle is regarded as the worst British military mistake to ever have been made. Also in this month, Andy Murray wins the Men’s Singles Title at Wimbledon by beating Canada’s Milos Raonic.
August: The 2016 Olympic Games are held in Rio de Janeiro, the first to be held in South America. There is a lot of controversy surrounding the Games due to the Russian Olympic team participating in some events and not all because of allegations of doping. Also, USA Olympic swimmer, Ryan Lochte, causes controversy by claiming that he and his other teammates were held at gunpoint at a petrol station. The story is later proven to be false (with a tiny bit of truth) but the swimmer forgets to mention the fact that he was drunk and vandalised property. Team GB finish 2nd in the medals table, above China, and beating their London 2012 medal haul,
September: The 2016 Paralympic Games were held in Rio de Janeiro. The Games do not feature the Russian Paralympic team because of the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) decision to exempt them from all sports on account of the doping allegations. Also during the month, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt file for divorce after being a couple from 2005 and getting married in 2014.
October: A tape is released about Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s inappropriate comments about women. Trump later apologises for the comments but calls the talk “locker room banter”. Also during the month, Bob Dylan, an American singer-songwriter, is awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
November: Donald Trump wins the Presidential election to become President-elect and the 45th President of the United States of America. Also during the month, Andy Murray beats Novak Djokovic at the ATP World Tour finals to end the year as number 1 in the Men’s Tennis rankings.
December: Nico Rosberg announces his retirement from Formula 1 after beating fellow Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton by 5 points to win the 2016 Formula 1 Drivers Championship. Also during the month, Brazilian football team Chapocoense are awarded the 2016 Copa Sudamericana title after a plane crash that killed almost the entire team.
There you are: All 12 months, some of the most important news stories from around the world and a whole lot of reading.
Hopefully, 2017 will be a better year and I look forward to it.