On January 9, the World Health Organization announced that a deadly coronavirus had emerged in Wuhan, China. In a few months, the virus has spread across the world to millions of people, leading to thousands of deaths.
Indeed, every year, stories that make headlines around the world do get more shocking than the year before, and 2020 was no different, even tougher. Apart from the deadly pandemic that seems to be the only thing we hear and read about, here are four other news stories that shocked the world this year.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ‘quit’ royal family
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, dropped a bombshell in January when they announced they are stepping back from the royal family in a bid to become financially independent. Taking to their Instagram to make the unexpected announcement, the couple also affirmed their support for the queen. The unprecedented announcement was widely received with shock, with BBC reporting that neither the Queen nor Prince William was pre-informed about the announcement, adding that the Buckingham Palace is “disappointed”. Last month, Meghan disclosed she had a miscarriage in July while she and her husband Harry were living in Los Angeles.
Kobe Bryant died
The world mourned the sudden death of NBA Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant at 41. Bryant was a passenger on a helicopter that crashed near Calabasas in Los Angeles. His 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, who was following in his footsteps as a rising basketball star herself, was one of those who died in the crash.
Massive protests swept the U.S. and the world
Protests erupted around the world in mid-2020 against police brutality and racial injustice following the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others. 46-year-old Floyd died in May after white police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for several minutes. Taylor was with her boyfriend Kenneth Walker when she was shot by three Louisville police officers who broke into her apartment in the name of executing a no-knock search warrant in a narcotics investigation in March. Their deaths were examples of the ongoing systemic racism in America where Black people find themselves being killed during encounters with White police officers.
In the wake of the global anti-racism protests, monuments connected to slavery and colonialism became the target of Black Lives Matter protesters across the world. In the U.S., statues of Confederate leaders and the explorer Christopher Columbus were torn down, with similar incidents taking place in the UK and Belgium where controversial monuments were toppled.
Chadwick Boseman died
Tributes poured in for actor Chadwick Boseman after his death in August of colon cancer at 43. Boseman’s medical condition was not publicly known. A statement said he was first diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016 and filmed many movies “during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy.” “What a gentle gifted soul. Showing us all that greatness between surgeries and chemotherapy. This is what dignity looks like,” wrote TV star and author Oprah Winfrey. Boseman’s widow Taylor Simone Ledward is currently the personal representative with limited authority of the late actor’s $938,500 estate, a court order obtained by People said.