Hardly a day goes by when the world doesn’t wake up to at least a couple of breaking news. And 2018 was no exception. However, it must be kept in mind that not all news stories are stories with an impact. Here is a list of the biggest news stories of 2018 that changed the world we live in.
Sudan, the last male Northern White Rhino, dies at 45
Sudan, the last male white rhino, passed away at OlPejeta Conservatory in Kenya this year. Sudan was 45 (an age equivalent to the human age of 90), and suffered from a number of age –related illnesses. Sudan’s species was majorly wiped out in the 1970s and 1980s, when the poaching crisis was in full swing.
However, Sudan’s demise might not be the end of his species. A week or so after his death, experts collected Sudan’s genetic material – especially his sperm. And now, there’s hope that Sudan’s sperm, along with the sperm of numerous other white rhinos can be paired up with the eggs of the female white rhinos and be implanted inside an embryo of a surrogate female Southern white rhino.
This discovery soon became one of the biggest news stories of 2018, as the white rhinos are crucially endangered – their lives been taken for the rhino horn (used in Chinese medication and Yemen dagger holders) – and there is an urgent need to protect them from complete extinction.
Sudan’s death became one of those stories with an impact, causing ripples of awareness on a global scale. Many activists and conservationists raised their voices against the illegal poaching activities that are still persistent across the world.
Canada boycotts US products
In 2018, the United States slapped a tariff duty on Canada’s import of steel and aluminum from the US soil. For this, the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asserted that the US cannot push Canada around in such a manner. In response, Trump accused Trudeau of being mild, meek, dishonest, and week.
This remark angered the Canadian traders and consumers so much that they decided to focus on home-grown products and boycott US products. One of the biggest global stories of 2018, the Canadian boycott of US products immediately takes one back to the 1929 Non-Cooperation movement in India, where India showed resistance to the British rule by boycotting the British products.
However, to what extent will this boycotting affect the Canadian and the American economies is still left to be seen.
The Thailand Cave Rescue Mission sets an example for the world
One of the biggest news stories of 2018, the Thailand Cave Rescue mission won millions of hearts across the world and set an example of grit and determination. It also proved that Thailand takes its citizens’ lives seriously, and even an individual matters a lot to the nation.
On 23rd June 2018, a group of 12 players and their coach entered the 10km long ThamLuange cave in the Chiang Rai province of Northern Thailand. The team was trapped due to the heavy flooding of the stream at the entrance of the cave.
Search missions began on June 25th, which culminated after finding that the players and their coach are stuck in a cave. Within a day, most of the water from inside the cave was drained out so that the divers could enter and rescue the trapped people.
Despite facing hurdles due to the heavy rainfall, the divers didn’t give up. On the 28th of June, a team of 3 British divers joined the rescue mission as well. The next day, the Thai police dropped food packets including food, water, torches and a note for the 13 trapped people.
After a span of 10 days, the boys were found. Although weak, they were alive. Finally, on 10th July, all the trapped beings in the cave were rescued successfully.
The Thai cave rescue mission immediately became one of the stories with an impact, as the world watched and took notes on how to handle a natural disaster efficiently and effectively.
The Cambridge Analytical Scandal – one of the biggest stories of 2018
Cambridge Analytical (CA) is a data analysis firm that worked on the 2016 Trump Election digital campaign. The aim of the firm is to collect data on the Americans and provide it to its clients, so that they, in turn, can target the consumers through ‘psychographic targeting.’
The firm was accused in 2018, for using the data of 50 million Facebook users without the users’ consent. This scandalous story came to light when a researcher at Cambridge University’s Psychometrics Center created a third party app called ‘thisisyourdigitallife’. More than three hundred thousand people downloaded the app, which led to the researched and the CA obtaining not only their own data, but also the data of their family and friends.
The CA Scandal quickly became one of the most debated global stories when speculations arose about the 2016 Trump Digital Campaign being able to obtain data of the users and targeting them with ads related to the elections – that too in an illegal fashion.
A video later emerged from Britain’s Channel 4, in which one can see CA’s executives admitting that they honey trap and extort people in power by using their data. The executives also admitted that they take advantage of the public fears to help their clients target their customers.
The CA scandal is one of the stories that changed the world we live in. It has impacted everyone who used Facebook or was associated, in any way, to Cambridge Analytical, in a frightening manner.
Apart from these four biggest news stories of 2018, there were other news stories that changed the world as well.
Astronomers at the IceCube Neutrino Observatory could finally trace the origin of a single ghost particle back to an entirely different galaxy with a black hole at its center. The ghost particles are never harmed or lost, and hence, they are known as “messengers”. In this light, scientists and astronomers can now confidently say that all the galaxies in the universe are inter-connected.
Moreover, a penetrating radar on Mars Express found a gushing stream of water beneath the ice and rocks on the South Pole of Mars. This proves that there is liquid on Mars, dating back to millions of years ago in form of lakes and rivers. This is one of the news stories that changed the world, as we now know that life on Mars is possible.
While 2018 has gifted us the biggest global stories in recent times, we can only wait and hope for what 2019 has in store for us.