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10 events in 2016 that could define the world order

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By Harshmeet Singh

2015 was a year of political turbulence at the international level. With multiple terror attacks, civil wars, international negotiations, and a migrant crisis, the year 2015 had no dearth of activity in the international scene.

And if the past couple of months are anything to go by, it would be surprising if 2016 doesn’t take the same path of hectic international diplomacy. To give you a heads up, NewsGram brings forth the 10 most awaited events of 2016 that could define the world order.

January 1: Deadline for the peace talks between Syrian Government and opposition

ASSAD-TALKS-monitor-bashir-syria

The second half of 2015 was mostly filled with news related to Syria. After the loss of thousands of lives in the war zone at the hands of the foreign forces, the two sides have agreed to call a truce, or so it seems.

January 9: Sri Lanka’s parliament to take form of a constituent assembly

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena

On the day when President Maithripala Sirisena will kick off his second year in the office, the country’s parliament will be converted into a constituent assembly to frame a new constitution that will replace the 1978 constitution. There is a growing demand within the country to rewrite the constitution to seek a solution to the ethnic issue persisting in the country.

February 1: US Presidential primaries and caucuses commence

Donald trump

With the US presidential debates getting unprecedented International coverage due to the presence of billionaire Donald Trump, this year’s presidential elections will be a keenly followed event. The primaries and caucuses will decide the candidates who will eventually run for the President.

February 26: Parliamentary elections in Iran

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Photo Credit: observer.com
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Photo Credit: observer.com

Iran’s nuclear deal with the P5+1 seems to have brought a new confidence in the country, which is seeking to play an active role in the regional politics. This makes the 2 simultaneous elections in Iran all the more interesting. The country will witness elections for the national parliament (Majlis) where the elected members serve a four-year term and for the Assembly of Experts, where members get an eight-year term.

April/May: West Bengal goes to polls

Picture Courtesy:-defence.pk
Picture Courtesy:-defence.pk

The current term of the Mamata Banerjee government ends on 20th May 2016. After the unexpected loss in Bihar, the BJP will look to come back to the winning ways and shoot up its strength in the upper house of the Parliament to avoid any future disruptions.

June 1: World’s longest and deepest traffic channel opens

tunnel

The Gotthard Base Tunnel, with a route length of about 57 km, will open on June 1. It is the first flat low-level route which passes through the Alps Mountains. 2016 will also see China start the construction of an undersea tunnel which will be more than double the length of the Gotthard Base Tunnel and connect the Chinese cities of Dalian and Yantai.

July 4: NASA’s Juno to arrive on Jupiter

nasa

If all goes to plan, NASA’s spacecraft Juno will complete its five-year journey and land on Jupiter on July 4. Juno is expected to provide critical information about Jupiter, such as its gravitational field, magnetic field, mass distribution, winds circulation, etc.

August 5: The Rio Olympics starts

14-rio-2016

Over 10,500 athletes representing 206 national Olympics will compete for the honors to be called the best in the world. This year’s Olympics will also feature sports like golf and rugby seven. The closing ceremony is scheduled for 21 August.

November 8: US Presidential and Congressional elections begin

Hillary_Clinton_official_Secretary_of_State_portrait_crop

The elections for the next ‘most powerful man in the world’ will take place this year.

December 31: Foreign forces to withdraw from Afghanistan

 

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A long and punishing war in Afghanistan will come to an end with the ending of 2016. The last Australian, British and American troops are expected to withdraw from Afghanistan on the last day of the year.

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It’s Official! 2016 is the Newest Warmest Year on record

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NASA Map showing 2016 temperatures around the globe. VOA

Jan 19, 2017: It’s official. 2016 is the newest warmest year on record.

That’s according to officials from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Record upon record

The information was gathered by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information and NASA, and they found that for “eight consecutive months, January to August, the globe experienced record warm heat.”

In a press release and teleconference, the two agencies said “with this as a catalyst, the 2016 globally averaged surface temperature ended as the highest since record-keeping began in 1880.”

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On average, the mean global temperature was .99 degrees Celsius above the 20th century mean, just barely beating out 2015, the previous record holder.

“2016 is remarkably the third record year in a row in this series,” said NASA’s Gavin Schmidt. “We don’t expect record years every year, but the ongoing long-term warming trend is clear.”

He added, “most of the warming occurred in the past 35 years, with 16 of the 17 warmest years on record occurring since 2001.”

 

NASA Graphic shows rising temperatures since 1880

A few other key findings:

– Sea surface temperature was the highest on record.
– Averaged land surface temperature was the highest on record.
– Arctic sea ice extent for the year was 3.92 million square miles, the smallest annual average since record-keeping began in 1979.
– Antarctic sea ice extent for the year was 4.31 million square miles, the second smallest annual average since record-keeping began in 1979.

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That’s a lot of records. But among all those high temperatures, the most surprising are the huge temperature jumps recorded in the Arctic. According to the NASA data, temperatures in the Arctic averaged as much as 4 degrees Celsius higher than normal, by far the biggest change recorded across the globe.

What it all means

Among other things, the new data shows that the Arctic Ocean is warming at a rate “two to three times faster than the rest of the planet,” according to NOAA climate scientist Deke Arndt.

He referred to the world’s oceans as kind of a heating savings account since the waters are absorbing most of the excess heat that humans are pumping into the atmosphere.

And while some members of the incoming Trump administration have called human-impacted climate change into question, the researchers were clear about one thing: this warming is on us.

“Pretty much all the rises you’re seeing here,” Arndt said, “are the result of human activities.”

The team said they will continue to provide their assessments to the American people.

“Our mission” Arndt noted, “is to describe the state of the climate and our methods on how we got there.”

The researchers say it is likely the average global temperature will stay at least 1 degree above average from now on. Climate scientists say we are on track to hit an average of 2 degrees Celsius above average sometime this century.

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They warn that rise will change the world in potentially devastating ways, including the possibility of more extreme weather events, destabilized coastal communities, altered ecosystems and the potential to create a huge number of climate refugees — victims of drought and flooding.

To keep that from happening, the United States and more than 190 countries signed an agreement in December within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Among its goals are keeping the average global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius, as well as funding and adopting clean-energy technologies. (VOA)

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The Year Celebrity Love Died: Celebrity Couples have called it Quit in 2016

Labelled as the split of all splits of 2016, the Brangelina breakup leaved their fans heartbroken

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Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Twiiter

December 29, 2016: The year 2016 is full of broken engagements, broken vows, and the splits of both long-term and newer relationships. It surely takes a lot to hold a marriage and relationship together, but the fairy tale romances of some celebrity couples have come to a bitter end.

Here, a depressing look at the couples who called it quits this year:

Farhan Akhtar and Adhuna Bhabani: On January 21, 2016 the couple officially announced that they had “mutually and amicably decided to separate” after 16 years of marriage. Both Farhan and Adhuna chose to stay mum over the reason for their divorce. But several rumours indicated that Farhan’s extra-marital affair with Aditi Rao Hydari resulted to their divorce.

Farhan Akhtar and Adhuna Bhabani. Twitter

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Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif: The breakup of the most adorable Jodi of Bollywood caused quite a stir in the industry. While both the stars kept mum about the reason, a wave of speculations had risen with everyone trying to guess what the cause might be. It is also said that Ranbir and Deepika’s closeness during the promotions of their film Tamasha, led to this break-up.

Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif. Twitter

Arbaaz Khan and Malaika Arora: The couple announced their separation on 28 March 2016. The happy couple last came together for a reality TV show based on love and positivity ‘Power Couple.’ The couple has been married for over 17 years and has a son. It is believed that Malaika decided to move out of the Khan household along with her son Arhaan.

Arbaaz Khan and Malaika Arora. Twitter

Sushant Singh Rajput and Ankita Lokhande: One of best-looking TV couples ended their 6-year-long relationship, which began on the sets of their debut TV show, ‘Pavitra Rishta.’ Sushant had announced in January 2016 that he would tie the knot with Ankita by the end of this year. But their relationship took another turn.

Sushant Singh Rajput and Ankita Lokhande. Twitter

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie: Labelled as the split of all splits of 2016, the Brangelina breakup left their fans heartbroken. On September 20, 2016, Angelina Jolie announced she was divorcing Brad Pitt. The two got together in 2004 after starring in Mr And Mrs Smith. They got married in 2014 in France, and have six children together three of whom were adopted.

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Johnny Depp and Amber Heard: The split between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard took a serious and ugly turn. Heard accused Depp of domestic abuse. On the set of “The Rum Diary” in 2009, their love story began In February 2015 they exchanged wedding vows, but sources close to the couple said their fights began within three months.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. Twitter

Jennifer Lopez and Casper Smart: It seemed like Jennifer Lopez had finally found her everlasting love, Casper Smart who reportedly was a dancer or something before becoming a full-time boyfriend. Smart cheated on Lopez twice. The couple ended their relationship in August 2016.

Jennifer Lopez and Casper Smart. Twitter

– Prepared by Ruchika Kumari of NewsGram. Twitter: @RuchiUjjaini

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We will Miss You: Roll Call of People who passed Away in 2016

A list of people who bade the world goodbye in 2016.

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Wikimedia
A candle (representative Image), WIkimedia

Dec 17, 2016: 2016 was an unlucky year because we lost many gems. Many eminent personalities from the political arena, art and music field etc, passed away. They left back an impression, a void which would never be refilled by a replacement. Here is a list of talented and popular personalities who left our side in 2016:

  1. Parmeshwar Godrej

Parmeshwar Godrej was an Air hostess in Air India. She married Adi Godrej at the age of 21. She was also one of India’s premier socialites. She had launched an initiative for combating AIDS, called Heroes Project in 2004 wherein she also received international support. She died on October 10, 2016 in Breach Candy Hospital, Mumbai.

  1. J. Jayalalithaa

Jayalalitha served as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for five terms ie. over fourteen years between 1991 and 2016. She worked as an actress in movies, primarily in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada movies between 1961 and 1980. She has acted in over 140 movies. She died on 5 December 2016(2016-12-05) (aged 68) in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.

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  1. Dileep Padgaonkar

He became the face of Indian intellectual journalism while handling the editorial team of The Times of India. He died on 25th November 2016.

  1. A.B. Bardhan

Ardhendu Bhushan Bardhan was a freedom fighter, trade union leader and the former general secretary of the Communist Party of India. A.B. Bardhan passed away of a paralytic stroke in December 2015. He was admitted to the hospital where he died, aged 91, on 2 January 2016 at the Govind Ballabh Pant Hospital in New Delhi.

  1. Nida Fazli

Muqtida Hasan Nida Fazli was the full name of the veteran Indian Hindi and Urdu poet, lyricist and dialogue writer. He was also awarded the Padma Shri in 2013 for his contribution to literature. Fazli suffered a heart attack and breathed his last on 8 February, 2016.

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  1. Balamurli Krishna

An Indian Carnatic vocalist, musician, multi-instrumentalist, playback singer, composer, and character actor, Mangalampalli Balamurali Krishna was an encompassment of innumerable talents. Balamurli was also awarded the Padma Vibhushan for his contribution to arts. He breathed his last on 22 November 2016(2016-11-22) (aged 86) in Chennai.

  1. S.H. Raza

Sayed Haider Raza was a painter whose works comprised of abstracts in oil or acrylic, with a very rich use of color, replete with icons from Indian cosmology as well as its philosophy. He died on July 23, 2016(2016-07-23) (aged 94) in New Delhi, India though he spent quite some parts of his life in France.

  1. Mahasweta Devi

Mahasweta Devi was an Indian Bengali fiction writer and also a social activist.Devi was voice of the tribals and the dispossessed. Movies like Rudaali and Hazar Chaurasi Ki Maa , are based on her novels. She died on July 28, 2016 in Kolkata.

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  1. Cho Ramaswamy

His real name was Srinivasa Iyer. He was was an eminent Indian actor, comedian, character actor, editor, political satirist, playwright and dialogue writer, film director and lawyer in Tamil Nadu. An encompassment of so many talents and skills, Cho died due to cardiac arrest at 3:58 AM on 7 December 2016 at the age of 82, in Chennai.

  1. Mrinalini Sarabhai

Mrinalini Sarabhai was an eminent Indian classical dancer and choreographer. Sarabhai trained over 18,000 students in Bharatnatyam and Kathakali. She died on 20 January 2016.

We lost many gems in diverse fields in 2016. We can only hope that they know that the shoes that they have left behind cannot and will never be, filled by anyone else. May their souls rest in peace!

– by Shambhavi Sinha of NewsGram. Twitter:  @shambhavispeaks