News from around the world
By Sakuni Kalyanaratne
Hi Everyone. We are back after a small hiatus and ready with some of the biggest news from around the world. Here are some of the top stories that captured the world’s attention during the month of January 2020.
The world was shaken early January by a news report of a deadly virus that has originated from China, called the Novel Coronavirus 2019. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness from common cold to severe diseases like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The latest virus is a new strain that was not identified in humans previously. Although the origination of the virus is still undetermined, it was first reported in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. As of 30th January, at least 170 people have died in China with 7,283 cases being reported globally, most of them in China and especially in Wuhan and nearby cities in Hubei province. No fatality was reported outside China so far thought virus has spread to many Asian countries as well as Australia, Europe and North America.
Golden Globe Awards 2020
The 77th Golden Globe awards was held on 5th January at The Beverly Hilton, Beverly Hills, California, honoring the best in film and television of 2019. Ricky Gervais returned for the fifth and final time to host the award ceremony. Marriage Story entered the ceremony with leading 6 nominations, but Once Upon a Time in Hollywood ended the night with the most wins, wining three. Joaquin Phoenix and Renee Zellweger won Best Actor, Motion Picture drama and Best Actress, Motion Picture drama, respectively. Taron Egerton won Best Actor in Musical or Comedy while Awkwafina won Best Actress in Musical or Comedy. 1917 got the top price for Best Motion Picture, Drama while Once Upon a Time in Hollywood bagged the award for Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy. Veteran Actor Tom Hanks and Television Personality Ellen DeGeneres were the recipients of the Cecil B. DeMille Award and the Carol Burnett Award, respectively.
Grammy Awards 2020The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards was held on January 26th at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, USA. Alicia Keys returned as the host of this ceremony where the best recordings, compositions, and artists are recognized. Coming into the show, Lizzo led the way with eight nominations followed by Billie Eilish and Li Nas X with six each. Billie Eilish made Grammy history as she along with her brother Finneas took home the major four categories of Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist in the same year. She became only the second to do so after Christopher Cross in 1981, and the first female artist. Eilish and her brother won five awards in the night, making that the most wins. The night also saw the comeback of Demi Lovato with a new single called “Anyone”.
Trump Impeachment The controversial senate trial for the impeachment of US President Donald Trump began in January after the House of Representatives passed 2 Articles of Impeachment in December 2019. The Congress found Donald Trump guilty of 2 charges with Obstruction of Congress and Abuse of Power. The controversy began when the US President asked the President of Ukrain to pass along some information regarding former Vice President Joe Biden, who is currently the front runner in Democratic Party nominations for candidacy in Presidential Election 2020. The Impeachment has divided the country where the Democrats are trying to oust the President while the Republicans are trying to prevent that. President Donald Trump is expected to be acquitted as the Republicans are holding the majority in the Senate, which conducts the trial. However, it is interesting to see what revelations would come out of this trial and how it would impact the upcoming Elections scheduled to be held in November 2020.
Bushfires in AustraliaThe 2019-2020 Australian bushfire season started in June 2019, but it started heavily impacting regions of the state of New South Wales since September 2019. In eastern and north eastern Victoria, huge areas of forest burnt uncontrollably for four weeks before the fires emerged from the forests in late December 2019. Firefighters and equipment from neighbors New Zealand, Singapore, Canada, and the US, among others, helped fight the fires, specially in New South Wales. By January 2020, it is estimated that over 1.25 billion animals have died in the 2019-2020 bushfire season, while burning an estimated 18.6 million hectares, destroying 5,900 buildings, and killing 34 people. It is expected that some endangered species may have been driven to extinction. By 7 January 2020, smoke had moved approximately 11,000 km across South Pacific Ocean to Chile and Argentina and as of 2 January, NASA has estimated a Co2 emission of 306 millions tonnes.