Top News Stories Of 2013

Above: 10 of the top news stories of 2013

With the 24 hour news cycle that we live in, we are constantly absorbing news. Whether it’s from our television screen, favourite news site or Twitter feed– the news just doesn’t stop. Out of the hundreds of thousands of stories that are reported every year, there is always a select few that stand out from the rest, ones that stick out in our minds when we look back. The good, the bad and the downright ugly. Here are the top news stories of 2013:

A Canuck Takes Us into Space
December 21, 2012- October 2013

Chris Hadfield is the coolest guy to have ever gone to space and quite simply the coolest person, period. Last December marked the day where he launched into space and begin his five month mission. In March, he made history when he became the first Canadian to command the International Space Station (ISS) after taking over from U.S. astronaut Kevin Ford. But that isn’t even the best part. He is described as “perhaps the most social media savvy astronaut ever to leave Earth” by Forbes after he started his own Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Tumblr accounts that all actively documented his experience from space. On this last day in the ISS, Hadfield released a video of himself singing his version of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” a video that went viral. On May 13, Hadfield successfully arrived back on Earth and has since retired from the Canadian Space Agency. He recently published a bestselling memoir, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life and plans to teach aviation in the University of Waterloo in Fall 2014. Aside from being an all round nice guy, Hadfield’s legacy lies in his great enthusiasm for space, research and love for sharing his knowledge and experience with all of us.

New Pope, New Direction
March 13, 2013

Huge changes took place this year within the Roman Catholic Church. Immediately after Pope Benedict XVI announced his retirement, the search for a new Pope began. On March 13, Argentine cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio became the 266th Pope. Bergoglio, who now goes by Pope Francis, is not only the first Pope from Latin America but also first non-European Pope in over 1,000 years. Aside from being a unique choice, Pope Francis has been praised by Catholics and Non Catholics alike for his humility and progressive stance on controversial issues. Instead he likes to focus on eliminating poverty and economic inequality.

Boston Marathon Bombing
April 15, 2013

No one could predict what awaited at the finish line this year at the Boston Marathon. At the end of the run, two pressure cookers exploded, killing three people and injuring over 260. Allegedly two brothers, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev,  made the homemade bomb from nails and shrapnel and placed it near the finish line that day. Almost immediately after the explosion, the manhunt began to capture the suspects.  Tamerlan was killed after a shootout with police, and Dzhokhar is currently in solitary confinement waiting for trial. He has pleaded “not guilty” to all charges and is set to go to court in 2014.

Bangladesh Factory Collapse
April 24, 2013

Over 1,100 people were killed when a factory collapsed unexpectedly in Dhaka, Bangladesh. More than half the victims were women along with their young children who were kept in the factory’s nursery. A majority of the people killed were factory workers who made garments for major retailers such as Walmart, Gap, H&M and Canadian retailer Joe Fresh. The factory reportedly had four extra floors added to the building without the city’s approval. The incident sparked huge outrage among human rights activists on the lack of labour safety in overseas garment factories.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford
May 2013 – present

It’s never dull moment with Toronto’s mayor. It all started back in May when Gawker announced they had a video of Rob Ford allegedly smoking crack. Suspicions arose even further when reporters from the Toronto Star newspaper confirmed to have also seen the video.  He denied the accusations for months until a police investigation involving close friend Alexander Lisi led police back to Mayor Ford. Although the video was never released, Ford did ultimately admit to smoking crack and having some “drunken stupors,” during his time as mayor. News of Ford’s shenanigans became so big that it made international headlines and the focus of late night talk show sketches. Things have since calmed down somewhat after city councillors took away a majority of Ford’s power. But he’s a fighter and plans to run for re election next year. You know what, at least he has “more than enough to eat at home”… sorry, bad joke.

Lac-Mégantic Train Derailment
July 6, 2013

Things won’t be the same for a long time for the small town of Lac Megantic, Quebec. On July 6, a train carrying crude oil derailed right into the downtown area and killed 47 people. The fire that ignited from the derailment destroyed a majority of the downtown core. Weeks after the tragedy, crews worked tirelessly to clean up the rubble and pump out the oil. The oil spill was so great, it was considered an environmental disaster. In hopes to clean up the damage, both Quebec and Ottawa have agreed to split the hefty price tag of $190 million. According to a Canadian Press survey of Canadian newsrooms, the tragic story was voted Canada’s biggest news story of 2013.

The Royal Baby
July 22, 2013

This year, his Royal Highness Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge came into the world. Wow, that’s a mouthful. No one expected the media frenzy that awaited outside the hospital while Kate Middleton was giving birth to the future king this past July. Reports say that reporters were hanging outside her hospital for weeks just to get a good spot. Once it was announced that little Prince George was born, everyone from around the world waited impatiently for that first glimpse of the royal baby. News surrounding the royals and their latest addition has since died down, but we’re eager to see more of this little guy in the new year. Let’s just hope he has his father’s good looks, mother’s good hair and uncle’s charm.

The Government Shut Down
September 30, 2013

For the first time since the 90s, American congress were unable to reach an agreement on federal spending levels resulting in a complete government shutdown. The 16 day shutdown ended with a short term agreement that allowed them to reopen federal government and get America working again. Unfortunately the deal is only a temporary fix that doesn’t resolve the brewing tension between Republicans and Democrats or how they plan to deal with their overwhelming debt. If both sides don’t come to a tentative agreement, Americans can see another shutdown early next year– and it won’t be cheap. The shutdown cost the U.S economy $24 billion.

Typhoon Haiyan Hits the Philippines
November 10, 2013

Typhoon Haiyan was one of the strongest tropical cyclones on record. The storm destroyed central city of Tacloban, leaving 6,000 people dead and millions displaced without food or shelter. It took approximately four days until rescue workers could properly access victims and provide them with food, shelter and medical supplies. Almost two months since the typhoon and 2000 people are still missing. Rescue efforts are still in place in hopes to rebuild the devastated country.

Nelson Mandela
December 5, 2013

After months of battling a lung infection and reoccurring phenomena, Nelson Mandela died on December 5, at age 95. He had one of the biggest memorials people have ever seen, with more than 100 world leaders and thousands of others in attendance. After a 10 day mourning period, Mandela was laid to rest in his hometown of Qunu, Eastern Cape at a family gravesite. Even after ending 46 years of apartheid, he left a legacy that touched all corners of the globe, inspiring people with his messages of hope, love and racial equality.

Other major news stories that almost made the cut:

– Syria’s chemical attack
– Canada’s Senate Scandal
– Paul Walker’s death
– Edward Snowden
– Obamacare
– George Zimmerman trial
– Russia’s anti-gay laws
– Cory Monteith’s death
– Horse meat scandal
– Meteor hits Russia

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