||This article may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may only interest a specific audience. (January 2012)|
|Centuries:||20th century – 21st century – 22nd century|
|Decades:||1980s 1990s 2000s – 2010s – 2020s 2030s 2040s|
|Years:||2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019|
- 1 Mixed pronunciation
- 2 Global financial crisis
- 3 Politics and wars
- 4 Assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts
- 5 Disasters
- 6 Economics
- 7 Society and trends
- 8 Science and technology
- 9 Additional notable world-wide events
- 10 Popular culture
- 11 See also
- 12 References
Among experts and the general public, there is some disagreement as to how specific years of the 21st century should be pronounced in English. While most people pronounced the years 2000 to 2009 as "two thousand (and) _", the pronunciation in the 2010s has been mixed. The year 2014, for example, is referred to by some as "twenty-fourteen" and by others as "two thousand (and) fourteen" and this mixed pronunciation continues as of today.[not in citation given]
Global financial crisis
The 2010s began amidst a global financial crisis that started in the late 2000s. In particular, the ongoing Eurozone debt crisis, which stemmed from these economic problems, first became pronounced in May 2010 and continues with a global recovery. Along with the recovery in 2013, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a 5-year high on Tuesday, May 28, 2013, and it is continuing to slowly rise. Also, the Dow had its longest stretch of gains since the tech boom of the late 1990s. But, economic issues such as inflation, and an increase in commodity prices, sparked immense unrest in many lower-income countries. In some countries, particularly Arab ones, political unrest eventually evolved into socio-economic crises which set off numerous revolutions, such as in Kyrgyzstan and Tunisia in 2010, and Libya, Syria, Yemen and Egypt in 2011 and 2012. This widespread phenomenon is commonly known as the Arab Spring, and it still continues, as of July 2014[update].
Politics and wars
The prominent wars of the decade so far include:
- War on Terrorism (2001–present) – refers to several ideological, military, and diplomatic campaigns ostensibly aimed at putting an end to international terrorism by preventing groups defined by the US and its allies as "terrorist" (largely Islamist groups such as al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas) from posing a threat to the US and its allies, and by putting an end to state sponsorship of terrorism. The campaigns were launched by the United States, with support from NATO and other allies, immediately following the 11 September 2001 attacks which were carried out by al-Qaeda. Today the term has become mostly associated with US/UK-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
- War in Afghanistan (2001–present) – On October 7, 2001, the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Australia and Canada intervened into Afghanistan seeking to oust the Taliban and destroy Al-Qaeda and find Osama bin Laden.
- Iraq War (2003–2011) – On August 19, 2010, the last American combat brigade was moved out of Iraq after more than 7 years of warfare. About 50,000 troops remained there through 2011, being designated as "advise and assist brigades" assigned to non-combat operations while retaining the ability to revert to combat operations as necessary. The war was declared formally over on December 15, 2011.
- Arab–Israeli conflict (Early 20th century–present)
- Israeli–Palestinian conflict (Early 20th century–present) – an ongoing armed conflict in Israel and the Palestinian territories. The conflict is centred between the State of Israel and the Palestinians. One side is composed mainly of Israeli security forces and the other side is composed mostly of Palestinian militant or paramilitary forces such as Hamas, the Islamic Jihad Movement, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Popular Resistance Committees (which have all been designated by the United States and European Union, Israel and many other western countries as terrorist organizations). The conflict has escalated since the Second Intifada (September 2000) broke out, a period of intensified Palestinian-Israeli violence which has been taking place until the present day. The Second Intifada has caused thousands of victims on both sides, both among combatants and among civilians.
Civil wars, guerrilla wars and political revolutions
- Arab Spring (December 17, 2010 – present) – a revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests occurring in the Arab world that began on Friday, December 17, 2010. In December 2010, protests first began, in Tunisia and Algeria. On January 14, 2011, the President of Tunisia, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, resigned after 23 years as President. On January 25, 2011, protests against President Hosni Mubarak began in Egypt. Mubarak resigned on February 11, 2011. A presidential election was held in Egypt in 2012. Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood won. In November 2012, protests against Morsi began. In June 2013, these protests intensified. On July 3, 2013, Morsi was ousted by the Egyptian military in a coup d'état. Post-coup violence in Egypt continues until today. Protests against Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year-rule then began in Libya, which later developed into a nationwide uprising, and, eventually, a civil war. Gaddafi was ousted from power on August 23, 2011, and was killed on October 20, 2011. At the same time, protests started in numerous other Arab countries, including Yemen, Jordan, Sudan, and Saudi Arabia. On March 15, 2011, protests against President Bashar al-Assad's rule began in Syria. In April 2011, the uprising intensified, and the Syrian Army was deployed by the government to quell the popular uprising. In 2012, the International Committee of the Red Cross declared that the Syrian conflict became a civil war, and fighting between the regime forces and the opposition intensified. The Syrian civil war still continues, to the present-day.
- Libyan civil war (February 15 – October 23, 2011) – a series of demonstrations and riots held against Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule. The widespread demonstrations, which erupted in response to the high unemployment rate in Libya and the lack of development in the country, rapidly escalated into a civil war as Gaddafi used his military force against the Libyan rebels. As a result, fifty thousand Libyans have died. The civil war came to an end when Gaddafi was killed during the liberation in Sirte, Libya on October 20, 2011.
- Syrian civil war (March 15, 2011 – present) – a series of demonstrations and riots held against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In April 2011, the Syrian Army deployed tanks, and other weapons, in an attempt to quell the protests. However, the opposition forces soon started to become more and more organized, eventually resulting in the formation of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). On July 15, 2012, the International Committee of the Red Cross declared that the 18-month uprising was a civil war.
- Mexican Drug War (2006–present) – an armed conflict fought between rival drug cartels and government forces in Mexico. Although Mexican drug cartels, or drug trafficking organizations, have existed for quite some time, they have become more powerful since the demise of Colombia's Cali and Medellín cartels in the 1990s. Mexican drug cartels now dominate the wholesale illicit drug market in the United States. Arrests of key cartel leaders, particularly in the Tijuana and Gulf cartels, have led to increasing drug violence as cartels fight for control of the trafficking routes into the United States. Roughly more than 28,299 people in total were killed between December 2006 until November 2010.
- War in North-West Pakistan (2004–present) – an armed conflict between the Pakistani Armed Forces and Islamic militants made up of local tribesmen, the Taliban, and foreign Mujahideen (Holy Warriors). It began in 2004 when tensions rooted in the Pakistani Army's search for al-Qaeda members in Pakistan's mountainous Waziristan area (in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas) escalated into armed resistance by local tribesmen. The violence has displaced 3.44 million civilians and to more than 7,000 civilians being killed.
- Shia insurgency in Yemen (2004–2010) – a civil war in the Sadaa Governorate of Yemen. It began after the Shia Zaidiyyah sect launched an uprising against the Yemeni government. The Yemeni government has accused Iran of directing and financing the insurgency. Thousands of rebels and civilians have been killed during the conflict.
- War in Somalia (1991–present) – involved largely the forces of the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) assisted by African Union peacekeeping troops, who fought against various militant Islamist factions for control of the country. The violence has displaced thousands of people residing in Mogadishu, the nation's capital. 1,739 people in total were killed between January 1, 2009 until January 1, 2010.
- Conflict in the Niger Delta (2004–present) – an ongoing conflict in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The conflict was caused due to the tensions between the foreign oil corporations and a number of the Niger Delta's minority ethnic groups who felt they were being exploited, particularly the Ogoni and the Ijaw. The competition for oil wealth has led to an endless violence cycle between innumerable ethnic groups, causing the militarization of nearly the entire region which was occupied by militia groups as well as Nigerian military and the forces of the Nigerian Police.
- Civil war in Chad (2005–2010) involved Chadian government forces and several Chadian rebel groups. The government of Chad estimated in January 2006 that 614 Chadian citizens had been killed in cross-border raids. The fighting still continues despite several attempts to reach agreements.
- Insurgency in the Maghreb (2002–present) – Algeria has been the subject of an Islamic insurgency since 2002 waged by the Sunni Islamic Jihadist militant group Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC). GSPC allied itself with the Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb against the Algerian government. The conflict has since spread to other neighbouring countries.
- Colombian Armed Conflict (1964–present) has changed substantially after the government of Alvaro Uribe. President Juan Manuel Santos took office in 2010 and seeks to continue Uribe's policy about terrorism. The FARC and ELN guerrillas are weaker than ever and divided, with the latter calling for peace talks with the government. Meanwhile, paramilitary forces have demobilized, but irregular drug-trafficking forces called "Bacrim" have gained control over much of the areas that the AUC paramilitaries previously held. The "Bacrim" gangs have allied with guerrillas in some regions of the country like Chocó and Antioquia.
- Northern Mali conflict (2012-2013) - a rebellion by Tuaregs in Northern Mali began in January 2012. After Malian president Amadou Toumani Touré was ousted in a coup d'état, tuaregs captured all of Northern Mali. In April 2012, the "Independent State of Azawad" was declared by the MLNA, a tuareg organization. Islamist groups Ansar Dine, AQIM and MOJWA seized Northern Mali from the MLNA and imposed sharia law in the region. France and various African states are helping the Malian military to recapture most of Northern Mali.
The most prominent terrorist attacks committed against civilian population during the decade include:
- 2010 Moscow Metro bombings (40 killed)
- 10 May 2010 Iraq attacks (100+ killed)
- May 2010 attacks on Ahmadi mosques in Lahore (86 killed)
- Mohmand Agency attack (105 killed)
- September 2010 Quetta bombing (73+ killed)
- 2011 Domodedovo International Airport bombing (at least 35 people killed and 180 injured)
- 2011 Norway attacks (two separate attacks; 77 deaths)
- 2011 Monterrey casino attack (52 killed)
- 2012 Midi-Pyrénées shootings (8 killed)
- 2012 Burgas bus Bombing (7 killed)
- Murder of Lee Rigby (first fatal al-Qaida inspired attack in Britain since 2005)
- 2013 Boston Marathon bombings (3 killed and 264 injured)
- December 2013 Volgograd bombings (34 killed and 85 injured)
Nuclear weapons controversies
- Since 2005, Iran's nuclear program has become the subject of contention with the Western world due to suspicions that Iran could divert the civilian nuclear technology to a weapons program. This has led the UN Security Council to impose sanctions against Iran on select companies linked to this program, thus furthering its economic isolation on the international scene. The U.S. Director of National Intelligence said in February 2009 that Iran would not realistically be able to a get a nuclear weapon until 2013, if it chose to develop one.
- The United States and Russia sign a treaty to cut nuclear weapons in either nation in Prague in April 2010, a week later U.S. President Barack Obama hosts a Nuclear Security Summit where the attending nations decides to lock onto their nuclear arms, to make sure no terrorists get hands on these weapons of mass destruction, also South Korea was selected to hold the second Nuclear Security Summit in 2012.
- During the 2013 Korean crisis, North Korea threatened nuclear war against the United States, Japan, and South Korea.
The prominent political events of the decade so far include:
- The international new-media non-profit organization WikiLeaks published three massive sets of documents pertaining to the Iraq War, the Afghanistan War, and US diplomacy, which, respectively, were released in April, July, and November 2010. Each of these releases was accompanied by heavy and extensive weeks-long coverage in news media all over the world, and had a strong impact on the global political landscape, with strong reactions from leaders within many major countries.
- January 2010 – A trial determining the constitutionality of same-sex marriage in the United States is held in California.
- The Obama administration's efforts to implement health care reform in the United States lead eventually to the House of Representatives voting in favour of enacting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in March 2010.
- In November 2010, the Republican Party won control of the U.S. House of Representatives and a majority of the nation's governorships.
- On September 17, 2011, hundreds of protesters marched into the financial district of Wall Street in New York City beginning the Occupy Wall Street. It started series of demonstrations and hundreds of encampments around cities nationally forming the Occupy movement.
- The New START, a nuclear arms reduction treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation entered into force.
- On November 6, 2012, President Barack Obama won reelection by defeating Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
- On March 5, 2013, President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela dies at 58 after governing the country for 14 years.
- On March 13, 2013, Pope Francis of Argentina is elected as the first Pope from the Americas.
- In July 2013, Edward Snowden leaked files detailing NSA privacy policies including PRISM, NSA call database, and Boundless Informant through the Guardian newspaper. These leaks raised serious questions for civilians on what level their privacy should be breached and whether it is already happening. Leaks also pertaining towards covert actions against German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has damaged diplomatic relations in Europe and Brazil
- December 17, 2011 – Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il of North Korea dies after governing the country for 17 years. His death diffuses insecurity and fear for stability of the Asian region, although initially the son of the deceased leader, Kim Jong-un, succeeded to his father.
- November 8–14, 2012 - The 18th National Congress of Chinese Communist Party is held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. On November 15, Xi Jinping is chosen as the new General Secretary of the Communist Party of China. He now also leads the Central Military Commission after Hu Jintao hands over the chairmanship to Xi.
- March 2013 – Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un of North Korea breaks all peace pacts with South Korea and starts a new nuclear weapons plan. Tension rises in the peninsula, as new nuclear tests are carried on. South Korea, Japan and U.S. are threatened.
- The 2010 United Kingdom election resulted in the first "hung parliament" since 1974. Labour, under Prime Minister Gordon Brown lost its overall majority in the House of Commons. The Conservatives led by David Cameron became the largest party. For five days, both major parties held negotiations with Nick Clegg's Liberal Democrats, resulting in the first peace-time coalition government since the 1930s. leading to talks for over a week between the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats. Cameron became Prime Minister upon Brown's resignation on 11 May. Clegg also became Deputy Prime Minister.
- The Scottish National Party win an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament at the 2011 Scottish Parliament election under Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond. The SNP's transition from a minority government to a majority government has allowed them to pledge to have a referendum on Scottish Independence from the United Kingdom.
- November 2011 – Italian long-time Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is indicted for allegedly paying for sex with an underage nightclub dancer, and ordered to stand trial. Mario Monti is appointed Prime Minister and holds the office until 2013.
- May 2012 - Francois Hollande is elected as the new president of France, defeating incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy.
- 8 April 2013 - Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990, dies.
- April 2013 – Amid growing financial tensions, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano is re-elected, the first ever president to do so, the centre-left leader Enrico Letta will form a new government to face the crisis.
- Nov. 2013-present - Euromaidan protests in Ukraine, followed by the parliament's removal of President Viktor Yanukovych who escaped to Russia. In response, Russian troops were sent to occupy the Crimean Peninsula, Ukraine, in February, 2014. Russia annexed Crimea shortly afterward, in March of 2014, following a referendum widely regarded by Western nations as fraudulent. Tensions continue in the region as of July, 2014, as conflict escalates between the government of Ukraine, headed by newly elected president Petro Poroshenko, and separatist groups in the east of the country supported by Russia.
- February 2014 – Matteo Renzi, becoming the new leader of the Italian Democratic Party, forced Enrico Letta to resign and was elected Prime Minister.
- Between January 9–15, 2011 a referendum was held in Southern Sudan on whether the region should remain a part of Sudan or become independent. In the referendum a majority of 98.83% voted in favour of separation from Sudan and the creation of an independent state.
- January 14, 2011 – Amidst anti-government demonstrations, Tunisia's President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali dissolves the government, declares a state of emergency, and resigns from office.
- January 25 – February 11, 2011 – Inspired by the Tunisian demonstrators, thousands of protesters in Egypt call for a resignation or ousting of Hosni Mubarak, longtime president of the nation, who many feel has been in power far too long and has no interests of the public. Mubarak resigns on 11 February.
- February 15 – October 23, 2011: A popular revolt against Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule over Libya leads to thousands of deaths and UN sanctions against the nation's government following a brutal crackdown against protestors.
- January 16, 2012 – February 8, 2013 – An Islamist revolt in Mali threatens to control the whole country and forces a coalition, led by France, to take military actions and restore peace.
- March 25, 2013 – Rebel forces conquest the Capital of the Central African Republic, Bangui, force the President Francois Bozize to flee and form a new government.
- December 5, 2013 – Nelson Mandela, President of the South Africa from 1994 to 1999, dies
- June 2010 – Julia Gillard succeeds Kevin Rudd as the Prime Minister of Australia, thus becoming Australia's 27th and first female Prime Minister.
- August 2013 - Same-sex marriage is legalized in New Zealand, making it the first country in Oceania and the fifteenth overall to allow same-sex couples to marry.
Assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts
Prominent assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts of the decade so far include:
- January 8, 2011 – Gabrielle Giffords, U.S. Representative from Arizona, was a victim of a shooting near Tucson which was reported to be an assassination attempt on her, at a supermarket where she was meeting publicly with constituents. Giffords was critically injured by a gunshot wound to the head; 13 people were injured and 6 others were killed in the shooting, among them conservative federal judge John Roll.
- May 2, 2011 – Osama bin Laden, the founder and leader of the militant Islamist group Al-Qaeda, was killed in a targeted killing in Abbottabad, Pakistan in an operation conducted by a team of United States Navy SEAL commandos from the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU), under the command of the Joint Special Operations Command, in conjunction with U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operatives.
- September 30, 2011 – Anwar al-Awlaki, a senior talent recruiter, planner, and spiritual leader of al-Qaeda, was killed in a targeted killing in the northern al-Jawf province of Yemen, in an operation carried out by the US military in which two Predator drones fired Hellfire missiles at a vehicle in which he and other suspected al-Qaeda members were driving, killing them. The strike was carried out by Joint Special Operations Command, under the direction of the CIA.
- October 20, 2011 – Muammar Gaddafi, Libya's ousted leader, was shot to death in Sirte, with National Transitional Council forces taking control of the city.
- September 4, 2012 - Pauline Marois, Premier-designate of Quebec, is rushed offstage during her victory speech after Richard Henry Bain opens fire at the Metropolis in Montreal, killing one person and critically injuring another.
The most prominent disasters of the decade so far include:
- On April 10, 2010, Polish President Lech Kaczyński, his wife, and 94 other people, including dozens of government officials, were killed in a plane crash.
- On January 25, 2010, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 crashed into the Mediterranean Sea shortly after take-off from Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport, killing all 90 people on board.
- On May 12, 2010 Afriqiyah Airways Flight 771 crashed on a runway at Tripoli International Airport in Libya, killing all but one of the 104 passengers and crew.
- On May 22, 2010 Air India Express Flight 812 overshot the runway at Mangalore International Airport in India, killing 158 and leaving 8 survivors.
- On July 28, 2010, Airblue Flight 202 en route from Karachi to Islamabad crashes in the Margalla Hills near Islamabad, killing all 152 aboard.
- On January 13, 2012 the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia hit a reef and partially capsized off the cost of Isola del Giglio in Italy, about 100 miles north of Rome. 30 people died, 2 are missing, and 64 people were injured out of the 4232 people aboard.
- On June 3, 2012, Dana Air Flight 992 crashed in the Nigerian city of Lagos, killing all 153 people aboard. 10 people on the ground also perished.
- On July 6, 2013, Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed at San Francisco airport killing 3 and injuring 181 people.
- On March 8, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing; the aircraft remains missing as of to date with all 239 people on board believed dead.
- On April 16, 2014, a South Korean ferry MV Sewol capsized while carrying 476 people on board, mostly secondary school students from Danwon High School (Ansan City). Over 290 people are confirmed dead with 8 people missing, while 172 people survived the disaster; the school principal who organized the trip later committed suicide, bringing the number of survivors down to 171.
- On July 17, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine and crashed near the Ukrainian-Russian border, killing all 298 people on board.
- On April 20, 2010, an explosion on BP's Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig, operating in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, left eleven crewmen dead and resulted in a fire that sank the rig and caused a massive-scale oil spill that became the worst environmental disaster in United States history. On June 18, 2010, oceanographer John Kessler said that the crude gushing from the well contains 40 percent methane, compared to about 5 percent found in typical oil deposits. Methane is a natural gas that could potentially suffocate marine life and create "dead zones" where oxygen is so depleted that nothing lives. "This is the most vigorous methane eruption in modern human history," Kessler said. On June 20, an internal BP document was released by Congress revealing that BP estimated the flow could be as much as 100,000 barrels (4,200,000 US gallons; 16,000 cubic metres) per day under the circumstances that existed since the April 20 blowout. On July 15, 2010, The BP Oil Spill was stopped for the first time, 86 days after oil started leaking into the Gulf of Mexico.
- On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake off the coast of Sendai caused a tsunami that severely damaged the Fukushima Daiichi and Fukushima Daini nuclear power plants. The damage resulted in the worst nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl disaster, contaminating water, soil and crops in the area with iodine-131 and caesium-137.
- On January 12, 2010 a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hits Haiti, causing widespread destruction in Port-au-Prince. Haitian authorities currently believe that the disaster killed between 200,000 and 250,000 people. Over 2 million people were affected and over 3 million in need of emergency aid.
- On February 27, 2010 an 8.8 magnitude earthquake occurs in Chile, triggering a tsunami over the Pacific and killing 497. One of the largest earthquakes in recorded history, this rare megathrust earthquake probably shifts Earth's axis and slightly shortens its days. Another earthquake, of magnitude 6.9, occurred on 11 March of the same year, minutes before President Sebastián Piñera was sworn in; it was centred in Pichilemu, Cardenal Caro Province.
- In early 2010, eruptions of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano of Iceland caused unprecedented disruption to international air travel, rendering transatlantic flight impossible and closing the airways over much of Europe.
- On April 4, 2010 (Easter Sunday) a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico killing four and injuring a hundred. The neighbouring United States border towns in Imperial Valley, California were also affected.
- On April 13, 2010 a 6.9 magnitude earthquake occurs in western China, killing at least 2,200 and injuring more than 12,000.
- Early November 2010 – Mount Merapi erupts in Indonesia, killing hundreds and grounding flights to Singapore, Jakarta and other Southeast Asian cities.
- 2010 Pakistan floods – Began in July 2010 after record heavy monsoon rains. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan was worst affected. At least 1,600 people were killed, thousands were rendered homeless, and more than thirteen million people were affected. Estimates from rescue service officials suggest the death toll may reach 3,000 victims.
- On January 11 & 12, 2011, Brazil's worst natural disaster ever occurred. The January 2011 Rio de Janeiro floods and mudslides killed more than 900 people in 7 cities in the state of Rio de Janeiro and left damage that cost more than a billion dollars.
- On February 22, 2011, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 185 and leaving 200 more missing.
- On March 11, 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit near Sendai, Japan, creating a 10 meter (33 foot) tsunami, leaving over 15,000 now confirmed dead, possibly over 10,000 missing and over 150,000 people displaced into emergency shelters. The earthquake and tsunami also damaged several nuclear reactors in the region, leaving at least one in danger of melting down. This was recorded as the worst earthquake in Japan. Damages could exceed over billion, making it the costliest natural disaster.
- The April 25–28, 2011 tornado outbreak killed 348 people (324 of which were directly related to tornadoes), injured thousands, and caused billions of dollars of damage from the 355 confirmed tornadoes. It was the largest and one of the deadliest tornado outbreaks in the history of the United States. Before the disaster occurred, merely two weeks prior, the states affected in the outbreak had also been damaged from the April 14–16, 2011 tornado outbreak, leaving 43 people dead.
- The May 21–26, 2011 tornado outbreak sequence, another large 2011 tornado outbreak, took place over a span of six days, during which time 178 people were confirmed dead from 242 confirmed tornadoes. After a record active April, May was relatively quiet during the first three weeks until that pattern changed abruptly as a strong low-pressure area and associated dry line and cold front tracked eastward towards the Midwest of the United States in late May. Almost all of the outbreak's 178 deaths is contributed to the EF5 Joplin, Missouri tornado on May 22, which killed 158 (plus four more not directly contributed to the tornado) and injured 1,150, and ranks as the both the costliest and seventh-deadliest single tornado in U.S. history. The damage total for the whole outbreak was about $7 billion.
- In late August 2011, Hurricane Irene wreaked havoc across the Caribbean, then made several landfalls as a Category 3 in the Bahamas and threatened over 65 million people in the U.S. East Coast during late August. Irene made three U.S. landfalls in the states of North Carolina, New Jersey and New York over a two-day span. Overall, 55 fatalities and over billion in damages were contributed.
- The 2011 Van earthquake strikes the Turkish city of Van, leaving over 610 dead and thousands injured.
- A rare October snow storm hits the northeastern United States and Mid-Atlantic United States just days before Halloween in 2011, leaving millions without power and killing 15.
- Tropical Storm Washi causes catastrophic damage in the Philippine island of Mindanao on the night of December 16, 2011. More than 1,000 are reported to be dead and thousands injured or missing. President Benigno Aquino III declared a state of calamity.
- In late October 2012, Hurricane Sandy causes immense destruction in Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, the United States, and even Canada. Also known as "Superstorm Sandy", the storm ultimately becomes the largest and second-costliest Atlantic tropical cyclone ever.
- In November and December 2012, Typhoon Bopha, a Category 5 Super-Typhoon, strikes the southern Philippines (including areas already affected by Tropical Storm Washi in 2011), killing over 1,000 and leaving hundreds more missing.
- In early February 2013, a massive blizzard hits the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada, killing 18 and dropping a near-record amount of snowfall.
- On May 20, 2013, a tornado kills 24 people and wounds over 300 in Moore, Oklahoma.
- In June 2013, the 2013 Alberta floods occur, causing historic flooding in downtown Calgary.
- On October 15, 2013, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake jolts the Visayas region in the Philippines and has killed over 200 people.
- On November 7, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines killing at least 6,000 people and causing billions of dollars in damage proving to be the deadliest typhoon to ever hit the Philippines.
The Great Recession, which began in the year 2007, officially ended in mid-2009, though unemployment has failed to recover. In the United States, a Gallup poll in 2011 found that more than half of Americans believe the country is still in a recession. Some economists believe that the 'recession' has not only continued, but is actually a mild economic depression much like the Great Depression of the 1930s. There is an energy crisis in the world due to the protests and riots in the Middle East and North Africa. Production of conventional crude oil plateaued in 2004 at 74 million barrels per day. Because new sources of energy are still being developed, industrialized nations are still vulnerable to loss of supply, such as the relatively small output that was shut off during the Libya civil war, and the failure of releases from strategic reserves to stem high prices. The International Energy Agency has found that global crude oil production reached its apex in 2006, meaning production from currently producing oil fields is forecast to drop and future oil supply projections represent unconventional sources of crude, a prediction it admits is less than certain. Another school of opinion attributes the high energy prices in the western world to government regulation.
A sovereign-debt crisis in Europe began in early 2010, and the Greek government admitted that it was having difficulties servicing its large sovereign debt. Speculation abounded that it would be unable to make required bond payments due in 2010, causing the Euro to drop in value versus the US dollar and pushing the Greek/German yield spread to almost 4%. In May 2010, Eurozone leaders agreed to a billion euro three-year rescue package. However, by the following year, the country's fiscal condition had not improved. In the summer and fall of 2011 bond yields for Italy and Spain spike above 6 percent.
China becomes the second largest global economy, surpassing Japan. China currently faces out-of-control inflation, a real estate bubble, and troubling demographics that will lead to a shrinking labour force, all of which could lead to a collapse of the Chinese economy.
Debt struggles plague advanced countries. The crisis in Greece fuels growing fears of contagion. Beyond Greece, European countries such as Ireland, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Austria, Slovakia and Slovenia see their credit rating downgraded. In August 2011, the S&P downgrades the United States' credit rating from triple AAA to AA-plus. In September 2011 Italy is downgraded by S&P from A+. Japan also sees a rating downgrade due to debt burden. In October 2011 European leaders devised another Greek debt agreement in which private banks that loaned Greece money agreed to voluntarily write down or revalue Greek debt by 53.5%. Overall losses for private bondholders would be above 70 percent when accounting for the new bonds' longer repayment period and lower interest rate. The size of the European Financial Stability Facility was increased from €440 billion to €2 trillion.
Society and trends
||The examples and perspective in this section deal primarily with Western culture and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (February 2014)|
The 2010s are notable for being the first full decade in which the population of Earth has been more urban than rural; the portion of the human population living in cities and urban areas reached 50% in 2007.
The world population is projected to peak at 9 billion by 2050, and many countries reported declining fertility rates in the 2010 census. Society by the 2010s is still being accustomed to the huge changes the Internet, globalization and digital technology make in everyday life, with many young people growing up spending their entire lives exposed to microchip technology. At the same time, the world is grappling with the Great Recession that began in 2007 and continues into the 2010s.
An aging population
The 2010s have been a period of concern for some time to governments and economists due to the fact that it is the decade in which most of the baby boomers in developed nations will retire, putting pressure on their pension programs. An aging society and its consequences have been felt hardest in Europe, Russia, and Japan, which have been experiencing a trend of dramatic population decline over the past few decades. Over 20% of Japan's population is over the age of 65, making it the most elderly nation. As a result, the nation is looking into numerous societal solutions to caring for the elderly, including providing robots able to aid in daily tasks and nursing. In the United States, proposals have been made to reforming Medicare and Social Security, including raising the age of retirement or abolishing certain programs entirely.
Reforms to pensions are a volatile subject politically, and lead to major protests from the public. In 2010, France debated and raised the retirement age to 60 from 62, despite widespread demonstrations against the change. A few years later, during the Hollande administration, the retirement age was lowered back to 60.
|This section requires expansion. (February 2014)|
In the United States and, to a lesser degree, elsewhere, political polarization continues and/or increases as conservatives and progressives clash over the role of government and other social, economic, and environmental issues. Polls in the US continue to show a divided electorate regarding job creation, debt reduction, and taxation.
Acceptance of LGBT people slowly increases across the world, with significantly higher levels of support among younger generations than among older generations, though a growth in all age groups. For the first time, in June 2011, the United Nations passed a motion in support of LGBT rights across the world, 21 years after the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of diseases. Although many nations already allowed for gays to serve openly in the military, a major milestone in LGBT history was made in September 2011 when the United States joined that list by abolishing its Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. The issue of marriage for same-sex couples is an ongoing debate in many nations, but over sixteen nations and eighteen states in the United States have legalized same-sex marriage (as of March 2014). In most cases, votes to legalize same-sex marriage fall along a strict-party line vote with leftist parties favoring legalization and more conservative ones favoring no recognition at all. However, as the culture continues to shift more supportive, conservatives are growing more comfortable with marriage equality as was the case for New York's effort to legalize same-sex marriage and the ongoing debate in the United Kingdom, where legalization of same-sex marriage has been seen as a priority by the Conservative Party. In May 2012, President Barack Obama became the first sitting United States president to support same-sex marriage. Polls found that by 2012, 53% of Americans supported gay marriage, up dramatically from six years prior when just over one-third of respondents believed it should be legal. In addition, less than four out of ten Americans believed that marriage for gay and lesbian couples should be illegal.
While many western countries are becoming more accepting and tolerant towards gays and lesbians, some nations such as Russia, are becoming more distant. In 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law that criminalized free expression. Prior to its passage, St. Petersburg drafted its own ban on free expression and banned pride events as well. Russia's actions brought concern to many human rights organizations and free speech proponents, even pushing for a boycott of Russian products and the 2014 Winter Olympics, which were held in Sochi.
Youth culture such as skateboarding continues to spread to countries such as Afghanistan. Internet memes grew in popularity across the Internet since around late 2009, although they existed as far back as the web's infancy in the 1990s. Current trends set Internet memes to grow hugely and enter the mainstream of TV and general entertainment in the coming years. In 2013, Baauer's "Harlem Shake" is the first Internet meme song to reach the #1 spot on the Billboard Top 100, reflecting a shift in popular culture as Internet memes become mainstream and not a "geek" counterculture.
Other societal trends
The world's major civilizations are now interacting more than ever in history, creating tensions but also bringing new ideas to cultures that previously did not have them. This occurs more often not only physically but in cyberspace. This is radically changing the economic and social fabric in virtually every part of the world. China, considered an emerging power in the 1990s and 2000s, has increasingly been called a superpower in the early 2010s, such as at the 2011 meeting between Hu Jintao and Barack Obama. This is confirmed by China overtaking the US as the world's largest trading nation, filing the most patents, its increasing military buildup, its involvement in space with the Jade Rabbit landing on the moon, ending the nearly four decade malaise of moon exploration, and the creation of China's Oriental Movie Metropolis as a major film and cultural center. China is projected to have the world's largest economy by 2018 and most likely have a GDP per capita equal to the US by the late 2050s.
Individuality and uniqueness continues to be increasingly valued as opposed to conformism. A well noted example of this are baby names, which have become far more individualized since the 1960s, but especially since the 1990s and the introduction of the Internet.
In America, migration to the Sun Belt, large during the last decades of the 20th century and the 2000s decade, declines; migration in general around the US has been in decline since the beginning of the 1980s, reaching their lowest levels since information began being kept in 1948.
AIDS, a pandemic responsible for killing over 30 million people since its discovery in the early 1980s, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, becomes a treatable condition; though only one case has been cured, the disease is no longer a death sentence and with good treatment victims can generally expect to live normal lives and lifespans. However, as of 2011 only a bit more than 5 million of the 12 million people who need drugs for AIDS get them and hence many people still die from the disease.
Ufology has seen a decline in popularity compared to its heyday in the 1980s and 1990s. In the 1990s, there were well over 100 groups involved in UFO research in the UK; in 2013 this number declined to about 30.
Science and technology
- At CERN, the Large Hadron Collider's first high-power collisions took place in March 2010. On July 4, 2012, scientists announced they had detected the Higgs boson.
- Scientists announced in May 2010 that they had developed a form of synthetic life.
- Solar aircraft became increasingly popular during the decade spearheaded by the Solar Impulse Project and QinetiQ Zephyr in 2010.
- NASA will launch the James Webb Space Telescope as early as 2014 and replace the Hubble Space Telescope.
- NASA's New Horizons probe will reach Pluto in 2015, completing its main mission, and continuing into the Kuiper belt.
- In June 2014, Scientists discover a water reservoir beneath the Earth's crust possibly three times the capacity of the worlds oceans.
- Both the Linear Collider and ITER may be completed during the latter half of the decade.
- The IPCC Fifth Assessment Report is scheduled to appear in 2014.
- On August 5, 2011 NASA announced that its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured photographic evidence of possible liquid water on Mars during warm seasons.
- The ethics and consequences of indefinite life extension begin to be considered as the technology becomes more feasible.
- By February 2011, the IPv4 internet addresses officially ran out. An early period of transition to IPv6 continued during 2011.
- Supercomputers are projected to reach exaflop scale in 2019.
- By March 2011, more than 2 billion people used the Internet.
- One billion mobile broadband users predicted by sometime in 2011, and 4.6 billion people worldwide were subscribed to mobile phones.
- On April 3, 2010, Apple Inc. launches its first tablet computer called the iPad which offers multi-touch interaction with multimedia formats including newspapers, magazines, ebooks, textbooks, photos, movies, TV shows videos, music, word processing documents, spreadsheets, video games. The iPad soon became an immediate bestseller and only months after its release became the best selling tech gadget in history. Multiple competing tablet computers are now on the market.
- Mobile phone apps, introduced in the later 2000s, explode in popularity; In June 2011, Americans spent more time using apps than using the World Wide Web.
- On May 25, 2012, SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft becomes the first private commercial spacecraft to successfully attach to the International Space Station, thus marking a major achievement for the nascent commercial spaceflight industry.
- Tablet sales now overtook netbooks for the first time, and in 2012 netbook sales fell by 25 percent, year-on-year.
- By 2012, Samsung overtook Nokia for the first time as the largest mobile phone maker in the world.
- By 2013, the people living in developed countries uses more smartphones than feature phones as the sales and users declined steadily for the first time.
- Sales for PCs steadily decline as more and more people purchase tablet computers and laptop convertibles.
- Streaming media and rental kiosk services such as Netflix and Redbox overwhelm the movie rental market and force national chains like Blockbusters to close.
Additional notable world-wide events
- A series of major volcanic events occur at Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland in April 2010. The eruptions led to widespread disruption of air travel across Europe grounding planes and affecting the travel plans of millions of passengers worldwide. This caused a knock-on effect to many events around the world. Scientists began recording volcanic activity there in 2009 which increased through March 2010 culminating in the second phase eruption in April 2010. It is considered the largest air traffic shut-down since World War II. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimated that the airline industry worldwide would lose €148 million or GB£130 million a day during the disruption.
- September 15–16, 2010 – Mexican Bicentennial/Centennial was a celebration of Mexico's 200th year anniversary of its Independence and 100th anniversary of its Revolution. President Felipe Calderón declared it as "Año de la Patria" or "Year of the Nation."
- October 13, 2010 – 2010 Copiapó mining accident: Thirty-three miners near Copiapó, Chile, trapped 700 metres (2,300 feet) underground in a mining accident in San José Mine, are brought back to the surface after surviving for a record 69 days.
- April 29, 2011 – A television audience of an estimated two billion people watch the wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey in London.
- March 13, 2013 – Pope Francis was elected becoming the first Pope to come from a part of the world other than Europe in over 500 years.
Film and television
Film and television, two industries that have dominated pop culture for a large part of the last century, found themselves struggling to maintain their predominant influence throughout this decade. The struggles plaguing the music industry in the previous decade had begun to catch up to other mediums, as well as the consequences of ever-increasing online usage by consumers. Internet piracy was a major concern for the industry as well and a reluctance to adapt to consumer demand through online venues even further harmed the industry's image. In 2008, the industry launched the joint venture video site Hulu to combat numerous piracy concerns from other video-sharing sites. As of 2010, Hulu was contemplating a US$2 billion IPO. As of 2012, Viacom is pursuing a US$1 billion lawsuit against YouTube for copyright infringement. Furthermore, governments began looking at ways to combat internet piracy. In early 2012, the United States Congress began debating the infamous SOPA and PIPA bills that were heavily lobbied by the entertainment industry and widely unpopular among the population. Despite government efforts to debate the issue, internet piracy is still expected to be a major concern throughout the decade.
Cable providers saw a decline in their membership in favor of online streaming services such as Hulu, Netflix and Amazon.com's Prime service due to cheaper cost to consumers. These non-cable, internet-based media streaming services even began producing their own programming.
TV sets, such as the SmartTV by Samsung, start to integrate the internet to traditional television, giving more choices that are more traditional and high quality than cable, along with more family friendly middle class entertainment.
3D films, although not a new technology, saw a resurgence in popularity after the long-awaited release of James Cameron's Avatar in late-2009. In 2010, Avatar became the first film to gross more than US$2 billion. The box office success of other 3D releases that year insured the industry that 3D movies were not a fad. In fact, the video game and television industries began to look into utilizing the 3D trend by releasing their own 3D products and services.
Animated films in the 2010s remain predominately computer-generated. Traditional 2D animation has struggled in recent years and is seen by some industry giants like Michael Eisner to be an outdated artform or casualty to the rise of CGI-based films. Japanese anime still remain to be fairly popular 2D mediums globally and may be the exception to this trend. In 2010, Toy Story 3 became the first animated film to gross more than US$1 billion worldwide. Established long-running 2D animated sitcoms are still widely popular as well.
The American soap opera format slides in popularity as reality television and daytime talk shows continue to move in on their time slots. All My Children and One Life to Live, both globally broadcast series that have been on the air for decades are cancelled, but return in 2013 as an online broadcast through joint arrangement of Hulu and Prospect Park Productions. Prime-time television serials and Spanish-language telenovelas remain popular globally.
The highly-controversial, globally-acclaimed 2000 Japanese film Battle Royale was officially released to theaters and home media in the United States after more than eleven years of quiet corporate wrangling by both American and Japanese distributors; the first planned Los Angeles public theatrical run in December 2011 was extended by six days due to popular demand.
Academy Award Best Pictures
The trend of musicals based on movies reaches a peak in 2013 when for the first time, the four nominees for the Best Musical Tony Award are all based on movies.
Locally, many theaters begin to perform smaller productions with less actor and set requirements as a way of coping with the Great Recession. This made shows like the aforementioned Spelling Bee into standards.
Electropop, Disco, Synth Pop, Indie, and Trap see mainstream success throughout the early to mid 2010s, making a sound that differentiates 2010s music from the popular music styles of the early 2000s. There were musical paradigm shifts in the previous decade regarding how people obtain and listen to music including the rise of the MP3 format, televised national musical contests, and the declining influence of the recording industry have had major effects on the state of music globally in a relatively short time. According to a Nielsen and Billboard report, digital music sales in 2012 topped the physical sale of music.
In terms of popular music, the heavy use of Auto-Tune and talk box has dramatically changed the landscape of the Top-40 charts. Another noticeable trend that began late in the 2000s and is continuing into this decade is the prevalence of dance and pop music. In the early 2010s, dubstep and drumstep, originating in the United Kingdom, rose in popularity globally. Drumstep is continuing to grow in popularity along with the drum and bass scene. It mirrors the electronic-leaning musical trends elsewhere, while hardstyle is becoming increasingly popular in Australia and America, with music festivals such as Defqon 1, IQON and The sound of Q-dance.
Record of the Year Grammy Winners
- "Use Somebody" - Kings of Leon (2010)
- "Need You Now" - Lady Antebellum (2011)
- "Rolling in the Deep" - Adele (2012)
- "Somebody That I Used to Know" - Gotye featuring Kimbra (2013)
- "Get Lucky" - Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams (2014)
Postmodernism and green designs are common themes seen throughout the architecture of the decade. The aftermath of the energy crisis and the threat of peak oil have pushed developers to creating structures that are as sustainable as possible whether that is through the use of natural lighting, green/white roofs, better insulation, and other cost-saving means. Architect Bjarke Ingels, known for designing the Danish pavilion at Expo 2010, has proposed a type of "hedonistic sustainability" to create a balance between playful art and sustainability.
China and the Middle East have been regarded as the "architect playgrounds" of this decade. Many iconic structures, including the current world's tallest building Burj Khalifa and the Shanghai Tower, are placed in these regions of the world. Dubai's development has been slowed by the global recession, but China continues to flourish in its development towards a modern nation. In fact, China is pushing Shanghai to become a global financial center by 2015. As China continues to develop, it will continue to struggle to provide energy for its 1 billion strong population. China's Three Gorges Dam became fully operational in 2011 and is one of the world's largest gravity dams.
A supertall skyscraper race began in the late-2000s and in 2010, Dubai's Burj Khalifa became the tallest man-made structure ever built, standing at 828 m (2,717 ft). The title is not expected to last too long as other projects proposed or approved such as the Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia hopes to rise even higher.
The Gotthard Base Tunnel, the world's longest railway tunnel, is scheduled to be completed in 2017 or 2018. One World Trade Center is expected to be completed in early 2014 as the highest building in the United States.
- Usain Bolt retained fame as one of the best athletes during the 2010s.
- Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time after winning his 22nd medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
- Spain became the first International football team to win three consecutive major tournaments in 2012.
- IRB Sevens World Series expand from 8 to 10 legs, and rugby seven is part of the Olympic program in 2016.
- Jason Collins became the first active male professional athlete in a major American professional team sport to publicly come out as gay.
- LeBron James leaves the Cleveland Cavaliers as a free agent, and signs with the Miami Heat, to play alongside Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh who would later lead them to two NBA championships. On July 11, 2014, James announced he would be returning to Cleveland.
Coming into the 2010s, video games and their associated culture matures into an established element of pop culture. According to the Entertainment Software Association, the average age of a person who plays games is 30.
Some of the new and innovative trends to gaming culture in this decade include cloud gaming, the rise of stereoscopic 3D gaming, and the ever-increasing advancements in graphic card technologies leading to more photo-realistic graphics. Video game sales declined in the early-2010s, most likely due to the effects of the Great Recession, but the industry still continued to make millions of dollars in profits from wide-releases of popular franchises. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, released in late-2011, made over US$775 million in one-week which put that particular first-person shooter video game on par or even surpassing records of the film industry's opening numbers that week.
The first few years of the decade was dominated primarily with seventh generation consoles. This includes Microsoft's Xbox 360, the Sony PlayStation 3, and Nintendo's Wii. The lack of many wide release titles on the PC lead some industry critics to question whether PC gaming is dead entirely. The PC, however still remains the preferred choice medium by the Sims franchise and many of Blizzard's popular titles despite they themselves expanding onto other devices. 2012 introduced the first console regarded to be in the eighth generation, the Wii U. Sony and Microsoft have initially stated that their PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles were to be on a ten-year lifespan which wouldn't place a release of one of their consoles until 2014 or 2016, but the Wii U's announcement had prompted the other two industry giants to make swifter timetables of release. In late 2013, two consoles were added to the eighth generation with Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4. The eighth generation consoles are expected to face stiff competition from tablet and smartphone gaming markets, as well as an increased interest in independent games promoted by popular social networking sites.
Following in the 3D craze, Nintendo released the Nintendo 3DS in early-2011. It introduced a new interface that does not require special glasses to observe stereoscopic 3D visual during gameplay. Sony also releases a handheld console, the PlayStation Vita in 2012, but does not feature 3D gaming. The OnLive console is released in 2010 becoming the first massively produced cloud gaming-based gaming device. Mobility and interaction become a common trend to see in video games. The original Wii revolutionized the industry with the introduction of the sensor bar with compatible sensitive controllers, and Sony and Microsoft reacted by releasing the PlayStation Move and Kinect respectively. This new and innovative direction expanded the video game market to those interested in physical therapy and to the elderly.
The 2010s (2010–present) have thus far been defined by a revival of interwar, Austerity era, 1980s (2010-12), early 1990s and skater fashions. In the early 2010s, many mid and late 2000s fashions remain popular in Europe, the US, Latin America, Australasia and Asia, especially the indie pop look which largely drew upon 1960s Mod clothing combined with elements of 1970s garage rock, contemporary alternative fashion. Latin American teens and young adults, who started to keep up with general Western fashion more closely since the mid-1990s, proved to be more conservative upon maintaining or abandoning 2000s trends than their European and North American peers until about 2013. Urban, Hipster and Vintage-styles are really common since 2012 and 2013. From 2014, neon and pastel colors are really fashionable. Full-printed T-shirts with diverse patterns (like cosmic, clouds, historic architecture) are a huge fashion trend since then. Their popularity is increasing rapidly, mostly for the youth.
The following articles contain brief timelines which list the most prominent events and predicted prominent events of the decade:
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- News Headlines
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