Politics and conflicts
Conflicts and peace
The prominent wars of the decade include:
|Name||Start date||End date||Description|
|Israeli–Palestinian conflict||14 May 1948||Ongoing||The conflict between Jewish and Arab communities in Israel and the West Bank has been ongoing since 1948. After Israel occupied the West Bank, it began making settlements there, which has been an obstacle to the peace process. Tensions remained high as Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, launched rockets and cross-border raids into Israeli territory, to which Israel responded with military force.|
|Kurdish-Turkish conflict||27 November 1978||Ongoing||Numerous Kurdish groups, including the Kurdistan Workers' Party (the PKK) have fought for an independent Kurdistan incorporating parts of Turkey. In 2016, Turkey has occupied parts of Northern Syria and in 2019, invaded Kurdish-held areas of Northern Syria. In 2020, Turkey launched an insurgency in Iraqi Kurdistan.|
|Nagorno-Karabakh conflict||February 1988||Ongoing||The region of Karabakh has been disputed over the Republic of Artsakh, which is supported by the Armenian government. A ceasefire was held in 1994. In July 2020, a series of border skirmishes left at least 15 dead. From September–November 2020, a second war broke out in the region, in which Azerbaijan ended up emerging victorious.|
|War on terror||11 September 2001
||Ongoing||Motivated by the September 11 attacks, the United States and other governments started a large scale effort to eliminate terrorism. With support from NATO, the United States invaded Taliban-controlled Afghanistan and overthrew the government, however remained in the country to stabilise the situation. Two years later, on the pretext that the government of Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, the United States and a coalition of partners invaded Iraq and overthrew Hussein's regime, after which the U.S. occupied the country, officially leaving in 2011. However, insurgencies remained active in both countries, long after the invasions.|
|Russian military intervention in Ukraine||20 February 2014||Ongoing||After the fall of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, Russian soldiers took control of strategic positions in the Ukrainian territory of Crimea and subsequently annexed the region after a controversial referendum. In the months that followed, demonstrations in Donbass escalated into an armed conflict between the government of Ukraine and Russia-backed separatist forces.|
|Military intervention against ISIL||13 June 2014||Ongoing||In late-2013, a terrorist organisation called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant began making rapid advances and territorial gains in Iraq and Syria. It captured Mosul in June and made Raqqa its capital. Various international coalitions were formed to help fight the militants. By December 2017, ISIL had lost much of its former territory.|
|Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen||26 March 2015||Ongoing||During the Yemeni Civil War, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other countries part of a coalition invaded parts of Yemen in order to depose the Houthi-controlled government.|
|Turkish occupation of northern Syria||24 August 2016||Ongoing||During the Syrian Civil War, Turkey invaded parts of northern Syria in order to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Syrian Democratic Forces, and the PKK.|
|Name||Start date||End date||Description|
|War in Darfur||26 February 2003||Ongoing|
|Mexican drug war||11 December 2006||Ongoing||Following a rise in criminal violence as a result of drug trafficking in the country, Mexican President Felipe Calderón declared a war on drugs in December 2006. Since the start of the war, the death toll from drug violence had sharply increased. Arrests of key cartel leaders led to increasing violence as cartels fought for control of trafficking routes into the United States.|
|War in Somalia||31 January 2009||Ongoing||In 2009, Al-Shabaab, an Islamist militant group, began waging an insurgency against the newly formed Transitional Federal Government. In 2011, the federal government captured Mogadishu and subsequently retook several towns across the country. Since then, the government has attempted to clean out the remaining Al-Shabaab strongholds with help from AMISOM soldiers.|
|Mali War||16 January 2012||Ongoing||In January 2012, a rebellion by Tuaregs in Northern Mali began. After Malian president Amadou Toumani Touré was ousted in a coup d'état, Tuaregs captured Northern Mali, and declared it to be the independent state of Azawad. However, shortly afterward, various Islamists groups took over Northern Mali from the Tuaregs and imposed sharia law on the region.|
|South Sudanese Civil War||15 December 2013||22 February 2020|
|Second Libyan Civil War||16 May 2014||Ongoing||Following the factional violence that engulfed Libya after the fall of Muammar al-Gaddafi, a second civil war broke out among rival factions seeking control of the territory and oil of Libya. The conflict at the beginning was mostly between the House of Representatives (HoR) government that was controversially elected in 2014, also known as the "Tobruk government"; and the rival General National Congress (GNC) government, also called the "National Salvation Government", based in the capital Tripoli, established after Operation Odyssey Dawn and the failed military coup.|
|Yemeni Civil War||19 March 2015||Ongoing||Preceded by a decade-long Houthi insurgency, the Yemeni Civil War began between two factions: the then-incumbent Yemeni government, led by Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, and the Houthi militia, along with their supporters and allies. Both claim to constitute the Yemeni government.|
|Philippine drug war||30 June 2016||Ongoing||Following a rise in criminal violence as a result of drug trafficking in the country, the Philippines has been engaged in a drug war since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was inaugurated on 30 June 2016. It has caused 3,000 deaths.|
|Iraqi insurgency||9 December 2017||Ongoing||A part of the larger Iraqi conflict that has been waged since 2003, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has been engaged in an insurgency against the Iraqi government and CJTF-OIR since the loss of territorial control in the Iraqi Civil War in 2017.|
Prominent political events
|Malian coup d'état||18 August 2020||Mali|
|Myanmar coup d'état||1 February 2021||Myanmar|
|Armenian coup d'état attempt||25 February 2021||Armenia|
|First Impeachment of Donald Trump||24 September 2019 – 5 February 2020||Under Article I, Section 3, Clause 6, of the U.S. Constitution, President Donald Trump was impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on 18 December 2019 by the United States House of Representatives. The United States Senate trial began on 16 January 2020 and ended on 5 February 2020, concluding with an acquittal on both charges.|||
|George Floyd Protests||May 25 2020 –||Protests and riots due to the killing of George Floyd spread throughout the US and lasted many months. The stated goal was to end systemic racism and police brutality. These protests and riots caused caused more than $1 billion in damage.|
|2020 United States presidential election||3 November 2020||The 59th United States presidential election was held on 3 November 2020. Democrat and former Vice-President Joe Biden defeated Republican incumbent President Donald Trump, with the Electoral College formally declaring Biden the winner on 14 December 2020. Trump refused to concede, and filed lawsuits challenging the results in several states, though most of the legal challenges have been either dismissed or dropped, with judges citing lack of evidence to suggest voter fraud occurred. Trump had also unsuccessfully attempt to undo the election results by forcing government officials to block Pennsylvania and four other states from certifying Biden as the winner, and urging his supporters to "walk" to the United States capitol to demand Trump be declared the winner of the election.|
|2021 storming of the United States Capitol||6 January 2021||Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gathered in Washington, D.C., to protest against the result of the 2020 presidential election, and support Trump's demand for Vice President Mike Pence and the United States Congress to reject President Joe Biden's victory. Following a rally nearby, hundreds of Trump supporters broke into the Capitol building during a Joint session of Congress to disrupt the counting of the electoral votes.|
|Second impeachment of Donald Trump||13 January 2021 – 13 February 2021||President Donald Trump was impeached for the second time by the House of Representatives, on this occasion for insurrection in relation to the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol, which left five people dead, including one law enforcement officer. Trump became the first U.S. President to be impeached twice. The impeachment trial ended on 13 February 2021, one month after the impeachment's start. Trump was found not guilty for inciting the Storming of the Capitol.|
|Inauguration of Joe Biden||20 January 2021||Democrat Joe Biden became the 46th and current President of the United States after his successful victory of the 2020 presidential election. Joe Biden had also previously served as the Vice President to 44th President of the United States Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017. Republican and former President Donald Trump has delivered his farewell address the previous day, and he refused to attend Biden's ceremony. In addition, Kamala Harris became the first female to assume the role of Vice President, in addition to becoming the first Black American and the first Asian American to become Vice President.|
|2019–2021 Persian Gulf crisis||5 May 2019||The Persian Gulf region saw tensions between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran escalate in mid-2019. The crisis saw oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz sabotaged and seized, drone shootdowns, and efforts by the U.S. and United Kingdom to pursue military patrols to protect shipping in the gulf, known as the International Maritime Security Construct. On 31 December 2019 tensions reached a breaking point as Iranian-backed Shiite militia stormed into the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, leading to the targeted killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in a U.S. drone strike on 3 January 2020.|||
|2020 China–India skirmishes||5 May 2020||Since 5 May 2020, Chinese and Indian troops have engaged in aggressive melee, face-offs and skirmishes at locations along the Sino-Indian border, including near the disputed Pangong Lake in Ladakh and the Tibet Autonomous Region, and near the border between Sikkim and the Tibet Autonomous Region. Additional clashes also took place at locations in eastern Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).|||
|2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war||27 September 2020||Starting on 27 September fierce clashes erupted along the line of contact between the armed forces of Azerbaijan and Joint Artsakh and Armenian forces. Both sides neglected ceasefire demands from France, Russia and the US and continued fighting with claims from both sides that they are prepared to fight a longwar to grapple control over the long contested Nagorno-Karabakh region. On 9 November a Russian-brokered peace treaty was signed by both sides.|||
|Brexit||31 January 2020||The United Kingdom and Gibraltar formally withdrew from the European Union at 11PM (GMT).|||
Assassinations and attempts
Prominent assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts include:
|3 January 2020||Qasem Soleimani, a high-ranking Iranian official, was killed in a United States airstrike near Baghdad International Airport.|
|27 November 2020||Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a senior official in the nuclear program in Iran, was killed by explosive trucks that ambushed him near Tehran.|
|22 February 2021||Luca Attanasio, Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo, was killed by an armed commando.|
|Sriwijaya Air Flight 182||9 January 2021||Sriwijaya Air Flight 182 crashed into the Java Sea shortly after take-off from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Jakarta, killing all 62 people on board.|
|2020 Beirut explosion||4 August 2020||Massive explosion occurred in the port of Beirut. Reportedly, the blast was so loud that it was even claimed to be heard in Cyprus, which is 240 km from the location of the explosion. The windows of major buildings in a 6-mile radius were shattered and roads were filled with debris. According to initial findings, it was estimated that a warehouse with 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate exploded, which was confiscated by the Lebanese government from the abandoned ship MV Rhosus and then stored in the port without proper safety measures for six years. There had been confirmed 220 deaths, more than 110 people were missing and at least more than 7,000 were reported injured. Beirut governor Marwan Abboud estimated that up to 300,000 people were left homeless by the explosions and there was a US$10–15 billion in property damage.|
Earthquakes and tsunamis
Note: This table is a chronological list of earthquakes reported with 7.5Mw or greater or that have reported at least 100 fatalities.
|2020 Caribbean earthquake||28 January 2020||Caribbean Sea||A 7.7Mw struck in the Caribbean Sea between Jamaica and Cuba at 14:10 local time on 28 January 2020. The earthquake was also felt in the United States, Mexico, Honduras, Dominican Republic, and the Cayman Islands. This was the strongest earthquake reported in 2020. No damages were reported. A small (12.2 cm) tsunami was reported in the Cayman Islands.|
|Cyclone Amphan||16–21 May 2020||, , ,||118 people were killed and millions made homeless in the strongest storm in two decades. Damage was estimated at US$13.2 billion.|
|Hurricane Laura||20-29 August 2020||Lesser Antilles, Greater Antilles, Gulf Coast of The United States, Midwestern United States||77 People were killed and Thousands made homeless during one of the Strongest storms to make Landfall in the United States. Damages estimated at US$19.1 Billion|
|Typhoon Vamco (Ulysses)||8-15 November 2020||, , ,||102 People were killed During the Typhoon and worsened the effects of the 2020 Central Vietnam Floods, Damages totaled up to US$440.8 million|
Floods, avalanches, and mudslides
Note: This section reports only floods with 200 or more deaths and avalanches and landslides involving 30 or more deaths.
|2020 Van avalanches||4–5 February 2020||Two avalanches in Turkey's eastern Van Province resulted in 41 deaths and 84 injuries.|
|2020 Taal Volcano eruption||12 January 2020 – 19 January 2020||On 12 January the Taal Volcano in the Philippines erupted at VEI 4 intensity, bringing intense ashfall to the surrounding areas and killing at least 3 people.|
Droughts, heat waves, and wildfires
|2019–20 Australian bushfire season||June 2019 – May 2020||Bushfires in Australia continued into 2020, having started in September 2019.|
|2020 Western U.S. Wildfires||March 2020 – December 2020||Record-breaking wildfires began in several Western American states.|
|2020–21 Argentine wildfires||July 2020 – Ongoing||Sudden wildfires started in Córdoba and extended into several Northern provinces.|
Other natural events
In 2020, a huge swarm of desert locusts threatened to engulf massive portions of the Middle East, Africa and Asia. In tandem with the COVID-19 pandemic, this posed major hazards to billions of people who might be affected. Although experts had thought the insects would die out during the dry season in December 2019, unseasonal rains caused the incursion to reach unanticipated and hazardous levels.
The World Trade Organization reported that trade growth had stagnated and that trade restrictions were increasing as the decade began. The sectors most affected by import restrictions were mineral and fuel oils (17.7%), machinery and mechanical appliances (13%), electrical machinery and parts (11.7%), and precious metals (6%). Regional trade agreements were found to be increasing.
The Brexit withdrawal agreement went into effect at the end of January 2020 with the UK completing its economic withdrawal from the EU at the end of that year. The United States, Mexico, and Canada signed the USMCA agreement, which came into effect on 1 July 2020.
|2020 stock market crash||20 February 2020 – 7 April 2020||Global|
Cybersecurity and hacking
|2020 Twitter bitcoin scam||15 July 2020||Multiple high-profile Twitter accounts, each with millions of followers, were compromised in a cyberattack to promote a bitcoin scam.|
|Event||Date||Infections and deaths||Description|
|COVID-19 pandemic||2019 – present||112 million+ confirmed cases and 2.4 million+ deaths with more than 230 countries and territories reported by 22 February 2021.|
|HIV/AIDS||1981 – present||37.9 million people living with HIV (end of 2018), 24.5 million people accessing antiretroviral therapy (end of June 2019), 32.0 million deaths from AIDS-related illnesses since the start of the epidemic (end 2018)|
Science and technology
- Space company SpaceX sent two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station on 30 May 2020, marking the first time a private company completed a crewed orbital spaceflight mission.
- NASA launched the Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter drone on 30 July 2020 as part of their Mars 2020 mission to search for signs of ancient life on Mars.
- The Royal Astronomical Society announced the detection of phosphine gas in Venus' atmosphere on 14 September 2020, which is known to be a strong predictor for the presence of microbial life.
- Deepmind solves the protein folding problem to 90 percent accuracy, a 50-year-old grand challenge, at CASP14 in 2020.
Communications and electronics
Software and electronic platforms
- Support for Adobe Flash Player ended on 31 December 2020.
24.3% of all national parliamentarians were women as of February 2019. 11 women were serving as Head of State and 12 as Head of Government in June 2019. 20.7% of government ministers were women as of January 2019. Katerina Sakellaropoulou became the first female president of Greece in January 2020, and Kamala Harris became the first female Vice President of the United States in 2021.
There are wide regional variations in the average percentages of women parliamentarians. As of February 2019, these were: Nordic countries, 42.5%; Americas, 30.6%; Europe excluding Nordic countries, 27.2; sub-Saharan Africa, 23.9; Asia, 19.8%; Arab States, 19%; and the Pacific, 16.3%. Rwanda has the highest number of women parliamentarians worldwide, 61.3% of seats in the lower house. About 26% of elected local parliamentarians are women.
The 2019–20 Australian bushfire season devastated the environment of Australia.
- A law allowing third gender option on driver licences took effect in New Hampshire.
- Switzerland banned discrimination on the basis of sexuality based on a referendum, putting into effect a law previously introduced in 2018, that was subsequently blocked by the government that requested a referendum to be held on the matter first.
- In Northern Ireland, the first same-sex marriage, after legislation to allow this took effect in January 2020.
- In Costa Rica, same-sex marriage and joint adoption by same-sex couples became legal on 26 May 2020.
- In the United States, the Supreme Court ruled that job discrimination against workers for their sexual orientation or gender identity is illegal.
- The Trump Administration passed a law on 12 June 2020 removing protections against discrimination from LGBTQ people in terms of health care and health insurance in the United States.
- The Equality Act was passed on 25 February 2021 in the United States of America.
Fashion trends of the early 2020s have been largely inspired by the 2000s. Wearing a decorative mask to prevent the disease COVID-19 from spreading was a fashion trend in the early 2020s.
Several films and other upcoming movies were released on streaming platforms instead of theatres due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a notable example being, though few films were also released simultaneously on both theatrically and streaming platforms.
The 2020s started off with the primary streaming services being Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Hulu and Disney+. Cable television and satellite television were continuing to fall out of popularity, and were no longer as prevalent as they were once in the 2010s and decades prior.
In 2020, TikTok became an important music platform. Streaming on Spotify and Apple Music increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Festivals such as Coachella were cancelled because of the virus. The COVID-19 pandemic devastated the touring business.
The ninth generation of consoles began in 2020 with the release of the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. The video game Among Us surged in popularity online in 2020. Similarly, the video game Fall Guys grew in popularity online shortly after it was released in August 2020.
- Tokyo was to host the Olympic Games for a second time. Originally scheduled for July–August 2020, the games were rescheduled for July–August 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The 2020 T20 Cricket World Cup was originally scheduled to take place in Australia, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic was rescheduled to occur in India in 2021.
Many events were cancelled or postponed in 2020 and 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
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Media related to 2020s at Wikimedia Commons