Top 10 stories of 2015 at home and internationally

Photograph from the Guardian
                                Photograph from the Guardian

‘Without a doubt 2015 was one of the most eventful years we have had in a long time, a lot of which was negative but we also seen many positives. I will focus on the stories that stood out most for me in 2015’

1. Refugee crises 

As the middle east falls apart, Libya became a base for Daesh(ISIS/ISIL) and as foreseen the world a huge influx of refugees fled to Europe. With the picture of the young boy lying face down on a beach shined a light on the ongoing crises, today numbers of people fleeing the middle east to Europe has surpassed one million. This crisis has been dubbed the worst since world war 2.

Many people across the world took to the streets in support of the refugees but there has also been a rise in hate crimes against minorities with the burning down of refugee camps, attacks on mosques and people.

The Risen People article’s:

Migration and refugee crises as borders are closed

Call it for what it is… A Refugee Crises! BBC slack reporting once again.

2. Downing of Russian passenger plane

During the month of October, a Russian passenger plane was downed over Sinai, Egypt. Metro jet flight 9268 which flew from Shamel Sheik airport in the Sinai peninsula en route to Russia was downed by Daesh(ISIS/ISIL) killing all 224 passengers on board. Investigations into the airports security showed up major flaws including staff accepting bribes and not enforcing airport security measures.

3. U.S. coalition and then Russias intervention in Syria

An official request by the Syrian Government for Russian military assistance in the fight against the terrorist groups occupying Syrian territory was accepted. Since entering the fray inside Syria during the month of October, Russia has flown over 1000 sorties and have put a serious dent in the terrorist organization’s capabilities, striking supply routes including those routes used by Daesh fuel trucks which have been shipping stolen oil from both Iraq and Syria to Turkey.

Russia has given the Syrian Armed Forces and allies a well-needed hand in the fight against the extremists, this, in turn, has allowed forces on the ground to retake and flush out armed groups across the country.

The Risen People article’s:

The Syria situation: Disinformation and the information war in full flight . . . Russia not taking part in military operations in Syria. Not yet anyway.

Russia has just made a move that has made certain establishments take a step back and re-evaluate their positions regarding the Syria situation

4. Venezuela’s “Great Housing Mission” reaches millionth home

A housing program called the “Great Housing Mission” has handed over its millionth home in 2015. The program which began back in 2011 under the watchful eye of the former leader and president of Venezuela Hugo Chavez housed over one million people in some of the poorest parts of the country.

President Nicolas Maduro handed over the millionth home to a family on Wednesday marking a huge milestone for the housing project. The project prioritized low-income families for housing, an emergency initiative was pushed forward to house people after major floods struck the country in 2010 with the opening of emergency shelters.

5. Events held worldwide for the 70th anniversary of the victory over the Nazis

Events took place worldwide in May to mark the 70th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany. Somber ceremonies were held right across Europe, in Russia victory day was marked with a huge military presentation only rivaled by that of China.

Germany also marked the “liberation” of the country from the grip of the Nazis with a joint session of parliament. Parliamentarian Norman Lammert said “Today we remember the millions of victims of an unprecedented annihilation campaign against other nations and peoples, against Slavs, against the Jews of Europe,”

German newspaper Die Welt hailed the changes in the country: “In a few decades, a free society has been established. Children and grandchildren endeavor to understand this dark past.”

6. Ireland becomes one of the first countries to legalize same-sex marriage

In 2015 Irish voters voted for the legalization of gay marriage, this made Ireland the first country in the world to vote through gay marriage. A small number of people voted against the proposal for same-sex marriage.

One in 43 constituencies voted against the legalization of same-sex marriage. Ireland has come a long way since the old days, where the Catholic church basically ran the country and the strict rule decided if people were able to live their lives as they wished.

7. Irish citizens mobilized against Irish water & the government

Since October Ireland was subjected to more humiliation at the decision of the government to charge people for their water. The people of Ireland branded this as “bully boy tactics” by the government. People took to the streets in response a grass-roots movement began to emerge and the government knew Irish citizens were not going to take this lying down.

Many people took part in acts of civil disobedience, peaceful protests which have seen violence break out and it’s not the protesters who broke out in violence… Speaking to Terence Barry, an activist who has been on the ground in Dublin since the very beginning of the Irish water protests told us about how he sees An Garda Siochana(Irish police) as barriers between the people and change.

“All I can say about 2015 is the Corruption, Criminality and Brutality of the Nations Largest Organized Criminal Gang (An Garda Siochana) they are the obstacles and barriers between the People who seek Justice and Democracy and those who want to keep the Status quo,” he said.

The Guards have been at the forefront harassing, detaining and assaulting activists across the country, these people have become a whip for the government against any dissenting voices, Terence said, “If we are to demand Change then we need to remove the Garda”.

This year will be the year that people will have to stand up and be counted, including the Guards, will they stand with the people or just stick with the old way and accept any and all orders they are given to silence the people’s anger, 2016 is going to be a very interesting year for Ireland.

8. Paris attacks see 129 people die at the hands of Daesh fighters(ISIS/ISIL)

The year of 2015 marked some of the bloodiest scenes in years in regards to terror attacks. France was but one of the countries in the world to be hit by organized and sustained attacks in 2015, the attacks took place in several locations leading to the deaths of 129 people during the month of November.

In January, France faced another terror attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices, the attacks took place after Charlie Hebdo drew the prophet Muhammed which was felt as being offensive to many Muslims.

In the days after the 2nd series of attacks president, Hollande declared a state of emergency. Europe saw a huge swath of fear spread among the nations, this was mainly down to the deliberate fear mongering by western news outlets.

9. Welfare reforms hit the North of Ireland amid the circus that is Stormont

People of the North felt the brunt of yet more cuts, this time, it was welfare which face the cut. The DUP and other Unionist parties backed the reforms from the outset, Sinn Fein said that they were standing against the cuts and have been against the cuts from the start, but this I believe was nothing but smoke and mirrors for the ordinary people of the North as well as in the South of the country.

The circus that took place before the bill was pushed thru by the house of lords, the house of commons accelerated the passage of the reform bill. Sinn Fein knew this was exactly what would happen if they did not come to an agreement with the other parties in Stormont.

A report The Impact of Welfare Reform on Northern Ireland – which was produced by Sheffield Hallam University for the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA) give a figure of 750 million pounds but this figure was later confirmed to have been largely part of the first round of cuts. The report was damning and painted a very bleak picture for the North of Ireland when the cuts were implemented.

Many people had been taking to the streets in opposition to cuts to front-line services and also Welfare but as usual, the will of the people was denied and the reform bill pushed thru. Ultimately the Torie cuts were implemented and as always the ordinary working class people would feel the brunt of the cuts

10. Terror attacks worldwide and the silence surrounding certain attacks on social networks and the media

The year of 2015 was one of the bloodiest to date with terror attacks across the globe, from Syria, to Lebanon, but it seemed to me that there was far less sympathy shown towards victims who died at the hands of extremists. All over social networks, we see an overwhelming solidarity with the victims and the French nation. This was not to be the case with other such attacks.

Attacks took place in Lebanon just days before the Paris attacks, but we hardly heard a whisper not only on social networks but by the mainstream news outlets, the scale of the campaign of fear driven by certain news outlets cemented the fear into people which was already being felt after the attacks in France.

In Syria, people faced terror day by day with attacks taking place up and down the country which seen many die, but again no outcry, and when there was any outcry it would be to demonize and delegitimize the democratically elected government.

The attacks did not stop with these countries and it would take a lot of writing to mention every single terror attack across the globe but it just shows the great disparity in how much sympathy and solidarity is shown towards countries in certain parts of the globe.



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