9 Unexpected Events That Happened In 2022 That No One Saw Coming: Here's A List
Before looking ahead to 2023, let’s take a moment to reflect on 2022 — a year that can fairly be given the tagline ‘expect the unexpected’. Vaccines were distributed to millions across the world, some parts witnessed the hottest days on record and some parts faced massive deluge. But, the fact is, undeterred, global events got creative.
Some events shook the entire world, while some events only gently rattled us. Take a look at 11 top things that happened in the year that’s going by but no one saw them coming.
1) Prince Charles is now King Charles III
On September 8, Queen Elizabeth II, the UK’s longest-serving monarch, died at Balmoral aged 96, after reigning for 70 years. On September 18, Prince Charles ascended the throne upon her death and is now King Charles III.
The first-born son of the queen and her late husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, Charles was next in line for the throne from the time he was 3 years old, making him the longest serving, and the most prepared, heir to the throne in British history.
At 73, he is also the oldest monarch to ever take the British throne. Prince William, King Charles’ elder son and formerly the Duke of Cambridge, is next in line for the throne under the British line of succession.
2) 3 PMs in 2 months in UK
In October 2022, Rishi Sunak is the UK’s third prime minister in less than two months – the fifth in six years. Hinting at a massive political chaos, it was the fastest turnover of leaders in the UK for nearly a century.
Since the summer of 2007, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Liz Truss, and Sunak have all held the top office. In contrast, there were just three prime ministers in the 28 years before – Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair.
Jill Rutter, from the think tank the Institute for Government, believes the Brexit vote in 2016 has been the number one destabilising factor in British politics over the last six years.
3) Twitter sold to Elon Musk
On April 14, the billionaire Elon Musk publicly stated that he wanted to buy Twitter.
He offered $44 billion (₹36,025 crore) for Twitter in a take it or leave it offer. Twitter’s board initially rejected the offer, even creating a “poison pill” provision to try to prevent Musk from forcibly buying the company.
Cut to change of heart, Twitter’s board decided that, on reflection, they would take the deal and on April 25. Soon after, they announced they had accepted the offer.
“Yesssss” Musk tweeted.
🚀💫♥️ Yesss!!! ♥️💫🚀 pic.twitter.com/0T9HzUHuh6
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 25, 2022
4) Europe heat melted train signals, runways
Early in July, the mercury alarmingly shot up in parts of Europe that were reeling under a severe heatwave due to wildfires raging across Portugal, Spain, France, Greece and Croatia. Amid this, the UK began experiencing scorching temperatures topping 40 degrees Celcius. As a result, daily lives of the citizens took a hit as incidents of public property melting were reported.
Images showing how the tracks had turned black after catching fire and how the train signal had melted due to the scorching heat were widely shared on the internet.
🔥 The East Coast Mainline has re-opened following a fire that spread to the track in Sandy, Bedfordshire – due to the extreme heat. 🌡️
⚠️ Disruption is still to be expected throughout the day, so check before you travel – @nationalrailenq.
➡️ https://t.co/4wBwJJ7g6T pic.twitter.com/qQ1fj0f0NG
— Network Rail (@networkrail) July 20, 2022
London Luton airport runway reportedly melted due to the soaring temperatures.
5) World saw white refugees
After Russia began its all-out invasion of Ukraine on February 24, news of the violence visited upon the people of Ukraine spread quickly across Europe, and triggered massive waves of solidarity.
European countries took swift action to offer support to Ukrainians escaping Russian aggression. The European Union agreed in record time to activate the Temporary Protection Directive (TPD) to help people fleeing the war.
However, there is also a need to reflect on the nature of acts of solidarity that seem to be specific to this moment in history, and to this set of refugees (read: white), if we are to prevent Europe’s humanitarian responses from being shaped by racism and ethnic discrimination.
Remember, Hungary, Croatia and Poland, for example, have been militarising their borders to stop refugees from the Middle East and beyond from entering their territory (and the EU) since 2015. The European Commission gave these states millions of euros so that they can enhance their efforts to intercept so-called “irregular migrants”.
All this stands in stark contrast to the way these very same states responded to the crisis in Ukraine. When the Ukrainians found themselves under attack, they not only immediately abandoned their restrictive “security first” border policies but did everything they could to make it easier for civilians to reach safety.
Indeed, Europe’s response to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, made it clear that racism – along with other factors – has helped shape the refugee policies of the nations on the eastern border of the EU.
[Thread] The most racist Ukraine coverage on TV News.
1. The BBC – “It’s very emotional for me because I see European people with blue eyes and blonde hair being killed” – Ukraine’s Deputy Chief Prosecutor, David Sakvarelidze pic.twitter.com/m0LB0m00Wg
— Alan MacLeod (@AlanRMacLeod) February 27, 2022
6) Ronaldo left Manchester United
On November 23, Cristiano Ronaldo left Manchester United by mutual consent following his explosive interview with Piers Morgan. United issued a 67-word statement announcing they had reached a mutual agreement with the 37-year-old forward to terminate his contract.
In the interview on TalkTV, Ronaldo said he felt “betrayed” by the club and has “no respect” for manager Erik ten Hag.
“Man Utd doubted me over my sick daughter when I missed pre-season. I would be happy if Arsenal win the Premier League,” he said.
7) 48,500-year-old zombie virus found
Recently, french scientists have sparked fears of yet another pandemic after reviving a “zombie virus” that had been trapped under a frozen lake in Russia for a record 48,500 years.
Global warming has irreversibly begun to thaw vast areas of permafrost, “releasing organic matter frozen for up to a million years,” according to the scientists.
The amoeba virus is actually one of 13 outlined in a new study currently in preprint, according to Science Alert. It was found beneath a lake.
The revived virus has been given the name Pandoravirus yedoma, based on its size and the permafrost soil it has been found in. The study about its discovery has not yet been peer-reviewed but is available on bioRxiv.
Scientists have been saying that more and more bacteria are being released because rising global temperature has increased the speed at which the swathes of ice are melting. These bacteria could include potentially harmful pathogens, they have warned.
The study is based on a “moderate” warming scenario – where the global temperatures is expected to rise between 2 degrees Celsius and 3 degrees Celsius on average by 2100.
8) Rare protest in China
Street protests across China have evoked memories of the Tiananmen Square demonstrations that were brutally quashed in 1989. That’s how rare is an unrest of such intensity in the People’s Republic.
It is unlike anything seen so far in the heavily-censored country since that time.
Thousands of people taking to the streets with A4 sheets, depicting condition of their human rights in the country, is indeed symbolic.
Further, chants of “Xi Jinping, step down”, “Communist party, step down” and “Unlock Xinjiang, unlock China” rang loud and clear across many major cities.
9) Iran reviewing decades-old Hijab law
On December 3, Iranian authorities said that they will review the decades-old Hijab law that requires all women to cover their heads in public.
Soon after the landmark statement, the country also abolished its morality police force saying ‘it have nothing to do with judiciary’.
The statement came two-and-a-half months after violent protests erupted in Iran triggered by the death of a 22-year-old Amini in custody of the morality police .
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