"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." Martin Luther King Jr.
Sunday, January 2, 2011
2010 In Review Top News Stories
January 12 - Haiti earthquake
On January 12, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake shook Port-au-Prince, Haiti, toppling buildings and destroying most of the country's infrastructure. The Haitian government estimated 230,000 people were killed, more than 300,000 injured, and more than one million people left homeless. Humanitarian aid began flowing into the country within hours of the quake, however it was not enough to prevent rioting in the economically ravaged nation.
January 19 -Scott Brown elected to Senate
On January 19, Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown shocked the political world, upsetting Democrat Martha Coakley in a special election for Sen. Ted Kennedy's seat. Brown's victory tipped the Senate awayfrom a Democratic Super Majoriy.
February 18 - Plane flown into IRS building
On February 18, Joseph Stack, a 53-year-old software engineer committed suicide by flying a small plane into an IRS building in Austin, Texas. Internal Revenue Service manager Vernon Hunter, who was in the building at the time of the crash, also died. Thirteen others were hurt, two seriously. After the crash police found Stack's rambling suicide note criticizing the government.
February 27 - Chilean earthquake and; tsunami
On February 27, 1.5 Million Displaced After Chile Quakean 8.8-magnitude earthquake shook the Maule Region of Chile, triggering a tsunami. The death toll from the two natural disasters reached 800. Aftershocks were felt for nearly a month after the initial quake. On March 11, a 6.9-magnitude aftershock killed one more person.
On March 23 -President Obama signed Medical Coverage.
On March 23, after months of debate, President Obama signed into law the one of the most sweeping pieces of social legislation ever passed by Congress. It ensured medical coverage for almost all Americans. The legality of the law was challenged in several states. Much of the bill will not go into effect until 2014.
April 10 - Polish president killed in plane crash
On April 10, Polish President Lech Kaczyński, his wife, and several other top government officials were killed when their Tupolev Tu-154 aircraft crashed near Smolensk, Russia. All 96 people aboard the plane were killed in the crash. Heavy fog may have played a factor it it going down.
April 14 - Iceland volcano eruption
On April 14, Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull erupted for a second time, causing a massive plume of smoke and ash. In just one week the cloud had forced the cancellation of 95,000 flights over Europe.
On Aprl 20 - Deepwater Horizon Exploded.
On April 20, The Deepwater Horizon, an offshore floating oil rig exploded, killing 11 workers and forcing other workers onto life boats. The explosion set off a three month oil leak that reached American shores in Louisiana, Missisippi, Alabama and Florida. The leak was not stopped until July 15.
April 23 - Arizona passes immigration law
On April 23, despite opposition from the White House, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed SB 1070, one of the most stringent immigration laws in the country. The new law requires police officers to detain people they suspect are in the country illegally, and makes it a misdemeanor crime to not carry immigration papers. The law drew criticism from the Hispanic community, which claimed it would encourage racial profiling. Governor Brewer claimed the federal government had waited too long for immigration reform.
May 1 - Attempted Times Square bombing
On May 1, an attempted bomb plot shut down New York's Times Square. Security cameras showed a man walking away from a smoking SUV. The SUV was found to have explosive materials, but never detonated. Two days later the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced the arrest of Faisal Shahzad while reportedly attempting to board a plane to Pakistan. Shahzad was sentenced on October 5th to life in prison without parole.
July 21 - Obama signs financial reform bill
On July 21, President Barack Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The measure was the most sweeping financial reform in the U.S. since the 1930s, and promised Americans would no longer have to pay for Wall Street mistakes.
July 25 - Wikileaks releases war documents
On July 25, the website Wikileaks releases thousands of classified military intelligence documents dating from 2004-2009. The documents revealed startling information on what the U.S. knew about the Taliban, Iran and Pakistan's involvement in the insurgency, and the amount of civilian casualties. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange (pictured) would not reveal the source of the leaked documents. The Wikileaks website continued several more 'document dumps' through the year.
August 13 - Ground Zero mosque debate
On August 13, President Barack Obama entered into the Ground Zero Islamic center debate. Polls showed a majority of New Yorkers opposed the placement of a mosque within blocks of the former site of the World Trade Towers. In a speech following a dinner celebrating the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, President Obama said, "Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. And that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances."
September 14 - U.S. hiker in Iran released
On September 14, American hiker Sarah Shourd was released by Iran after being detained for 13 months under allegations of spying for the U.S. Hikers Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal remain detained without trial.
October 13 - Chilean miners rescue begins
October 13 - Chilean miners rescue begins
On October 13, after nearly 70 days trapped below the earth in a Chilean mine, 33 miners were rescued through a tiny capsule taken like an elevator up a narrow shaft. All 33 miners were in good condition. The miners became instant celebrities and each was greeted by Chile's president upon their rescue.
November 16 - Prince William engaged
On November 16, Prince William and longtime girlfriend Kate Middleton announced their engagement. The two had been dating for eight years. William gave Middleton the ring his mother had worn when she was engaged with Prince Charles. The two will be wed in April of 2011 at Westminster Abbey.
Nov. 23 - North Korea shells South Korea
On November 23, North Korea fired dozens of military shells at the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong, killing two soldiers. The attack came as South Korea was conducting military drills. The United States condemned the attack.
December 6 - Obama reaches tax deal
On December 6, President Barack Obama announced he had reached a deal with Republican leaders to extend Bush era tax cuts for all Americans for two more years. In exchange the president received an extension of unemployment benefits. The president had been fighting the tax cuts for most of 2010, and the deal angered most liberal Democrats, but signed the bill into law on December 17.
December 22 - Lame duck session ends
On December 22, President Barack Obama acknowledged the end of the lame duck session with a press conference. Despite losing the House during in the mid-term elections the outgoing Congress was able to pass Obama's key legislative initiatives including a repeal of
'Don't Ask, Don't Tell', a tax deal, and the 'New Start Nuclear Arms Treaty' with Russia.
August 31 - President Obama announces Iraq combat end
On August 31, President Barack Obama spoke in a prime time address formally declaring an end to combat operations in Iraq. However 50,000 American troops remained in the country.