News National Nine things you may have missed as Australia finally gets on the beers

Nine things you may have missed as Australia finally gets on the beers

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After a hard slog, Victorians are now joining the rest of the nation by being able to ‘‘get on the beers’’.

No matter where you are in Australia, this year has been dominated by one thing and one thing only.

Living through a pandemic creates a unique mix of boredom and stress – so suffocating, it’s often all we can talk about.

So for those just able to join mates at the pub now, or those who might need a quick refresher, here are the big headlines you may have missed.

February: A daring escape by three baboons

We had no idea what was coming.

In only a month the World Health Organisation would classify the novel coronavirus as a pandemic. It was simpler, easier times.

And the headline act was three baboons escaping from a truck in Sydney’s inner west.

The three of them, one male and his ‘two wives’, were travelling from the research facility to the hospital so he could receive a vasectomy.

At the time, the federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said his heart ‘‘was with the baboons’’.

“They operated as a modern relationship and I’m fine with that,” he told reporters in Canberra.

March: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle  step down

On March 31 the Duke and Duchess of Sussex formally stood down as senior royals.

At the time, Prince Harry said he was taking a “leap of faith” in the move in an attempt to build a more peaceful life out of the intense spotlight.

Meghan Markle Prince Harry
Megan Markle and Prince Harry stood down in March. Photo: AAP

The couple relocated to California to start a quiet life and work on their careers.

But that has hardly come to pass, with the Duchess of Sussex recently causing a media storm for encouraging Americans to vote.

April:  Sanders concedes defeat 

Bernie Sanders broke progressive hearts around the globe by dropping out of the US Democratic race for president.

On April 8, the Vermont senator concluded his second tilt at the presidential bid that made him a standard-bearer for socialists everywhere.

Bowing out of the race gave Joe Biden, the former vice-president, claim to the Democratic nomination.

May: Kim Jong-un did not die 

Where, oh where, is Mr Kim?

That had been the question on every North Korean watcher’s lips for weeks before the hermit kingdom’s leader reared his head on May 2.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in was thought to be dead. Photo: AAP

Kim Jong-un had not been seen in public for 20 days before he emerged to cut the ribbon at the opening of a fertiliser factory.

The sighting ended weeks of rumours that the leader had died, or suffered a serious health threat.

June: China passes the Hong Kong security law

Critics have called it “the end of Hong Kong”.

It was the bill that sparked riots around the clock in the Asian financial hub.

In June China officially passed the controversial national security law, which punishes crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison.

It stunned legal scholars, who say even peaceful actions such as the pro-democracy Occupy protests of 2014 could now bring 10 years’ jail if foreign links could be proven.

July: Kanye launches Presidential bid

“We must now realise the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for President of the United States.”

With these words, and one quick post to Twitter, rapper and fashion designer Kanye West entered the presidential race on July 4.

Making good on a promise he made five years ago during the 2015 MTV VMAs, Mr West has qualified for ballot access in 12 states.

He’s endorsed by his wife, Kim Kardashian and chief executive of Tesla, Elon Musk.

West has no chance of winning, but his campaign has caused heated debate over whether it is a publicity stunt, or potentially designed to split the African-American vote, in favour of Mr Trump.

August: Protests against police violence

In August, after racial riots had rocked the US for months, thousands gathered in Washington DC to commemorate the 1963 civil rights March on Washington and in protest of police violence.

The families of black Americans shot or killed by police – the sister of George Floyd, who died in May when a white policeman knelt on his neck – spoke at the same site where Martin Luther King Jr delivered his I Have a Dream speech.

“My brother cannot be a voice today,” said Bridgett Floyd. “We have to be that voice. We have to be the change”.

Since Mr Floyd’s death in May, marches in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and against racism and police brutality have swept the US and the globe.

September: Charlie Hebdo does it again

In 2015, 12 people including some of France’s most famous satirists were murdered by Islamic extremists over cartoons the magazine had printed in 2006, including one showing a weeping Muhammad saying “C’est dur d’être aimé par des cons” (“it’s hard being loved by jerks”).

On September 1, the magazine republished the cartoons to mark the start of the trial of suspected accomplices for the terrorist gunmen who attacked its offices in January 2015.

“All of that, just for this,” read the front-page headline.

“We will never lie down. We will never give up,” Charlie Hebdo’s director, Laurent “Riss” Sourisseau, wrote in an editorial to go with the republication of the cartoons.

October: Amazon burns at record rates

At the start of the month, it was revealed that the worst fires in a decade are burning in the Amazon rainforest.

Brazil reported 8373 fires in its portion of the Amazon rainforest in the first week of September – double the amount seen last year, according to the country’s research agency.

The Amazon recorded the worst fires in a decade. Photo: Greenpeace

Fires are increasingly spreading into areas of untouched woodland, with 27 per cent of fires in September in virgin forests.

And the Amazon rainforest, often referred to as the ‘lungs of the Earth’ isn’t just burning, it’s vanishing in smoke.

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