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History & Events

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PHRASE OF THE MOMENT

"Compassion Olympics"


"Attributed to the great Telegraph columnist Allison Pearson and referring to competition, particularly on the political centre-right, to appear as caring as possible, particularly about social policy, to win public support."

SPOTLIGHT



BERLIN WALL

Unexpected, invigorating and liberating. 
A defining moment in the fall of Eastern Europe.

MASTER DIVISION

TODAY'S KEY EVENTS

Select events from the Master Division.

1991. The Soviet Union collapses

The disintegration within the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) begins in the second half of 1980s, with growing unrest in the national republics. It comes to a head on 26 December 1991, when the USSR is voted out of existence by the Supreme Soviet, following what are known as the Belavezha Accords.

1992. The Balkan civil wars begin

Otherwise known as the Yugoslav Wars, these are a series of ethnic conflicts, wars of independence and insurgencies fought in the former Yugoslavia from 1991 to 2001, which lead to the breakup of the Yugoslav state. Its constituent republics declare independence during the crisis, despite unresolved tensions between ethnic minorities in these emerging countries. According to the International Center for Transitional Justice, the wars cause the death of 140,000 people, while the Humanitarian Law Center estimates that at least 130,000 people are killed during the conflicts.

2001. 9/11 terrorist attacks

The September 11 terrorist attacks on the US are a series of four coordinated attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda that kills 2,996 people, injures over 6,000 others and causes at least $10 billion in infrastructure and property damage.

As part of the attacks, four passenger airliners operated by United Airlines and American Airlines are hijacked by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists. American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 are crashed into the North and South towers of the World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan. Within an hour and 42 minutes, both 110-story towers collapse. A third plane, American Airlines Flight 77, is crashed into the Pentagon in Virginia and the fourth plane, United Airlines Flight 93, is flown toward Washington, DC, but crashes in Pennsylvania, after its passengers overpower the hijackers.

9/11 is the single deadliest (coordinated) terrorist attack in human history. The United States responds by launching the War on Terror and invades Afghanistan to depose the Taliban, which had failed to comply with the US demands to extradite Osama bin Laden and expel its leader, al-Qaeda, from the country. Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden cite US support of Israel, the presence of US troops in Saudi Arabia and sanctions against Iraq as motives for the attacks. Bin Laden is eventually located in Pakistan and killed by a Navy SEAL team in 2011 and, as a consequence of the attacks, the US has remained in a state of national emergency since 2001.

2008. Financial crisis

This constitutes a severe worldwide economic crisis, considered by many economists to be the most serious financial shock since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It begins in 2007 with a crisis in the subprime mortgage market in the United States and then develops into a full-blown international banking crisis with the collapse of the investment bank Lehman Brothers on 15 September 2008. Excessive risk-taking by banks such as Lehman Brothers helps to magnify the financial impact globally. Massive bail-outs of financial institutions and other monetary and fiscal policies are subsequently employed to prevent a possible collapse of the entire world financial system. The crisis is followed by the global Great Recession.

2016. Trump elected president

The 2016 United States presidential election results in the Republican businessman Donald Trump defeating Democratic former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Trump wins his party's nomination after defeating Ted Cruz and several other candidates in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries. With Democratic President Barack Obama being term-limited, in the Democratic primaries Clinton defeats her chief rival, Bernie Sanders after a surprisingly hard-fought contest between the two. Trump goes on to win the general election with 304 of the 538 electoral votes (though Clinton wins the popular vote by a margin of 2.1 percentage points).

2020. Brexit

In the 2016 UK European Union membership referendum, 51.9% of United Kingdom voters choose for the country to leave the European Union, which the UK (eventually) does, on 31 January 2020.

COMING SOON

THE CUBAN
MISSLE CRISIS

To the edge & back

The world finding its way in the nuclear age.

AND AFTER THAT

TRUMP

Great again?

After a fractious 2016 election, Donald Trump surpises everyone (apart form his voters) by becoming US President.

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