10 most important world events of 2008
2008 marks the beginning of the global financial crisis, and the rising of the oil price till $100 per barrel for the first time.
1. Summer Olympic Games 2008 that took place in Beijing, China. It was the XXIX Olympiad. The international multi-sport event officially opened on August 6 and ended on August 24, featuring 10,500 athletes who struggled for the Olympic Gold medal in 302 events in 28 sports. The Summer Olympic Games 2008 was really worth remembering, showing remarkable performances of the athletes: 43 new world records and 132 new Olympic records. Besides, representative of 87 countries won at least one medal at these Olympics, an unprecedented achievement.
2. The 44th United States presidential election was won by Democrat Barack Obama over Republican John McCain. It was a historical moment for the US since for the first time America selected an African-American as its president. In addition, it was the first time that a Roman Catholic became the country’s Vice President. The candidacy of Barack Obama raised the number of voters to the highest level in 40 years.
3. Russia in 2008 chooses another president – Dmitri A. Medvedev, a former aide to Russian president Vladimir Putin, wins the presidential election in a landslide. Putin will remain in a position of power, serving as Medvedev’s prime minister.
4. Georgia and Russia sparks on a conflict in South Ossetia, a breakaway enclave in Georgia that won de facto independence in the early 1990s. Russia enters the fray, with troops and tanks pouring into South Ossetia to support the region. Later, Russia intensifies its involvement, moving troops into Abkhazia, another breakaway region, and launching airstrikes at Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia.
USA and other countries get involved in this conflict as a peace mediator, and helps Georgia with humanitarian mission.
5. The Death of the Russian Orthodox Leader – Patriarch Aleksy II. He was 79. The patriarch oversaw world’s biggest Orthodox church, being the spiritual leader of over 140 million people.
Aleksy II was the first church leader (since the Bolshevik Revolution) to be selected without the intervention of the Soviet state, which was known to have destroyed churches and monasteries, killing believers and clergy members. Despite the fact that the hierarchy of the Russian church remained, it was under strict control.
6. Kosovo declares independence from Serbia, announced by prime minister Hashim Thaci
Serbian prime minister Vojislav Kostunica says he would never recognize the "false state." International reaction is mixed, with the United States, France, Germany, and Britain indicating that they plan to recognize Kosovo as the world’s 195th country.
7. Global Financial Crisis - It is the worst crisis since the Great Depression back in 1929. This year’s global financial crisis is ongoing as of December. The first strong signals of the crisis took place when a number of large financial companies in the United States went bankrupt in September.
The collapses of large financial institutions in the U.S. had a great impact on Europe, where a lot of banks went bankrupt. Soon it all developed into a global crisis, leading to the reduction in the market value of stock and commodities around the world.
High oil prices, leading to increased prices for food, global inflation, credit crisis, increased unemployment contributed to an economic recession in the world’s most important economies.
8. The price of petroleum hits $100 per barrel for the first time. Oil price has undergone a significant decrease of US$145 it reached in July 2008. On December 23, 2008, WTI crude oil spot price fell to US$30.28 a barrel.
9. A total lunar eclipse crosses North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia. A "midnight Sun" visible from the northern tip of Greenland, and parts of northern Russia. The path of totality crosses the Great Wall of China near sunset.
10. China’s Earthquake – On May 12, 2008, a magnitude 7.9 earthquake struck the Sichuan Province of China, killing more than 69,000 people, making it China’s worst disaster in more than 30 years.
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