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Millennium: 3rd millennium

The 2010s (pronounced "twenty-tens" or "two thousand (and) tens") [1] [2] is the current decade in the Gregorian calendar that began on January 1, 2010, and will end on December 31, 2019.

A decade is a period of 10years. The word is derived from the Ancient Greek: δεκάς, translit. dekas), which means a group of ten. Other words for spans of years also come from Latin: biennium, triennium, quadrennium, lustrum, century, millennium.

The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used civil calendar in the world. It is named after Pope Gregory XIII, who introduced it in October 1582. The calendar spaces leap years to make the average year 365.2425 days long, approximating the 365.2422-day tropical year that is determined by the Earth's revolution around the Sun. The rule for leap years is:

Every year that is exactly divisible by four is a leap year, except for years that are exactly divisible by 100, but these centurial years are leap years if they are exactly divisible by 400. For example, the years 1700, 1800, and 1900 are not leap years, but the year 2000 is.



Demonstrators marching on Avenue Habib Bourguiba in downtown Tunis, Tunisia, January 12, 2011. Tunisia Unrest - VOA - Tunis 14 Jan 2011 (2).jpg
Demonstrators marching on Avenue Habib Bourguiba in downtown Tunis, Tunisia, January 12, 2011.

The 2010s began amid a global financial crisis dating from the late 2000s. The European sovereign-debt crisis, which stemmed from these economic problems, became more pronounced and continued to affect the possibility of a global economic recovery. Austerity policies particularly affected Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain. Such policies were among factors that led to the 15-M and Occupy movements. Other economic issues, such as inflation and an increase in commodity prices, led to unrest in many lower-income countries. Unrest in some countries—particularly in the Arab world—evolved into socio-economic crises triggering revolutions in Kyrgyzstan, Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and Yemen, as well as civil war in Libya and Syria, in a widespread phenomenon—commonly referred to in the Western world as the Arab Spring—with the repercussions from the revolutions continuing as of February2019.

Financial crisis of 2007–2008 global financial crisis

The financial crisis of 2007–2008, also known as the global financial crisis and the 2008 financial crisis, is considered by many economists to have been the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Austerity, otherwise known as balancing the budget, is a political-economic term referring to policies that aim to reduce government budget deficits through spending cuts, tax increases, or a combination of both. Austerity measures are used by governments that find it difficult to pay their debts. The measures are meant to reduce the budget deficit by bringing government revenues closer to expenditures, which is assumed to make the payment of debt easier. Austerity measures also demonstrate a government's fiscal discipline to creditors and credit rating agencies.

Greek government-debt crisis economic crisis

The Greek government-debt crisis is the sovereign debt crisis faced by Greece in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2007–08. Widely known in the country as The Crisis, it reached the populace as a series of sudden reforms and austerity measures that led to impoverishment and loss of income and property, as well as a small-scale humanitarian crisis. In all, the Greek economy suffered the longest recession of any advanced capitalist economy to date, overtaking the US Great Depression. As a result, the Greek political system has been upended, social exclusion increased with hundreds of thousands of well-educated Greeks leaving the country.

Sitting world leaders Hugo Chávez, Muammar Gaddafi and Kim Jong-il all died, as did former leaders Fidel Castro, Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, Helmut Kohl and George H. W. Bush. Major natural disasters include the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, the Nepal earthquake of 2015, and the devastating hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, Haiyan (Yolanda) and Sandy. Other major international events this decade include the Northern Iraq offensive and the Paris attacks of November 2015.

Death of Muammar Gaddafi death

Muammar Gaddafi, the deposed leader of Libya, was captured and killed on 20 October 2011 during the Battle of Sirte. Gaddafi was found hiding in a culvert west of Sirte and captured by National Transitional Council forces. He was killed shortly afterwards. The NTC initially claimed he died from injuries sustained in a firefight when loyalist forces attempted to free him, although a graphic video of his last moments show rebel fighters beating him and one of them sodomizing him with a bayonet before he was shot several times as he pleaded for his life.

Death and state funeral of Kim Jong-il

The death of Kim Jong-il was reported by North Korean state television news on 19 December 2011. The presenter Ri Chun-hee announced that he had died on 17 December at 8:30 am of a massive heart attack while travelling by train to an area outside Pyongyang. Reportedly, he had received medical treatment for cardiac and cerebrovascular diseases. During the trip though, he was said to have had an advanced acute myocardial infarction, complicated with a serious heart shock. However, it was reported by South Korean media in December 2012 that he had died in a fit of rage over construction faults at a crucial power plant project.

Death and state funeral of Fidel Castro The former First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, Fidel Castro died of natural causes at 22:29 (CST) in the evening of 25 November 2016.

The former President and First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, Fidel Castro died of natural causes at 22:29 (CST) in the evening of 25 November 2016. His brother, the then-President and current First Secretary Raúl Castro, made an announcement about his death on state television. Most foreign government officials, most notably in Latin America, Africa, and South Asia, praised Castro for improving healthcare and education for Cuba's rural poor, opposing international racism, and standing up to US hegemony in the Western Hemisphere while others, especially in the US, Europe, and Canada were more critical of his legacy, bashing him as an evil tyrant who drove the Cuban economy to the ground and quashed all opposition to his rule. Some officials gave more neutral condolences while others issued statements about positive binational relations with Cuba. Castro's body was cremated and his ashes were interred in Santiago de Cuba on 4 December 2016, and hundreds of thousands of Cubans commemorated the event.

The 2010s brought the continuation of US military involvement, both in direct combat and through foreign bases, in many parts of the world, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, the Sahara, the Horn of Africa, the Philippines, the Caribbean and Central America. In 2011, the U.S. Navy SEALS assassinated Osama bin Laden in a raid on his Abbottabad compound. Online nonprofit organization WikiLeaks gained international attention for publishing classified information on topics including Guantánamo Bay, Syria, the Afghan and Iraq wars, and United States diplomacy. The website's editor-in-chief, Julian Assange, was granted political asylum by Ecuador, while the United States accused Chelsea Manning of leaking classified information and conducted a court-martial. Elsewhere, Edward Snowden blew the whistle on NSA global surveillance.

War in Afghanistan (2001–present) war in Afghanistan since 2001

The War in Afghanistan, code named Operation Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan (2001–14) and Operation Freedom's Sentinel (2015–present), followed the United States invasion of Afghanistan of 7 October 2001. The U.S. was initially supported by the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia and later by a coalition of over 40 countries, including all NATO members. The war's public aims were to dismantle al-Qaeda and to deny it a safe base of operations in Afghanistan by removing the Taliban from power. The War in Afghanistan is the longest war in United States history.

Iraq War war which started on 20 March 2003

The Iraq War was a protracted armed conflict that began in 2003 with the invasion of Iraq by a United States-led coalition that overthrew the government of Saddam Hussein. The conflict continued for much of the next decade as an insurgency emerged to oppose the occupying forces and the post-invasion Iraqi government. An estimated 151,000 to 600,000 or more Iraqis were killed in the first three to four years of conflict. The U.S. became re-involved in 2014 at the head of a new coalition; the insurgency and many dimensions of the civil armed conflict continue. The invasion occurred as part of a declared war against international terrorism and its sponsors under the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush following the September 11 terrorist attacks.

The War in North-West Pakistan, also known as the War in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, is an armed conflict involving Pakistan, and armed militant groups such as the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Jundallah, Lashkar-e-Islam (LeI), TNSM, al-Qaeda, and their Central Asian allies such as the ISIL–Khorasan (ISIL), Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, East Turkistan Movement, Emirate of Caucasus, and elements of organized crime.

Widespread use and interconnectedness of mobile networked devices and mobile telephony, internet websites and resources, and social networking became a de facto standard in digital communication during the 2010s. [3]

Beginning in 2016, much of the Western world began to experience a political backlash against globalization, especially immigration policy and free-trade agreements. This trend grew more evident after the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom and the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. The increase in economic inequality in developed countries was also an important discussion topic along the decade. Elsewhere, populist sentiment rose in Asian countries in the late 2010s, particularly in Southeast Asia and India. [4] [5]

Western world Countries that identify themselves with an originally European—since the Cold War, US American—shared culture

The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various nations depending on the context, most often including at least part of Europe, Australasia, and the Americas, with the status of Latin America in dispute. There are many accepted definitions, all closely interrelated. The Western world is also known as the Occident, in contrast to the Orient, or Eastern world.

Criticism of globalization is skepticism of the claimed benefits of globalization. Many of these views are held by the anti-globalization movement. Globalization has created much global and internal unrest in many countries. While the dynamics of capitalism is changing and each country is unique in its political makeup, globalization is a set-in-stone "program" that is difficult to implement without political unrest. Globalization can be partly responsible for the current global economic crisis. Case studies of Thailand and the Arab nations' view of globalization show that globalization is a threat to culture and religion, and it harms indigenous people groups while multinational corporations profit from it. Although globalization has promised an improved standard of living and economic development, it has been heavily criticized for its production of negative effects. Globalization is not simply an economic project, but it also heavily influences the country environmentally, politically, and socially as well.

Globalization or globalisation is the process of interaction and integration among people, companies, and governments worldwide. As a complex and multifaceted phenomenon, globalization is considered by some as a form of capitalist expansion which entails the integration of local and national economies into a global, unregulated market economy. Globalization has grown due to advances in transportation and communication technology. With the increased global interactions comes the growth of international trade, ideas, and culture. Globalization is primarily an economic process of interaction and integration that's associated with social and cultural aspects. However, conflicts and diplomacy are also large parts of the history of globalization, and modern globalization.

Politics and wars


The prominent wars of the decade include:

International wars

NameStart dateEnd dateDescription
Israeli–Palestinian conflict 14 May 1948OngoingSince 1948, conflict between Jewish and Palestinian communities in Israel and the West Bank has continued to this day. [6] After Israel occupied the West Bank, it began making settlements there, which has been an obstacle to the peace process. [7] Tensions also remained high as Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, has been launching rockets and cross-border raids into Israeli territory, which Israel has responded with force. [8]
War on Terror 11 September 2001
  • 7 October 2001
  • 20 March 2003
Motivated by the September 11 attacks, the United States and other governments started a large scale effort to eliminate terrorism. [9] With support from NATO, the United States invaded Taliban-controlled Afghanistan and overthrew the government. [10] Three years later, on the pretext that the government of Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, [11] the United States and a coalition of partners invaded Iraq and overthrew Hussein, [12] after which the U.S. occupied the country. [13] However, insurgencies remained active in both countries, long after the invasions. [14]
Russian military intervention in Ukraine 20 February 2014After Euromaidan protests and the fall of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, Russian soldiers took control of strategic positions and infrastructure in the Ukrainian territory of Crimea. Russia then annexed the region after a controversial referendum in which Crimeans voted to join the Russian Federation. [15] In the months that followed, demonstrations by pro-Russian groups in the Donbass area of Ukraine escalated into an armed conflict between the government of Ukraine and Russia-backed separatist forces.
Military intervention against ISIL 13 June 2014In late 2013, a terrorist organization called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant began making rapid advances and territorial gains in Iraq and Syria. It captured Mosul in June [16] and made Raqqa its capital. [17] Various international coalitions were formed to help fight the militants. [18] [19] By December 2017, ISIS had lost much of its former territory, and Russian troops were withdrawn from Syria. [20]
In red: the area controlled by ISIS as of December 31, 2014. Territorial control of the ISIS - 12-31-2014.svg
In red: the area controlled by ISIS as of December 31, 2014.
Devastation in Mosul's old city after recapture from ISIL. Mosul in ruins after war.jpg
Devastation in Mosul's old city after recapture from ISIL.

Civil wars

NameStart dateEnd dateDescription
Colombian Armed Conflict 27 May 1964OngoingFighting between the Colombian government, left-wing guerrillas, and various paramilitary factions had been ongoing since 1964. However, the violence has sharply decreased as rebel groups gradually became more weakened with only two major groups remaining, FARC and ELN. [21] The violence has killed over 222,000 people, mostly civilians since the conflict began. [22] Since 2012, both groups have been in peace talks with the government, with FARC and the government signing a ceasefire in 2016. [23]
War in North-West Pakistan 16 March 2004Since 2004, Pakistan has been fighting an insurgency by various armed militant groups in the country. [24] The violence has killed almost 57,000 people since, [25] with over 3 million more affected. [26] By 2014, however, casualties from terrorist and militant attacks had dropped by around 40%. [27]
Mexican Drug War 11 December 2006Following a rise in criminal violence as a result of drug trafficking in the country, Mexican President Felipe Calderón declared a war on drugs in December 2006. [28] Since the start of the war, the death toll from drug violence had sharply increased. [29] Arrests of key cartel leaders, particularly in the Tijuana and Gulf cartels, led to increasing violence as cartels fought for control of trafficking routes into the United States. [30] [31] [32]
War in Somalia 31 January 2009Following years of lawlessness, the new Transitional Federal Government attempted to restore order in Somalia. However, Al-Shabaab, an Islamist militant group, started waging an insurgency against the new government. In 2011, the federal government captured Mogadishu, the capital, [33] and subsequently retook several towns across the country. [34] Since then, the government has attempted to clean out the remaining Al-Shabaab strongholds with help from AMISOM soldiers. [35]
Boko Haram insurgency 26 July 2009The Boko Haram insurgency began when the jihadist rebel group started an armed rebellion against the government of Nigeria. [36] In 2015, the group pledged alliance to ISIL. [37] It has since been called the world's deadliest terrorist group. [38] [39]
Northern Mali conflict 16 January 2012In January 2012, a rebellion by Tuaregs in Northern Mali began. After Malian president Amadou Toumani Touré was ousted in a coup d'état, Tuaregs captured Northern Mali, [40] and declared it to be the independent state of Azawad. [41] However, shortly afterward, various Islamists groups took over Northern Mali from the Tuaregs and imposed sharia law on the region. [42]
Iraqi Civil War 1 January 20149 December 2017The Iraqi insurgency escalated into a civil war with the conquest of Fallujah, Mosul, Tikrit and major areas of northern Iraq by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. International aid was provided in the form of airstrikes, troops and logistical aid. [43] [44] On 9 December 2017, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced victory over ISIL, [45] though others warned to expect ISIL to fight on via an insurgency and other means. [46]
Yemeni civil war 19 March 2015OngoingPreceded by a decade-long Houthi insurgency, [47] the Yemeni Civil War began between two factions: the then-incumbent Yemeni government, led by Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, and the Houthi militia, along with their supporters and allies. Both claim to constitute the Yemeni government. [48]
Philippine Drug War 30 June 2016Following a rise in criminal violence as a result of drug trafficking in the country, since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was inaugurated on 30 June 2016. It has caused 3,000 deaths. [49]

Arab Spring

NameStart dateEnd dateDescription
Libyan Civil War 15 February 201113 October 2011Inspired by neighbouring revolutions, Libyans began to protest against Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule. [50] However, Gaddafi refused to step down and sent in the military to brutally quell protests. [51] As a result, many army units defected to the opposition and protests soon turned into an armed rebellion. [52] With international help, the rebels captured Tripoli, [53] and eventually Sirte, Gaddafi's hometown and last outpost, where he was killed. [54] The war resulted in the death of at least fifty thousand people. [55]
Syrian Civil War 15 March 2011OngoingProtests erupted in Syria against President Bashar al-Assad's rule and called for democratic reforms, with police and the army sent in to crack down on protesters. [56] [57] They later morphed into war after army officers defected to the opposition, forming the Free Syrian Army (FSA). [58] The war allowed for Islamic extremist groups like Al-Nusra Front and ISIL to take control of vast amounts of territory. Many countries intervened in the war, in support of various factions.
Government overthrown multiple times Government overthrown Civil war Protests and governmental changes Major protests Minor protests Other protests and militant action outside the Arab world Arab Spring and Regional Conflict Map.svg
  Government overthrown multiple times  Government overthrown  Civil war  Protests and governmental changes  Major protests  Minor protests  Other protests and militant action outside the Arab world
Protesters in Tahrir Square during the Egyptian revolution of 2011 Tahrir Square during 8 February 2011.jpg
Protesters in Tahrir Square during the Egyptian revolution of 2011


Coups d'état against ruling governments during the decade include:

Nigerien coup d'état 18 February 2010 Flag of Niger.svg [59]
Malian coup d'état 21 March 2012 Flag of Mali.svg [60]
Guinea-Bissau coup d'état 12 April 2012 Flag of Guinea-Bissau.svg [61]
Egyptian coup d'état 3 July 2013 Flag of Egypt.svg [62]
Thai coup d'état 22 May 2014 Flag of Thailand.svg [63]
Yemeni coup d'état 21 September 2014 Flag of Yemen.svg [64]
Turkish coup d'état attempt 15 July 2016 Flag of Turkey.svg [65]
Zimbabwean coup d'état 14 November 2017 Flag of Zimbabwe.svg [66]
Gabon coup d'état attempt 7 January 2019 Flag of Gabon.svg [67]

Nuclear weapons

P5+1 and Iranian negotiators meeting in Geneva for the interim agreement on the Iranian nuclear programme (2013) Iran negotiations about Iran's nuclear.jpg
P5+1 and Iranian negotiators meeting in Geneva for the interim agreement on the Iranian nuclear programme (2013)

Terrorist attacks

The most prominent terrorist attacks committed against civilian populations during the decade include:

2010 Pune bombing 13 February 2010 Flag of India.svg 1754 [84]
2010 Moscow Metro bombings 29 March 2010 Flag of Russia.svg 40102 [85]
2010 Ahmadiyya mosques massacre 28 May 2010 Flag of Pakistan.svg 87120+ [86]
Domodedovo International Airport bombing 24 January 2011 Flag of Russia.svg 37173 [87]
2011 Mumbai bombings 13 July 2011 Flag of India.svg 26130+ [88]
2011 Norway attacks 22 July 2011 Flag of Norway.svg 77319+ [89]
2011 Monterrey casino attack 25 August 2011 Flag of Mexico.svg 5210 [90]
Boston Marathon bombing 15 April 2013 Flag of the United States.svg 5264 [91]
Zamboanga City siege 9 September 2013 Flag of the Philippines.svg 22070 [92]
Westgate shopping mall attack 21 September 2013 Flag of Kenya.svg 67175 [93]
December 2013 Volgograd bombings 29–30 December 2013 Flag of Russia.svg 3285 [94]
2014 Sydney hostage crisis 15 December 2014 Flag of Australia (converted).svg 318 [95]
2014 Peshawar school massacre 16 December 2014 Flag of Pakistan.svg 148114 [96]
Charlie Hebdo shooting 7 January 2015 Flag of France.svg 1722 [97]
2015 Baga massacre 3–7 January 2015 Flag of Nigeria.svg 150+ [98]
Mamasapano clash 25 January 2015 Flag of the Philippines.svg 6717+ [99]
Bardo National Museum attack 18 March 2015 Flag of Tunisia.svg 2450+ [100]
2015 Sana'a mosque bombings 20 March 2015 Flag of Yemen.svg 142351 [101]
Garissa University College attack 2 April 2015 Flag of Kenya.svg 15279 [102]
2015 Ramadan attacks 26 June 2015Various403336+ [103]
2015 Bangkok bombing 17 August 2015 Flag of Thailand.svg 20125 [104]
2015 Beirut bombings 12 November 2015 Flag of Lebanon.svg 43240 [105]
2015 Ankara bombings 10 October 2015 Flag of Turkey.svg 109400+ [106]
November 2015 Paris attacks 13 November 2015 Flag of France.svg 130368 [107]
2015 Bamako hotel attack 20 November 2015 Flag of Mali.svg 209 [108]
2015 San Bernardino attack 2 December 2015 Flag of the United States.svg 1422 [109]
2016 Jakarta attacks 14 January 2016 Flag of Indonesia.svg 824 [110]
2016 Brussels bombings 22 March 2016 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg 35300+ [111]
2016 Lahore suicide bombing 27 March 2016 Flag of Pakistan.svg 69300+ [112]
Tipo-Tipo clash 9 April 2016 Flag of the Philippines.svg 18+70 [113]
2016 Orlando nightclub shooting 12 June 2016 Flag of the United States.svg 4953 [114]
2016 Istanbul airport attack 28 June 2016 Flag of Turkey.svg 45236 [115]
2016 Gulshan attack 1 July 2016 Flag of Bangladesh.svg 20 [116]
July 2016 Baghdad bombings 3 July 2016 Flag of Iraq.svg 281200 [117]
2016 Nice attack 14 July 2016 Flag of France.svg 87434 [118]
2016 Gaziantep bombing 20 August 2016 Flag of Turkey.svg 5466 [119]
2016 Davao City bombing 2 September 2016 Flag of the Philippines.svg 1570 [120]
2016 Berlin attack 19 December 2016 Flag of Germany.svg 1256 [121]
2017 Istanbul nightclub shooting 1 January 2017 Flag of Turkey.svg 3970 [122]
2017 Westminster attack 22 March 2017 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg 649 [123]
2017 Aleppo suicide car bombing 15 April 2017 Flag of Syria.svg 126+60+
2017 Camp Shaheen attack 21 April 2017 Flag of Afghanistan.svg 140+160+ [124]
2017 Manchester Arena bombing 22 May 2017 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg 2259 [125]
2017 London Bridge attack 3 June 2017 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg 1148 [126]
2017 Barcelona attacks 17–18 August 2017 Flag of Spain.svg 16152 [127]
14 October 2017 Mogadishu bombings 14 October 2017 Flag of Somalia.svg 512316 [128]
2017 New York City truck attack 31 October 2017 Flag of the United States.svg 812 [129]
2017 Sinai mosque attack 24 November 2017 Flag of Egypt.svg 311122 [130]
Surabaya bombings 13 May 2018 Flag of Indonesia.svg 1457 [131]
Ahvaz military parade attack 22 September 2018 Flag of Iran.svg 3070 [132]
2019 Pulwama attack 14 February 2019 Flag of India.svg 4635


Foro.svg Foro sao paulo members.svg
Map of Latin America showing countries with centre-left, left-wing or socialist governments (red) and centre-right, right-wing or conservative governments (blue) in 2011 (left) and 2018 (right).

China was increasingly called a superpower in the early 2010s, including at the 2011 meeting between President Hu Jintao and United States President Barack Obama. China overtook the US as the world's largest trading nation, filing the most patents, expanding its military, landing its lunar rover Yutu on the moon (ending a four-decade lack of lunar exploration) and creating China's Oriental Movie Metropolis as a major film and cultural center. China was projected to have the world's largest economy by 2018 with an estimated GDP per capita equal to the US by the late 2050s. [134]

Political polarization increased as conservatives and social liberals clashed over the role of government and other social, economic and environmental issues in the West. In the United States, polls showed a divided electorate regarding healthcare reform, immigration, gun rights, taxation, job creation, and debt reduction. [135] In Europe, movements protesting increasing numbers of refugees from Islamic countries developed, such as the English Defence League and Pegida. [136] [137] There have also been increasing calls for egalitarianism, including between the sexes, [138] and some scholars assert that a fourth wave of feminism began around 2012. [139] [140]

Populism in politics saw a widespread surge throughout the decade, with many politicians and various political movements expressing populist sentiments and utilizing populist rhetoric. [141] [142] This included conservative wave phenomenon in Latin America and neo-nationalism in Europe and North America. Notable examples of populist movements included the Tea Party movement, [143] Occupy Wall Street, [144] Brexit, [145] Black Lives Matter, [146] and the alt-right. [147] [148] Examples of populist country leaders were just as extensive, with Donald Trump, [149] Andrés Manuel López Obrador, [150] Hugo Chávez, [151] Matteo Salvini, [152] Jair Bolsonaro, [153] Rodrigo Duterte, [154] and others, left and right-wing, described as such.

Prominent political events

This table of events is listed by the region and by chronological order. The prominent political events include:


Tunisian Revolution Flag of Tunisia.svg 14 January 2011Amidst anti-government protests, Tunisia's president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali dissolved the government, declared a state of emergency and resigned from office. [155]
Egyptian revolution of 2011 Flag of Egypt.svg 25 January 2011Inspired by the Tunisian demonstrations, protests erupted in Egypt, calling for the departure of long-time President Hosni Mubarak. Mubarak resigned on 11 February 2011. [156]
2011 Libyan Civil War Flag of Libya.svg 15 February 2011A popular revolt against Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule over Libya led to thousands of deaths and UN sanctions against the nation's government following a brutal crackdown against protesters. [157]
South Sudanese independence referendum, 2011 Flag of South Sudan.svg 9 July 2011A referendum was held in Southern Sudan on whether the region should remain part of Sudan. An overwhelming majority voted in favour of separation and formed the new country of South Sudan. [158]
Northern Mali conflict Flag of Mali.svg 16 January 2012An Islamist revolt in northern Mali threatened to gain control of the country. A coalition, led by France, intervened to assist the Malian government in fighting the militants. [159]
Ousting of François Bozizé Flag of the Central African Republic.svg 25 March 2013 Séléka rebels conquered the capital of the Central African Republic, Bangui, and forced President François Bozizé to flee the country, resulting in widespread sectarian violence. [160]
Political violence in Egypt (2013) Flag of Egypt.svg 3 July 2013Political violence broke out in Egypt after Abdul Fattah al-Sisi led the military overthrew President Mohamed Morsi in a coup. [161]
Death of Nelson Mandela Flag of South Africa.svg 5 December 2013 Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid activist and President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, died. [162]
2014 Burkinabé uprising Flag of Burkina Faso.svg 31 October 2014 President of Burkina Faso Blaise Compaoré resigned and fled to the Ivory Coast in the face of widespread protests, ending 27 years of authoritarian rule. [163]
Egyptian Revolution trials and hearings Flag of Egypt.svg 29 November 2014Former Egypt President Hosni Mubarak was found not guilty of charges of killing protesters in the 2011 Egyptian protests and was also cleared of corruption charges. [164] [165]
Nigerian general election, 2015 Flag of Nigeria.svg 29 March 2015 Muhammadu Buhari was elected President of Nigeria, the first time the opposition ever won an election against an incumbent and the first ever peaceful transfer of power in the country. [166]
Burundian unrest (2015–present) Flag of Burundi.svg 26 April 2015 Burundi faces unrest as President Pierre Nkurunziza sought a third term in office, resulting in hundreds killed and thousands more fleeing the country. [167]
Gambian presidential election, 2016 Flag of The Gambia.svg 1 December 2016 Adama Barrow was elected President of The Gambia, defeating long-time President Yahya Jammeh and ending more than 22 years of authoritarian rule. [168]
Resignation of Jacob Zuma Flag of South Africa.svg 14 February 2018 Jacob Zuma resigns as President of South Africa, after nine years in power. [169]


Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Flag of the United States.svg 23 March 2010President Barack Obama signs the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law, marking a major reform of the U.S. health insurance and health care systems. [170]
Brazilian presidential election, 2010 Flag of Brazil.svg 31 October 2010 Dilma Rousseff was elected as the first female President of Brazil. [171]
Peruvian general election, 2011 Flag of Peru.svg 5 June 2011 Ollanta Humala was elected president of Peru. [172]
Occupy Wall Street Flag of the United States.svg 17 September 2011Hundreds of protesters marched into the financial district of Wall Street in New York City, beginning the Occupy Wall Street movement: which started a series of demonstrations and hundreds of encampments in cities across the nation, forming the Occupy movement. [173]
Impeachment of Fernando Lugo Flag of Paraguay.svg 22 June 2012On 21 June the Chamber of Deputies voted 76 to 1 to impeach Lugo, and the Senate removed him from office the following day, by 39 votes to 4, resulting in Vice President Federico Franco, who had broken with Lugo, becoming President. [174]
Mexican general election, 2012 Flag of Mexico.svg 1 July 2012 Enrique Peña Nieto won the Mexican general election, bringing the Institutional Revolutionary Party back to prominence for the first time since 2000. [175]
United States presidential election, 2012 Flag of the United States.svg 6 November 2012 Barack Obama was re-elected President of the United States, defeating Republican nominee Mitt Romney. [176]
Death of Hugo Chávez Flag of Venezuela.svg 5 March 2013 Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez died at the age of 58 after governing the country for 14 years. [177]
Papal conclave, 2013 Flag of Argentina.svg 13 March 2013Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected as the first pope from the Americas; he takes the papal name Francis. [178]
June Journeys Flag of Brazil.svg April – July 2013The demonstrations were initially organized to protest against increases in bus, train, and metro ticket prices in some Brazilian cities, but grew to include other issues such as the high corruption in the government and police brutality used against some demonstrators. By mid-June, the movement had grown to become Brazil's largest since the 1992 protests against former President Fernando Collor de Mello. [179] [180]
2014 Venezuela–Panama diplomatic crisis Flag of Venezuela.svg 5 March 2014 Nicolás Maduro, the President of Venezuela, severed diplomatic and political ties with Panama, accusing it of involvement in a conspiracy against the Venezuelan government. [181]
Operation Car Wash Flag of Brazil.svg 17 March 2014 Operation Car Wash is an ongoing criminal investigation being carried out by the Federal Police of Brazil, Curitiba Branch, and judicially commanded by Judge Sérgio Moro since March 17, 2014. [182]
International sanctions during the Ukrainian crisis Flag of the United States.svg 28 April 2014U.S. President Barack Obama's new economic sanctions against Russia went into effect, targeting companies and individuals close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. [183]
Brazilian presidential election, 2014 Flag of Brazil.svg 26 October 2014 Dilma Rousseff was re-elected President of Brazil. [184]
2015–16 protests in Brazil Flag of Brazil.svg 15 March 2015 – 31 July 2016In 2015 and 2016, a series of protests in Brazil denounced corruption and the government of President Dilma Rousseff, being the largest popular mobilizations in the country since the beginning of the "New Republic". [185] [186]
Obergefell v. Hodges Flag of the United States.svg 26 June 2015 Same-sex marriage was legalized in all 50 U.S. states due to a landmark decision by the Supreme Court of the United States. [187]
Cuban Thaw Flag of Cuba.svg 20 July 2015A year after U.S. President Barack Obama announced efforts to end the United States embargo against Cuba, which had been in place since January 1961, the two countries restore full diplomatic ties, following decades of hostility. [188] [189]
Canadian federal election, 2015 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg 19 October 2015The Liberal Party, led by Justin Trudeau, won Canada's federal election, defeating the Conservative Party in the country's longest election in a century. [190]
Argentine general election, 2015 Flag of Argentina.svg 22 November 2015 Mauricio Macri was elected President of Argentina, ending over a decade of "Kirchnerism" in the country. [191]
Venezuelan parliamentary election, 2015 Flag of Venezuela.svg 6 December 2015The PSUV lost its majority in the National Assembly of Venezuela to the opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable, marking the first time since 1999 that the PSUV lost its majority. [192]
Impeachment of Dilma Rousseff Flag of Brazil.svg 12 May 2016The Brazilian Senate votes (55–22) to open the impeachment process against the President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff and suspend her from office while the trial takes place as the Vice President of Brazil, Michel Temer, assumes the presidential powers and duties as Acting President of Brazil. [193]
Peruvian general election, 2016 Flag of Peru.svg 5 June 2016 Pedro Pablo Kuczynski was elected President of Peru. [194]
Colombian peace process Flag of Colombia.svg 23 June 2016The government of Colombia and FARC rebels signed a ceasefire, officially ending over 50 years of conflict between the two. [195]
United States presidential election, 2016 Flag of the United States.svg 8 November 2016Republican nominee Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States, defeating former U.S. Secretary of State and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. He would become the first President without prior diplomatic or military experience. [196] [197]
Death of Fidel Castro Flag of Cuba.svg 25 November 2016Former President of Cuba and revolutionary leader Fidel Castro dies at the age of 90. [198]
2017 Venezuelan constitutional crisis Flag of Venezuela.svg 23 March 2017The Supreme Tribunal of Justice of Venezuela took over legislative powers of the National Assembly and removed its members' immunity, most of whom belonged to the opposition. Constitutional Assembly elections were held on 30 July 2017 to elect the members of a new Constitutional Assembly. [199] [200]
Arrest of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva Flag of Brazil.svg 7 April 2018The arrest of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva occurred on April 7, 2018, after federal judge Sérgio Moro issued the warrant two days earlier. The arrest is due to the conviction for corruption and money laundering in second instance in the scope of Operation Car Wash. The ex-president was taken to Curitiba after the imprisonment, to the building of the Federal Police of Brazil, where he fulfills the sentence. [201] [202]
Inauguration of Miguel Díaz-Canel Flag of Cuba.svg 19 April 2018 Miguel Díaz-Canel is sworn in as President of Cuba, marking the first time since 1959 that Cuba has had a president other than Fidel or Raúl Castro.
Mexican general election, 2018 Flag of Mexico.svg 1 July 2018 Andrés Manuel López Obrador won the historic Mexican general election, bringing the National Regeneration Movement for new prominence for the first time without any political rule like Institutional Revolutionary Party and National Action Party.
Brazilian presidential election, 2018 Flag of Brazil.svg 28 October 2018 Jair Bolsonaro was elected President of Brazil, marking the first time that the country is ruled by the far-right since the start of the New Republic in 1985. The election also interrupted 4 victories of the Workers' Party in a row. [203]
Death of George H. W. Bush Flag of the United States.svg 30 November 2018The 41st and former President George H. W. Bush dies at the age of 94. Bush served as the 43rd U.S. Vice President during the Ronald Reagan administration from 1981 to 1989, and succeeded him as President from 1989 to 1993.


Kyrgyz Revolution of 2010 Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg 7 April 2010 Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev fled Bishkek amid fierce anti-government riots as the opposition seized control. [204]
Philippine presidential election, 2010 Flag of the Philippines.svg 10 May 2010 Benigno Aquino III was elected President of the Philippines. [205]
Myanmar general election, 2010 Flag of Myanmar.svg 7 November 2010 Thein Sein was elected President of Myanmar, the first civilian President of the country since 1962. [206]
Release of Aung San Suu Kyi Flag of Myanmar.svg 13 November 2010 Burmese opposition politician Aung San Suu Kyi was released from her house arrest after being incarcerated since 1989. [207]
2011 Bahraini uprising Flag of Bahrain.svg 15 March 2011 Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain, declared a three-month state of emergency as troops from the Gulf Co-operation Council were sent to quell the civil unrest. [208]
Death of Kim Jong-il Flag of North Korea.svg 17 December 2011Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il of North Korea died after governing the country for 17 years. His son, Kim Jong-un, succeeded him. [209]
18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg 8 November 2012The 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China was held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, with Xi Jinping being chosen as the new General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and as the Chairman of the Central Military Commission. [210]
South Korean presidential election, 2012 Flag of South Korea.svg 19 December 2012 Park Geun-hye was elected President of South Korea, the first woman to hold the position. [211]
Japanese general election, 2012 Flag of Japan.svg 26 December 2012The Liberal Democratic Party, led by Shinzō Abe, won a landslide victory in Japan's general election. [212]
North Korea and weapons of mass destruction Flag of North Korea.svg 11 March 2013The Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un of North Korea broke all peace pacts with South Korea and started a new nuclear weapons plan, inflaming tensions on the Korean Peninsula. [213]
Indian general election, 2014 Flag of India.svg 12 May 2014The Bharatiya Janata Party, led by Narendra Modi, won a landslide victory in India's general election, the first time BJP gained a majority since 1984. [214]
2014 Thai coup d'état Flag of Thailand.svg 23 May 2014 Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is home-arrested in the wake of a military coup. [215]
Indonesian presidential election, 2014 Flag of Indonesia.svg 9 July 2014 Joko Widodo won Indonesia's presidential election, becoming the first president to not be from the country's political elite or military. [216]
2014 Hong Kong protests Flag of Hong Kong.svg 26 September 2014Protests erupted in Hong Kong after proposed new electoral reforms prompted concerns of growing mainland Chinese influence in the politics of the island. [217]
2014 Yemen protests Flag of Yemen.svg 22 January 2015After Houthi forces seized the presidential palace, Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi resigned after months of unrest. [218]
Death of King Abdullah Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg 23 January 2015 Abdullah, the King of Saudi Arabia from 2005 to 2015, died and is replaced by King Salman. [219]
Death of Lee Kuan Yew Flag of Singapore.svg 23 March 2015Founding Prime Minister of Singapore who ruled from 1959 to 1990, highly regarded as the founding father of the nation, died from pneumonia at the age of 91. [220]
India–Bangladesh enclaves Flag of India.svg Flag of Bangladesh.svg 6 June 2015 India and Bangladesh officially ratified their 1974 agreement to exchange enclaves along their border. [221]
2015 Ma–Xi meeting Flag of Singapore.svg 7 November 2015Chinese leader and Taiwanese president, Xi Jinping and Ma Ying-jeou, formally meet, the first time any leader of their respective countries met since 1949. [222]
Myanmar general election, 2015 Flag of Myanmar.svg 8 November 2015The NLD, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, won a sweeping victory in Myanmar's first openly contested election since 1990. [223]
2016 attack on the Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg 3 January 2016Following the fallout caused by the Execution of Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Saudi Shia cleric, Saudi Arabia and its allies severed their diplomatic relations with Iran. [224]
Taiwanese general election, 2016 Flag of the Republic of China.svg 16 January 2016 Tsai Ing-wen was elected President of Taiwan, the first woman to hold the position. [225]
2016 Armenian–Azerbaijani clashes Flag of Azerbaijan.svg 2 April 2016Clashes between Armenian and Azerbaijani military in Nagorno-Karabakh kill at least 193 people, which becomes the heaviest breach of the 1994 ceasefire. [226]
Philippine presidential election, 2016 Flag of the Philippines.svg 9 May 2016 Rodrigo Duterte was elected President of the Philippines. [227]
Philippines v. China Flag of the Philippines.svg Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg 12 July 2016The Philippines wins the arbitration case they filed at the Permanent Court of Arbitration regarding the legality of China's nine-dotted line claim over the South China Sea under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. [228] [229]
Death of Bhumibol Adulyadej Flag of Thailand.svg 13 October 2016 Bhumibol Adulyadej, the King of Thailand from 1946 to 2016, died and replaced by his son, Vajiralongkorn. [230]
Impeachment of Park Geun-hye Flag of South Korea.svg 10 March 2017South Korean President Park Geun-hye is impeached by the Constitutional Court of Korea in a unanimous decision, terminating Park's presidency. South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn assumes power following the ruling. [231]
South Korean presidential election, 2017 Flag of South Korea.svg 9 May 2017 Moon Jae-in was elected the 12th President of South Korea, originally scheduled to take place later in the year, the election was moved to early May following the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye. [232]
2017 Qatar diplomatic crisis Flag of Qatar.svg 5 June 2017Seven Arab countries – Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of destabilising the region and supporting terrorism. [233]
Kim–Xi meetings Flag of North Korea.svg Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg 28 March 2018North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un meets Chinese paramount leader Xi Jinping, leaving the country for the first time since assuming office in 2011. [234]
2018 Armenian protests Flag of Armenia.svg 12 April 2018Various political and civil groups led by member of parliament Nikol Pashinyan staged anti-government protests in Armenia. Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan resigned on April 23, 2018. Nikol Pashinyan was elected Prime Minister on 8 May 2018. [235] [236]
April 2018 inter-Korean summit Flag of South Korea.svg Flag of North Korea.svg 27 April 2018 Kim Jong-un crosses into South Korea to meet with President Moon Jae-in, becoming the first North Korean leader to cross the Demilitarized Zone since its creation in 1953. [237]
Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Flag of Israel.svg 30 April 2018 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accuses Iran of not holding up its end of the Iran nuclear deal after presenting a cache of over 100,000 documents. Iran denounces Netanyahu's presentation as "propaganda". [238]
Malaysian general election, 2018 Flag of Malaysia.svg 9 May 2018The opposition-led Pakatan Harapan coalition, led by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, secures a parliamentary majority in the Malaysian Parliament, ending the 61-year rule of the Barisan Nasional coalition and leading to the pardon of Anwar Ibrahim. [239] [240]
2018 North Korea–United States summit Flag of Singapore.svg 12 June 2018 United States President and North Korea's Supreme Leader, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, formally meet, the first time any leader of their respective countries met. [241]
The leader of North Korea Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump during the North Korea-United States summit in June 2018. Kim and Trump shaking hands at the red carpet during the DPRK-USA Singapore Summit.jpg
The leader of North Korea Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump during the North Korea–United States summit in June 2018.


United Kingdom general election, 2010 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg 6 May 2010The 2010 United Kingdom election resulted in the first "hung parliament" since 1974.
Resignation of Silvio Berlusconi Flag of Italy.svg 16 November 2011The longest-serving Prime Minister of the Italian Republic Silvio Berlusconi resigned in November 2011, after a sexual allegation scandal, a financial crisis and public protests. The economist Mario Monti was appointed new Prime Minister, at the head of a technocratic cabinet and held the office until 2013. [242]
French presidential election, 2012 Flag of France.svg 22 April 2012 François Hollande was elected as the new President of France, becoming the first socialist president of the country in 17 years. [243]
Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI Flag of the Vatican City.svg 28 February 2013 Benedict XVI resigned as pope, the first to do so since Gregory XII in 1415, and the first to do so voluntarily since Celestine V in 1294. [244]
Italian general election, 2013 Flag of Italy.svg 25 February 2013Neither of the two main coalitions, the centre-right led by Silvio Berlusconi and the centre-left led by Pier Luigi Bersani, won an outright majority in Parliament, partly due to the strong showing by the populist anti-establishment Five Star Movement. [245] [246]
Death of Margaret Thatcher Flag of the United Kingdom.svg 8 April 2013 Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990, died. [247]
Italian presidential election, 2013 Flag of Italy.svg 20 April 2013Amid growing financial tensions, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano was re-elected, the first ever Italian president to be re-elected. Napolitano appointed Enrico Letta Prime Minister, at the head of a grand coalition. [248]
Abdication of Beatrix of the Netherlands Flag of the Netherlands.svg 30 April 2013Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands abdicated in favour of her son, Willem-Alexander, who became the country's first king in over a century. [249]
2014 Ukrainian revolution Flag of Ukraine.svg 21 February 2014 Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych fled the country following violent protests in the capital, Kiev. The opposition-controlled Verkhovna Rada voted to remove him as president. [250]
Election of Matteo Renzi Flag of Italy.svg 22 February 2014 Matteo Renzi, after becoming the new leader of the Italian Democratic Party, forced Enrico Letta to resign and was elected Prime Minister, starting a program of radical constitutional reforms. Renzi is the youngest Prime Minister in the Italian history. [251]
Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation Flag of Ukraine.svg 18 March 2014Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine following an internationally unrecognized referendum on the status of the region. [252]
European Parliament election, 2014 Flag of Europe.svg 22 – 25 May 2014Victories in the European elections by UKIP in the United Kingdom and the National Front in France, seen by some as a sign of a growing right-wing and eurosceptical movement in mainland Europe. [253] [254]
Scottish independence referendum, 2014 Flag of Scotland.svg 18 September 2014In a referendum called by the governing Scottish National Party, Scotland voted to remain in the United Kingdom, with 55.3% of votes against independence while 44.7% voted in favour. [255] [256]
Abdication of Juan Carlos I of Spain Flag of Spain.svg 19 June 2014King Juan Carlos I of Spain abdicated in favour of his son, Felipe VI. [257]
Greek legislative election, January 2015 Flag of Greece.svg 26 January 2015 Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the anti-austerity Syriza party, was elected as Prime Minister of Greece. [258]
Minsk II Flag of Ukraine.svg 12 February 2015Leaders from Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France reached an agreement on the conflict in Eastern Ukraine that included a ceasefire and withdrawal of heavy weapons. However, the truce has largely failed to stop the fighting, with skirmishes continuing unabated. [259] [260]
Irish constitutional referendums, 2015 Flag of Ireland.svg 23 May 2015The Republic of Ireland voted to legalize same-sex marriage, becoming the first country to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote. [261]
Greek government-debt crisis Flag of Greece.svg 1 July 2015 Greece became the first advanced economy to miss a payment to the International Monetary Fund in the fund's 71-year history. [262]
Joint Declaration of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill Flag of the Vatican City.svg 12 February 2016 Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill signed an Ecumenical Declaration in the first such meeting between leaders of the Catholic and Russian Orthodox Churches since their split in 1054. [263]
United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, 2016 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg 23 June 2016In a referendum held in the United Kingdom on whether or not to continue being a member of the European Union, 52% of voters chose to leave it. Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation afterwards, being succeeded by Theresa May. [264] [265] [266]
Austrian presidential election, 2016 Flag of Austria.svg 4 December 2016Independent green Alexander Van der Bellen narrowly beat the far-right Freedom Party of Austria candidate Norbert Hofer in a repeat of the Austrian presidential election, 2016 after the first election was annulled. [267]
Italian constitutional referendum, 2016 Flag of Italy.svg 4 December 2016Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned after the result constitutional referendum, in which Italians rejected his reform to overhaul the Senate of the Republic. The Foreign Affairs Minister Paolo Gentiloni was appointed new Prime Minister. [268] [269]
French presidential election, 2017 Flag of France.svg 7 May 2017 En Marche! candidate Emmanuel Macron was elected the President of France, replacing incumbent Hollande and defeating National Front candidate Marine Le Pen in the second round of voting. Macron is the youngest president in the history of the French Fifth Republic. [270]
Fine Gael leadership election, 2017 Flag of Ireland.svg 2 June 2017A leadership election for Ireland's ruling party was held. Enda Kenny resigned as Taoiseach and was replaced by Leo Varadkar. He is the first openly gay Taoiseach and the son of an immigrant. [271]
Death of Helmut Kohl Flag of Germany.svg 16 June 2017 Helmut Kohl, former Chancellor of Germany from 1982 to 1998 (of West Germany 1982–1990 and of the reunited Germany 1990–1998), dies at the age of 87.
2017 Spanish constitutional crisis Flag of Spain.svg 6 September 2017Political conflict sparks between the government of Spain and the Government of Catalonia over the 2017 Catalan independence referendum. Operation Anubis was launched in an attempt to thwart the referendum, though it still went ahead, with 91% supporting independence within Catalonia. On 27 October, Catalonia declares independence from Spain but it is not recognised by any sovereign nation. [272] [273]
German federal election, 2017 Flag of Germany.svg 24 September 2017 Alternative for Germany entered parliament for the first time since their founding, while the Social Democratic Party of Germany suffered their worst election defeat since World War II. [274]
Italian general election, 2018 Flag of Italy.svg 4 March 2018The centre-right alliance, in which the right-wing populist League emerged as the main political force, won a plurality of seats in the Chamber of Deputies and in the Senate, while the anti-establishment Five Star Movement became the party with the largest number of votes. After months of negotiations, the two populist parties, M5S and League, formed a government. [275] [276]
Russian presidential election, 2018 Flag of Russia.svg 18 March 2018 Presidential elections were held in Russia on 18 March 2018. Incumbent Vladimir Putin won reelection for his second consecutive (fourth overall) term in office with 77% of the vote. [277]
Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland Flag of Ireland.svg 25 May 2018A constitutional referendum on whether to repeal the ban on abortion in Ireland takes place, with a landslide win of 66.4% to 33.6% for the repeal side. [278] [279]
Macedonia naming dispute Flag of Greece.svg Flag of North Macedonia.svg 12 June 2018 Greece and the Republic of Macedonia reach a deal to end a 27-year naming dispute between both countries, which would result in Macedonia being officially renamed the Republic of North Macedonia. [280]
February 28, 2014: following a political crisis in Ukraine and after the Ukrainian parliament votes to remove pro-Russian Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych from office, Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine. Crimea (orthographic projection).svg
February 28, 2014: following a political crisis in Ukraine and after the Ukrainian parliament votes to remove pro-Russian Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych from office, Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine.
European migrant crisis: Asylum applications in the European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) states between 1 January and 30 June 2015 according to Eurostat data Map of the European Migrant Crisis 2015.png
European migrant crisis: Asylum applications in the European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) states between 1 January and 30 June 2015 according to Eurostat data


Australian Labor Party leadership spill, 2010 Flag of Australia (converted).svg 24 June 2010 Julia Gillard succeeded Kevin Rudd as the Prime Minister of Australia, becoming Australia's first female prime minister after a leadership spill. [281]
Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act 2013 Flag of New Zealand.svg 19 August 2013 Same-sex marriage was legalized in New Zealand, making it the first country in Oceania to allow same-sex couples to marry. [282]
Fijian general election, 2014 Flag of Fiji.svg 17 September 2014Former Fijian military commander Frank Bainimarama won Fiji's first democratic election since a coup in 2006, officially ending years of military rule. [283]
Crowning of Tupou VI Flag of Tonga.svg 4 July 2015 Tupou VI was crowned King of Tonga, succeeding his brother George Tupou V, who died in 2012. [284]
Liberal Party of Australia leadership spill, September 2015 Flag of Australia (converted).svg 15 September 2015 Malcolm Turnbull succeeded Tony Abbott as Prime Minister of Australia after a leadership spill. [285]
Resignation of John Key Flag of New Zealand.svg 11 December 2016 Bill English becomes Prime Minister of New Zealand after the resignation of John Key. [286]
New Zealand general election, 2017 Flag of New Zealand.svg 23 September 2017New Zealand holds a general election with no parties having a majority. On 19 October, New Zealand First announced the formation of a coalition government with the Labour Party, with support from the Green Party, making Jacinda Ardern the Prime Minister-elect and ending the Fifth National Government. [287]
Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017 Flag of Australia (converted).svg 9 December 2017The Act came into effect from 9 December 2017, allowing same-sex couples previously married overseas to have their marriages recognised under Australian law. The first same-sex marriages took place in Australia on 9 January 2018. [288]
Liberal Party of Australia leadership spills, 2018 Flag of Australia (converted).svg 24 August 2018 Scott Morrison succeeds Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister of Australia following a Liberal Party leadership ballot. Morrison is sworn in as Prime Minister later that evening. [289] [290]

Notable world leaders

Note: Names of world leaders shown below in bold have remained in power continuously throughout the decade (as of February 2019).

Assassinations and attempts

Prominent assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts include:

Osama bin Laden Osama bin Laden portrait.jpg
Osama bin Laden
Muammar Gaddafi Muammar al-Gaddafi 1-1.jpg
Muammar Gaddafi
1 January 2011 Reynaldo Dagsa, Philippine Barangay official from Caloocan, was assassinated by two men during New Year's Eve. [291]
8 January 2011 Federal judge John Roll and 5 others were killed and 13 more were injured in a shooting near Tucson. The shooting was reported to be an assassination attempt. The apparent target, U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, was critically injured in the head. [292]
2 May 2011 Osama bin Laden, the founder and leader of the militant Islamist group Al-Qaeda, was killed in a targeted killing in Abbottabad, Pakistan in an operation conducted by a team of United States Navy SEAL commandos. [293]
15 August 2011 Esmael Mangudadatu, Governor of Maguindanao, was a victim of a car bomb in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat. Two people were killed, including a Maguindanao board member, while six others were wounded. [294]
30 September 2011 Anwar al-Awlaki, a senior talent recruiter, planner and spiritual leader of al-Qaeda, was killed in a targeted killing in the northern al-Jawf province of Yemen, using two US Predator drones fired Hellfire missiles. [295]
20 October 2011 Muammar Gaddafi, Libya's ousted leader, was shot to death in Sirte. [296]
4 September 2012 Pauline Marois, Premier-designate of Quebec, escaped death during her victory speech after Richard Henry Bain opened fire at the Metropolis in Montreal, killing one person and critically injuring another. [297]
9 October 2012 Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani Women's rights activist was the victim of an assassination attempt by the Taliban in Pakistan. [298]
6 February 2013 Chokri Belaid, Tunisian opposition leader of the Democratic Patriots' Unified Party, was fatally shot. [299]
22 May 2013Lee Rigby, a British Army soldier who was killed by Islamic extremists with links to Al-Qaeda, the first such attack by the group in the United Kingdom since 2005. [300]
25 January 2015 Zulkifli Abdhir, suspected member of Jemaah Islamiyah, was killed in a police operation in Mamasapano, Philippines. [301]
27 February 2015 Boris Nemtsov, Russian physicist, statesman and opposition politician, was assassinated on the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge, Central Moscow, Russia, within sight of the Kremlin. [302]
5 March 2015 Mark Lippert, United States Ambassador to South Korea, was rushed into hospital after he was attacked by a knife-wielding man identified as Kim Ki-jong at a restaurant attached to Sejong Center in downtown Seoul. [303]
26 August 2015Alison Parker and Adam Ward, news reporter and camera operator of CBS affiliate WDBJ of Roanoke, Virginia were shot and killed on live television during an interview in Moneta, Virginia. [304]
1 March 2016 Aid al-Qarni, Islamic Muslim scholar, author and activist was shot injured in an assassination attempt in Zamboanga City in the Philippines. [305]
16 June 2016 Jo Cox, British MP, was shot and stabbed to death by a Neo-Nazi white supremacist [306] in Birstall, England. She was the first British MP assassinated in over a quarter of a century and the first female politician in Britain to be assassinated. [307]
19 December 2016 Andrei Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, was killed in a gun attack at an art gallery in Ankara. [308]
1 January 2017 Emmanuel Niyonkuru, the Burundian environment minister, was shot dead in the nation's capital, Bujumbura. [309]
13 February 2017 Kim Jong-nam, eldest son of the late Kim Jong-il, was assassinated by two women in Malaysia with a VX nerve agent. [310]
14 June 2017 Republican congressmen were targeted by James T. Hodgkinson, a left-wing activist from Illinois, who fired upon them during practice ahead of the annual Congressional Baseball Game in Alexandria, Virginia, where only Hodgkinson died. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was left in critical condition, but he would eventually recover and return to the House on 28 September. [311]
16 October 2017 Isnilon Hapilon, Emir of ISIS in Southeast Asia and leader of Abu Sayyaf, was killed in a military operation in Marawi City, which rescued 17 hostages. [312]
4 March 2018 Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent, was poisoned alongside his daughter Yulia in the city of Salisbury with a Novichok agent. [313]
2 July 2018 Antonio Halili, the former Mayor of Tanauan, Batangas was assassinated by an unidentified gunman while attending a flag raising ceremony together with around 300 government employees and newly elected barangay officials. [314]
2 October 2018 Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Arabian dissident and journalist for The Washington Post, was assassinated in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. [315] [316]


Non-natural disasters


Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 25 January 2010 Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 crashed into the Mediterranean Sea shortly after take-off from Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport, killing all 90 people on board. [317]
2010 Polish Air Force Tu-154 crash 10 April 2010 Flag of Russia.svg Polish President Lech Kaczyński and dozens of Polish government and military officials were among 96 people killed when their plane crashed near Smolensk, Russia. [318]
Afriqiyah Airways Flight 771 12 May 2010 Flag of Libya.svg Afriqiyah Airways Flight 771 crashed on a runway at Tripoli International Airport in Libya, killing all but one of the 104 passengers and crew. [319]
Air India Express Flight 812 22 May 2010 Flag of India.svg Air India Express Flight 812 overshot the runway at Mangalore International Airport in India, killing 158 people, with eight surviving. [320]
Airblue Flight 202 28 July 2010 Flag of Pakistan.svg Airblue Flight 202 en route from Karachi to Islamabad crashed in the Margalla Hills near Islamabad, killing all 152 aboard, becoming the deadliest air crash in Pakistan's history. [321]
2011 Beechcraft 65-80 Queen Air crash 10 December 2011 Flag of the Philippines.svg Parañaque plane crash kills 14 people in a slum area. [322]
Dana Air Flight 992 3 June 2012 Flag of Nigeria.svg Dana Air Flight 992 crashed in the Nigerian city of Lagos, killing all 153 people aboard. 10 people on the ground also perished. [323]
2012 Philippine Piper Seneca crash 18 August 2012 Flag of the Philippines.svg A plane carrying four people – two pilots, the Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government Jesse Robredo and his aide, crashed off the shore of Masbate Island en route to Robredo's hometown of Naga City from Cebu City. His aide survived the crash, however the Secretary and the two pilots did not survive. [324]
Asiana Airlines Flight 214 6 July 2013 Flag of the United States.svg Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed at San Francisco airport killing 3 and injuring 181 people. [325]
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 8 March 2014 Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The bulk of the plane is still missing, with all 239 people on board presumed dead. The first remains of the aircraft were found on 29 July 2015, after they washed ashore on Réunion Island. [326] [327]
2014 Lao People's Liberation Army Air Force An-74 crash 14 May 2014 Flag of Laos.svg A Lao People's Liberation Army Air Force airplane crashed in northern Laos, killing 16 people, among them several prominent Laotian statesmen, including Defense Minister Douangchay Phichit. [328]
Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 17 July 2014 Flag of Ukraine.svg Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine and crashed near the Ukrainian-Russian border, killing all 298 people on board, making it the deadliest airliner shoot down in history. [329]
Air Algérie Flight 5017 24 July 2014 Flag of Mali.svg Air Algérie Flight 5017 crashed in southern Mali, killing all 116 passengers and crew. [330]
Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 28 December 2014 Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 crashed in the Java sea after an attempt to avoid heavy thunderstorms, leaving all 162 people dead. [331]
Villa Castelli helicopter collision 9 March 2015 Flag of Argentina.svg Two helicopters collided in mid-air in a remote area of northwestern Argentina leaving at least ten dead. Among the dead were a group of French sports stars participating in a reality-television show called Dropped . [332]
Germanwings Flight 9525 24 March 2015 Flag of France.svg Germanwings Flight 9525 crashed in the French Alps, killing all 150 on board. [333]
2015 Pakistan Army Mil Mi-17 crash 8 May 2015 Flag of Pakistan.svg Ambassadors Leif Larsen of Norway, Domingo Lucenario of the Philippines, Burhan Muhammad of Indonesia and other diplomats and the two helicopter pilots were killed in a helicopter crash in Pakistan. [334]
2015 Indonesian Air Force Lockheed C-130 Hercules crash 30 June 2015 Flag of Indonesia.svg A Lockheed C-130 Hercules operated by the Indonesian Air Force crashed into a crowded residential neighborhood in Medan shortly after take-off from Soewondo Air Force Base, killing 143 people including 22 on the ground, making it the deadliest crash in Indonesian Air Force peacetime history. [335]
Metrojet Flight 9268 31 October 2015 Flag of Egypt.svg Metrojet Flight 9268, an Airbus A321 airliner en route to Saint Petersburg from Sharm el-Sheikh, crashes near Al-Hasana in Sinai, killing all 224 passengers and crew on board. [336]
2015 Russian Sukhoi Su-24 shootdown 24 November 2015 Flag of Syria.svg Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet in the first case of a NATO member destroying a Russian aircraft since the 1950s. [337]
Flydubai Flight 981 19 March 2016 Flag of Russia.svg Flydubai Flight 981 crashed in the runway of Rostov-on-Don Airport in Russia, killing 62 passengers and crews. [338]
EgyptAir Flight 804 19 May 2016 EgyptAir Flight 804 was an international passenger flight from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to Cairo International Airport, operated by EgyptAir, that went missing over the Mediterranean Sea near the Greek island of Karpathos. There were 66 people on board who are still missing. [339] [340]
LaMia Flight 2933 29 November 2016 Flag of Colombia.svg A chartered Avro RJ85 plane carrying 77 people, including the Chapecoense football team, crashes near Medellín, Colombia. Rescuers reported seven survivors had been found in the wreckage, however it was reduced to six, after one died on arrival at A&E. The 2016 Copa Sudamericana Finals were suspended, and Atlético Nacional, who to be Chapecoence's opponents, gave them the trophy out of respect. [341]
2016 Russian Defence Ministry Tupolev Tu-154 crash 25 December 2016 Flag of Russia.svg A Tupolev Tu-154 crashes near Sochi, Russia, killing all 92 people on board, including 64 members of the Alexandrov Ensemble. [342]
Iran Aseman Airlines Flight 3704 18 February 2018 Flag of Iran.svg Iran Aseman Airlines Flight 3704 crashes in the Zagros Mountains, en route from Tehran to Yasuj. All 65 passengers and crew members perish. [343]
US-Bangla Airlines Flight 211 12 March 2018 Flag of Nepal.svg Flight BS211 crashes in Nepal, killing 51 on board. [344]
Cubana de Aviación Flight 972 18 May 2018 Flag of Cuba.svg Cubana de Aviación Flight 972 crashes shortly after take-off near José Martí International Airport in Havana, killing 112 and leaving only one survivor. [345]


2010 Copiapó mining accident 13 October 2010 Flag of Chile.svg Thirty-three miners near Copiapó, Chile, were trapped 700 metres (2,300 feet) underground in a mining accident in San José Mine, before being rescued after surviving for a record 69 days. [346]
2013 Savar building collapse 24 April 2013 Flag of Bangladesh.svg An eight-story factory building collapsed in the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, killing 1,129 people and injuring over 2,000 more, becoming the deadliest structural failure in history. [347]
Zolitūde shopping centre roof collapse 12 November 2013 Flag of Latvia.svg The roof of a shopping centre in Zolitūde, Latvia collapsed, killing 54 people and resulting in the resignation of Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis. [348]
2015 Tianjin explosions 12 August 2015 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Two explosions occurred within 30 seconds of each other at a container storage station at the Port of Tianjin in the Binhai New Area of Tianjin, China, killing at least 173. [349]
Mecca crane collapse 11 September 2015 Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg A crane toppled over at Mecca, killing 111 people, weeks before the official Hajj pilgrimage. [350]
2015 Mina stampede 24 September 2015 Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg A stampede during the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, killed at least 2,236 people, making it the deadliest Hajj disaster in history. [351]
Bento Rodrigues dam disaster 5 November 2015 Flag of Brazil.svg An iron ore tailings dam in Bento Rodrigues, a subdistrict of Mariana, Brazil, suffered a catastrophic failure, causing flooding and at least 17 deaths. At least 16 people have been injured. This incident has been described as the worst environmental disaster in Brazil's history. [352] [353] [354]
Tham Luang cave rescue 23 June – 10 July 2018 Flag of Thailand.svg Twelve boys and their football coach are successfully rescued from the flooded Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Thailand, following a 17-day ordeal that gained worldwide attention. [355] [356]
Ponte Morandi Collapse14 August 2018 Flag of Italy.svg Part of the Morandi Bridge collapses after a violent storm in Genoa, Italy, causing 43 fatalities. Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio and transport minister Danilo Toninelli blame private company Autostrade per l'Italia. [357] [358]


Kiss nightclub fire 27 January 2013 Flag of Brazil.svg 242 people were killed in a fire at a nightclub in Santa Maria, Brazil. [359]
Kentex slipper factory fire 13 May 2015 Flag of the Philippines.svg At least 72 were killed in a fire at a slipper manufacturing factory in Valenzuela City, Philippines. [360] [361] [362]
Colectiv nightclub fire 30 October 2015 Flag of Romania.svg A fire broke out at a nightclub in Bucharest, Romania, killing 63 people and resulting in widespread protests that led to the resignation of Prime Minister Victor Ponta. [363]
Grenfell Tower fire 14 June 2017 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg A fire ignited by a faulty refrigerator in a London council estate tower block spread to almost the entirety of the building causing 72 deaths and over 70 injuries. [364] [365]
2018 Kemerovo fire 25 March 2018 Flag of Russia.svg At least 64 people die in a fire at a shopping and entertainment complex in the Russian city of Kemerovo. [366]
2018 Valencia, Venezuela fire 28 March 2018 Flag of Venezuela.svg At least 78 people die in a fire in the police headquarters of Valencia, Venezuela. [367]
National Museum of Brazil fire 2 September 2018 Flag of Brazil.svg A fire destroys the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro. Fortunately no one was hurt, but 90 percent of the collection has been destroyed. [368] [369]


Costa Concordia disaster 13 January 2012 Flag of Italy.svg The Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia hit a reef and partially capsized off the coast of Isola del Giglio, Italy, killing 32 people. [370]
Grounding of the USS Guardian (MCM-5) 17 January 2013 Flag of the Philippines.svg USS Guardian (MCM-5), an American mine countermeasures ship, ran ground at Tubbataha Reef, testing relations between the Philippines and the United States. [371]
Sinking of the MV St. Thomas Aquinas 16 August 2013 Flag of the Philippines.svg MV St. Thomas Aquinas collided with MV Sulpicio Express Siete resulting in 55 deaths. 65 people remain missing. [372]
Sinking of MV Sewol 16 April 2014 Flag of South Korea.svg South Korean ferry MV Sewol capsized while en route to Jeju, killing 295 people, mostly secondary school students from Danwon High School. [373]
Sinking of Dong Fang Zhi Xing 1 June 2015 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg The river cruise ship Dong Fang Zhi Xing capsized in the Yangtze River after being hit by a waterspout, killing 442 people, making it the deadliest maritime disaster in China's peacetime history. [374]
Sinking of the Kim Nirvana-B 2 July 2015 Flag of the Philippines.svg MB Kim Nirvana, a motorized jukung bound for Camotes Islands which carried 173 passengers, capsized off the coast of Ormoc, killing 62 passengers. [375]
Sinking of the MV Nyerere 20 September 2018 Flag of Tanzania.svg The MV Nyerere capsizes on Lake Victoria, killing at least 227 passengers. [376]


Deepwater Horizon oil spill 20 April 2010 Flag of the United States.svg An explosion on BP's Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig, operating in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, left eleven crewmen dead and resulted in a fire that sank the rig and caused a massive oil spill, becoming the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. [377] [378]
Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster 11 March 2011 Flag of Japan.svg A magnitude 9.0 earthquake off the coast of Sendai caused a tsunami that severely damaged the Fukushima Daiichi and Fukushima Daini nuclear power plants. The damage resulted in the worst nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl disaster, contaminating the entire area. [379] [380]
Flint water crisis 25 April 2014 Flag of the United States.svg The U.S. city of Flint, Michigan's water source was changed from the treated Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to the Flint River, where officials had failed to apply corrosion inhibitors. This decision led to the water being contaminated by lead and eventual nationwide outrage about an alleged coverup. [381] [382]

Natural disasters

Earthquakes and tsunamis

2010 Haiti earthquake 12 January 2010 Flag of Haiti.svg A 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti, causing widespread destruction in Port-au-Prince. Haitian authorities believe that the disaster killed between 200,000 and 250,000 people and over three million more were affected by the quake. The earthquake is so far the deadliest disaster in the decade. [383] [384]
2010 Chile earthquake 27 February 2010 Flag of Chile.svg An 8.8 magnitude earthquake occurred in Chile, triggering a tsunami across the Pacific and killing 497. One of the largest earthquakes in recorded history, this rare megathrust earthquake likely shifted Earth's axis and slightly shortened its days. [385] [386] [387]
2010 Baja California earthquake 4 April 2010 Flag of Mexico.svg A 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Mexicali and Baja, killing three and injuring more than two hundred. US border towns in Imperial Valley, California were affected. [388]
2010 Yushu earthquake 13 April 2010 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg A 6.9 magnitude earthquake occurred in western China, killing at least 2,200 and injuring more than 12,000. [389] [390]
February 2011 Christchurch earthquake 22 February 2011 Flag of New Zealand.svg A 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 185 people. [391]
2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami 11 March 2011 Flag of Japan.svg A 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit near Sendai, Japan. It created a 30 feet (9.1 m) high tsunami, leaving 15,893 dead, 2,565 missing and over 150,000 displaced. It was the largest earthquake to hit Japan in 140 years. [392] [393] [394]
2011 Van earthquake 23 October 2011 Flag of Turkey.svg A 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck the Turkish city of Van, leaving over 604 dead and thousands more injured. [395]
2013 Bohol earthquake 15 October 2013 Flag of the Philippines.svg A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Visayas region of the Philippines, killing over 200 people. [396]
April 2015 Nepal earthquake 25 April 2015 Flag of Nepal.svg A massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal killed at least 8,857 people and injured tens of thousands more.It is the worst disaster to hit Nepal in decades. [397] [398] [399]
May 2015 Nepal earthquake 12 May 2015 Flag of Nepal.svg A second major earthquake hit Nepal, measuring 7.3 on the moment magnitude scale, killing 218 more people. [400]
2015 Illapel earthquake 16 September 2015 Flag of Chile.svg An 8.3 magnitude earthquake jolted Chile, killing over 14 people. [401]
2015 Hindu Kush earthquake 26 October 2015 Flag of Pakistan.svg Flag of Afghanistan.svg A magnitude 7.5 earthquake strikes the Hindu Kush region and causes 398 deaths, with 279 in Pakistan, 115 in Afghanistan and 4 in India. [402]
2016 Kumamoto earthquakes 16 April 2016 Flag of Japan.svg A 7.0 earthquake struck near Kumamoto City of Kumamoto Prefecture, resulting in at least 44 deaths and about 3,000 injured. More than 44,000 people have been evacuated from their homes. [403]
2016 Ecuador earthquake 16 April 2016 Flag of Ecuador.svg A 7.8 earthquake struck near Muisne, Ecuador, killing over 673 people and displacing at least 25,000 more. [404]
August 2016 Central Italy earthquake 24 August 2016 Flag of Italy.svg A 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck Central Italy near Norcia, 75 km (47 mi) southeast of Perugia and 45 km (28 mi) north of L'Aquila, in an area near the tripoint of the Umbria, Lazio, and Marche regions. At least 298 people have been left dead. [405]
2017 Central Mexico earthquake 19 September 2017 Flag of Mexico.svg A 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck near the city of Puebla. Coincidentally, it was also the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, which claimed about 10,000 lives. The earthquake was commemorated with a national earthquake seismic alert drill at 11 a.m. local time, just two hours before the Puebla earthquake struck, which left 360 dead and over 6,000 injured. [406]
2018 Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami 28 September 2018 Flag of Indonesia.svg A magnitude 7.5 earthquake hits Sulawesi, Indonesia, causing a tsunami that kills at least 2,256 people and injures more than 540 others. [407]

Tropical cyclones

Typhoon Megi 18 October 2010 Flag of the Philippines.svg Typhoon Megi, known in the Philippines as Super Typhoon Juan, hit the Philippines, killing at least 69 and causing US$709 million in damage. [408]
Tropical Storm Washi 16 December 2011 Flag of the Philippines.svg Tropical Storm Washi, known in the Philippines as Tropical Storm Sendong, caused catastrophic damage on the Philippine island of Mindanao. More than 1,000 died and thousands were injured or missing. [409]
Hurricane Sandy 25 October 2012Various Hurricane Sandy caused immense destruction in Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and the United States, leaving at least 233 dead. It became the largest Atlantic tropical storm ever. [410] [411]
Typhoon Bopha 2 December 2012 Flag of the Philippines.svg Typhoon Bopha, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Pablo, struck the Philippines, killing at least 650 people and leaving millions more homeless. [412]
Typhoon Haiyan 7 November 2013 Flag of the Philippines.svg Typhoon Haiyan, known as Super Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, hits the Philippines, killing at least 6,000 people, with a thousand more still missing, making it the deadliest typhoon to ever hit the Philippines. [413]
Typhoon Hagupit 6 December 2014 Flag of the Philippines.svg Typhoon Hagupit, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Ruby, hit the Philippines killing at least 18 and causing $114 million in damage. [414]
Cyclone Pam 13 March 2015 Flag of Vanuatu.svg Cyclone Pam struck Vanuatu, killing a total of 16 people with around 166,000 people affected, more than half the population of the entire country. It is the worst tropical cyclone to ever strike the country. [415] [416]
Typhoon Koppu 17–19 October 2015 Flag of the Philippines.svg Typhoon Koppu, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Lando, hit the Philippines and killed at least 48 and caused $235.8 million in damages. [417]
Hurricane Patricia 23 October 2015 Flag of Mexico.svg Hurricane Patricia was the most intense hurricane ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere and second most intense globally, with winds of 215 miles per hour (346 km/h) and a pressure of 872 millibars (872 hPa). [418]
Typhoon Melor 13 December 2015 Flag of the Philippines.svg Typhoon Melor, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Nona, hits the Philippines, killing 42 and causing $136 million in damages. [419] [420]
Cyclone Winston 20 February 2016 Flag of Fiji.svg Cyclone Winston struck Fiji, killing 44 people and causing $1.4 billion in damages, making it the costliest tropical cyclone in South Pacific history. [421]
Typhoon Haima 19 October 2016 Flag of the Philippines.svg Typhoon Haima, known in the Philippines as Super Typhoon Lawin, hits northern Luzon, killing at least 14 people. Typhoon signal number 5 is raised for the first time before and after its landfall. [422] [423]
Hurricane Harvey 23 August 2017 Flag of the United States.svg Hurricane Harvey slams into southeastern Texas after reorganizing over the Gulf of Mexico, causing catastrophic flooding and billions in damages. It became the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Total damage from the hurricane was estimated at $198 billion, making it the costliest natural disaster ever in the United States. Additionally, with peak rainfall totals reaching 60.58 in (1538.7 mm), Harvey was the wettest tropical cyclone on record in the United States. [424] [425] [426]
Hurricane Irma 30 August 2017 – 16 September 2017 Flag of Antigua and Barbuda.svg

Flag of Cuba.svg Flag of the United States.svg

Hurricane Irma, an extremely powerful and catastrophic Cape Verde-type hurricane, the strongest observed in the Atlantic since Wilma in 2005 in terms of maximum sustained winds. It was the first Category 5 hurricane to strike the Leeward Islands on record. The storm caused catastrophic damage in Barbuda, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Anguilla, and the Virgin Islands as a Category 5 hurricane. [427] [428]
Hurricane Maria 16 September 2017 – 3 October 2017 Flag of Puerto Rico.svg Flag of Dominica.svg Hurricane Maria is regarded as the worst natural disaster on record in Dominica, and caused catastrophic damage and a major humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico. The third costliest Atlantic hurricane to date, it caused catastrophic damage and thousands of fatalities across the northeastern Caribbean, compounding recovery efforts in areas still damaged from Hurricane Irma just two weeks prior. [429] [430]
Hurricane Florence 31 August 2018 – 19 September 2018 Flag of the United States.svg Hurricane Florence, a powerful and long-lived Cape Verde hurricane, strikes the Carolinas, causing widespread and catastrophic flooding that made it one of the costliest tropical cyclones on record. It produced more rainfall than any other tropical cyclone in North and South Carolina to date. [431]
Typhoon Mangkhut 15 September 2018 Flag of the Philippines.svg Typhoon Mangkhut, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Ompong, hits northern Luzon, triggering deadly landslides and killing at least 95 people. [432] [433]


2011 Super Outbreak 25–28 April 2011 Flag of the United States.svg A tornado outbreak in the United States killed 342 people across seven states. It was the largest and one of the deadliest tornado outbreaks in United States history. [434]
21–26 May 2011 tornado outbreak sequence 21 May 2011 Flag of the United States.svg Another US tornado outbreak took place over six days. 178 people were killed, most of which occurred in Joplin, Missouri after an EF5 tornado swept through the city, killing 161 people. [435]
2013 Moore tornado 20 May 2013 Flag of the United States.svg A tornado killed 24 and wounded over 300 in Moore, Oklahoma.

Floods, avalanches, and mudslides

2010 Pakistan floods July 2010 Flag of Pakistan.svg Flooding occurred in Pakistan after record monsoon rains, killing at least 1,600 people, thousands were rendered homeless, and more than thirteen million people were affected. Estimates from rescue service officials suggest the death toll might have reached 3,000. [436] [437] [438]
January 2011 Rio de Janeiro floods and mudslides 11 January 2011 Flag of Brazil.svg Floods and mudslides killed 903 people across the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. [439] [440]
2013 Alberta floods 19 June 2013 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Massive flooding occurred in Alberta, becoming the province's worst flooding in decades. [441]
2015 Afghanistan avalanches 24 February 2015 Flag of Afghanistan.svg An avalanche killed 310 people and wounded over 129 in Panjshir Province, Afghanistan. [442]
2016 Louisiana floods 12 August 2016 Flag of the United States.svg The 2016 Louisiana floods were a period of prolonged rainfall in southern parts of the U.S. state of Louisiana that resulted in catastrophic flooding that submerged thousands of houses and businesses, with 13 deaths reported as a result of the flooding.
2018 Naga, Cebu landslide 20 September 2018 Flag of the Philippines.svg A landslide occurred in Naga, Cebu, killing at least 29 people. [443]

Winter storms

2011 Halloween nor'easter 29 October 2011 Flag of the United States.svg A rare October snow storm hit the northeastern United States and Mid-Atlantic United States days before Halloween, leaving millions without power and killing 15.
February 2013 nor'easter 7 February 2013 Flag of the United States.svg Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg A massive blizzard hit the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada, killing 18 and dropping a near-record amount of snow. [444]

Volcanic eruptions

2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull 20 March 2010 Flag of Iceland.svg Eruptions of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland caused unprecedented disruption to international air travel, rendering transatlantic flight impossible and closing airways across much of Europe, affecting the travel plans of millions of passengers. The event was the largest air traffic shut-down since World War II.The International Air Transport Association estimated that the airline industry worldwide would lose €148 million or GB£130 million a day during the disruption. [445] [446]
2010 eruptions of Mount Merapi Early November 2010 Flag of Indonesia.svg Mount Merapi erupted in Indonesia, killing 353 people and grounding flights across Southeast Asia, becoming the largest eruption from the mountain in a century.
2018 lower Puna eruption 3 May 2018 Flag of the United States.svg A lava flow erupted in Hawai'i from Kīlauea's east rift zone, causing lots of damage and resulting in evacuation orders.

Droughts, heat waves, and wildfires

2011–17 California drought December 2011 – March 2017 Flag of the United States.svg The state of California suffered through a water drought for the most part of the decade, affecting the way how Californians showered, use their drinking water, and even some of their electricity. [447]
2015 Indian heat wave 24 May 2015 Flag of India.svg A heatwave in Southern India resulted in over 2,500 deaths. [448]
2015 Pakistani heat wave 20 June 2015 Flag of Pakistan.svg A related heatwave hit neighbouring Pakistan, killing over 2,000 people in Karachi alone. [448]
2016 Fort McMurray wildfire 1 May 2016 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg A wildfire began southwest of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. On 3 May, it swept through the community, destroying more than 2,400 homes and buildings and forcing the largest wildfire evacuation in Alberta's history. The wildfire is the costliest disaster in Canadian history. [449] [450]
Blue Cut Fire 16 August 2016 Flag of the United States.svg The Blue Cut Fire was a wildfire in the Cajon Pass, northeastern San Gabriel Mountains, and Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County, California. As of 20 August 2016 the fire has destroyed 105 homes and 213 other structures and continues to burn. [451]
2018 Attica wildfires 23–26 July 2018 Flag of Greece.svg Heavy wildfires in Greece leave 100 dead and more than a hundred buildings destroyed. [452]
2018 Camp Fire 8–25 November 2018 Flag of the United States.svg A wildfire began in Northern California that eventually became the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history to date. It was also the deadliest wildfire in the United States since the Cloquet fire in 1918, and among the list of deadliest wildfires, it was the sixth-deadliest U.S. wildfire overall, killing 85 people and injuring 17. [453] [454]


Greece and Eurozone's rise of debt in the early years of the decade Greek debt and EU average.png
Greece and Eurozone's rise of debt in the early years of the decade

In 2010, China became the second largest global economy, surpassing Japan. [455] Japan also saw a rating downgrade the following year due to debt burden. [456] The 2010s began amidst a global financial crisis that started in the late 2000s. In particular, the Eurozone debt crisis, which began during 2009, continued into the 2010s. A sovereign-debt crisis in Europe began in early 2010, and the Greek government admitted that it was having difficulties servicing its large sovereign debt. In the summer and fall of 2011 bond yields for Italy and Spain spiked above 6 percent. [457] In August 2011, the S&P downgraded the United States' credit rating from triple AAA to AA-plus. [458] That same year, a Gallup poll in 2011 found that more than half of Americans believed the country was still in a recession. [459]

Despite the Eurozone debt crisis, the American Dow Jones Industrial Average had its longest stretch of gains since the late 1990s tech boom. [460] However, economic issues, including inflation and an increase in commodity prices, sparked unrest in many lower-income countries. In some countries, particularly those in the Arab world, political unrest evolved into socioeconomic crises. This set off numerous revolutions, including those in Kyrgyzstan and Tunisia in 2010, and Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Egypt in 2011 and 2012. Global oil production in 2014 reached an historic peak, reaching 93 million barrels/day. [461] By 2015 bond rates had returned to normal ranges across Europe, save for Greece, which accepted another, even more stringent bailout package. The size of the European Financial Stability Facility was increased from €440 billion to €2 trillion. [462]

From 12 June 2015, the Shanghai Stock Exchange lost a third of the value of A-shares within one month, known as the 2015–16 Chinese stock market turbulence. India became the fastest growing major economy of the world in 2015, surpassing China. [463] In 2018, fears of a yield curve inversion preceding a US recession as the Federal Reserve raised interest rates sends inflation higher in several Emerging Markets, including Argentina, where interest rates hit 40% and an IMF bail out was issued. [464]

Cyber security and hacking

Cyber security incidents, such as hacking, leaks or theft of sensitive information, gained increased attention of governments, corporations and individuals.

Edward Snowden, former NSA employee who revealed a large number of global surveillance programs. Edward Snowden-2.jpg
Edward Snowden, former NSA employee who revealed a large number of global surveillance programs.
Jurgen Mossack, co-founder of Mossack Fonseca, which shut down in light of revelations from the Panama Papers. Jurgen Mossack.jpg
Jürgen Mossack, co-founder of Mossack Fonseca, which shut down in light of revelations from the Panama Papers.
Afghan War documents leak 25 July 2010 WikiLeaks published more than 90,000 internal U.S. military logs of the War in Afghanistan. The documents revealed how the coalition used special forces to hunt down, kill and capture Taliban leaders without trial, drones to attack alleged Taliban positions, covered up evidence of the Taliban acquiring surface-to-air missiles and deaths of civilians by coalition forces and Taliban suicide bombings. [465] [466]
Stuxnet August 2010A malicious computer worm, first identified in 2010, that targets industrial computer systems, was responsible for causing substantial damage to Iran's nuclear program. Although neither country has admitted responsibility, the worm is now generally acknowledged to be a jointly built American-Israeli cyberweapon. [467] [468] [469]
Iraq War documents leak 22 October 2010Wikileaks disclosed nearly 392,000 U.S. Army field reports of the Iraq War, the largest leak in the history of the U.S. military. [470] It documented multiple cases of U.S. authorities failing to report abuses of detainees, purposely misleading the death toll of the war, [471] soldiers killing hundreds of civilians for coming too close to checkpoints and other war crimes. [472] [473] The leaks also showed that Iran was involved in the war by supplying Shiite militias with deadly weapons. [474]
The Offshore leaks April 2013A report disclosed details of 130,000 offshore accounts. Some observers called it one of the biggest hit against international tax fraud of all times, although normal businesses may use the offshore legislation to ease formalities in international trade. [475] The report originated from the Washington D.C.-based investigative journalism nonprofit, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). [475]
Global surveillance disclosures (2013–present) 5 June 2013 Edward Snowden leaked files through the Guardian newspaper detailing National Security Agency (NSA) privacy policies, including PRISM, the NSA call database, and Boundless Informant. [476] [477] [478] Leaks also revealed covert actions against German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and have damaged diplomatic relations in Europe and Brazil. [479] [480]
Swiss Leaks February 2015The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) website released information about bank accounts in Switzerland. [481] The investigation was conducted by over 130 journalists in Paris, Washington, Geneva, and 46 other countries. The disclosed information has been called "the biggest leak in Swiss banking history". [482]
Office of Personnel Management data breach 5 June 2015The Office of Personnel Management of the U.S. government announced that it was hacked, resulting in a massive data breach, stealing information of around 21.5 million people. [483] The attack was suspected to have originated from China but it remains unclear if it was or not. [484]
2016 Bangladesh Bank heist 4 February 2016The Bangladesh Bank became a victim of theft after hackers attempted to steal US$951 Million from its account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. [485] The hackers failed to steal the attempted amount but still got away with $81 million, which was diverted to the Philippines, making it one of the largest bank heists in history. [486] [487]
Commission on Elections data breach 27 March 2016 Anonymous Philippines hacked the website of Commission on Elections to force them to place security features on Vote Counting Machine (VCM). [488] Soon, the LulzSec Pilipinas leaked sensitive information of voters all over the Philippines from the COMELEC website, and the incident has been called the "biggest government data breach in history". [489]
Panama Papers 3 April 201611.5 millions confidential documents were leaked from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca that detailed financial and attorney–client information of more than 214,488 offshore companies. [490] The leaks revealed information of various world leaders, politicians, billionaires and celebrities being involved in hidden financial dealings within tax havens and companies doing business with terrorist organizations and governments under international sanctions. [491] [492]
Yahoo! data breach 22 September 2016 Yahoo Inc. reported that account information for up to 500 million users in 2014 had been hacked. [493] Yahoo alleged in its statement that the act was "state-sponsored data breach." [494] It was believed that the hack compromised personal data from the accounts including names, addresses, passwords, telephone numbers and possibly encrypted other information. [495] Further, the statement claimed that the hacker was no longer in Yahoo's system and that the company was fully cooperating with law enforcement. [494]
October 2016 Dyn cyberattack 21 October 2016A currently unknown attacker launches multiple distributed denial-of-service (DDos) attacks on networks operated by DNS provider Dyn, making numerous sites difficult or impossible to access for a period of time, including Twitter, Reddit, Netflix, Spotify, The New York Times , BBC News, and PayPal. The Department of Homeland Security opens an investigation. [496]
Vault 7 7 March 2017 WikiLeaks began to publish a series of files that detail the capabilities of the United States Central Intelligence Agency to perform electronic surveillance and cyber warfare, such as the ability to compromise cars, smart TVs, [303] web browsers, [497] and the operating systems of most smartphones and computers, such as Microsoft Windows and macOS.
WannaCry ransomware attack 12 May 2017A large cyberattack infected more than 230,000 computers in 150 countries, demanding ransom payments in the cryptocurrency bitcoin in 28 languages. The attack spread by multiple methods, including phishing emails [498] and on unpatched systems as a computer worm. The attack was described by Europol as unprecedented in scale, affecting large companies such as Telefónica and parts of Britain's National Health Service. [499] [500]
Paradise Papers 5 November 2017A set of 13.4 million confidential electronic documents relating to offshore investments. [501] The documents originate from the offshore law firm Appleby, the corporate services providers Estera and Asiaciti Trust, and business registries in 19 tax jurisdictions. [502] At 1.4 terabytes in size, this is second only to the Panama Papers, it is the second biggest data leak in history. [503]


AIDS, a pandemic responsible for killing over 30 million people since its discovery in the early 1980s, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, became a treatable condition, though only one case had been cured. [504] With good treatment patients can generally expect normal lives and lifespans. However, as of 2011 only some 5 million of the 12 million afflicted have access to such treatment. [504]


West African Ebola virus epidemic December 2013 – June 2016An outbreak of the ebola virus, the worst of its kind in history, killed more than 11,300 people in West Africa. [505] In August 2014, the World Health Organization declared it a public health emergency of international concern. On 14 January 2016, the WHO has declared the epidemic to be over, despite continuing small flare-ups. [506]
Zika virus epidemic April 2015 – November 2016A zika virus spreads rapidly throughout Latin America, [507] with imported cases being reported worldwide. [508] [509]
Middle East respiratory syndrome outbreak in South Korea May–July 2015An outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome in South Korea caused over thirty deaths. Thousands were quarantined. [510]

Science and technology


These are the 10 most significant scientific developments of each year, based on the annual Breakthrough of the Year award of the American Association for the Advancement of Science journal Science . The top entry per year was named the Breakthrough of the Year (in bold); the remaining nine were named as runners-up.

Other scientific advancements by field


  • 2011: Life extension began to be considered. [533]
  • 2013: Google created Calico in order to research ways to combat aging. [534]
  • 2015: The Philippines became the first Asian country to approve the sale of the world's first dengue vaccine, the Dengvaxia. [535]
  • 2016: A study in December finds the VSV-EBOV vaccine to be 95-100% effective against the Ebola virus, thus making it the first proven vaccine against the disease. [536]
Oblique View of Warm Season Flows in Newton Crater.jpg
NASA announced that its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured photographic evidence of possible liquid water on Mars on 4 August 2011.
CERN LHC Tunnel1.jpg
The first collisions of CERN's Large Hadron Collider took place on 31 March 2010.
CMS Higgs-event.jpg
CERN announces the discovery of a new particle with properties consistent with the Higgs boson after experiments at the Large Hadron Collider.