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by Tonio Galea

Each year has its events that leave a mark for years to come and this year is no different though some will linger more than others and their consequences felt for years to come.

2022 is a year that will give historians and people in general much to discuss with reverberations of what happened to be felt for a long time.

From the Russian invasion of Ukraine to the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Of the major political developments in the year, the political chaos that stood out the most was that in the UK. 

The political turmoil saw the demise of various Prime Ministers in quick succession starting with Theresa May then Boris Johnson followed by Liz Truss and finally finding some stability with Rishi Sunak.

Italy on the other hand witnessed the election of Giorgia Meloni as the country’s first woman Prime Minister and also the first from a far-right party to reach the helm of government since the end of World War II.

Meloni might have been the first woman to take the helm in Italy but not in Europe which witnessed various countries with women at the helm. 

The prime ministers from Denmark, Finland and Iceland are all women.

Other countries where women hold high positions of power in Europe include Moldova, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Kosovo, Lithuania, and Serbia.

The two most powerful positions in the European Union are in the hands of women too: Ursula Von Der Leyen at the helm of the European Commission and Roberta Metsola at the European Parliament with the latter being elected after the sudden death of David Sassoli.

2022 was also the year that saw the demise of the world’s most recognisable woman leader: Queen Elizabeth II. A death that consequently brought the succession to the British throne of King Charles. A succession that also saw the feud between Prince Harry and his wife Meghan aggravate namely through various interventions in the media with the Netflix documentary.

Every year would have its notable death but this year, that of the last Soviet leader had more of an impact than it would have had in normal circumstances due to the conflict in Ukraine.

Also, Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Egyptian terrorist who became the 2nd Emir of al-Qaeda after Osama bin Laden’s death in 2011, was killed in an airstrike in Kabul, Afghanistan conducted by the USA.

2022 marked many prominent deaths apart from that of Queen Elizabeth and Gorbachev. There were the deaths of world leaders Shinzo Abe, and Jiang Zemin, as well as entertainers Bob Saget, Sidney Poitier, Olivia Newton-John, Jean-Luc Godard, Angela Lansbury, and Jerry Lee Lewis.

Before Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in September, thousands of people travelled to London to pay their respects and see Her Majesty’s coffin lying in state in Westminster Hall, so much so that ‘The Queue’ became a thing and at its peak, the wait time to see the Queen lie in the state was more than 24 hours, and the maximum length was ten miles. 

This year is likely to be the second-highest year for mass shootings in the United States on record, according to data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive, a non-profit that tracks gun violence incidents across the United States. 

There have been at least 607 mass shootings till November this year. That’s just short of the 638 mass shootings in the country at this point last year – the worst year on record since the group began tracking them in 2014. 

It was the year that also finally saw the coronavirus, with all its variations, finally be brought under control thanks to the global rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, which began at the end of 2020.

The ongoing repercussions of the global pandemic and its impact on the economy, the IT industry and the channel continued to be felt and we’re aggravated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A series of severe heatwaves from July to August hit Europe, causing at least 53,000 deaths and additionally causing major wildfires, travel disruption, and record-high temperatures in many countries.

The UN COP27 summit held later in the year in Cairo Egypt was heavily criticized for lacking to come up with substantial measures to reign in climate change.

The year that has come to an end might have also set the pace for another political event whose ramifications will continue for the next year…the announcement that Donald Trump intends to contest the next American presidential election in 2024. 

Trump announced his third straight presidential bid, in an extremely rare attempt by a former US leader to recapture the White House after losing an election. An announcement that came as no surprise to many but one that came as the squabbles about his defeat in 2020 still linger. 

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