Top 10 world events in 2016 selected by VOV

1. Britain leaves the EU – Brexit

June 24, 2016 was a historic day for Britain and the EU when 51.9% of Britons voted yes for Britain to exit from the EU. Brexit means the EU lost a prominent member and weakens the EU’s status as the world’s biggest common wealth.

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2. Billionaire Donald Trump elected as the 45th President of the US

Republican candidate Donald Trump defeated Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton to become the 45th President of the US. American voters expect that he would make the US greater again in the next 4 years with a more prosperous economy, lower unemployment rate, and better social welfare.

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3. The Permanent Court of Arbitration’s ruling on the East Sea disputes

The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in the Hague issued a ruling on the Philippines’ lawsuit against China’s 9-dash-line claim in the East Sea. The ruling said that China’s claim of historic rights over the waters within the 9-dash line was contrary to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). It judged that China has no legal evidence for its historic claims of jurisdiction over resources within the 9-dash line. Regardless of the PCA ruling, China has escalated activities in the East Sea, particularly on the Spratly and Paracel archipelagos including expanding the reclamation of artificial islands, deploying aircraft, missiles, and radars on these islands, taking tourists to Paracel archipelagos, and organizing military exercises in the region.

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4. The Paris Accord on Climate Change takes effect

The Paris Accord on Climate Change took effect on November 4 after it was ratified by 72 countries that produced over 56% of global greenhouse gas emissions. On Earth Day, April 22, representatives from 175 countries signed the Paris Accord on Climate Change at the UN headquarters in New York.

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5. The Korean peninsula continues to complicate

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea tested hydrogen bombs in January and successfully conducted a nuclear test in September. The world community strongly condemned the tests which are said to intensify regional tensions. Meanwhile a deep political crisis saw President Park Geun-hye temporarily suspended from her post.

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6. Antonio Guterres elected as the UN Secretary General   

The UN General Assembly confirmed the nomination of António Guterres of Portugal, Former High Commissioner for Refugees, as the 9th United Nations Secretary-General, replacing Mr. Ban Ki-moon. Guterres, 67, will chair the UN term from 2017 to 2022. His biggest challenge will be strengthening solidarity among member countries.

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7. The Panama Papers leak shook the world

The Panama Papers were released to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and over 100 newspapers in 80 countries. The Panama Papers consisted of 11.5 million documents, including emails, PDF files, and images, concerning 214,000 foreign companies which were established to aid tax evasions and money laundry from 1970 to 2016. Several politicians, sports stars, drug smugglers, and fraudsters were listed.

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8. Terrorist attacks in EU countries

On France National Bastille Day, a terrorist ploughed his lorry into a crowd in Nice, killing 84 people and wounded hundreds of others. A similar attack occurred at a Christmas market in Germany in the middle of December, claiming the lives of 12 people. In Brussels, Belgium, 31 people died and about 300 others were injured in three terrorist attacks.

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9. No solution to the Syrian war

There have been no solutions for restoring peace in Syria. Several cease fires were broken. Russia’s intervention has changed the situation and conflicting interests among world powers have pushed the political crisis in Syria to a deadlock.

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10. Cuban leader Fidel Castro died

Cuban leader Fidel Castro died on November 25, 2016. His life and career was a heroic epic of his steadfastness in fighting for national independence, freedom, and happiness as well as international peace and justice.

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