In this year
Barack Obama, the first-ever African-American US President, was officially sworn into office for his second and final term on January 21st. He’d finish his second term in 2016, when Republican Donald Trump would take over the top job.
Pope Benedict XVI was only the second Pope in around 700 years to resign or retire from the role of head of the Vatican. The last Pope to resign by choice was Celestine V, all the way back in 1294. Benedict XVI would remain in the Vatican in a retired capacity.
In fact, it didn’t take long for the Catholic Church to announce Benedict XVI’s successor, as by March 13th, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergolio was named the next Pope – we all know him is Pope Francis I, and he was the first Pope born on an American continent.
The Boston Marathon, taking place on April 15th in Massachusetts, US, fell prey to a terrorist attack that killed three people and harmed 264. Two brothers were found responsible for the attack – one was killed before he could be arrested, while the other was taken to trial and eventually sentenced to death.
Controversial yet pioneering science news hit the headlines on May 15th, as it emerged that scientists at Oregon’s Health and Science University, US, had made a breakthrough in cloning embryonic stem cells – from human bodies. This was a pivotal moment in opening up the door to human cloning in the future.
Edward Snowden, an ex-CIA employee, blew the whistle on several US mass surveillance programs to the mass media – which led him to eventually escaping the country and gaining asylum over in Russia. A movie was later made about his story.
Egypt’s leader, President Mohamed Morsi, was removed from office via coup d’etat on July 3rd, on the back of waves of protests – the event was followed by violence across trhe country. Morsi was succeeded temporarily by Adly Mansour in the top job, who was then succeeded by Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in June 2014.
Chemical attacks across Syria shocked the world in late August 2013, with 1,429 people killed during the latest skirmish of the Civil War there on August 21st. The United Kingdom considered intervening, but voted against the decision as of August 29th.
Australia saw huge changes at the top of government on September 7th, as Tony Abbott’s Liberal/National Coalition would beat the Labor incumbent Kevin Rudd at the federal polls. Abbott would assume charge as of September 18th, and would remain in the role until September 2015, when he was succeeded by Malcolm Turnbull.
Following the highly controversial release of operating system Windows 8 – which drastically altered several aspects of the system people were accustomed to – Microsoft launched Windows 8.1 on October 17th, in an effort to address many of the complaints and to improve the user experience.
On November 12th, a series of Francis Bacon paintings broke world records for art auctions everywhere – as his “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” sold in New York for around $142 million – that’s at least $187 million in current money.
China's celebrated Chang'e 3 spacecraft landed on the Moon completely uncrewed – the first craft to soft-land on the lunar surface since at least 1976. The Chang'e deployed the Yutu rover, which would discover new minerals and cease sending data back to Earth by 2015.
2023 was the year of the…
Snakes carry some negative connotations in the West, but in the Chinese Zodiac, the snake is seen as a lucky, calm, and loyal presence. Anyone born in a snake year – 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965, 1953, 1941, or 1929 – is considered a rational and thoughtful person to be around. The next snakes will be born in 2025, when the Year of the Snake rolls around again.