Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013 - The year in review

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you had a great day with your families and are enjoying some well earned R&R over the holiday season.

Being the last day of the year, I thought I'd compile a list of memorable events from across the globe during 2013. I've listed one event for each month of the year, therefore, based on my choice for the month, there are some obvious omissions (for example the Boston bombings and the change of government in Australia).

Anyway, here is my list of "memorable" events. I say memorable meaning things that stood out either for good or bad reasons. This is merely a list of events, as opposed to me having my piece on each event. I gather I've voiced enough views for 2013!


An incredible assassination attempt on Bulgarian opposition leader Ahmed Dogan. The would be assassin walked up to the podium Dogan was speaking at, aimed a pistol at his head, pulled the trigger, only for the gun to misfire. He was then pounced on by security guards and arrested before he could fire a second shot (and after receiving a fair beating from members of the audience).


For the first time in almost 600 years, the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church resigned from his office. It is usual practice for a Pope to reign from election until death. On 11 February, Pope Benedict XVI resigned from the Papacy, stating declining health as the reason for his very much unexpected decision.


On 13 March, Pope Benedict XVI's replacement was elected. Pope Francis became the Catholic Church's 266th Pope as well as the first Jesuit Pope, the first Pope from Argentina (in fact the first Pope from the Americas), the first Pope from the Southern Hemisphere, and the first non-European Pope since Pope Gregory III in 741.


For the first time ever, and after numerous, agonisingly close attempts, an Australian won the US Masters at Augusta. Adam Scott filled every golfers' dream by winning his first major at Augusta and picking up Australia's first ever green jacket.

His scream of "come on Aussies" after his birdie on 18 will live in my memory forever.


On 22 May, British Army soldier, Private Lee Rigby was run down by a car and then stabbed and hacked to death by two men in a broad day-lit London street. The murderers remained at the scene until the police arrived, telling passers by that the murder was revenge for the killing of Muslims by British armed forces.

The pictures of a bloodied murderer with the victim laying face down on the road behind him was spread across newspapers worldwide, as well as across television screens, and is not easily forgotten.


In what would prove to be a year long event, and arguably the biggest story in AFL history, Essendon captain Jobe Watson admitted to taking the banned substance AOD9604 on Fox Footy's On the Couch.

Media intensity was through the roof following the admission given that Watson was the reigning Brownlow medalist and captain of a club desperately attempting to clear its name of drug cheating.


In what seemed to be a three year build up, Prince William and wife Kate gave birth to baby George. After Prince Charles and Prince William, baby Prince George is third in line for the throne of England.


Sticking to births and babies, and finding inspiration in Adam Scott's efforts in April for a namesake, my wife and I welcomed our first child into the world. Adam John-Paul Meese was born on 9 August and has been a constant source of joy since.


In September, the UN confirmed that the chemical gas Sarin was used in a rocket attack in Damascus the month before. The death toll from the Sarin gas attack ranges from just under 300 to over 1,700 people and almost brought direct military intervention by the USA. Peace talks are set for January 2014.


The world's largest economy was forced into a partial lock-down for the first time in almost two decades and faced the serious possibility of default when the Democrats and Republicans could not break a stale mate and agree on budget changes to "Obamacare" for 2014. The government shutdown lasted 16 days and was the third longest in US government history.


In early November, Typhoon Haiyan devastated portions of Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines. It is the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record, killing at least 6,155 people in that country alone.


One of the most revered and recognisable men of the 20th century, former South African President and anti-apartheid revolutionary, Nelson Mandela passed away, aged 95.

Well known as a freedom fighter, and for his huge efforts in attempting to dismantle racism, inequality and and poverty, Mandela served as South African President from 1994-1999 and was the country's first black President.

There are many other moments that could have been mentioned. Like most preceding years, it's been a big one. I'm sure 2014 will be no different.

Happy New Year to you all and I hope you all have a happy and prosperous 2014.

All the best,
Dom Meese

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