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Top 13 News Events of 2013

posted Dec 19, 2013, 8:26 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Dec 19, 2013, 9:04 AM ]

Matthew Bado

    With the year coming to an end, the Van Buren Knight Writer had decided to gather the Top 13 most important events of 2013. The events are in chronological order, from January to December, and present a brief picture of the events of this year. We hope you enjoy the Knight Writer’s Top 13 Events of 2013.

1. The NSA “PRISM” Program

Pictured: Edward Snowden, NSA whistleblower. 

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Revealed by government whistleblower Edward Snowden, the PRISM program is a massive NSA effort to monitor domestic and international communications involving the United States. Text messages and internet searches are scanned for “at risk” words, while suspicious phone activity is monitored. The PRISM program has been met with hostility both at home and internationally, but has not stopped at the time of writing.

2. Syrian Civil War

Pictured: A Syrian Rebel during street fighting in Aleppo earlier this year. 

Photo courtesy of (fair use)

The Syrian Civil War has re-entered the international stage due to the alleged use of Chemical weapons by pro-Assad forces. Following a vicious chemical attack on the village of Ghouta by Sarin gas, UN Inspectors were sent to investigate the site, but were turned back by sniper fire before they could examine it. Following this Russia, Syria’s closest ally, urged Assad to give up his chemical weapons. Talks are still underway in Geneva.

3. Pope Benedict XVI Resigns

Pictured: The former Pope, Benedict XVI. 

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Allegedly resigning due to ailing health and the physical and mental demands of the Papacy, Pope Benedict XVI is the first Pope to resign since 1294 (Celestine V). He officially resigned just before Easter and was succeeded by Pope Francis. Francis is the 266th Pope of the Catholic church.

4. Boston Marathon Bombings

Pictured: The Tsarnaev Brothers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar. 

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Three were killed and over 200 were injured by pressure-cooker bombs set off by the Tsarnaev brothers at finish line of the Boston Marathon. Boston was almost entirely shut down while a massive manhunt was initiated across the city. In the end, one of the brothers was killed in a shootout while the other was captured by police and remains in custody.

5. Ariel Castro

Pictured: Ariel Castro, mugshot from the Cleveland Police Department 

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On May 6, three women who had been missing for a decade were rescued from the Cleveland home of Ariel Castro, 52. Following his arrest, Castro pleaded guilty to 937 criminal charges and was sentenced to life without parole plus 1,000 years. One month into his sentence, Castro was found dead in his cell after he hung himself. An investigation into the apparent suicide found that Castro had possibly died of auto-erotic asphyxiation. However, this claim has been disputed by the Coroner, who says that the guards may have falsified their reports. As of now, the guards are on administrative leave under the suspicion of putting false entries in their logs.

6. Yahoo buys Tumblr for 1.1 billion dollars

Pictured: Not a literal version of the merger.

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In one of the most expensive business mergers between internet companies, online giant Yahoo purchased the popular blogging site Tumblr. Yahoo cited an urge to tap into the younger, more active base.

7. Mohamed Morsi and the 2013 Egyptian Coup d'état

Pictured: Mohamed Morsi 

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After weeks of heavy protests and the Muslim Brotherhood Government not meeting the people’s demands, Morsi was removed from office this July by the Egyptian Military. Morsi was recently released from a Egyptian Naval Base after four months of custody, and Adly Mansour, the head of Egypt’s constitutional court, has been appointed as Egypt’s interim Prime Minister.

8. Detroit files for Bankruptcy

Pictured: Detroit, now broke like a college student. 

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Detroit, one of Michigan's largest cities and a capital of America’s auto industry, filed for bankruptcy earlier this year after years of financial troubles. Detroit has gained a reputation as a poor, run-down city; a fact that is being reinforced by the current mass exodus of its citizens to greener pastures. It remains to be seen if Detroit will turn itself around, or if it will continue to “wallow in its rut.”

9. Washington Naval Yard Shooting

Pictured: Aaron Alexis 

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On Sept. 16, 2013 Aaron Alexis, a 34-year-old civilian contractor, killed 12 and injured 3 others in the second deadliest shooting on an American military base (with the most deadly being the Fort Hood shooting in 200). The attack lasted an hour before Alexis was killed by the police.

10. The Government Shutdown

Pictured: A Washington D.C. police officer stands outside the closed Lincoln Memorial.

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Following months of disagreements and unable to pass a budget with the words “Obama” and “Care” in it, the entire government was shut down due to Congress failing to reach an agreement on how to fund government programs, including the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare). The government, never popular to begin with, is now less popular than ever before in the history of the United States. This isn’t the only problem that the Affordable Care Act has faced, as its official website was plagued with problems on launch, some of which have yet to be fixed.

11. Super Typhoon Devastates Philippines

Pictured: The Typhoon, seen from above.

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A devastating typhoon hit the Philippines this fall, resulting in billions of dollars worth of property damage and thousands of deaths. Even with the massive amount of foreign aid the Philippines is receiving, it could be months before the island country’s infrastructure is fully repaired.

12. Iranian Nuclear Deal Passes

Pictured: Politics.

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Following months of talks in Geneva (Switzerland), a deal regarding Iran’s nuclear program has been reached. However, the talks are still underway and suffering setbacks. it may be a while before the deal comes into effect.

13. Nelson Mandela dies at 95

Pictured: Nelson Mandela

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Nelson Mandela, famed South African president and the man who banished Apartheid, the Boer (Dutch settlers) South African government’s racist policy against native Africans, died this December in South Africa’s capital, Johannesburg. He leaves behind him a legacy of a nation brought together, and intolerance beaten.