So, we’ve made it through the first month of the year – even if it is by the skin of our teeth! Who knew that the start of a new decade could go off with quite so many significant events?! Just when we thought the ground had stopped moving beneath our feet, we found out something else hadn’t quite gone to plan. Thrown into a tailspin of events from tensions rising in the middle east and the royals relocating, to the tragic wildfires in Australia, here’s everything you need to know about what’s happened so far.
Airstrikes in Iran
Three days into January and WWIII was trending on twitter, not quite the start to the New Year we expected. Top Iranian General, Soleimani was killed in an airstrike orchestrated by President Trump, causing tensions to rise between Washington and Tehran. The fallout has involved subsequent airstrikes with Iran launching attacks on UK and US bases in Iraq. The US President then took to social media platform Twitter to defend his actions with a tweet stating:
‘General Qasem Soleimani has killed or badly wounded thousands of Americans over an extended period of time, and was plotting to kill many more…but got caught!’ Leading many of us to believe we were on the precipice of World War III.
Shortly after the assassination a Ukrainian plane crashed shortly after take-off, killing 170 passengers and all crew on board. It later emerged, after much speculation, that the plane had been shot down due to human error, despite Iranian officials initially blaming the explosion on technical issues.
Yes, you read it right the first time. The quick escape known to us as “Megexit” suggests that it may have all got a bit too much for Prince Harry and Meghan who have decided to take a ‘step back’ from their royal duties, sending the country into a tailspin of opinions. It is said they will be splitting their time between the UK and Canada and wish to be financially independent despite retaining their property in Frogmore as their UK home. The Queen has released a statement that includes all of her sentiments about the change, as she states:
“Following many months of conversations and more recent discussions, I am pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family.”
The Sussex’s will also be renouncing their HRH (His/her royal Highness) titles as they will no longer be working members of the Royal family. Talks in Sandringham revealed, the pair can no longer formally represent the Queen after stepping back from royal duties.
The devastating month-long wildfires in Australia have sparked a global discussion about climate change. There have also been a devastating number of animal deaths. New South Wales has been one of the hardest hit states losing over 500,000 animals to the fires. At least 28 people have died nationwide since the fires began in late July. It is also believed that over 2,000 homes have been destroyed. According to the BBC, the intense weather and elevated fire risk in Australia is set to continue.
Just when we thought we were out of the woods; Flybe, Europe’s largest regional independent airline, found its way into the newspapers suggesting there could be a potential collapse. The regional airline was locked in negotiations earlier this month to secure additional funding. Rest assured the airline has been rescued by the government and its business as usual!
China’s Coronavirus Outbreak
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has now advised against all but essential travel to the Hubei Province and the rest of mainland China following the Coronavirus outbreak. It is believed the virus is linked to a market in Wuhan which was selling illegal seafood, however little else is known about the disease. The virus has claimed the lives of 106 people so far however, the death toll is expected to rise. In the UK, 97 tests have been concluded all of which came back negative and the risk to the public remains low. The disease has been reported in at least 16 other countries outside China including: Japan, Thailand, Australia, France, Germany, Singapore and the US. It is believed up to 300 British nationals are in infected areas but can request to be brought home on the 30th January 2020. Read more here.