The year 2017 is drawing to a close. No doubt, the entire year has been eventful starting with Donald Trump's inauguration and about to end with his controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Also, the deadliest mass shooting in Las Vegas, Manchester terror attack shook the conscience of humanity. In India, ISRO made us proud once again by putting 30 satellites into orbit. The country created history by implementing Goods and Services Tax (GST) to unify diverse market.
Take a look at important stories that made the headlines in 2017.
The year started with the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States. The event was held in Washington DC from January 17 to 21, ceremonies included concerts, parades and a memorable inaugural address from the former reality star. According to schedule, vice president-elect Mike Pence was sworn in first, followed by Trump and the JCCIC hosted a Congressional luncheon for them. Nearly 200 guests including members of their families, the Supreme Court, Cabinet designees, and members of Congressional leadership are believed to have attended the ceremony in Statuary Hall.
Making a departure from tradition Union budget for 2017 - 18 is presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitely in Lok Sabha. It was presented before the parliament on 1 February 2017 by Jaitley with 21.47 lakh crore rupees (US$ 336.39 billion) budget size. The 92 year old Railway Budget was merged in the Union Budget. FM Jaitley allocated Rs 55,000 crore to Indian Railways from the government end.
British Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty which officially started the process of the UK's departure from the European Union. Brexit will come into effect at 1pm on March 29, 2019. Theresa May won a crucial vote in the UK Parliament which allowed officially to tart negotiations for leaving the 28-member European Union.
Manchester terror attack: The Manchester Arena bombing was an Islamist terror attack in Manchester, United Kingdom. On 22 May 2017 a shrapnel-laden homemade bomb was detonated as people were leaving Manchester Arena following a concert by the American singer Ariana Grande. Twenty-three people were killed, including the attacker, and over 500 were injured. About two weeks later, the singer returned to the UK to host a benefit concert at Old Trafford Cricket Ground dubbed One Love Manchester. The concert raised some £10million for the victims of the attack.
The London Bridge attack was an Islamic terrorist attack in London, United Kingdom, on 3 June 2017 whereby a van left the road and struck a number of pedestrians on London Bridge. After the van crashed, its three occupants ran to the nearby Borough Market area and began stabbing people in and around restaurants and pubs. Terrorists ploughed into pedestrians on the bridge, before running into nearby Borough Market where they set about stabbing revellers. Eight victims died in the attack, with a further 48 suffering injuries.
Goods and Services Tax (India) launched in India on July 1. The India's biggest tax reform in 70 years of independence, was launched at midnight of 30 June 2017.
Launched on July 1, the GST weaved 29 states into a single market with one tax rate but while traders and small business complained of increased compliance burden, voices of dissent rose on high tax rate on some common use goods. GST tax slabs of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent were decided going by the principle of fitting each item into a category most close to cumulative pre-GST taxes
Total solar eclipse, dubbed The Great American Eclipse, swept the Sun across the USA on August 21. The celestial show the most observed and photographed eclipse in history, with millions staking out prime viewing spots and settling into lawn chairs to watch, especially along the path of totality - the projected line of shadow created when the sun is completely obscured. The projected path of totality was 60 to 70 miles (96 to 113 kilometers) wide, running diagonally across the continent from Oregon to South Carolina, with darkness lasting only about two to three minutes in any one spot. The path of totality crossed 14 states and was the first total solar eclipse to be visible from all of the US since 1918.
The Supreme Court banned instant triple talaq calling it unconstitutional August 22. The SC Bench of five different religions instructed central government to pass law in parliament for triple talaq. Rohinton F. Nariman and Justice Uday U. Lalit set it aside, terming it unconstitutional and violative of Article 14, while Justice Kurian Joseph set it aside on the grounds that it is against the teachings of the Quran, according to the Indian Express. Chief Justice J.S. Khehar and Justice Abdul Nazeer backed the triple talaq. "Triple talaq was part of Muslim personal law and hence enjoys the status of fundamental rights," Justice Khehar said. Leaders across the political spectrum, social activists and top jurists hailed as a victory of "gender equality" and a "giant step" for women the landmark Supreme Court verdict banning the practice of instant divorce among Muslims.
Nirmala Sitharaman took charge of the defence ministry on September 7, becoming the first full-time woman Defence Minister of the country. She took charge in the presence of her predecessor Arun Jaitley who was given the additional charge of the key ministry in March after Manohar Parrikar quit the union cabinet to become the chief minister of Goa. Sitharaman was elevated to the cabinet rank and given the defence portfolio. She became the first full-time woman defence minister and the second woman to take charge of the key portfolio.
Catalan independence: Catalonians voted for referendum seeking separation from Spain that was later declared unlawful by the international community. At least 91 people were injured in Catalonia as police and protesters clashed over a banned independence referendum in the wealthy northeastern region of Spain. PDeCAT, the party of deposed Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, Catalonia is currently under direct rule from Madrid after its majority separatist parliament which declared independence.
Las Vegas shooting: In the deadliest mass shooting in US history, 58 people were killed when Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crown of concert-goers from his hotel room in Las Vegas. Stephen had been killed after a SWAT team responded to reports of multiple gunfire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay, a hotel-casino next to the concert venue. The previous deadliest shooting came in June 2016 when 49 people were killed at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. President Donald Trump today termed as "an act of pure evil".
India's Manushi Chhillar was today crowned as Miss World 2017 at a grand event held in Sanya in China November 18. The 20-year-old medical student from Haryana had won Femina Miss India World 2017 in May this year. The announcement was made on the pageant's official Twitter handle. "The winner of Miss World 2017 is Miss India Manushi Chhillar," the tweet said. Manushi had made it to the top 5 along with contestants from England, France, Kenya and Mexico.
In a controversial decision, President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital on December 7. The move was was promised by Trump during his 2016 campaign to appeal to his right-wing base. reversing decades of US and international policy on the holy city, which many Arab leaders warned could trigger an upheaval in the already volatile Middle East. Also, Trump directed the State Department to immediately begin the process of construction of a US Embassy in Jerusalem. However, the move was defeated in UN General Assembly as 128 countries voted in favour of a resolution opposing the US move.