A Year-End Roundup Of 2019’s Biggest News Stories

Our first view of a black hole Source: Pixabay Hopefully 2019 was a prosperous and happy year for you, but around the world, it’s had mixed results. We got some causes to celebrate—European online gambling fans enjoyed some regulation changes—but also weathered some tragedies. Here are the 14 biggest news stories from 2019, so you can be informed and ready to make small talk with your boss at the year-end party.

1. Changes to European online gambling regulations

This year brought promising changes to European gamblers who enjoy taking a spin at their favorite online casinos. When online gambling hit the scene a few decades ago, it soon became clear that regulations were needed to keep consumers safe. However, some regulations can actually hurt the online gambling ecosystem and make it less available to players, but this year online casinos got set up to operate more freely. Belarus legalized online gambling, the Czech Republic began to allow international operators, and Slovakia loosened their strict regulations.

2. Austria legalizes gay marriage

2019 kicked off with a win for same-sex couples in Austria. Their Constitutional Court legalized same-sex marriage on January 1st, joining Germany, France, and Spain in the ranks of European countries where same-sex marriage is legal. Austria previously allowed legal partnerships, but same-sex marriage was a big step for marriage equality. The country celebrated with a big Pride event in June.

3. The deadly Brazil dam disaster

Later in January, a dam burst at the Córrego do Feijão iron ore mine near Brumadinho. This caused massive amounts of mud to flood the area, destroying the offices around the mine as well as several houses and farms in the area. There were 237 confirmed death, with dozens more declared missing.

4. Karl Lagerfeld dies

Chanel and Fendi fans everywhere lamented the death of Karl Lagerfeld. This iconic fashion designer, best known for his work as a creative director at Chanel, died in Paris in February.

5. Stem cell transplants for HIV patients

March saw big leaps in HIV research. An experimental stem cell transplant performed by doctors in London made a patient’s HIV “undetectable”, putting the disease into remission for 18 months. While the patient was able to stop taking HIV drugs, more research is required to determine if it’s a viable treatment method for other patients. In any case, it’s news to watch out for in 2020.

6. The first picture of a black hole

In April, the world was fascinated by its first glimpse at a black hole. The Event Horizon Telescope captured an image of a black hole in the Messier 87 galaxy. It’s 500 million trillion kilometers away, and almost three million times the size of Earth. While not much is known about mysterious black holes, it’s probably best to stay away from it.

7. The fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral

The iconic Paris Notre-Dame cathedral, which is 850 years old, suffered heavy damages after a fire broke out there in April. It was likely started as part of the renovation work being done. Since much of the building was made of ancient wood, its roof and spire were almost completely destroyed. The Notre Dame Cathedral fire Source: Pixabay

8. Unseating Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro

2019 saw a lot of political unrest and protests in Latin America, starting in Venezuela in late April. The country turned against President Nicolás Maduro, suspecting him of rigging the reelection vote in 2018. In January, the leader of the Popular Will Party, Juan Guaidó, claimed the interim presidency, and was supported by most citizens and foreign nations. With this support, Guaidó overthrew Maduro’s regime, with a violent uprising surrounding the conflict.

9. The Royal birth announcement

All eyes have been on the UK royals, as Meghan Markle gave birth to Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. This little guy sits at seventh in line for succession to the throne, so he’s unlikely to head the country anytime soon, but will surely enjoy a life in the palace. He’s the first child to parents Prince Harry and Meghan, officially known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. He has three older cousins, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, the children of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

10. Theresa May’s resignation as UK Prime Minister

Also in the UK, prime minister Theresa May resigned after three years as Prime Minister. She was the leader of the Conservative Party, who were coming under fire for how they handled Brexit, the UK’s exit from the European Union. This controversial move was the result of a referendum in June 2016, where UK residents voted to leave the EU. However, it turned out to be a bit more complicated than that, and the Brits have been trying to work out the details ever since. Theresa May was replaced in July by Boris Johnson, who previously served two stints as an MP.

11. Protests over the Hong Kong extradition bill

In June, over a million Hong Kong residents protested a proposed extradition bill. This law would allow people, including foreign nationals, to be extradited to mainland China to face trial. The protests became violent, and even though the bill was suspended indefinitely, the protests continued.

12. Amazon rainforest fires

In August, the Amazon rainforest of Brazil was up in flames, with an 80% increase in fires over the past year. Scientists expressed concern over the speed at which it was burning, and linked the events to climate change.

13. The Facebook investigations

In September, Facebook found itself once against under fire, being investigated for whether they put users as risk. The investigation was launched by various states and is mostly focused on privacy practices. In November, they were the subject of an antitrust investigation. CEO Mark Zuckerberg also found himself being scrutinized for how the platform handled fake news, which was a big issue in the 2016 US election.

14. Chile faces a state of emergency

Chile was the site of more unrest in Latin America, when crowds took to the street to protest a fare hike. President Piñera’s comments and reactions to the situation made protesters call for him to resign, and the protests soon turned to focus on bigger problems like the increased cost of living, as well as issues with low wages and how pensions were being managed. Many protesters called for a new constitution to remedy some of the root causes of inequality. Reactions from the people are heightened since many still remember the years when Chile’s government was overthrown and put under the military dictatorship of Pinochet. Many of 2019’s stories will continue to unfold in the new year. Let’s hope that 2020 brings good things. If you need a little good fortune yourself, you can always find it in your favorite online casino.   Looking for more stories?? You may also like this

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