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A key element found in 2012

31 December 2012

In 1969, man set foot on the Moon. In 2012, a new elementary particle, the famous Higgs boson particle was discovered. It helps our understanding of why the universe is what it is and its discovery is considered as important as confirmation that the Earth is round. A month later, a small robot landed on Mars after a journey of eight months. It has provided pictures and analysis of Martian soil more than 50 million miles from its starting point. Hollande wins in France Ten years after they last held power, the Socialists returned to the Elysée Palace, with François Hollande elected president. He ousted Nicolas Sarkozy who polled only 48.37% of the votes. A month later, the Socialist Party won the majority in the Assembly. European economic crisis For some the consequences of the economic crisis are similar to a descent into hell. It can lead to desperate actions. Although suicide can be a result of many causes the numbers taking their own life continue to rise in countries affected by the crisis. In Italy, according to a study by the Association of Economic and Social Research, there has been a 30 percent increase since 2010. In Greece, the suicide rate has risen sharply. More recently, a British study showed that the crisis had caused 1000 more suicides between 2008 and 2010. Michel Debout is a psychiatrist, professor of forensic medicine and author of a book that warns against the increase in suicides due to the economic crisis and the taboo that surrounds it. Francois Chignac “According to you, Michel Debout, the economic crisis is an aggravating factor?” Michel Debout: “Totally, it is very aggravating and a concern from that point of view. Besides, I think it is wrong to speak of an economic and financial crisis. We should be talking first of a human crisis, a health crisis. In Italy, Greece, Spain, all the doctors, all public health specialists are warning against a situation which is getting worse with the idea that ultimately there are no short-term solutions, there is no future. And that’s when people can think of committing suicide to stop the pain. “ euronews: “Yes, but do we have studies, actual figures showing a real increase in suicides since the beginning of the economic crisis?” Michel Debout: “Since the beginning of the crisis in Britain, there were 1000 more suicides than in 2000, 2005, 2007. In Greece, some studies show that among the unemployed, the suicide rate has increased by at least 30% with a further increase in the latter period. ‘Spain is also affected with an increase in the suicide rate especially when people are forced to leave their homes, leave their lodgings and that is evidence of the effects of the crisis not only in terms of the workplace but also in terms of everyday life. “ euronews: “And this taboo surrounding suicide prevents us linking the economic crisis and such desperate action?” Michel Debout: “It is completely unrealistic to imagine that the increase in unemployment, the worsening poverty would have no effect on people’s well-being, their state of mind. What we are seeing is the disintegration of what keeps us together, the social glue if you like, and I think at a European level we should consider these questions as a new public health priority.” Sixty-years on the throne There were more than a thousand boats, which took part in the four days of celebrations marking sixty years on the throne – the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Pussy Riot Pussy Riot is the name of a feminist punk-rock band in Russia. They are opposed to Vladimir Putin’s presidency. In August, following a performance which was considered profane in an Orthodox church in Moscow, three of them were sentenced to two years imprisonment. Miners shot in South Africa Since the end of apartheid, South Africa has not experienced such traumatic events. In August, the police opened fire on the workers who were occupying the Marikana mine. Thirty-four of the strikers were killed and ten wounded. The killings were reminiscent of the worst days of the apartheid regime. Chavez wins another term Hugo Chavez was re-elected president of Venezuela. He won the election with 54.4% of votes in the ballot which had an 80% turn out. This new six-year term and his third re-election may allow him to govern until 2019 if he wins the battle he has been waging against cancer. Malala makes miraculous recovery In Pakistan, this young activist wants the right to education for all and she paid the price for her stand. In October, Malala Yousafzai was the target of an assassination attempt by the Taliban. She was shot in the head, but miraculously survived. More than a million people around the world have signed a petition in support of Malala and 32 million girls across the world who do not have access to education. Second term for Obama Four more years for Barack Obama, the first African- American president of the United States. The winning margin was closer than the election of 2008. But he nevertheless managed to defeat Mitt Romney, whose camp refused to concede until the very end. For his second term in the White House, the U.S. president has multiple objectives, including a major reform of immigration and the reduction of the budget deficit. Changes in China After the re-election of Obama, a change in China after the 18th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. Hu Jintao, the outgoing president denounced corruption, before calling for political reform. He handed over to Xi Jinping who will officially become the new Secretary General in March. Sandy batters New York October is the month of hurricanes and Sandy as it was called was fierce. It swept up the eastern Atlantic and on October 29, it hit New York. The streets were emptied, the electric power off and the subways flooded. The death toll in the state of New York was 53 and over 200 homes were destroyed. Patraeus resigns David Petraeus who led coalition in Afghanistan, before being appointed head of the CIA, resigned. He admitted he had an extramarital affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell. An investigation was launched to determine whether the affair had compromised the CIA. USA school shooting At the end of the year a tragedy in a primary school in Newtown in the United States. Three months after the shooting in Aurora where 12 people were killed in a cinema, 20 children and six adults were are shot in cold blood. The gunman had been a pupil at the school where he had forced his way in before killing the children and turning the gun on himself. The first act of this massacre was played out at the home of the killer where he had shot his mother.