TOP NEWS STORIES OF 2015
Media Mahima presents a round-up of the big news headlines from 2015 to refresh your memories about what happened in the world in 2015.
In January...The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation made a $50 mn donation to a Stanford University Research Unit. The money would be used to build better vaccines by The Stanford Human Systems Immunology Center. The donation will be spread over a period of 10 years.
In February...The Obama administration announced that spouses of certain high-skilled immigrants in the U.S. can soon apply for a work authorization for themselves. The new rules were put in place within 90 days of the announcement. The changes impacted spouses on a H4-dependent visa whose mates were seeking employment-based lawful residency.
In March...Senator Ted Cruz from Texas announced he will run for the Presidential Polls in 2016. Cruz made a formal announcement at the Liberty University, Virginia; the world’s largest Christian University. The Republican became the first candidate to officially declare his candidacy. The announcement came on the five-year anniversary of Obamacare.
March also saw the unfortunate incident where a Germanwings Flight crashed in the French Alps killing 150 people. German prosecutors later found evidence that the co-pilot Lubitz concealed an illness from his airline. Germanwings is a low-cost subsidiary of Lufthansa. The plane was flying from Barcelona, Spain to Dusseldorf, Germany when it experienced a sudden loss of altitude.
In April...Democrat Hillary Clinton & former first wife announced her run for Presidency. If she wins it would be the first time a woman captures the party’s nomination. Clinton was the co-star of the Bill Clinton administration and the only first lady ever elected to the United States Senate. This second bid could perhaps be her last bid at cracking the White House top post.
In May...An earthquake measuring 7.3 magnitude struck the Himalayan Kingdom in May. The quake was followed by at least 5 aftershocks measuring between 5.6 to 6.3 magnitude. The earthquake’s epicentre was close to Mount Everest and 47 miles east of the Capital. The quake has caused immense structural damage to buildings with people rushing onto the streets in fear.
In June..Nestle India’s popular ‘Maggi’ instant noodles was banned by the Delhi Government for 15 days. The ban was enforced due to allegations of high levels of lead and monosodium glutamate (MSG) in the noodles. The Delhi Government also looked into other noodle brands for possible high chemical contents. The Indian Army asked its personnel to stay off ‘Maggi.’
In July..Greece managed to reach an agreement for a third bailout package. Greece surrendered a lot of its sovereignty to outside supervision in return for agreeing to talks on an 86 bn euro bailout. Athens had to enact unpopular reforms of value added tax, pensions, budget cuts, bankruptcy rules and an EU banking law that could be used to make big depositors take losses.
July also saw Bollywood actor Shahid Kapoor getting married to Delhi girl Mira Rajput in Delhi. The function was attended by close family and friends. Mira is a graduate from the prestigious Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University. 34-year-old Shahid met 23-year-old Mira through the religious group Radha Soami Satsang Beas.
In August...Google created a new publicly traded parent company called Alphabet to house all of its separate businesses. Alphabet is run by Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Google will become a subsidiary of Alphabet with a new CEO. Alphabet will be a "collection" of companies, the largest of which is Google.
In September...in one of the biggest upsets in the history of Tennis, Roberta Vinci, ranked 43rd in the world, beat Serena Williams in the U.S. Open semifinals 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. The defeat ended 33-year-old Williams’s chance to become the first player to win all four Grand Slam singles titles in the same year since Steffi Graf in 1988. 33-year-old Flavia Pennetta ended up winning the U.S. Open 2015 & consequently her first ever grand slam title.
September also marked the first ever visit of Narendra Modi to the Bay Area. Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the Bay Area in 33 years. Mr Modi had the strong 18,500-audience engaged in his hour-long speech. Slamming critics over the 'brain drain' controversy which is a popular term for talented Indians settling abroad, Mr Modi said, "Brain drain can be brain gain. This is not brain drain but a brain deposit."
In October...Texas teen Ahmed Mohamed accepted a scholarship to study in Qatar. The 14-year-old boy made headlines when his homemade clock was mistaken for a bomb at his school. His arrest caused ripples globally with many believing it was influenced by a bias against his religious identity. Mohamed accepted an offer from the Qatar Foundation to study in its Young Innovators Program.
In November…Media Mahima and Gig Gurus held their first-ever Bollywood concert with singer Benny Dayal and his band Funktuation. Benny was accompanied by female vocalist Shakthisree Gopalan. The concert was a huge success with a 2.2k plus Bay Area audience enjoying every moment of this dance party.
November also saw the deadly terror attacks in Paris. A series of coordinated terrorist attacks occurred in Paris and its northern suburb, Saint-Denis. The attackers killed 130 people, including 89 at the Bataclan theatre, where they took hostages before engaging in a stand-off with police. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attacks in retaliation for French airstrikes in Syria.
Non-stop rains pounded several parts of Chennai and Puducherry disrupting normal life in the first week of December. The Army was called in to help with the rescue operations as the state was hit by the worst rain in 100 years. Flight operations at Chennai Airport were suspended for a few days following water leaking into the runway and tarmac. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an immediate relief of Rs 1,000 cr to Tamil Nadu.
December also saw the tragic massacre at San Bernardino. At least 14 people died and 20 were wounded in a shooting that took place at a social services agency for the developmentally disabled in San Bernardino, California. The accused Sayed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik were killed in a shootout with the police shortly after the attack. Tashfeen had pledged allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a Facebook post shortly before the attack.