Democratic and Republican Conventions
The Republican and Democratic National Convention took place on Aug. 27-30 and Sep.4-6, respectively. In Tampa, Fla., Mitt Romney accepted his nomination. Democrats chose their nominee, Pres. Barack Obama, in Charlotte, N.C.
Middle East riots
Protests and riots have taken place in 20 Muslim countries in response to an anti-Islam movie made in California. Several have involved breaches of US diplomatic missions, and the killing of US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans at the consulate in Benghazi. As of Sep. 17, 39 people have been killed and 407 have been injured in connection with these demonstrations.
Thousands march for Catalonian independence
In what has been called the largest protest in Catalonian history, between 600,000 to 1.5 million protesters marched in Barcelona on Sep. 11 in support of Catalonia’s independence from Spain. This comes in the wake of a severe financial crisis and strict austerity measures in Spain/ Polls show a majority of Catalans favor independence.
Guatemala volcano eruption
Over 30,000 people were evacuated in Guatemala after the Volcano of Fire, considered one of the world’s most active volcanoes, erupted. It was the largest eruption in Guatemala in over 40 years. No injuries or deaths have been reported.
Japan to ban nuclear power
In the wake of the largest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986, Japan announced that nuclear power will be phased out by the 2030’s. Japan joins Germany and Switzerland in abandoning nuclear power in response to the Fukushima disaster. Japan was the third largest user of nuclear energy before the disaster.
Federal Reserve calls for new stimulus
The Federal Reserve announced an aggressive stimulus plan that would pump $40 billion per month into the economy until job numbers improve. The Fed also signaled that it would keep interest rates low even after the economic crisis is over. The news sent global stocks to a 13-month high and narrowed exchange rate between the US Dollar and other major currencies.
Teachers strike in Chicago
The Chicago Teachers Union announced a strike Sep. 10, affecting 350,000 students in the US’ third largest school district. The major issues of the walkout include the length of the school day, layoffs, school closures, and tying teacher evaluations to performance. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced he will seek a court order to force teachers back to work, but to no avail at press time.
iPhone 5 debuts, to be best-selling gadget of all time
Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the iPhone 5 on September in a highly anticipated press conference. The device is expected to be the best selling phone of all time, selling over two million pre-orders in 24 hours. The iPhone 5 will be released Sep. 21.
Armenia wins world chess championship
The Armenian team, led by world number 2 Levon Aronian, won its third Chess Olympiad gold medal by a razor-thin margin in Istanbul, Turkey on Sep. 10. Armenia was tied with Russia in the final round, but won the championship in a tie-breaking round.
The Encyclopedia of DNA Elements is published
For the first time, a visual overview of the human genome known as the ENCODE Project is made available to the general public. Considered the “Google Maps” of human DNA, a discovery from this effort shows at least 80% of the human genetic code is active, rather than mainly junk DNA as once believed.