8 March 2017

The Azure Window, a natural arch on the Maltese island of Gozo, collapses in stormy weather.

The Azure Window was a spectacular natural limestone arch located on the Maltese island of Gozo. It was one of the most iconic landmarks in Malta and a popular tourist attraction. The arch was formed through the process of erosion, sculpted by the relentless force of waves and weather over thousands of years.

The Azure Window stood proudly on the Dwejra coastline, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. It was known for its stunning azure blue waters, which contrasted beautifully with the limestone cliffs and the arch itself. The natural beauty of the site attracted visitors from all over the world, making it a must-see destination for anyone visiting Malta.

Unfortunately, the Azure Window collapsed on March 8, 2017, following a heavy storm. The collapse was a significant loss for Malta’s natural heritage and saddened many people who had admired the arch’s beauty over the years. Despite its collapse, the memory of the Azure Window lives on through photographs, paintings, and fond recollections of those who were fortunate enough to witness its magnificence firsthand.

21 November 2017

Robert Mugabe formally resigns as President of Zimbabwe, after thirty-seven years in office.

Robert Mugabe (1924-2019) was a Zimbabwean revolutionary and politician who played a significant role in the country’s struggle for independence from British colonial rule. He was born on February 21, 1924, in what was then Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Mugabe’s early political activism began in the 1960s when he joined the National Democratic Party and later the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU).

The liberation war against white-minority rule in Rhodesia, led by various nationalist groups, including ZANU, resulted in the establishment of an independent Zimbabwe in 1980. Mugabe became the country’s first prime minister after the elections that year, and he later assumed the role of president in 1987 when the position was created.

During his early years as leader, Mugabe was praised for his efforts to reconcile the divided nation and for his policies aimed at education and healthcare. However, over time, his leadership became increasingly controversial. His government faced allegations of human rights abuses, electoral fraud, and economic mismanagement.

One of the most contentious aspects of Mugabe’s rule was the controversial land reform program that began in the early 2000s. The government initiated a program of land seizures, redistributing white-owned commercial farms to landless black Zimbabweans. While the move was intended to address historical injustices and socioeconomic imbalances, it resulted in a sharp decline in agricultural production and economic instability.

Mugabe’s leadership was marked by authoritarian tendencies, and his government faced criticism for suppressing political opposition and restricting press freedom. The economy deteriorated significantly, and Zimbabwe experienced hyperinflation, unemployment, and poverty.

In 2017, facing increasing pressure, including the threat of impeachment, Mugabe resigned from the presidency after nearly four decades in power. His departure marked the end of an era in Zimbabwean politics. Mugabe passed away on September 6, 2019, in Singapore, at the age of 95. His legacy remains complex, with opinions on his rule divided between those who see him as a liberation hero and others who criticize his later years in power.

20 September 2017

Hurricane Maria makes landfall in Puerto Rico as a powerful Category 4 hurricane, resulting in 2,975 deaths, US$90 billion in damage, and a major humanitarian crisis

Hurricane Maria was a powerful and devastating Category 5 hurricane that struck the Caribbean and the southeastern United States in September 2017. It was the tenth-most intense Atlantic hurricane on record, and one of the deadliest and costliest hurricanes to ever hit the United States territory of Puerto Rico.
Formation and Development: Hurricane Maria originated from a tropical wave that moved off the west coast of Africa in late September 2017. It rapidly intensified and reached Category 5 status on September 18, 2017, with maximum sustained winds of 175 mph (280 km/h).

Impact on the Caribbean: Maria first made landfall in Dominica on September 18, causing catastrophic damage and resulting in numerous fatalities. It then continued its path through the eastern Caribbean, causing significant damage and loss of life in places like Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and several other islands in the region.

Puerto Rico Impact: Puerto Rico was particularly hard hit by Hurricane Maria. The storm made landfall on the island on September 20, 2017, as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 155 mph (250 km/h). The island’s infrastructure, including its power grid, was severely damaged, leading to months-long power outages and a humanitarian crisis. Many homes were destroyed, and the island faced shortages of clean water, food, and medical supplies.

Humanitarian Crisis: The aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico led to a significant humanitarian crisis. The slow and inadequate response from both the local and federal governments drew widespread criticism. The lack of timely assistance and recovery efforts contributed to a high death toll, with estimates of the total number of fatalities varying, but it is clear that thousands of lives were lost due to the hurricane and its aftermath.

Recovery Efforts: Recovery and rebuilding efforts in Puerto Rico were long and challenging. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other organizations provided aid and assistance, but the process was slow, and many residents faced ongoing hardships for months.

Economic Impact: The economic impact of Hurricane Maria was substantial. The damage to infrastructure, agriculture, and tourism had a lasting effect on the economy of Puerto Rico and other affected areas.

3 June 2017

London Bridge attack: Eight people are murdered and dozens of civilians are wounded by Islamist terrorists. Three of the attackers are shot dead by the police.

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