BY TONY MCLELLAN
Last year was an extremely turbulent year, playing host to events that were good, bad and downright ugly including the Syrian civil war, the ongoing American financial crisis and natural disasters around the world. But with the arrival of grand revelations in medicine, and a forward-thinking pope, not all news from 2013 was bad. Here are three of last year’s most prominent stories, one negative, one positive and one of the most ridiculous:
1. The Syrian Civil War: What began as one president’s extremely violent way of dealing with protesters quickly turned into one of the bloodiest, most horrifying civil wars in recent history. Over 100,000 people have been killed, two million forced to flee and four million displaced due to the war that currently rages between President Bashar al-Assad and rebel leader Amad Jarba. Both sides are backed by numerous organizations and countries, including the United States and Iran. Assad used a chemical weapon on his own people which caused the U.S. to threaten a deployment of its own forces before the movement was stopped in favour of a proposed diplomatic route.
2. Pope Francis: In most cases, the choosing of a new pope in the Roman Catholic Church simply signals the passing of the same ideological torch from one elderly man to the next. The election of Pope Francis, however, has drastically altered the visions of a vast number of people, with Francis simply referred to as “The Liberal” pope.
The title is well placed, with the current pope performing actions such as running his own errands, washing the feet of prisoners and even taking an almost accepting stance on gay marriage. These actions have helped gain him massive amounts of respect.
3. The Rob Ford Scandal: Nov. 5, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admits to smoking crack cocaine. His excuse? “I probably tried it in one of my drunken stupors.”
From that point on, Ford and those close to him turned his entire career into one gigantic heap of embarrassment. He has been accused by multiple sources of driving drunk, sexually harassing female co-workers, cursing out the media and even knocking an elderly city council member to the ground, just to name some of his ridiculous actions. His saving grace was his ability to balance the city’s budget for many years, but other than this, the man is really and truly an idiot.
Let’s hope 2014 brings us some Middle Eastern peace and a law-abiding mayor in Toronto.
The views herein represent the position of the newspaper, not necessarily the author.