The year of 2010 has come and gone, and the world had its eye focused on various corners of the earth during the 10 hottest stories of 2010.
1. On August 5, in Chile, 33 miners faced darkness, unbearable humidity, and exhausting heat after getting trapped in a mine with no outside contact. 17 days later rescuers finally made contact and found out that the miners were all still alive and accounted for. On October 13, 69 days after the cave in, the recovery of all of the men began at 8:55 p.m. and lasted for 22 hours.
2. In 2002, a 14-year-old girl named Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped and forcibly raped and held hostage for almost a year by Brian David Mitchell, a self proclaimed prophet of God. Eight years later on November 8, the trial of Brian David Mitchell vs. The United States of America finally began. The trial ended on December 10 with Mitchell pleading insanity and the jury voting guilty on all counts.
3. The famous BP oil spill began on April 20, in the Gulf of Mexico by an explosion on the offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon. It took three months to stop the flow of oil into the Atlantic Ocean. This spill is known as being the largest accidental marine oil spill. The explosion killed 11 workers, injured 17 and resulted in over 4.9 million barrels of oil being lost to the Atlantic Ocean. Unfortunately, this spill still isn’t completely cleaned up and has damaged much of the eco-system in surrounding land areas, although the amount of longterm damage is still unknown.
4. WikiLeaks.org was started in 2004 as a nonprofit website that exposed classified military documents from anonymous sources. In April, a video of Iraqi civilians and journalists being killed by U.S. forces was released. In July, the release of the “Afghan Diaries” (76,900 documents about the war in Afghanistan). October had the release of the “Iraq War Log” (about 46,000 documents). And in November the release of U.S. State Department Diplomatic Cables. These releases have led to praise as well as criticism of the founder, Julian Assange.
5. President Obama succeeded in getting his $1 trillion health care bill passed this year. The bill has been met with hordes of opposition from Republicans based on the arguments that the bill is unconstitutional and that it is just a political springboard for elections.
6. In October 2010, church leader President Boyd K. Packer made international headlines at the semi-annual Latter Day Saints General Conference. Packer made statements characterizing homosexuality as unnatural and impure. Groups like the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), as well as other individual people, demanded the LDS Church release an apology. The LDS Church declined but did release a statement saying that they disagree with HRC’s view on homosexuality, they do not condone any acts of violence or ignorance against race, religion, mental challenges, social status, or sexual orientation.
7. The Transportation Security Administration announced higher security measures this holiday season as a response to the overwhelming terrorist threats last year during the holidays. The two new security procedures were full body pat-downs and body scans. The new measures created controversial press based on the invasive nature of the pat-downs and body scans.
8. A federal inmate named Ronnie Lee Gardner was scentenced life in prison and execution in 1985 for two counts of first degree murder. On June 18, 2010 at 12:15 a.m., Gardner was executed. His execution marked the first execution in 14 years done by a firing squad in Utah.
9. On October 10, the NFL announced an investigation into Brett Favre and allegations of sexual misconduct against the Jets “Game Day” host, Jenn Sterger. Favre allegedly was leaving inappropriate messages and “sexts” for Sterger in the season of 2008. December 29th led to Farve wasn’t found to be in violation of policy but was still fined $50,000 for not cooperating with the investigation.
10. Toy Story 3 broke three different records this year as being the highest grossing film of 2010 in the United States, Canada, and the world as a whole. This movie is the the last of the trilogy based on toys that come to life when humans are not around. This final chapter has the toys dealing with their owner leaving for college. This film was released in 3D and was also the first film to be released with 7.1 surround sound.