2009

The demise of the King of Pop

Michael

Michael Jackson fans hold up his poster in Mexico City August 29, 2009. (REUTERS/Henry Romero)

Michael Jackson, one of the world's greatest entertainer died on June 25 just as he was attempting make a comeback. The 50-year-old musical superstar was preparing for a series of 50 concerts starting July 13 at London's famed 02 arena. Jackson was at practice for hours with teams of dancers ahead of the performances. The death meanwhile, triggered an outpouring of worldwide grief. Online, reactions to the event cripple several major websites and services, as the abundance of people accessing the web addresses pushed internet traffic to potentially unprecedented levels.

January 9 - A Labor Department report showed that the US economy lost nearly 2 million jobs in the last four months of 2008.

January 15 - U.S. Airways Flight 1549 lost power in both engines shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia, forcing the pilot to ditch the aircraft in the Hudson River. All 155 passengers and crew were rescued with no injuries, and the pilot is hailed as a hero.

January 16 - Circuit City, the number two electronics retailer in the U.S., announced the closing of all 567 of its U.S. stores and the termination of 34,000 jobs.

January 20 - Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States in front of a crowd of more than one million.

January 22 - President Obama signed executive orders to close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp within one year and to prohibit torture in terrorism interrogations.

February 18 - President Obama ordered the deployment of 17,000 additional US troops to Afghanistan.

May 11 - An army sergeant opened fire at a military stress counseling clinic at a US military base in Baghdad, killing five fellow soldiers and wounding one.

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U.S Marines from Delta Company of 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion patrol near the town of Khan Neshin in Rig district of Helmand province, southern Afghanistan September 9, 2009. (REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic)

June 12 - Analog television broadcasts ended in the United States, as the Federal Communications Commission required all full power stations to send their signals digitally.

July 3 - Alaska Governor Sarah Palin unexpectedly announced her resignation, effective July 26, 2009, citing the costs and distractions of battling frivolous ethics investigations launched against her, and prompting several media outlets to speculate that she is preparing for a presidential run in 2012.

August 4 - North Korean leader Kim Jong-il pardoned two American journalists, who had been arrested and imprisoned for illegal entry earlier in the year, after former U.S. President Bill Clinton met with Kim in North Korea.

September 9 - President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress on the importance of healthcare reform. Representative Joe Wilson shouted, You lie! as Obama says illegal immigrants would not be covered under his healthcare proposal. The heckling was a first in US politics and received widespread media attention for many days.

September 12 - The first 9/12 Project protest event was held in Washington, DC, with attendance being estimated from hundreds of thousands to as many as two million people. Numerous other Tea Party protests occurred nationwide as well.

October 9 - President Obama unexpectedly won the Nobel Peace Prize. He said that he was humbled to be chosen for the award.

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Former Alaska Governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin gestures to the crowd after speaking at a Tea Party Express rally on Boston Commons in Boston, Massachusetts April 14, 2010. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

2010

A storm in the Tea Cup (Tea Party and the midterm polls)

On February 5, The Tea Party movement that gained momentum in the final months of 2005 over the debate on national healthcare hosted their first convention in Nashville, Tennessee. In what is seen as the most influential video of the year in American politics, an 80-seconds long advert hit the screens all over the US. Several analysts later maintained that the video was key in determining the outcome of the 2010 midterm elections.

It featured Republican Sarah Palin speaking amid a wave fluttering flags and cheering supporters. In an attempt to inspire the cadres, she said, The Tea party movement is not a top-down operation. It's a ground-up call to action that is forcing both parties to change the way that they're doing business. Reaching out to everyday Americans, the party stated that the soul of this movement were the people who grow the food and run the small businesses, teach the kids and fight the wars.

They're folks in small towns and cities across this great nation who saw what was happening, and they got involved. It is just so inspiring to see real people, not politicos, not inside the beltway professionals, come out and stand up and speak out for commonsense conservative principles, Palin said adding that the tea party was the future of politics. In fact, it was.

On November 2, following the midterm election, Republicans took control of the House with a gain of 64 seats making it the largest seat change for any party since the 1948 election and the largest for any midterm since the 1938 midterm elections. The Democrats however keep control of the Senate. Republicans also won a majority of Governships and State Legislatures.

March 21 - The United States House of Representatives passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and its companion Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 by votes of 219-212 and 220-211, respectively.

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Greenpeace activists with bodies covered in fake oil, take part in a protest outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels (REUTERS/Greenpeace/Eric de Mildt/Handout)

April 20 - An explosion occurred on the Transocean Ltd's drilling rig Deepwater Horizon licensed to BP killing 11 workers. Millions of gallons of oil was spilled into the Gulf of Mexico soiling 100 miles of coastline, threatening some of the richest U.S. fisheries and endangering a fragile marine ecosystem.

July 8 - Ten people uncovered by the FBI as Russian spies pleaded guilty in court to conspiracy to act as foreign agents. The spies were deported from the United States in exchange for four people imprisoned for alleged contact with Western intelligence bodies.

August 19 - Iraq War: The last U.S. combat troops left Iraq.

September 23 - The United States and other western nations including Britain, Sweden, Australia, Belgium, Uruguay and Spain walked out of the United Nations General Assembly following claims by the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, that the majority of the American people as well as most nations and politicians around the world believe that the 9/11 attacks were the work of the Government of the United States trying to protect Israel.

November 28 - Whistle-blower site WikiLeaks publicly released the first of thousands of confidential documents sent by U.S. diplomats.

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Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addresses the 65th United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York. (REUTERS/Mike Segar)

December 2 - The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4853 that extends tax cuts for families making under $250,000, but raises taxes on those making over that amount with a 234-188 vote.

December 18 - U.S. Senate voted to repeal of the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law, in a move that would pave the way for gays to serve openly in the military. The 17-year-old law's tenure reached an end after the Senate voted 65-31 favoring its repeal. The 1993 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law barred gay people in the military from revealing their sexual orientation. Reports suggest that more than 13,000 men and women were expelled from the military due to the policy.

December 21 - The results of the 2010 US Census were released. The US population grew by 9.7 percent to 308 million, the smallest percentage increase since the Great Depression.

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