December 25, 2013 | Marcus Varner | Leave a comment While you’re taking a break from classes, online or traditional, for the holidays, you’ve probably taken a minute to reflect on the year that’s about the end. And there was some much to love about 2013. Government intrigue between the White House, the NSA, and leaker Edward Snowden kept us on the edge of our seats. Legends like Nelson Mandela gracefully passed on, while new ones, like ubiquitous Pope Francis, entered the limelight. If you were looking for comedy (or tragedy?), the bungling antics of the government shutdown and the “fiscal cliff” would certainly keep you amused… and frustrated. And then was the non-stop terror that seemed to come from disasters natural and man-made. Large earthquakes in every corner of the globe. Uncontrollable wildfires. Flooding and cyclones. Terrorist attacks. Ongoing wars throughout Syria and Africa. These events made us shake our heads in wonder and dread. While we couldn’t possibly include every major news story in one infographic, we packed our newest infographic with those stories our team considered the most significant. Enjoy and have a wonderful New Year! Top News Stories in 2013 Jan. 1 – 5: U.S Congress Votes ‘Yes’ on Fiscal-Cliff Deal, Including Rep. John Boehner Jan. 6 – 12: Wildfires in eastern Australia displace thousands Jan. 13-19: Suspected Islamic militants take over a BP facility in In Aménas, Algeria, killing at least 2 workers and taking up to 40 others hostage Jan. 20-26: second inauguration of Barack Obama as the President of the United States takes place Jan. 27 – Feb. 2: Dozens killed in Egyptian protests Feb. 3 – 9: The University of Leicester holds a media conference to announce that a skeleton found in Leicester last year during an archaelogical dig is that of former King Richard III of England Feb 10-16: Pope Benedict XVI announces his resignation, effective February 28 at 8pm CET (7pm UTC). He will become the first pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415 Feb 17-23: Retired police sergeant Drew Peterson, whose fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, disappeared in 2007, is sentenced by the US state of Illinois to 38 years incarceration for the 2004 murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio Feb 24-Mar. 2: Bradley Manning pleads guilty to 10 counts out of 22 against him for leaking classified material in the WikiLeaks case Mar. 3-9: Hugo Chávez, the President of Venezuela, dies in office at the age of 58 in the capital, Caracas Mar. 10-16: Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina is elected as the new pope, taking the papal name Pope Francis. Mar 17-23: Two members of the Steubenville High School football team have been found guilty of raping a sixteen-year-old girl in the U.S. town of Steubenville, Ohio. Mar 24-30: Multiple public attacks in U.S. leave over a dozen victims Mar 31-Apr 6: An Exxon Mobil crude oil pipeline ruptures near the town of Mayflower in the U.S. state of Arkansas, spilling thousands of barrels from the Wabasca oil field Apr 7-Apr 13: North Korean steps up threats toward South Korea and U.S., prompts pre-emptive measures Apr 14-20: Two explosions in Boston, United States, near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon leave 3 people dead and 183 injured Apr 21-27: Stock market undergoes a flash crash (similar to 2010) of 1 percent when the Twitter feed from the Associated Press news agency is hacked and erroneously states that several explosions have injured President Barack Obama Apr 28-May 4: U.S. jobless claims fall to their lowest level in five years May 5-11: A new study by the University of California, Davis suggests that all Europeans are related to small group of ancestors dating back only 1,000 years May 12-18: A 2,300-year-old Mayan pyramid at Nohmul in Belize is destroyed by a construction company seeking road fill gravel. May 19-25: Two-mile-wide tornado hits Okalahoma City area, inuring 240 and killing 24 May 26-Jun 1: Fast & Furious 6 opens at the top of the movie sales charts in 59 countries, including the United States and Canada where it grossed an estimated $122 million Jun 2-Jun 8: The US government comes under heavy criticism at home and abroad when news of its secret PRISM surveillance program to monitor emails and other person information is leaked. Jun 9-Jun 15: A former CIA employee named Edward Snowden comes forward as the source, defects to Hong Kong Jun 16-Jun 22: Miami Heat defeat the San Antonio Spurs to win the NBA Finals 4–3 Jun 23-Jun 29: The U.S. Supreme Court rules that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and in violation of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution Jun 30-Jul 6: Egypt’s military deposes President Mohamed Morsi, and installs Adly Mansour, the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court, as the country’s new interim leader Jul 7-Jul 13: George Zimmerman is found not guilty in the shooting of Trayvon Martin. Jul 14-20: A heat wave settles over the United States with at least one death reported while wildfires in California consume tens of thousands of acres Jul 21-27: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, gives birth to a healthy boy, George Alexander Louis. The child, formally known as His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge, is third in line to the British throne. Jul 28-Aug 3: American National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden is granted a one-year temporary political asylum in Russia Aug 4-10: Scottish actor Peter Capaldi is announced to portray the twelfth incarnation of the Doctor on the long-running British science fiction show Doctor Who Aug 11-17: The infamous Area 51 is officially acknowledged by the United States Aug 18-24: Syrian activists claim that chemical weapon attacks have killed over 600 people in the outskirts of Damascus Aug 25-31: President Obama announces his intention to launch strikes on Syrian gov’t for chemical weapons attacks on rebels. Russian President Vladmir Putin objects. Sep 1-Sep 7: Ariel Castro, the Cleveland, Ohio kidnapper guilty of holding three women in his house for over a decade, hangs himself in his prison cell Sep 8-14: The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam identifies a new Vincent Van Gogh painting, Sunset at Montmajour Sep 15-21: Flooding in Colorado claims dozens of lives and displaces thousands Sep 22-28: Al-Shabab militants attacked the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, causing a four-day siege that ends with 67 dead Sep 29-Oct 5: the White House Office of Management and Budget issues a partial shutdown of government agencies after the House and Senate fail to come to an agreement on a spending bill to keep government operations running Oct 6-12: Theoretical physicists, Briton Peter Higgs and Belgian François Englert, win the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics for their work on the origin of the mass of subatomic particles Oct 13-19: President of the United States Barack Obama signs a bipartisan deal approved by Congress to end the Government shutdown and the debt ceiling crisis. Oct 20-26: Germany summons the United States Ambassador over claims that the US monitored Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel’s mobile phone. Oct 27-Nov 2: The Boston Red Sox win the 2013 World Series defeating the St. Louis Cardinals in game 6 with a score of 6-1. Nov 3-9: As Typhoon Haiyan hits the Phillipines, 5,560 people are reported killed, but the Red Cross estimates that 20,000 are still missing. Nov 10-16: Two U.S. Secret Service agents are relieved of duty from Barack Obama’s security detail after charges of sexual harassment towards a female subordinate Nov 17-23: Sony sells 1 million units of the Playstation 4 in its first day of sales Nov 24-30: American actor Paul Walker (The Fast and the Furious franchise) is one of two killed in a car accident after attending a charity event Dec 1-7: Former freedon fighter and South African President Nelson Mandela passes away in Johannesburg Dec 8-14: Time magazine names Pope Francis its Person of the Year Dec 15-21: China’s mission carrying Yutu, China’s first lunar rover, lands on the Moon. It is the first “soft” landing on the Moon since 1976 and the third ever robotic rover. Dec 22-28: Thousands of customers are still without power across Michigan, Vermont, Maine, and Southern Ontario after a winter storm Dec 29-31: A suicide bomb attack at the Volgograd-1 railway station in the southern Russian city of Volgograd kills at least 16 people and wounds 40 others. A bomb blast rips a trolleybus apart in Volgograd, Russia, killing at least 15 people in the second deadly attack in the southern city in less than 24 hours.