10 World Changing Events That Happened In 2017

10 World Changing Events Happened In 2017 10 North Korean Escalation North Korea being kind of crazy isn’t exactly a new development Just in 2016 the country’s leadership has claimed have cured AIDS, ended cancer, and invented a hangover-free alcohol

All of which has presumably kept them too busy to feed their people or power their homes But in 2017 there were several world-changing firsts in the ongoing feud between North Korea and the US For the first time, Kim Jong Un has missiles capable of reaching California If launched at LA, they could potentially kill over 200,000 people Not only that, but North Korea’s posturing also reached new levels, with the country firing a rocket over Japan and outlining a specific plan of attack they could use against the US territory of Guam

This greater aggression, coupled with a President willing to fire back rhetorically, has risen tensions in the region to an all time high North Korea’s propaganda may still be as outlandish as ever But with the tiny dictatorship more of a legitimate threat than ever before, the situation in North Korea will be very different coming into 2018 9 Mugabe Deposed If nothing else had happened in 2017, the deposition of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe would be enough to call the year world-changing Over the course of his 37-year reign Mugabe took a democracy with unbelievable mineral wealth, and turned it into a dictatorship where a million Zimbabwean dollars would barely cover your weekly shop

And until November 2017, it looked as if the 93-year-old’s reign would continue until his death However, he crossed too many allies after he made his hated, money-draining wife the next in line for succession While 96% of Zimbabweans subsist on less than a dollar a day, Grace Mugabe was going on $100,000 shopping sprees in Paris and getting in fights with models The military decided they’d had enough, and moved in to collect Mugabe’s quote unquote “resignation” Although there’s no guarantee that Mugabe’s successor Emmerson Mnangagwa will be any better, the removal of the tyrant at least re-kindles the hope of establishing the democracy that the African nation has been denied for so long

8 Immortal Mice Of all the things on this list, it’s hard to think of anything more world changing than the ability to live forever And although we’re not there yet, scientists did make a major breakthrough this year in the fight against aging In March 2017, researchers at the did something unprecedented By injecting a compound known as NMN into mice, they successfully managed to reverse the physical damage done to DNA by aging In other words, they de-aged the mice’s bodies

The obvious implication here is that, if the effect could be replicated in humans, these scientists may have found a way to greatly prolong youth and perhaps even end death by old age The excited researchers wanted to start human trials within 6 months of the mice study And although they missed that deadline, NMN will likely be tested on humans in the very near future 7 Catalonia Freedom On October 1st 2017, the Spanish region of Catalonia held a referendum on whether or not it should become an autonomous nation Home to 16% of the Spanish population but over a quarter of its wealth, losing Catalonia would be devastating split would be devastating for Spain

But many Catalans believe that they would do better without the rest of the country holding them back The 2017 referendum wasn’t the first independence vote held in recent years An unsuccessful one held in 2014 garnered 81% support for autonomy before being dismissed by the Spanish government But this new referendum was declared illegal by the national government, with a semi-militarized police force being sent in to stop Catalonians voting Violence ensued with the police firing rubber bullets at voters, and beating them with truncheons

Despite this, 43% of Catalonians still voted, with 90% backing independence This is where things get different Catalonia's local government, led by Catalonian President Carles Puigdemont [Car-les P-weed-dg-mon], used the result to declare independence from Spain The national government responded by suspending the region’s parliament and arresting Puigdemont and other independence leaders on charges of sedition and rebellion Exactly what will happen to Catalonia is still unclear

But 2017’s referendum and the subsequent unrest and police intervention make it unlikely that the status quo can be maintained On the one hand, the Spanish government may try to win over independence leaders with more local autonomy, or even a real, binding referendum On the other they may resort to using more and more force to try and quell dissent in the contentious region Either way, the situation of Catalonia will definitely change And soon

6 SpaceX As fans of sci-fi will know, Han Solo doesn’t buy a new every time he needs to go on a smuggling run But every time we want to pop into space, we have to junk the rocket we did it in and build a new one from scratch Or at least, that was the case until 2017 In March of this year, SpaceX managed to launch one of its used Falcon 9 rockets back into space That marked the first time a spaceship has ever been reused

The ability to recycle rockets for repeated use is a huge step forward Apart from the technology itself being impressive, not having to build a brand new vehicle saved SpaceX $18 million Making that kind of saving per launch should keep further space exploration viable for private groups like SpaceX and Virgin Galactic And the more groups that can afford to keep travelling space, the more we’ll be able to learn about our universe 5 Brexit Effects Along with the election of Trump, Brexit was one of the most unexpected political results of 2016

But, apart from that 17 and a half million people wanted Britain to leave the EU, the referendum didn’t really tell us very much It wasn’t until 2017 that the world started to see the first signs of how the decision will change Britain and Europe forever First of all we learned that, if the UK wants to continue to remain on good trading terms with the EU, it will have to pay a $68 billion “divorce bill” before leaving To put that in perspective, $68 billion is more than the UK government’s annual spend on defense or transport We also know that in the year since the referendum, the pound has weakened against the dollar and the euro

This weak pound has cost the average Brit $544 last year But perhaps most significantly, the number of EU citizens applying to work as nurses for the National Health Service has plummeted from 1,304 to just 46 That could cause an understaffing crisis in the very near future There’s still plenty more to be settled surrounding Britain’s decision to leave But 2017 showed Brexit is already shaping Britain and Europe in world changing ways

4 Editing Embryos In August 2017, scientists did something extraordinary For the first time, American researchers used the powerful gene editing tool CRISPR to alter the DNA of a viable human embryo Scientists from the Salk Institute were able to go into the embryo, which carried a mutated gene that causes heart disease, and delete the deadly DNA segment Essentially, they were able to pre-emptively cure the disease before the patient was even born Editing out this gene could save thousands of lives a year

The researchers believe this cutting edge science isn’t limited to curing heart disease, but could help prevent patients being born with a predisposition towards cystic fibrosis or breast cancer Similar, smaller scale, studies have taken place before in China But never before on an embryo that was viable to become a person The larger scale and international embrace of this gene editing experiment means that we could be on the brink of a truly remarkable, disease-beating breakthrough With Australian researchers trying to cure death (albeit in mice) and CRISPR showing it has the capability to remove dangerous genes, this year has certainly been a landmark one for science

And as if that wasn’t enough, physicists in Massachusetts have invented a wine bottle that is guaranteed not to spill while pouring What a year 3 Facing the bill When you think of KFC you probably think of Colonel Sanders, or heart-stopping lumps of fried chicken You probably don’t associate the chain with ground-breaking technological innovations Well, unless you count the Double Down

But in China, a KFC-owned shop is playing host to an exciting new technology: facial payment software Using devices supplied by Ant Financial, Chinese chicken connoisseurs are being asked to authenticate their purchase with a smile Facing into the self-service machines, customers place their order and then have their faces scanned If their face matches their Ant Financial ID, then the payment goes through without the need for a card or PIN While the whole “Smile To Pay” thing seems like a gimmick, there are signs that facial recognition could be the future of tech security

The iPhone X has a Face ID function And in the UK, police took the controversial step of using new facial recognition device during 2017’s Remembrance Sunday The idea was to scan for for stalkers and other security threats However, the move worried numerous privacy groups worried the police would store the faces of innocent spectators Needing someone’s face to authorize a payment is, obviously, a pretty good barrier against fraud

And if someone does successfully use your account for their own means, it’s way, way easier to track them down if they have to show you their face 2 Hollywood Scandal From Louis CK to George Takei, the list of major Hollywood figures being accused of sexual harassment seems to be growing all the time In some cases, like Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein, the scandal has already been enough to essentially end their career Weinstein has been fired from the production company he helped found and Spacey has even been retroactively cut out of All The Money In The World, a movie he’d already finished shooting On top of that, huge on screen stars like Sylvester Stallone, Dustin Hoffman, and Ben Affleck have all had accusations levied against them

While many of the stories are still just allegations, and may turn out to be unfounded, the ongoing fiasco looks like it could be the catalyst needed to finally change what is clearly a pervasive culture of sexual harassment at the heart of Hollywood Prominent celebrities like Natalie Portman are coming forward with their stories, and the industry has already proven itself willing to pull films and risk short-term monetary gain to fix the problem Perhaps this ongoing horror story of abuse is the price we have to pay to change Hollywood 1 President Trump Whatever you think of President Donald Trump, his first year in office has undeniably changed the world in a number of ways Even just in being inaugurated, as he was back in January, Trump made history by becoming the first President to have never held a prior political or military office

And the changes don’t stop there Within days of taking office, Trump signed an executive order taking America out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership The free trade deal between 12 nations has been planned since 2008, so moving away from it could signifies a major shift towards a more protectionist policy Then in April, Trump chose the conservative Neil Gorsuch to fill the spare Supreme Court Justice seat, and encouraged his party to lower the threshold required to elect a justice That means that in the future it will be easier than ever for an administration to put new judges in place

And in June, Trump announced America would be leaving the Paris Climate Agreement, allowing America free reign to pollute at a higher rate The move also leaves America and Nicaragua as the only two countries in the world not signed up to the deal There may be another three years of Trump’s first term to go But in just one year, King Combover has definitely changed the world Was it for better or worse? Let us know in the comments below

So, that was 10 World Changing Events That Happened In 2017 Which moment do you think had the biggest impact? Did we leave any globe-defining events off the list? Let us know in the comments below And if you want to look forward to the future, check out 10 NEW Countries That Could Exist In Ten Years, playing now

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