Review of news events in 2021
BY JORDI BOU
December 31, 2020 – Selected events scheduled during 2021 include the inauguration of Joe Biden as U.S. President, and the election of a new Chancellor in Germany as Angela Merkel stands down after four terms in office. Sporting events delayed to 2021 by the coronavirus pandemic include the Tokyo Olympics, the Euro 2020 soccer tournament and the Copa America in Argentina and Colombia. NASA plans to launch the James Webb Space Telescope and India aims to launch its first manned spaceflight. Anniversaries include 30 years since the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
1. Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th President of the United States, while Kamala Harris takes the oath as the first woman vice-president.
2. Brexit kicks in as the transition period ends, with or without a deal between the UK and EU.
3. The 63rd Grammy Awards are broadcast from Los Angeles.
4. Three probes – Mars 2020, Hope and Tianwen-1 – launched
by the U.S., UAE and China respectively, arrive at Mars.
5. Barring a last-hour rescue, the New START Treaty between the U.S. and Russia, limiting numbers of strategic nuclear weapons, is due to expire.
6. China marks the Year of the Ox. People born in Ox years are said to be honest and earnest.
7. The trial of four former police officers accused in the death of George Floyd is due to start.
8. A NATO summit in Brussels hopes to welcome Joe Biden, and to begin mending relations with the U.S..
9. Extreme E, a new racing series based on electric SUVs which aims to raise awareness of climate change, starts in Saudi Arabia.
10. Raúl Castro is to step down as First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, ending 62 years of Castro-led government.
11. Peru holds a general election amid a period of political turmoil.
12. The Oscars ceremony, moved from Feb 28 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is held in Los Angeles.
13. The 65th Eurovision Song Contest – postponed from 2020 – is held in Rotterdam.
14. The second-shortest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century, lasting 14 minutes, will be visible from much of East Asia, Australia and the Americas.
15. Tennis player Rafael Nadal will seek to extend his record with a 14th French Open title.
16. Euro 2020 and the 2021 Copa América, both delayed by a year, kick off across Europe, and in Argentina and Colombia.
17. Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest telecoms conference, opens in Barcelona.
18. Amazon begins its switch to electric vans for deliveries across the U.S..
19. The postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are due to begin,
retaining the original logo and name.
20. Bang Sue Grand Station, the largest rail station in Southeast
Asia, opens in Bangkok.
21. The U.S. Air Force aims to pit an advanced autonomous aircraft against a piloted plane in a challenge set to revolutionise air-to-air combat.
22. Microsoft ends support for its Internet Explorer 11 web browser,
which made its debut in 1995.
23. Mexico marks the 500th anniversary of the fall of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan (Mexico City) to the Spanish conquistadores.
24. Walt Disney Studios releases The Beatles: Get Back, filmmaker
Peter Jackson’s documentary about the Fab Four.
25. The era of Chancellor Angela Merkel comes to an end when Germans head to the polls to elect a new federal parliament.
26. The Arc de Triomphe in Paris will be wrapped in 25,000 sq. metres
of blue fabric, an installation planned by the late artist Christo.
27. Hong Kong holds legislative elections, postponed from September 2020.
28. Expo 2020, the first World Exposition in the Middle East, opens in
Dubai – one year late due to Covid-19.
29. NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, intended to replace Hubble,
is scheduled to launch into orbit.
30. The Rugby League World Cup kicks off in England.
31. Glasgow hosts the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26),
the most important climate forum since the Paris Agreement of 2015.
32. Barbados celebrates 55 years of of independence, aiming to remove
the British monarch as head of state and become a republic.
33. Italy hosts the G20 summit of the 20 biggest economies.
34. The UAE celebrates 50 years of independence as an emerging economic power.
35. Citizens of Russia and the former Eastern-bloc nations mark the 30th anniversary of the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
36. India intends to launch its first manned spaceflight, becoming the
fourth country to send people into space.