The MeToo movement, Trump-Russia probe and the historic meeting between leaders of the two Koreas dominated the headlines in 2018. 

While Russian President Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping cemented their position in Russia and China respectively, German’s Angela Merkel announced that she would step down as the chancellor in 2021. 

As 2018 draws to a close, here is a review of some events that rocked your world.

Kim Jong Un Meets Trump, Shakes Hand With Moon Jae-In

In the first-ever meet between the leaders of the US and North Korea, Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un met in Singapore in June and pledged to work towards complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. 

The ‘bonhomie’ between the two leaders also continued throughout the year, with Trump claiming that they “fell in love” after exchanging letters.

A second meet between the two is on cards in early 2019.

In a first for any member of the Kim dynasty since 1953, Kim Jong Un in April crossed over to the southern side of the world’s most heavily armed border to meet rival South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Later, Korean families separated by war, reunited briefly at a North Korean resort for three days.

kim jong un, trump

The Miraculous Thai Cave Rescue

When a dozen young soccer players of the ‘Wild Boars’ and their coach ventured into a cave in Thailand to explore, little did they know that the entire world would watch them as they made their way out.

Torrential rain pushed the team deep inside the Tham Luang cave, where they were stranded for more than two weeks with depleting oxygen and without any supplies.

The Thai Navy Seal Unit, foreign divers and experts from across the world raced against ‘time and water’ to save the boys.

One by one divers pulled the boys, who were sedated, through narrow, dark and water-filled passageways to the cave’s entrance. The daring rescue operations got the attention of a global audience.

thai rescued boys

Privacy And Data Leaks

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg appeared before the US House Commerce Committee to explain the social media platform’s role in the Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal – that left information of over 50 million users exposed. 

The data was later used to swing the voters in the run-up to the 2016 US Presidential election.

The company that was already scrambling to win the users’ trust, was hit with another data scandal in October this year when information of 30 million people was stolen.

 mark zuckerberg

Jamal Khashoggi's Murder

In October, Washington Post columnist and Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul only to get some documentation for his wedding. He never came out alive. 

In the days that followed, Riyadh told various stories about what had happened, finally admitting that he was killed in a brawl by Saudi officials inside the consulate. 

The killing sparked global outrage with many critics pointing fingers at crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman under whose leadership political dissidents and human rights activists have been repressed.

jamal khashoggi

#MeToo Movement Goes Global

The #MeToo movement, which surfaced late in 2017, reverberated across the globe in 2018 as well.

Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was charged with rape and popular comedian Bill Cosby was sentenced to prison for sexual harassment. 

The campaign also reached India where prominent names – editor-turned-politician MJ Akbar, actor Alok Nath, singer Kailash Kher, celebrity consultant Suhel Seth – cropped up in sexual harassment cases.

This reignited conversations about sexual abuse, male gaze and the deep-rooted misogyny in the country.

bill cosby

Brexit

Amid protests over Brexit, Theresa May postponed a vote on the agreement she had negotiated with the European Union to January, acknowledging that it would be defeated by “a significant margin.”

This sparked a no-confidence motion against her. 

Her government was also found in contempt of Parliament for failing to release the advice her government’s lawyers on Brexit.

Britain’s exit is due to happen on March 19, 2019, regardless of whether there is a deal with EU or not.

Will it happen or won’t it – is the question we will look forward to in 2019.

theresa may

Saudi Arabia Allows Women To Drive, Opens Cinema Theatres

In a first, women in Saudi Arabia took to the driver’s seat and steered their way through the streets after the Kingdom lifted the ban on female drivers on June 24.

However, activists involved in the “Right to Drive” campaign were imprisoned for working with “foreign entities,” days before the ban was lifted. 

According to activists, the arrests were made to stop the women from “publicly claiming success” and stealing the credit from the government, Reuters reported.

Ahead of allowing women to drive, the kingdom passed a law against sexual harassment with up to five years prison for the most severe cases.

In another news, the Kingdom also opened its first cinema hall in over three decades and also declared Yoga as a sport.

sauidi women

What a year!