The Biggest Stories Of 2016
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The Biggest Stories Of 2016

"I feel like this year is really about, like, the year of realizing stuff."

15
The Biggest Stories Of 2016

2016 was a year of several ups, and many, many downs. From the death of beloved Alan Rickman to the end of the Presidential election, 2016 felt like it would never end.

But, my friends, we have made it. With only one week remaining before we dive into 2017, these are the biggest headlines this year:

9. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West

Love 'em or hate 'em, the Kardashian-West clan was all over pop-culture media this year. Between Snapchat, Instagram, and Keeping Up With the Kardashians, the reach of Mr. and Mrs. West seems to keep growing. And the latter-half of 2016 saw some serious Kimye-soaked headlines. In October, news broke that Kim K was robbed at gunpoint in a Paris hotel while attending Paris Fashion Week. While fortunately unharmed, the Kardashian-West family was severely shaken up by the incident - social media darlings Kylie and Kendall became noticeably quiet on their respective accounts.

In November, Kanye West broke out into a very Kanye-like rant, cancelled the remaining dates of his Saint Pablo tour, and was admitted to UCLA Medical Center for psychiatric evaluation. Recently, rumors have been circulating surrounding the fate of the couple's marriage. And as we slide into 2017, the reign of Kimye remains to be seen.

8. Death of Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro long-held the office of the 17th President of Cuba as a member of the Communist Party. Many of his idealogies and beliefs stemmed from a desire to bring Cuba out from under imperialist control and into its own independent power.

Castro was a polarizing figure; his supporters view him as a champion of socialism and anti-imperialism whose regime advanced economic and social justice while successfully resisting American imperialism. His critics viewed him as a dictator whose administration oversaw human-rights violations, the impoverishment of the Cuban economy, and a large exodus of Cubans.

On November 25, Fidel's brother Raul confirmed his death stating, "The commander-in-chief of the Cuban revolution died at 22:29 this evening." After 9 days of public mourning, his ashes were entombed in the Santa Ifigenia Cemetary in Santiago de Cuba.

7. Zika Virus

In February 2016, the World Health Organization declared a state of emergency related to the outbreak of microcephaly occuring in South America. The cause seemed to be the Zika virus, a new flu-like sickness spread by mosquitos.

Having been first detected in Brazil in May 2015, hysteria surrounded the spread of disease as it was believed that a simple mosquito bite could render a woman incapable of giving birth to healthy baby, thereby causing the systematic end of the human race.

Woah.

Research and evidence pointed to the cause of the outbreak, a species of mosquito known as Aedes aegypti, a type of mosquito that exists in tropical and subtropical environments. While there were a small number of Zika cases in North America and Europe, much of the spread of the virus was contained to countries and regions south of the equator - many of these same countries lack easy access to contraceptives and abortion.

As of July 2016, several US-based biotech companies were working on vaccines.

6. Taylor Swift

It was the breakup - and relationship and squad and Snapchat video- seen 'round the world. It seems that everyone was talking about Taylor in 2016.

From her supermodel squad to her relationship - and subsequent breakup - with Calvin Harris to her high-profile fling with Tom Hiddleston, TSwift was the hashtag that couldn't be stopped. Still the highest paid female, Swift continued her dominance of the pop charts and the media hearts. When her relationship with DJ Calvin Harris came to an end - and her rebound with Hiddleston came to light - the world couldn't stop watching as the drama played out.

Did Taylor cheat on Calvin with Tom? Was this the relationship that would change Taylor? Was the Tom-Taylor duo a huge publicity stunt? What was the deal with that I <3 Taylor t-shirt?

In July, Kanye West released his single "Famous," and with it came the controversial line, "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/ I made that b*tch famous." What followed could only be described as the most ridiculous and juiciest bit of celebrity rivalry to hit the Twitter-verse. Mrs. Kardashian-West herself released a scathing Snapchat video showing a conversation between Kanye and Taylor in which Swift seemingly approved of the line and the song.

Cue the #KimExposedTaylorParty.

5. The Gilmore Girls Revival

Copper-boom.

In January 2016, following a year of revivals and reunions and Netflix originals, it was officially confirmed that there would be a Gilmore Girls revival series. Nearly 10 years after the show ended, original creator Amy Sherman-Palladino and her husband Daniel Palladino were spearheading the new series.

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, as it was aptly titled, followed the lovable and quirky characters of Stars Hollow through one of the four seasons. We see Rory in her career, Lorelai and Luke and their forever are they? or aren't they?, and the wonderful Gilmore guys - all of the men that influenced and love the Gilmore girls.

With an in-show tribute to the late Edward Hermann, and the undeniable mother-daughter bond between Rory and Lorelai, A Year in the LIfe was the revival we needed.

Oy, with the poodles already!

4. "Grab 'em by the p*ssy"

In a year of hastags and revivals and memorable quotes - "I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative," - there was one golden grain of sand that stood out from them all.

In October, at the peak of campaign season, the Washington Post released a video of then Republican-candidate-now-President-Elect Donald Trump on Access Hollywood discussing his fame and his approach toward women.

"I'm automatically attracted to beautiful [women] - I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star they let you do it. And you can do anything... Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything."

This comment, made in 2005, was labeled "vulgar," and "sexist," by the media and led Trump to his first public apology in the election and to withdrawals by several Republican politicians.

3. Harambe

On May 28, a 3-year old boy climbed into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden where he was grabbed and dragged by Harambe, a newly 17-year-old Western lowland gorilla. As onlookers feared for the young boy's life, a zoo worker shot and killed Harambe.

The death of the gorilla caused widespread controversy - some people believed that Harambe posed no actual threat to the boy. Many conservationists and primatologists wrote that the zoo had no choice but to take the selected choice of action, a result of the close proximity between humans and animals.

The death of Harambe sparked a slurry of internet memes, the most notable involving over-the-top and fake tributes to the gorilla i.e., "Dicks out for Harambe."

2. Brexit

Following a June 23 referendum, the United Kingdom's vote to withdraw from the European Union became known as "Brexit," a portmanteau of "British exit."

A growing sense of British nationalism and rejection toward the European Union had been brewing in the UK since 2012. With increasing instability in the European economy and higher membership fees, groups advocating for the UK to leave the European Union campaigned for Britain to become its own independent economic power source rather than carrying the weight of other EU members. Former Prime Minister David Cameron, during his reelection campaign promised a Conservative party led referendum before the end of 2017.

In June, 52% of voters chose to leave the European Union. Following the results of the referendum, Cameron announced he would be stepping down as Prime Minister.

1. 2016 Presidential Election

The 2016 Presidential election felt a lot like the vote for Spring Fling Queen: do I vote for Regina George because she got hit by that bus? or do I vote for Cady Heron, because she pushed her?

Neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump was overwhelmingly popular - for many voters it felt they were having to choose between the lesser of two evils.

Both candidates had their pros and cons.

On the Clinton side: the first woman president, a veteran of the Obama administration, a long history of political activism and experience, a shady history with international politics, deeply entrenched in the political machine, flip-flopping on issues, those damn emails.

On the Trump side: a break from the political institution, a break from the Obama administration, a successful businessman with a high number of female executives, representation of the unrepresented, questionable attitude toward women, lack of political experience, that damn Access Hollywood tape.

In the end, after what felt like the longest election cycle to date, the American people elected Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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