PROGRESS, DECLINE, AND HOPE: A COLLABORATIVE TIMELINE An award-winning collaborative timeline started by Aero in January 2011 and ending in March 2013. Progress, Decline, and Hope won the 2012 Turtledove Awards for “Best New Collaborative Timeline” and finished a close second in polling for “Best Shared Worlds”. In 2013, the timeline was nominated for “Best Continuing Future Timeline” and finished second in polling to the deserved winner, Pkmatrix' A Revised History of the Future (2001 - 2150). The timeline was declared finished and thereafter closed in March 2013, bringing an end to the largest collaborative timeline in board history and the largest organized Future History timeline. The timeline is composed of thousands of dates from 2011 onwards, formatted as both individual contributions and as ongoing series by members. While a good deal of the content is centered on events from an American point-of-view, collaborators have undertaken substantial efforts to include the perspectives of various other countries, most notably Britain, China, Europe, India and Mexico. Besides geopolitical and domestic political issues, several members have dedicated considerable amounts of time to filling in the blanks on areas such as culture, technology and space exploration. Major contributors include (in order of number of posts): Ganesha, Aero, Koenig Von Poposia, jerseyrules, o.a.musimon, Arkhangelsk, Odysseus, Broader Liberty, theReturner, AYoungContrarian, Tony, d32123, President_Gore, undeadpixel, and Nanwe. Notable features include: a major realignment of the American political system in the late 2010s and 2020s; Mexico cementing its status as a first world country; China's messy transition to democracy; a brutal and genocidal civil war in the DRC, which features massive foreign intervention; the rise of the African “Alliance for Democracy”, promoting the economic and social advancement of Africa; increasing integration of the European continent with the emergence of the European Federation, and reformation of the European Union to include Turkey and North African states; a resurgence in constitutional neo-monarchism in several countries worldwide; a major political realignment and later reformation in India; limited human exploration of Mars and Venus; the discovery of complex but unintelligent extraterrestrial life on the planet Venus and the Jovian moon Europa; and finally, the development of viable fusion power. [thread=180801]Here is the discussion link.[/thread] 2010 -- 2015 2011 March 18th, 2011: NASA's MESSENGER probe arrives at its intended destination, Mercury. April 20th, 2011: On the one year anniversary of the BP oil spill Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert hold their second rally in Washington D.C. With prices at the pump nearing $4 per gallon protesters demand alternatives forms of energy and an increase in funding for high speed rail and other forms of transportation. The California high speed rail project is hailed as an excellent start. April 29th, 2011: Prince William of Great Britain marries Miss Catherine Middleton in Westminster Abbey. William is created Duke of Cambridge. May 5th, 2011: Elections for the devolved Scottish Parliament in Holyrood are held. Labour makes sweeping gains and is able to form a small majority government. Elections for the devolved Welsh Assembly in Cardiff are held. The Labour party is able to form a majority government, but also notably the Green party and UKIP pick up one seat each. May 21st, 2011: Another doomsday prediction, this one predicted by evangelical pastor Harold Camping, fails to pan out. Nobody cares. June 18th, 2011: Kirk Douglas, an actor from the Golden Age of Hollywood, dies from natural causes at the age of 93. July 11th, 2011: Chelsea Clinton and husband Marc Mezvinsky announce that they are pregnant, much to the delight of former President Bill Clinton and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. July 12th, 2011: Montenegro passes the Law restoring property and raising the status of the descendants of the old Petrovic Njegos royal family. Prince Nikola II represents the government of Montenegro at the requiem mass for Dr. Otto von Habsburg, son of the last Austro-Hungarian Kaiser later in the month. July 16th, 2011: Following a NATO bombing raid the previous night, Libyan rebels from Misrata attack Zliten in hopes of liberating it from forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi. July 20th, 2011: Libyan rebels in the east launch an offensive from Ajdabiya. Thanks to months of NATO bombing and mass defections from Gaddafi forces, the rebels easily take Brega within three days. They then easily take Ras Lanuf and Bin Jawad in the next few days, and the Gaddafi loyalists in Sirte prepare themselves. July 23rd, 2011: Former Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK) files for divorce from Todd Palin, after reports of an extramarrital affair erupt, as Shailey Tripp of Juneau, Alaska claims an affair with Todd Palin since 2008. July 29th, 2011: After a month of advancing north of the Nafusa Mountains, the Libyan rebels have captured the cities of Gharyan and Al Aziziya. The rebels then launch an attack on Az Zawiyah to liberate the city from the Gaddafi regime once more. July 30th, 2011: Casey Anthony convicted for the 2008 murder of her daughter Caylee and sentenced to death. July 31st, 2011: The Libyan rebels from Misrata succeed in taking Zliten from Gaddafi forces. following their success, they advance to Al Khums. Simultaneously, the rebels from the east launch an attack on Sirte. August 3rd, 2011: To the Libyan rebels' surprise, resistance in Al Khums is minimal and they easily take it after four days of fighting. They later learn that Gaddafi forces have retreated back to Tripoli to defend it from the imminent rebel invasion. August 5th, 2011: Thanks to the help of rebel sleeper cells, Az Zawiyah is taken. The Libyan rebels then advance on Tripoli from the east, west, and south. In a fiery speech, Gaddafi refuses to surrender to the Libyan rebels and urges his remaining followers to fight to the end. August 13th, 2011: The renewable energy bill is finally passed in the Japanese House of Councillors after the opposition Komeito agreed to support the bill in exchange of Kan's resignation. However, Kan refuses to resign. August 16th, 2011: Sirte, one of three major Gaddafi strongholds, falls to the eastern Libyan rebels. The eastern rebels then advance south in an effort to eliminate any Gaddafi forces remaining and further west to liberate Bani Walid. September 2nd, 2011: While trying to escape to Belarus, Muammar Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam, and his head of intelligence Abdullah Senussi among others are captured and arrested by Libyan rebels. September 4th, 2011: Two days after Gaddafi's arrest, Libyan forces loyal to him surrender to the Libyan rebels in Tripoli. Mass celebrations follow in rebel cities, and the National Transitional Council moves to Tripoli the following morning. September 15th, 2011: Prince Albert II of Monaco is accidentally killed while participating in the One Shot Antelope hunt in Lander, Wyoming. Having no legitimate offspring, the throne of Monaco devolves upon his sister Princess Caroline. October 3rd, 2011: The new Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport officially opens for business, and Berlin Tegel is closed in correspondence. October 10th, 2011: At the same time Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Revolution of 1911 and his 65th birthday on his visit to China, the lower house passs a motion of no confidence against Kan's government. Kan does not dissolve the lower house, he chooses to resign instead. October 14th, 2011: Banri Kaieda, the newly-elected President of the ruling DPJ who defeated Finance Minister Noda for the party presidency, is elected Prime Minister of Japan, replacing Naoto Kan. Despite only having served for 493 days, Kan was the longest-serving prime minister since Koizumi. October 14th-30th, 2011: The XVI Pan American Games are held in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Though some commentators from outside Mexico fear that the games would be interrupted by the violence still plaguing the country, the games go off without a hitch. The games end with the United States in 1st place, Cuba in 2nd and Mexico in 3rd. October 16th, 2011: The Boston Red Sox sweep the Texas Rangers in the ALCS to win the AL pennant. October 20th, 2011: In a bitterly fought division rivalry series, the Philadelphia Phillies take out the Atlanta Braves in 7 games in the NLCS to advance to the World Series. Pitching duels between the aces of Hudson, Jurrjens, and Hanson on one side and Halladay, Hamels, and Lee define the series. October 30th, 2011: In baseball, the Philadelphia Phillies win the World Series in 7 games against the Boston Red Sox in a series that caused almost as much animosity between Yankee and Met fans as Sox and Phillies. Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz wins MVP honors by hitting 11 for 28 with 2 home runs, 3 doubles and 8 RBI's. November 20th, 2011: Cristina Kirchner is reelected as President of Argentina after getting 50.5% of the vote in one of the most disputed run-off elections in the history of Argentina. The actual elections happened a month earlier, and Cristina got 49.7% of the vote. November 1st, 2011: The much-anticipated Boeing 787 Dreamliner enters commercial service with All Nippon Airways (ANA). November 8th, 2011: Ed Lee (D-CA) is elected Mayor in San Francisco, California, becoming one of the first Asian-American Mayors of a major metropolitan area. December 5th, 2011: The last pocket of resistance from forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi is crushed near the Libya-Chad border. December 15th, 2011: In a surprise announcement, MLB commissioner Bud Selig states the MLB's intention to expand the league instead of moving to two 15-team leagues. The AL will instead gain two teams (in to-be-decided locations) to have two 16 team leagues. Also, Selig okays the relocation of the Oakland athletics to Portland, Oregon. Both the expansion and relocation are expected to be completed for the 2014 season. December 22nd, 2011: Star slugger and future Hall-of-Famer Albert Pujols resigns with the St. Louis Cardinals. December 31st, 2011: Officially, all U.S. troops have been evacuated from Iraq. President Obama's approval ratings rise to a higher level for the month ------------------------------------------------------------------ 2012 January 1st, 2012: For the first time, Cubans are allowed to buy and sell private property. There are strict limits on what type of property and the value of the transaction allowed - nevertheless, this is a significant step forward for Cuban reformers, led slowly by President Raúl Castro. January 5th, 2012: The trial of Muammar Gaddafi before the International Criminal Court begins in Benghazi. Gaddafi is charged with crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, and torturing political activists as well as war crimes. Gaddafi, defiant as ever, pleas not guilty to all charges. Free agent and ex-Met shortstop Jose Reyes signs with the Detroit Tigers. January 7th, 2012: The ICC finds Muammar Gaddafi guilty of crimes against humanity and war crimes and sentences him to life imprisonment in Abu Salim prison. Celebrations are held in Tripoli, Benghazi, and Misrata, among other Libyan cities. January 8th, 2012: Princess Dowager Charlene of Monaco (formerly Charlene Wittstock), the widow Prince Albert II moves back to South Africa. January 14th, 2012: In Taiwan, incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou (KMT) narrowly defeats Su Tseng-chang (DPP) for reelction in the Taiwanese presidential election, 2012; continuing his policy of closer ties with China. China welcomed the results. Nevertheless, the ruling KMT fails to win a majority in the Legislative Yuan, falling one seat short of a majority. Republic of China legislative election, 2012 Kuomintang 56 Democratic Progressive Party 46 People First Party 4 Non-Partisan Solidarity Union 4 Independents 3 Incumbent speaker: Wang Jin-pyng (KMT) January 17th, 2012: German President Christian Wulff is forced to step down after the BILD published a recent phone call of his, and pressure vastly increased as people heard the aggressive, close-to-vulgar tone of the call and it's threatening implications. The SPD/Green part of the Bundestag (Parliament), as a sign of integration, nominate Cem Özdemir, as the CDU fraction nominates Stefan Mappus for President. January 22nd, 2012: Simeon Sakskoburggotski, the former King Simeon II of Bulgaria and former Prime Minister of Bulgaria becomes President of Bulgaria after being elected to the office at the age of 74. January 26th, 2012: A movement similar to that of the Spanish “indignados” takes over the main square of Caracas, Venezuela, the Plaza Bolívar. Several specialists point out that the main cause for these protest seem to be the Chávez administration's gross mishandling of the economy and the president's rising authoritarianism. January 29th, 2012: Venezuelan television channel TeleSUR, under state control, calls the protesters “a bunch of reactionary slaves of the American imperialism”. January 31st, 2012: Chavist militias attack the Plaza Bolívar and disband the “indignados” movement. February 10th, 2012: German Presidential Election; the CDU candidate Stefan Mappus is, even by some members of the CDU, percieved as the man who was responsible for the disastrous performance pertaining to Stuttgart 21, including what by opponents of the station revamp is called “Schwarzer Donnerstag” (hundreds of demonstrants got injured by water cannon during a peaceful demonstrations against Stuttgart 21 on September 30, 2010), and some FDP members around Frank Schäffler defect just for the sake of defecting and griping. Thus, Cem Özdemir wins the Federal Presidential Election with 663 votes (SPD 330, Greens 147, Left Party 111, Pirates 2, SSW 1, Freie Wähler 5, FDP 'defectors' 27, CDU 'defectors' 40), against 577 for Stefan Mappus. February 29th, 2012: Former South African President Nelson Mandela dies of undisclosed causes at the age of 93. His death is intensely mourned throughout the world, and over 50 heads of state come to attend his funeral in Cape Town. March 4th, 2012: Vladimir is elected President of the Russian Federation with 57% of vote, returning to the position after a 4 year hiatus and succeeding close ally Dmitri Medvedev, who Putin would go on to appoint as Prime Minister as per a deal struck between the two several years before. March 5th, 2012: The groundbreaking ceremony for the future Transbay Terminal in San Francisco is attended by President Obama and Governor Jerry Brown. Construction on the California High Speed Rail system is expected to begin within the following months, with a target date of January 2019. March 21st, 2012: Chinese military officials unveil the J-22 stealth bomber in Shenyang, China, sparking concerns of an international arms race. March 25th, 2012: Henry Tang is elected Chief Executive of Hong Kong, despite his extramarital affairs and unpopularity. He is elected with 610 votes, compared to 361 votes for Leung Chun-ying and 180 votes for Albert Ho (DP). April 1st, 2012: Vladimir Putin returns to his former post as President of Russia, albeit with only 52 percent of the popular vote after a particularly bitter campaign against former protege Dmitri Medvedev. April 3rd, 2012: Jeffory William Clinton-Mezvinsky, is born the child of Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky. April 16th, 2012: President Obama announces that in response to decreased violence in Afghanistan thanks to the 2009 troop surge, he will begin a phased withdrawal of troops, to be completed by 2015. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney criticizes Obama on “forcing a hasty withdrawal” on US forces, and offers a counter plan for a delayed withdrawal by 2018. May 5th, 2012: The name Livermorium is approved by IUPAC with the symbol Lv, but the name Flerovium is dismissed as ineligible because Nobelum was associated with this name for some time. The Dubna Institue proposes Becquerelium immediately, which can then be approved at the same session. May 6th, 2012: Francois Holland defeats incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy in the second round run off of the French Presidential election. May 7th, 2012: In Germany, the Pirate Party get 6% of the vote in Schleswig-Holstein, which gives this upstart party seats in two state parliaments. May 20th, 2012: In Canada, people all over celebrate the victory of the Vancouver Canucks, who manage to defeat the Washington Capitols 4-3 in overtime to bring home the Stanley Cup, at the conclusion of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The victory marks the first time in 19 year that a Canadian team has won the Cup, and the first time the Vancouver Canucks have also won. May 26th, 2012: Maltese singer Kurt Calleja wins Eurovision with song “This is the night”. June 3rd, 2012: The new Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport officially opens for business, and Berlin Tegel is closed in correspondence. June 6th, 2012: Yankees closer Mariano Rivera announces that he intends to retire at the end of the season. June 10th, 2012: The Parti Socialiste wins a majority in the French National Assembly following the election of the party's Presidential candidate, Francois Hollande, the month before. June 12th, 2012: Former US President Jimmy Carter passes away in his sleep at the age of 87. June 16th, 2012: In Hong Kong, the approval rating of Chief Executive-elect Henry Tang has fallen under 20% after he blames his wife in a scandal over a basement built illegally in their home. Tang is also being accused of presenting fake drawings about his apartment before the construction work. The Civic Party announces that it would introduce an emergency motion to impeach Henry Tang once he sworns in. June 20th, 2012: Honolulu and Las Vegas are announced as the expansion sights for the AL, with the team in Honolulu being christened the Hawaii Islanders and the Las Vegas team the Las Vegas Gamblers. The two teams will make the AL West go from being the smallest baseball division for tied as the biggest with the NL Central. July 1st, 2012: The 2012 UEFA European Football Championship concludes. The German national football team defeats the Netherlands 2-1 in front of a crowd of 65,000 people at Olympic Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine, to become European Champions. It is their seventh time reaching the finals, and their fourth European Championship, the most of any team. German star Mesut Ozil wins UEFA Player of the Tournament. It is the last time the sixteen team format will be used for this tournament. July 1st, 2012: Despite the low unemployment rate, 450,000 people joined the July 1st protest in Hong Kong, due to monopoly of property giants and Henry Tang's extreme unpopularity. After the protest, 20,000 protesters suddenly change route, breaking through the police cordon and occupy Upper Albert Road. After minor crashes, the police fires tear gas, but is unable to control the angry crowd. More than 3,000 are arrested, including People Power lawmakers Albert Chan, Raymond Wong, activist Jonathan Kan and League of Social Democrats Chairman Longhair Leung Kwok-hung. July 2nd, 2012: Amidst the political reorientation in Mexican politics, Mexico State's governor Enrique Peña Nieto wins the 2012 Presidential election, regaining that office for the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) after a 12 year interregnum. The election highlights the failures of the Calderón Administration to deal with the ongoing Drug War, as well as the PRI's reorganization and resurgence as a major political force. Enrique Peña Nieto (PRI): 41.78% Marcelo Luis Ebrard Casaubón (PRD): 35.15% Santiago Creel Miranda (PAN): 14.33% July 19th, 2012: Star Wars Battlefront III is released to the cheers of the gaming community. It is a titanic success, and helps LucasArts to get going again in the gaming industry. July 20th, 2012: The film The Dark Kinght Rises, the third a final film in the Christopher Nolan's Batman Trilogy is released to massive praise from critics and moviegoers alike, some even going as far to say that it is better than the previous film, The Dark Kinght. The film, stars Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Michael Cane as Alfred Pennyworth, Gary Oldman as Comm. James Gordon, Tom Hardy as Bane, Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Marion Cotillard as DA Janice Porter, Joseph Grodon-Levitt as a young Roman Sionis, and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox. The story, set one year after the events of the previous film, involves Batman having to redeem himself in the eyes of Gotham City, while being hunted by both the law (led by a reluctant Comm. Gordon and a ruthless DA Janice Porter) and organized crime, who have hired the infamous hitman Bane to hunt down and kill Batman. Though it lost the award for Best Picture at the Oscars, Christopher Nolan won recognition from the Academy at last, winning Best Director for the film. Although the last film in the Nolan Trilogy, Warner Bros. announces fallowing the films release they still intend to make more Batman films. July 22nd, 2012: A vast aquifer is discovered under northern Namibia, quickly named Ohangwena II. The aquifer is estimated to be able to supply water to northern Namibia for up to 400 years if tapped sustainably. July 27th, 2012: The XXX Summer Olympiad officially opens in London, United Kingdom. September 5th, 2012: Banri Kaieda resigns as Japanese prime minister amid a illegal donation scandal. He is replaced by Yukio Edano as prime minister. September 9th, 2012: In Hong Kong, pan-democrats win 31 out of 70 seats in the Legislative Council, including 22 out of 35 in geographical constituencies, 3 out of 5 super district councillors and 6 out of 30 traditional functional constituencies. Surprisingly many, moderate Democratic Party vice chairwoman Emily Lau is elected President of the Legco (Speaker) with pro-establishment support. September 15th, 2012: A constitutional change is approved by referendum in Brazil after months of debate. It changes the Presidential term to five years, without possibility of reelection. October 7th, 2012: In Hong Kong, police forces attempt to clean up “Occupy Central” protesters under the HSBC headquarters near midnight. Protesters have been occupying the open space area for about a year, and a sudden police raid is met with anger and discontent. The Occupy protesters then torch the HSBC headquarters. Riot police and firefighters manage to control the situation within a few hours. October 8th, 2012: Inspired by the HSBC fire, a small number of angry protesters set fire on the headquarters of Sing Tao Daily, Hong Kong, killing 18 reporters and editors, injuring many. The Democratic Party condemns the attack, and calls for tough actions against the rioters. Hang Seng Index falls by 15% within a day, and the Stock Exchange announces unprecedented decision to stop stock exchange for a week. October 9th, 2012: In Mei Foo, Hong Kong, angry residents set fire on the construction site of partiperties. Leading activists including Fred Lam Fai and Chu Hoi-dick condemn the violence. However, Chan Wan, a leading opposition writer, proclaims the establishment of the Bauhinia Revolution Action Committee, declaring war on property monopoly and the “illegitimate” Hong Kong government. Rioters continue to create disturbance in different areas in Hong Kong. Legislative Council President Emily Lau, who openly condemns the violence and calls and “peace, rationale and non-violence”, is assassinated outside the Legco building in Timur. Richard Tsoi of the DP will be later elected in a snap election to replace Lau. October 10th, 2012: Appearing slow, Chief Executive Henry Tang of Hong Kong declares a state of emergency. A curfew is imposed to maintain public order. The HKSAR government asks the People's Liberation Army for help. October 14th, 2012: Riots in Hong Kong die down, and the government introduces legislation for national security laws, or in other words, Article 23 of the Basic Law. At the same time, Henry Tang announces his intention to solve deeply-rooted social inequality, and vows to tackle social problems that brought the unexpected riot despite a strong economy. October 28th, 2012: In baseball, the New York Yankees win their 28th World Series title in 6 games against the St. Louis Cardinals. Mariano Rivera wins his second series MVP award with 3 saves and 6 scoreless innings pitched, including getting out of a base-loaded jam with 0 outs against the heart of the Cardinal order to preserve a extra inning Game 4 tie. The championship will be the swan song of the successful Steinbrenner years in New York. October 30th, 2012: Chinese military officials announce the regional use of the “Beidou” global positioning system (GPS) in Shenyang, China, effectively granting Chinese military forces parity with American forces in the region. November 2nd, 2012: Yankees closer Mariano Rivera officially announces his retirement from Major League Baseball. He finishes his eighteen year career as the all-time saves leader with 639. He announces plans to become a minister back in his native Panama so that he can become closer to God, who had gifted him so much throughout his career. November 6th, 2012: The Democratic ticket of President Barack Obama/Vice President Joe Biden is narrowly defeated by the Republican ticket of former MA Governor Mitt Romney/LA Governor Bobby Jindal. Many contribute Obama's loss to lack of an uptick in the economy in late '12 and a stagnant 9.3% unemployment rate. In congressional elections, the GOP increases their majority in the House and narrowly capture the Senate, with Vice President-elect Jindal providing the tie-breaker vote. December 5th, 2012: In a surprise move, free agent lefty ace Cole Hamels signs with the Toronto Blue Jays as the team looks to make itself a contender in the competitive AL East. December 9th, 2012: Halo 4 is released, becoming a Platinum Hits game before its release, the first game ever to become a best seller by pre-orders alone, and helps catapult the Halo franchise back into the limelight after lackluster Halo Reach December 17th, 2012: Time Magazine makes the surprise choice of picking Vice-President-Elect Bobby Jindal as their Time Person of the Year, over President-Elect Mitt Romney. Time's stated reason for the choice is that, “The rise of Bobby Jindal, fallowing so shortly after the rise of Barack Obama is a sign that this country has changed. No longer are people limited from high office based only on the color of their skin. In many ways, Jindal represents the future face of the GOP, the future face of American politics, and the future face of America.” December 19th, 2012: Independent opposition candidate Ahn Cheol-soo wins the South Korean presidential election, defeating Park Geun-hye of the ruling Grand National Party by 0.72% of the popular vote. “Dear citizens, it is not my personal victory. Today, the South Korean people have spoken, and they have spoken against the status quo and the monopoly of big businesses. I am not elected to serve the special interest groups, but the South Korean people!” said Ahn after his narrow election. Ahn Cheol-Soo (Independent) 10456239 (43.18%) Park Geun-hye (GNP) 10282104 (42.46%) Kim Nak-sung (LFP) 2191381 (9.05%) Rhyu Si-min (UPP) 1007651 (4.16%) Gong Seong-gyeong (CKP) 280155 (1.16%) December 21st, 2012: The Earth continues existing. Doomsayers are disappointed. December 29th, 2012: Prominent atheist activist and Vanity Fair columnist Christopher Hitchens succumbs to cancer at the age of 63. A rumor circulates that he converted to Catholicism on his deathbed, but this is quickly refuted by his family members and close friends. ------------------------------------------------------------------ 2013 January 1st, 2013: EU countries which decide to join the European Fiscal Union must have signed before this date. January 3rd, 2013: The 2013 Hall of Fame class is announced. Inductees for the year include Jeff Bagwell, Mike Piazza, Craig Biggio, and Jack Morris. Notable is the almost utter lack of voting for noted steroid users Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, and Sammy Sosa, all new to the ballot in 2013. January 4th, 2013: German Minister of Defense, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, surprisingly resigns from his post. Rumours spread quickly, that zu Guttenberg was extremely dissatisfied with Angela Merkel's policies. January 5th, 2013: US Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey resigns after a sudden return of cancer. Newark Mayor Cory Booker abandons gubernatorial aspirations and wins a special election to replace him. Commentators believed Booker wasn't enthusiastic to run against his friend Christie anyway. January 6th, 2013: The remaining CSU ministers in the cabinet, Ilse Aigner (Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection) and Peter Ramsauer (Minister of Traffic), follow their fellow party member Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg and resign from their posts. By now, the German media speculates not only about a breakup of government, but also about a breakup of the CDU/CSU alliance, that went on for over 60 years. January 13th, 2013: In an exclusive interview with “Der Spiegel”, Horst Seehofer, the head of the CSU, openly attacks Angela Merkel and her policies over the past years. He claims, that Merkel lost the “conservative Germany” by turning the CDU into a “SPD-light”. Conservative Germany will become a heavily used keyword in political debates over the next months. January 14th, 2013: Several high-ranked CDU politicians publicly attack the recent attacks against them by the CSU. They argue, that they had their posts in cabinet and had all chances at implementing their policies. In their words, the CSU was putting partisanship over the interests of the government. However, conservative elements within the CDU sympathize with the critic by the CSU. January 15th, 2013: The amendment of the art. 136 TFEU replaces the EFSF and the FSM with the European Stability Mechanism. January 20th, 2013: The now-infamous “Stuttgart gambit” between the heads of the CSU and the conservative wing of the CDU takes place in the city Stuttgart. Both camps meet each other and agree on a plan to take down the government of Angela Merkel. They plan to iniciate a vote-of-no-confidence against the government in February. If that succeeds, they want to oust Merkel as the CDU leader, and place one of their own as the head of the CDU. Afterwards, the cooperation between the CDU and CSU will resume. If that plan fails, the conservative wing of the CDU plans to detect to the CSU. The conservatives in the CDU pursue this plans, because they fear losing the election, as well as losing the conservative profile of the party. LGBT members of the Courage Campaign and Equality USA launch demonstrations during the inauguration of Mitt Romney, amidst rumors of a reintroduction of “don't ask, don't tell”. January 21st, 2013: In his first Joint Session of Congress, President Mitt Romney puts forth legislation directed at two of former President Obama's achievements: repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, both passed in 2010. PPACA especially has been a prime target of the Republican Party since they retook the House of Representatives in the 2010 midterm elections. January 22nd, 2013: On the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, protests take place, led by NOW and Planned Parenthood, over administration stances against abortion. January 26th, 2013: In Germany, the Pirates get 6.9% in the state election in Lower Saxony. January 31st, 2013: Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands abdicates on her 75th birthday after a reign of 32 years and is succeeded by her son Crown Prince Willem-Alexander who assumes the regnal name Willem IV. February 2nd, 2013: Lieutenant-Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA) is caught in a sex scandal with a female staff intern in Sacramento, California. February 11th, 2013: Angela Merkel's government is toppled, after a vote-of-no-confidence against her succeeds. February 19th, 2013: The bill to repeal Dodd-Frank narrowly passes the Republican-controlled Congress, much to the dismay of progressives, and is signed into law by President Romney. February 21st, 2013: After the election of Mitt Romney as president, a grassroots campaign finance activism organization forms, called the “Anti-Profit Prophets”. The group launches a massive lawsuit against the LDS Church, claiming that the Church secretly funded much of Mitt Romney's campaign funding. Their declared intention is to force the LDS Church to reveal their finances in the United States, as the Church has been legally required to do with their financial holdings in other nations. By June 6th, 2015, the activists are wildly successful, causing the LDS Church to release it's American finances in full. Their records reveal that the Church is spending a overly large amount of money on administration, and expending too much effort to direct all LDS efforts from Salt Lake City. February 24th, 2013: Christian Coalition leaders claim to have evidence that President Mitt Romney plans to introduce a bill to legalize polygamy during a press conference in Virginia Beach, Virginia. February 27th, 2013: The British Parliament in concert with other Commonwealth legislatures that acknowledge Elizabeth II as their monarch, modifies royal succession laws. Adopting the principle of absolute cognatic primogeniture, first-born children will in the future inherit the throne regardless of sex. February 28th, 2013: In response to charges from the Christian Coalition that he wants to legalize polygamy, US President Mitt Romney's press secretary assures the American people that, “The President believes marriage is a union between one man and one woman.” This comment gives further proof to Gay Activist groups that Romney is Anti-Gay rights. March 3rd, 2013: The British Parliament, together with other Commonwealth legislatures, alters the 1701 Act of Settlement repealing provisions that forbid members of the Royal Family from marrying Roman Catholics. It also limits the 1772 Royal Marriages Act by requiring only the first six heirs in the royal succession be required to obtain permission from the monarch before marrying. March 11th, 2013: Former US Vice President Dick Cheney dies from undisclosed health problems at the age of 72. March 21st, 2013: Elder Robert D Hales of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles of the LDS Church dies at the age of 80, of an unidentified ailment. March 23rd, 2013: Geneticists working with the National Museum of Health and Medicine announce the results of testing of DNA samples taken from blood found on the cuffs of Abraham Lincoln he wore the night he was killed. It is discovered that the great 16th President did not have Marfan's Syndrome but did possess the genes for Ataxia 5, a neurological disorder. The main bombshell from the announcement regarded President Lincoln's paternal ancestry. His Y-DNA haplogroup inherited from his father was Q1a3a…making him the first Native American president of the United States. The monthlong 2013 World Baseball Classic closes in Tokyo, Japan. The Dominican Republic emerges as the champion, beating out Japan for the title. In third place are South Korea, and rounding out the heap in fourth place are the United States. The Dominican Republic ends Japan's two-title lock over the championship. April 6th, 2013: At the April portion of the 183rd General Conference of the LDS Church, President Thomas S Monson announces the filling of Elder Hales vacant position by Elder Benjamin D Hoyos of the Seventy. Hispanic Mormons celebrate Hoyo's position as the first Hispanic apostle. President Monson also announces that a new education program, the Zarahemla Project, will be created. The Zarahemla program will serve to fund and direct job-training and higher education ventures for the impoverished, but growing Latin American Mormon community. Elder Hoyo is closely involved with the project, due to his Hispanic heritage and history as an educator. April 18th, 2013: Both Senate and Chamber of Deputies elections are held in Italy. The right-wing Popolo della Libertà coalition wins the elections with Corrado Passera, Monti’s Minister of Infrastructure and Transport as candidate. Passera is the first of many to come Montiist Prime Minsiters. Passera promises to check corruption strengthen Italy’s role in EU politics and continue with Monti’s successful reforms of the Italian labour and financial market. May 15th, 2013: National security laws are passed in Hong Kong, which severely hinders civil liberties. Still overshadowed by the riots last year, a HKUPOP poll shows that 57% of citizens support the national security laws. May 22nd, 2013: Harvey Milk Day Strike; c. 750,000 LGBT couples gather at the State Capital in Sacramento, California and an additional c. 775,000 in San Francisco, California; protesting the Romney Administration's stance regarding same-sex marriage and the possible renewal of “don't ask, don't tell”. June 2nd, 2013: Sony and Microsoft announce the Playstation 4 and Xbox 8. Both services make heavy use of the internet both for cloud graphics processing and DRM validation. The cloud graphics processing becomes a revolutionary feature allowing for endless upgrades that far exceed the power of the original 2013 models, unfortunately with average American speeds at 5Mbps most of these features will not be enjoyed by an American audience June 5th, 2013: After several delays, mainly due to weight issues, the Boeing 787-9 enters commercial service with Air New Zealand. June 7th, 2013: Scientists at the GSI in Darmstadt publish their results concerning the discovery of 296-Uue, 298-Uue and 299-Uue. The experiments were done in 2010-11. June 9th, 2013: Riots erupt in Port au Prince, Haiti as reports of election fraud erupt over Senate elections, UN peace-keeping forces are deployed throughout the capital. June 11th, 2013: The East African Federation referendum fails, as Tanzania votes “Nay,” causing the smaller nations to fear any resulting federation would be dominated from Nairobi. A new referendum is set for August 20th, 2020. June 12th, 2013: The bill to repeal PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) fails to pass the Senate, resulting in a major legislative defeat for the Romney administration, and bolstering the hopes of Democrats. June 14th, 2013: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claims an election victory in national presidential elections in Tehran, Iran. June 16th, 2013: Riots erupt in major cities across Iran, as the Guardian Council certifies the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, despite calls for resistance by opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi. June 18th, 2013: Iranian exiles Marjane Satrapi and Mohsen Makhmalbaf call upon the United States to recognize opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi, during a speech in Washington D.C. June 21st, 2013: Stephen Harper's Conservatives win a majority government with 162 seats. Michael Ignatieff resigns as Liberal leader to be replaced by Dominic LeBlanc at year's end. June 24th, 2013: Boyd K Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the LDS Church dies, and in the next LDS biannual General Conference on October 6th, is replaced by Elder Claudio RM Costa, another Hispanic church leader. June 30th, 2013: The first Petabyte hard drive shows up, but as of yet costs 2000€. As most cannot yet use so much space, so demand remains slim. Toshiba continues development. July 1st, 2013: Croatia enters the European Union becoming the 28th member. July 5th, 2013: The film, Superman:Man of Steel, directed by Zack Snyder, is released. The film serves as a reboot to the Superman Film Series, and stars Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman, Natalie Portman as Lois Lane, Billy Zane as Lex Luthor, Viggo Mortensen as General Zod, and Jay Baruchel as Jimmy Olsen. The story of the film is set shortly after Clark moves to Metropolis and takes on the identity of Superman, and has him fighting for the affection of Lois with Lex Luthor, as well an invasion by General Zod. The film proves to be a hit with moviegoers and critics, and plans for a sequal are quickly greenlit. July 8th, 2013: Cuban President Raúl Castro announces agricultural reforms that will take effect beginning in 2014. State farms, which account for 75% of Cuban agriculture, will be disbanded and replaced by co-ops, owned “directly by the people in the spirit of Socialism.” Farmers will have the option to split off from these co-ops and form co-ops of one, in effect legalizing private farming. Additionally, the state-run marketing association Acopio, which has monopolistic control over seeds, fertilizer and equipment, will be split into many regional firms with competitive practice. Farmers will be allowed to begin to bargain some prices for agricultural produce on the open market. July 12th, 2013: Japanese general election: no party manages to get more than 200 out of 480 seats in the House of Representatives. The DPJ won 165, LDP 164, Your Party 59, New Komeito 29, JCP 15, Lower Taxes Japan 11, SDP 8, PNP 2, other parties, non-partisan or independents 29. July 17th, 2013: A son is born to Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge whom they name Edward Philip Henry George. He will be known as Prince Edward of Wales after the assumption of the title Prince of Wales by his father after the death of Queen Elizabeth on October 12th, 2014. July 22nd, 2013: In Hong Kong, Chief Executive Henry Tang resigns. In the televised address, Tang apologizes for his mismanagement and inability to solve social problems. However, rumors begin to spread that Tang resigns due to his opposition to outlaw the Apple Daily and several pro-democracy parties. July 29th, 2013: The International Olympics Committee announces that the 2020 Summer Olympics will be held in Minneapolis. August 4th, 2013: Kenyan president Raila Odinga is assassinated. Racial tensions flare as members of the Kalenjin are identified in the plot. Vice-President Uhuru Kenyatta takes power and declares a national state of emergency. August 17th, 2013: In Moscow, the Federation Tower is finally completed. With a height of 1,660 feet it is the tallest building in Europe. August 9th, 2013: Kriss Dumeer, a 16yo transgender youth, is beaten and dragged 1/2 mile by a chain at the back of a pickup truck in Shreveport, Louisiana, after he is discovered to be biologically male. The two defendants in the case show the act on Youtube, claiming that “He had it coming!” August 19th, 2013: Longtime President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, affectionately known as “Europe's last dictator”, passes away after suffering a stroke. In the months after Lukashenko's death, formal negotiations and agreements with Putin's Russia make significant progress in the goal of eventually creating a union between the two nations. August 20th, 2013: Former child star Lindsey Lohan is found dead in her Los Angeles apartment after suffering a drug overdose. Several hours previously, she and her girlfriend (who remains unnamed to this day per request) had a particularly violent argument that drove the other woman out of her apartment. September 1st, 2013: Virgin Galactic launches it's first major Space Tourism rocket. Among the passengers are Richard Branson himself, Vice President Bobby Jindal, and several other businessmen and entrepreneurs from around the world. September 8th, 2013: JVC is bought by Samsung and the brand discontinued. September 8th-10th, 2013: In Equatorial Guinea, the opposition party Convergence for Social Democracy (CPDS) holds its Fourth Party Congress in the city of Bata. The CPDS is the only legal opposition party allowed in Equatorial Guinea by President Obiang - nevertheless, its members are frequently arrested or beaten by state security forces. At the Party Congress, elderly leaders Celestino Bonifacio Bacalé and Plácido Micó Abogo are replaced by the more radical young Rolan de la Cruz. Cruz introduces reforms which change the party's goals from electoral opposition to what he calls “complete spectrum opposition”, running from non-violent protest to riots. He also changes the party's name from the Convergence for Social Democracy to the Revolutionary Socialist Party of Equatorial Guinea (Partido de la Revolución Socialista de Guinea Ecuatorial or PARSOGE). September 13th, 2013: Mexicans celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Congress of Anáhuac and the declaration of full independence by José María Morelos. September 19th, 2013: US spy satellites discover a mass build-up of troops and artillery on the North Korean side of the DMZ. South Korea is extremely alarmed by this rapid mobilization, and in turn mobilize their own forces; President Romney places US forces in Korea on high alert. September 20th, 2013: Kim Jong-Il, the aging leader of North Korea, delivers a message to South Korea, asking for their government to step down in order to re-unite the two Koreas under the power of the North, or they will face war. Meanwhile, American diplomats attempt to avert war by contacting Chinese officials. September 21st-24th, 2013: The South Korean government flat out refuses Kim Jong-Il's demands. As a result, North Korea declares war on South Korea and moves into the DMZ. Artillery shells bombard Seoul, causing extensive damage to the capital and killing hundreds of civilians. President Mitt Romney orders the mobilization of US forces in ROK and Japan, and diplomats continue talks with China on how to deal with the North. September 24th, 2013: Politicians in Japan fail to reach a consensus on a coalition government. For the first time since the end of the Second World War, the Emperor tries to mediate due to regional instability brought by North Korea. Yoshimi Watanabe of Your Party becomes Prime Minister, before a LDP-Komeito-YP Coalition could be formed in November under the leadership of LDP MP Koichi Kato. September 26th, 2013: Jose Reyes hits his 30th triple of the season, becoming only the second player in MLB history to reach that mark, by taking advantage of the deep outfield of his new home at Coamerica Park. September 29th, 2013: Despite the different upheavals in the right-wing, including the dissolution of the FDP and a split between the moderate and the CSU-backed wings of the CDU; CDU only suffers minor losses (thanks to the good opinion of the Chancellor in handling the European financial and bond crisis), however without the FDP to ally with, the new moderate CDU (after CSU decided to become a national party by allowing conservative ex-CDU MPs run under their party) makes a great CDU-CSU-SDP coalition. Pirate Party receives a part of the old FDP vote and surpasses the 5% mark to enter the Bundestag. September 30th, 2013: For the first time since 2006, two AL East teams are not in the playoffs, while for the first time since 1993 neither the Red Sox or Yankees are represented as Toronto wins the AL East title on the arm of Cole Hamels (20-6, 2.91 ERA, 210 K's) and the bats of young hitters Travis D'Arnaud (.272, 30 HR, 88 RBI) and Brett Lawrie (.308, 21 HR, 101 RBI). October 1st, 2013: In Germany, the Pirates get into the state parliaments of Bavaria and Hassia with 5.2 and 9.7%, respectively. They are now present in five state parliaments. October 3rd, 2013: The FDP dissolves itself which is a major blow in the German Unity Day celebrations. October 3rd-November 3rd 2013: The Korean War begins in earnest. In the first month of fighting, American and South Korean forces push the North Koreans to Pyongyang. The Chinese, to this point, have remained neutral and have refused any requests for aid from North Korea. October 4th, 2013: US President Mitt Romney addresses the people of the United States and the world fallowing fighting between North Korean, and South Korean/American forces. In his address, President Romney asks for North Korea to, “stand down before more lives are lost,” and promises that, “America will not leave the side of our South Korean allies.” October 16th, 2013: Loyalists engineer escape from Abu Salim prison of former dictator Muammar Ghaddafi who flees to Sirte. October 21, 2013: Further fossils of Bruhathkayosaurus matleyi are unearthed in India and Sri Lanka. They confirm the massive weight estimates and yield the size to be underestimated. The new Data makes 48-54 m more realistic, comparing to Argentinosaurus. October 25th, 2013: Libyan government security forces gun down former dictator Muammar Ghaddafi in a culvert in Sirte. The world is horrified by pictures of his bloody body laid out in a walk-in freezer for a week before burial. October 29th, 2013: In baseball,the Detroit Tigers win the World Series against the NL champion Cincinnati Reds in 5 games. Austin Jackson wins MVP honors for hitting .430 with 2 homers, 2 triples, and 7 runs scored. November 3rd, 2013: A referendum is held in Nicaragua on a constitutional amendment that would change it's system of government. Passing by a mere 50.88% of the popular vote, Nicaragua is slated to transition from a presidential system to a parliamentary system of government. Political analysts both within and outside Nicaragua decry the results, stating that the amendment is a ploy for former President Daniel Ortega to retain power via the newly created office of Prime Minister. November 4th, 2013: MP Koichi Kato is chosen as Japanese Prime Minister amidst national concern that the previous administration was “weak” in its response to North Korean aggression. November 5th, 2013: US Representative Frank Pallone (D) defeats incumbent Chris Christie (R) in the New Jersey gubernatorial election. November 8th, 2013: Korean military overthrows and executes Kim Jong-Il. Obscure former official Choe Su-hon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choe_Su-hon) is named president. It is widely assumed China is behind this turn of events. The new government declares cessation of hostilities and the creation of a reunification council. This is quickly backed up by China with a pledge of defense. The reunification council gets nowhere, and President Romney's appears weak handling this crisis. November 10th, 2013: Major news agencies the world over receive over 20,000 pages of internal documents from the DPRK's Foreign ministry, documenting Chinese financial, material, and technical assistance to the regimes of Kim Il-Sung, Kim Jong-Il, and Kim Jong-Un, from the inception of the DPRK until its death. While the fact that the PRC has supported the North Korean government is hardly suprising, the timing of the release, which followed only two weeks after the much publicized liberation of numerous North Korean prision camps during the Allied push on Pyongyang, caused a firestorm of negative press for the PRC and the new military government of North Korea. November 13th, 2013: The recently leaked papers force the hand of the South Korean government, who order the South Korean military to occupy all territory between the DMZ and Yalu, forcibly disarm all non-allied personnel, and establish a provisional government for the North under ROK control. South Korean leaders acknowledge that this is in violation of the recent ceasefire, but point out that the ceasefire was a unilaterally declared by Choe Su-hon, and therefore not binding. In addition they reveal that new intelligence suggest that both Choe Su-hon and nearly all other officals in the “new” regime were involved in the infamous Division 39, yet again, leading many nations to condemn both the new government, and its Chinese backers. November 14th, 2013: On a related note, President Mitt Romeny publicly reaffirms American support for South Korea's recent operations in a speech from the Oval Office. While the South Korean troops push north, US ground forces remain behind the ceasefire line established on the 5th of November, both to avoid provoking China, and to begin undertaking humanitarian operations in rear areas. US air assets still operate in support of ROK operations during the brief push to the Yalu, but are rarely needed due to extremely sparse resistance. November 15th, 2013: Chinese President Xi Jinping faces increasing pressure from nationalist elements in China to make good on his pledge of defense to the government of Choe Su-hon, but the recent leaks, resulting anti-Chinese backlash, and the widespread international support held by South Korea precludes him from doing so. November 16th, 2013: Thousands of North Korean refugees cross the Pusan River, flooding into South Korea, looking for food, jobs, and long-lost family members. November 20th, 2013: New People's Party chairwoman Regina Ip is elected Chief Executive of Hong Kong over Democratic Party chairman Sin Chung-kai by a 888-251 margin in the electoral committee. November 21st, 2013: Chinese President Xi Jinping announces a “fire sale” of American Treasury bonds, justifying the measure as a means to help fund “humanitarian aid” efforts for Korea, causing the value of the U.S. dollar to collapse by 16% within 8 hours. November 22nd, 2013: A memorial service is held in Dallas,Texas, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States of America. Thousands attend the service, including many politicians, President Mitt Romney and all former living Presidents, memebers of the Kennedy family, and foreign dignitaries from around the world. In many parts of America, a minute of silence is held at 12:30 PM CST, the approximate time of the assassination. December 5th, 2013: Chinese officials announce the launch of Yinghuo-1, China's first automated probe to Mars, amidst concern of “America losing the technological edge”. December 7, 2013: In Taiwan, the opposition Democratic Progressive Party wins the county magistrates and Mayoral elections in Penghu County, Changhua County and Chiayi City from the ruling Kuomintang, while its 4 incumbents are all reelected. President Ma Ying-jeou resigns as Chairman of the Kuomintang. He was succeeded by former Premier Wu Den-yih. December 8th, 2013: Cheonan Riots; Food riots erupt in refugee camps as millions of people leaving North Korea face limited resources for food and resources. Local gangs act as warlords, in an effort to control the refugees, often turning them towards narcotics and prostitution. December 12th-14th, 2013: In Equatorial Guinea, significant unrest rocks the country after a oil-drillers strike is crushed by police. The country's main opposition group, the Revolutionary Socialist Party (PARSOGE) began protests in Bata and Malabo which at their height had 100,000 people (1/6 of the total population). Protestors demand that the country's significant oil wealth is shared equally. A study in 2013 found that although the average per-capita income was highest in Africa, more than 75% of the population lived on less than two dollars a day. Dictatorial President Teodoro Obiang is able to crush the protests after calling in the Army to intervene. Human Rights Watch estimates that upwards of 112 protestors were killed. December 25th, 2013: Following recent unrest by socialist opposition party PARSOGE, dictatorial President Obiang of Equatorial Guinea outlaws all socialist parties. He legalizes the existence of the National Democratic Union of Equatorial Guinea, making them the “official opposition.” The leader of PARSOGE, 32-year-old Rolan de la Cruz, goes into hiding in the wild east of the country. ------------------------------------------------------------------ 2014 January 1st, 2014: Final date for the European Fiscal Union's members who have achieved a balanced budget to apply for bailout money if necessary. Latvia formally adopts the Euro. Fifty-five years to the day after he overthrew President Fulgencio Batista, former Cuban President Fidel Castro dies of pancreatic cancer. The communist dictator had been ill since 2006 and had stepped down in 2008, although he still retained great influence. His younger brother, current President Raúl Castro, announces a national week of mourning, and makes his brother's birthday, August 13th, a national holiday. January 5th, 2014: Though sometimes included within the “Great Recession” that lasted from 2007 to 2009, this date is generally accepted to be the start of the “Second Great Recession”. Collapse of the US Dollar worldwide results in thousands of job losses across the US. Stocks open to crushing losses, and several investors commit suicide days after the Crash of 2014. President Mitt Romney's approval drops from 59% to 37%, in a mere 5 days. January 19th, 2014: Evelyn Matthei defeats Michelle Bachelet in the second round of the Chilean presidential elections and becomes the second woman President and the first right-wing woman President in the history of the country. She takes office on March, 11th. January 28th, 2014: Justice Antonin Scalia dies at age 77, after serving more than 20 years on the Supreme Court of the United States. President Mitt Romney calls him a national hero in his eulogy, and begins the search for his replacement. On February 4th, Romney announces that he is nominating Ted Ullyot, former law clerk for the Justice and current general council to Facebook. February 7th, 2014: The XXII Winter Olympiad opens on Sochi, Russia. February 8th, 2014: Cuban President Raúl Castro, in a speech to the Central Committee of the Communist Party, calls for a Seventh Party Congress to be held in 2014, in order to enact more economic reforms. Castro's announcement, following the death of his elder brother Fidel Castro, comes at a time when he is slowly introducing economic reforms. However, there have been no political developments, and Cuba continues to be known for its repression. February 12th, 2014: In Hong Kong, the Civic Party, the League of Social Democrats, the Labor Party, Neo Democrats, the Hong Kong Economic Journal and Apple Daily are outlawed by court orders due to conspiracy against the Central Government. A new wave of violent protests occur, but are immediately put down. New laws are introduced to ban public demonstrations. Democratic Party lawmaker Wu Chi-wai is arrested under national security laws for advocating subversive activities against the Central Government, simply because he suggests using a referendum to determine whether or not universal suffrage should be introduced in 2017. February 13th-26th, 2014: The Detroit Riots; Hundreds take to the streets demanding federal action to ensure growth in Detroit, Michigan, after GM is forced to lay off thousands of workers in response to the recent market crash. February 14th, 2014: The Tea Party, still a potent force in the Republican Party, stage rallies in several states protesting the Romney administration, citing “fiscal insanity” in his negotiations with congressional Democrats over the federal budget. March 5th, 2014: Ted Ullyot's nomination to the Supreme Court is confirmed by the Senate, 54-46. He is inaugurated the next day. Birth in Gisborne, New Zealand of Winston Richard Lewis, the second son and third child born to Lady Davina Lewis (b. 19 November 1977), the elder daughter of Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester. A great-granddaughter of King George V of Great Britain, the minor royal had married New Zealand native and ethnic Maori Gary Christie “Gazza” Lewis on 31 July 2004. March 15th, 2014: Anti-American riots erupt in Seoul and Pyongyang, as refugees continue to flood into South Korea. Rumors that military officials are getting the “lion's share” of the aid sparks further anger. April 1st, 2014: The MLB season kicks off with a special 2 game series between the new expansion teams the Hawaii Islanders and Las Vegas Gamblers, with each team playing each other once in their respective home parks to start the season. The first game, the Gamblers at the Islanders, ends in a 6-4 victory for the Islanders. April-May 2014: Parliamentary elections are held in India. Outgoing PM Manmohan Singh had endorsed Congress Party standard-bearer Rahul Gandhi. Over 780 million people vote, making this the largest democratic election in history, bigger than the EU and US elections combined. The Congress Party-led coalition, the United Progressive Alliance, won the most seats in the Lok Sabha, with 279 out of 532. The opposition National Democratic Alliance (led by the Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP), also increased their seats to 165 at the expense of the Left Front and Fourth Front. This is seen as a another slight growth in power of Hindu Nationalists. Despite Congress' victory, some muttering begins to emerge about their leftist economic policies from more moderate members. This is echoed by members of the National Democratic Alliance who are beginning to become uncomfortable with the BJP's support of the RSS, a Hindu nationalist group. On May 29th, the United Progressive Alliance, along with the Left Front, officially forms a government. They control 361 out of 532 seats. Rahul Gandhi is inaugurated as the new Prime Minister of India. April 6th, 2014: Afghan President Hamid Karzai suffers a heart attack in Kabul, yet political insiders report that Karzai has suffered a drug overdose from heroin usage. Civil unrest takes place when Al-Jazeerah reports the heroin overdose. April 10th, 2014: After two relatively sleepy years, once again the worsening economic conditions lead to the widespread belief that the government will be forced to cut salaries and flexibilize the labour legislation. April 22nd, 2014: Facebook buys it's direct opposition firm, XING. May 1st, 2014: The International Labour Day is celebrated in Venezuela with many parades, but the headlines are won by the creation of the Independent Worker's Union (SIT), an explicitly anti-chavist union, which fights for better wages and work conditions in a year where most of the other (chavist) unions tell people to fasten their belts. In a movement that echoes the one that happened two years earlier, hundreds of thousand take the Plaza Bolívar. May 4th, 2014: The Mayors of Macaraibo, Caracas and Mérida declare their support for the SIT, as does the Army for General Alvarado. American media starts calling the events in Venezuela “The Great SIT-in”. May 5th, 2014: Captured by the Army during the night, most of the pro-Chávez militias surrender their weapons. Hugo Chávez' control of the country is now limited to a small area around and within Caracas. May 6th, 2014: A meeting is arranged between the Mercosul leaders in Montevidéu to discuss the situation in Venezuela. The meeting is interrupted by a call from General Alvarado, who says that “By noon I'll be marching through Caracas to restore democracy to this nation”. May 7th, 2014: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff states that “if any officer of the Venezuelan Army takes over the position of President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela through illegal action, he shall be considered by Brazil as an enemy of the Brazilian people and its allies”. Meanwhile, Evo Morales of Bolivia Nonetheless, a few hours later, Alvarado and Chávez reach an agreement to avoid a bloodbath: Chávez would resign, the militias would be disbanded and Maria Corina, the opposition leader, would become president. Hugo Chávez leaves Caracas on a helicopter going to Cuba at the end of the day, effectively resigning as President of Venezuela after 15 years. May 10th, 2014: To the surprise of most, Facebook announces the start of a new and independent operating System, the fOS, on February 1st, 2015. This will be distributed in the form of a DVD, Blu-Ray, and GVD for the retail price of 50€ (including support). Except for iOS-only ones, all software functions on fOS. May 30th, 2014: Turkey is announced as the host of the 2020 UEFA European Championship, beating out strong bids from the Netherlands and Ireland/Scotland/Wales. Turkey was heavily favored to win the right to host after they infamously fell one vote shy of France in bidding for the 2016 UEFA European Championship. May 31st, 2014: Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush dies in his sleep at the age of 89. June 4th, 2014: In Hong Kong, police forces fire at people attending an “illegal” candle light vigil in the Victoria Park, killing 5. The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China is outlawed. June 5th, 2014: The European Parliament’s elections keep the European People’s Party as the largest in the parliament; however it loses over 15 seats. The results are as follows: EPP: 249 S&D: 200 ALDE: 105 ECR: 58 Greens-EFA: 56 EUL-NGL: 36 EFD: 32 June 8th, 2014: In Hong Kong, by-elections are held to replace the seats vacated by Wu Chi-wai, who is censured for subversive activities against the Central Government. New People's Party candidate Tony Liu, who calls for peace and stability, defeats Democratic Party nominee Daniel Wong Kwok-tung and People Power nominee Wong Yeung-tat  in the Kowloon East legislative byelection by wide margins, as expected. However, the most unexpected comes at the King Fu district council constituency by-election. Depsite being one of the most pro-democracy districts in Hong Kong, Dickens Chui of the DP is defeated by Timothy Choy Tsz-kin of the DAB by a 3,035 to 2,784 margin. Democratic Party chairman Sin Chung-kai is arrested for “criminal libel” after calling the election “rigged and unfair”. After the incident, the remnants of the Democratic Party becomes nothing more than a vase opposition party. Democracy is almost dead in Hong Kong. June 8th-12th, 2014: The Communist Party of Cuba holds its Seventh Party Congress in Havana. The conference produces a range of economic reforms, including two significant steps lauded by international observers. Firstly, international firms will be allowed to invest directly in the Cuban economy and employ Cuban workers. Secondly, broad financial reforms will open up the money supply and modernize Cuba's antiquated financial system. Chinese and Canadian investors and financial advisors are sought to help develop both aspects of the reform. June 22nd, 2014: President Mitt Romney is briefed by the CIA and Department of Homeland Security that it cannot account for the loss of several North Korean nuclear weapons. June 26th-27th, 2014: G-8 Saint Petersburg Summit; G-8 leaders launch bitter accusations against the United States for its “gunboat diplomacy” citing troubles in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Korean Peninsula. June 28th, 2014: On his way back to Japan, Japanese prime minister Koichi Kato's plane is shot down near the Korean Peninsula. He will be replaced by Defence Minister Shigeru Ishiba. Anti-Korea riots break out all across Japan . July 8th, 2014: Indonesia holds a presidential election. Anas Urbaningrum of the Demcratic Party is elected to the post of President, and will serve until 2019. Urbaningrum was endorsed by the outgoing President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. At 45, Urbaningrum is the youngest President since Sukarno. July 9th, 2014: The twentieth FIFA World Cup concludes in Brazil. Ghana wins the final 3-1 over the Netherlands. Ghana is the first African champion, and their victory sets off massive celebrations across Sub-Saharan Africa. An estimated 750 million people watch the final. July 13th, 2014: FIFA World Cup ends. As expected, Brazil wins the title, defeating Germany 3-0 in the final. Argentina reaches the semifinals for the first time since 1990 and beats the United States, the revelation of the tournament, in the third place match. July 15th, 2014: Indian PM Rahul Gandhi's government announces it will back a new law, the Allowing for Advancement Act. The Act is the first major policy proposed by the new government. The first main provision of the Act is increasing higher educational opportunity in India. The Act plans to double the number of Indian Institutes of Technology to 30 by 2025, double the number of Indian Institutes of Management to 24 by 2025, open two new campuses of Jawarhalal Nehru University in Ahmedabad and Chennai, and finally, open a new Indian Institute of Instruction in Jaipur to train future teachers. The second main provision of the act is to mandate that all institutions of higher learning in India allow for an affirmative action selection process. Depending on the demographics of their state, universities must let in between 5% and 15% Dalits (Untouchables) to their undergraduate class. This acknowledgement that the caste system was still a potent cultural force in India caused some consternation, but was praised as a bold step by many domestic analysts. Lastly, the Act provided funding to state governments to improve their primary education, and commissioned teams of inspectors to weed out corruption relating to education in state governments. July 19th, 2014: “Do Something” Rallies; Mass protests are staged in several major U.S. cities decrying the federal government's lack of intervention in the ensuing economic crisis. The highlight of the protests was in Minneapolis, where Congressman Keith Ellison called President Romney a “corporate hack bent on ensuring the rich stay rich, while the middle class and poor spiral into poverty”. Romney makes remarks after the rallies claiming that “we must wait for the free market to sort this problem out”. July 23rd, 2014: Japanese prime minister Shigeru Ishiba, after a meeting with opposition Democratic Party leader, announces bipartisan plans for constitutional amendment, to turn the Self Defense Forces officially into a military. August 5th, 2014: A Palestinian extremist opens fire on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Fortunately, no one is even injured, however the would-be assassin flees the scene before anyone can capture him. Mass by-elections are held in Hong Kong for seats vacated by lawmakers arrested under the national security laws. Since proportional representation is used in such by-elections as there are more than one vacancy in all of the five constituencies, pro-Beijing groups are unable to win every seat despite frauds. Among the 18 seats up for grabs, the DAB wins 7, followed by 4 for the NPP and 2 for the FTU. Among the remnants of the opposition, the Democratic Party wins 3, followed by 1 for People Power and 1 for the Coalition for Democracy and Hope, a successor group of the Civic Party and the Neo Democrats. The pro-establishment camp now has 53 out of 70 seats in the Legislative Council. August 18th, 2014: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory announce the discovery of Ubq and it's alpha decay daughter product Ubb and Ubn. August 19th, 2014: Several Serbian army brigades led by men with extreme nationalistic views attempt to seize power in Belgrade. Crown Prince Alexander goes into hiding but via Twitter, Facebook and other social networking websites mobilizes hundreds of thousands of Serbian citizens who pour into the streets of Belgrade to protest the coup attempt. The attempt fails and the plotters are forced to surrender. The son of the last Yugoslavian monarch is lionized as a hero of democracy. August 23rd, 2014: Star Wars Republic Commando II is released, doing far better than expected, narrowly beating out COD 8 for the top spot in gross sales. August 27th, 2014: General elections are held in Namibia. Elijah Ngurare of the SWAPO Party of Namibia is elected to the post of President, and will serve until 2019. Ngurare was previously the leader of SWAPO's youth wing, and replaces outgoing President Hifikepunye Pohamba, also of SWAPO. August 27th, 2014: New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez hits his 700th career home run in the majors. While many celebrate his achievements, others point to his steroid use as a stain on his numbers. September 1st, 2014: The Montenegrin parliament restores Prince Nikola II Petrovic Njegos to the newly reconstituted Montenegrin throne. September 2nd, 2014: At 40, MLB player Johnny Damon collects his 3000th hit with the Hawaii Islanders. September 7th, 2014: Former Indian PM Manmohan Singh dies of a heart attack. Current PM Rahul Gandhi announces a national day of mourning for a man whom many in India consider their greatest leader since Nehru. His funeral, held on the 15th, is attended by over 40 world leaders and 1.8 million Indians, making it the biggest funeral since that of Pope John Paul II in 2005. September 12th, 2014: In India, the Allowing for Advancement Act is passed after some controversy. While radical Hindu groups had opposed allowing affirmative action for Dalits, polls found that between 50 and 60 percent of the population supported it. September 19th, 2014: King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia (b. 1924) dies from complications of a cerebral hemorrhage. He is succeeded by his half-brother Nayef (b. 1933). September 22nd, 2014: Motions are approved by the Serbian parliament proposing a referendum on restoring the monarchy. October 1st, 2014: Dilma Rousseff is reelected as the President of Brazil, winning 59% of the vote. Her share of the vote makes unnecessary a runoff round, and she is inaugurated on January 1st, 2015. Her campaign was buoyed by the strong economy, and reduced crime rates in major cities like Sao Paolo and Rio de Janiero. Her opponent, Teotonio Vilela Filho, the governor of Alagoas, was reduced to attacking her foreign policy, which he said was “too close to international pariahs like Iran.” October 1st, 2014: As the MLB season comes to a close, the ex pansion and relocation seems to have been a huge success. The A's, Gamblers, and Islanders all have great attendance numbers, leading the MLB leadership to greatly consider okaying more dramatic moves in the future. The records of expansion teams do not necessarily reflect their great attendance however, as the Texas Rangers cruise to a 105-59 finish to take the AL West, largely from a 15-4 record versus the new teams. October 6th, 2014: Ayatollah Khamenei suffers a fatal heart attack while leading a mass prayer service at a Tehran mosque. October 12th, 2014: Queen Elizabeth II dies after a heart failure. At 88, she was the longest-reining queen reignant in world history. Her son, Prince Charles, ascends to the throne as George VII. October 16th, 2014: Prince Andrea of Monaco is introduced to Philippa Middleton, sister of the new Princess of Wales while in London attending the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. October 28th, 2014: In baseball, the Toronto Blue Jays defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers in 5 games to win the World Series. Blue Jay Jose Bautista wins the World Series MVP for hitting 4 home runs and driving in 7 in the brief set. November 4th, 2014: U.S. Midterm Elections; Democrats make massive gains in the midterms in response to discontent with President Romney's handling of the economic crisis and foreign policy blunders. The Democrats retake the House of Representatives and Senate; in a bold stroke, Congressman Keith Ellison is put forward as a candidate for Speaker of the House, progressives being emboldened by their midterm mandate. In California, Governor Jerry Brown is re-elected to a second term over failed 2010 Senate candidate and computer magnate Carly Fiorina (R). In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo wins a landslide re-election over former Congressman Rick Lazio (R). November 19th, 2014: During an Iranian democratic protest demonstration in the capital city of Tehran, Iranian defenders open fire on the mostly peaceful protesters, who begin to flee. The resulting catastrophe is now referred to as the “November genocide”. Despite being named for the month, confrontations between Iranian forces and demonstrators would continue into 2015. November 29th, 2014: In Taichung, Su Jia-chyuan (DPP) defeats incumbent Mayor Jason Hu (KMT) for reelection, who is running for his historic 4th term. In Taipei City, Chou Po-ya (DPP), deputy speaker of the City Council, defeats Hau Lung-pin (KMT) for reelection narrowly by 914 votes, after 4 recounts. Hu and Hau are not barred to run for reelction because of the changes in administrative divisions in 2009. Meanwhile, Eric Chu (KMT), William Lai (DPP) and Chen Chu (DPP) are all reelected. November 30th, 2014: European Union announces in Brussels, Belgium, the completion of the Galileo Project, establishing a new global positioning system (GPS) independent of the United States. December 1st, 2014: The referendum on the restoration of the Serbian monarchy passes with 64% of the vote. After two terms and without the possibility of a reelection for the post of President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy retires from politics. The Council of Europe elects French ex-resident Nicolas Sarkozy as new President of the Council. December 10th, 2014: Former Brazilian presidential candidate Marina Silva wins the Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy for the poor and indigenous tribes of her nation. December 24th, 2014: Hong Kong replaces the linked exchange rate system with US Dollar with a basket of currencies all of a sudden. Hong Kong Dollar, long thought to be undervalued, appreciates dramatically, deflation is going to happen for the first time since 2003. ------------------------------------------------------------------ 2015 January 1st, 2015: Crown Prince Alexander (b. 1945) becomes King of Serbia. January 3rd, 2015: A Naxalite attack and bombing on an army base in Jharkand state kill 57 troops. On the same day, a bombing causes a trail derailment, leading to 212 civillian deaths (the train was packed with laborers). In response, the anti-Naxalite paramilitary group Salwa Judum goes on a rampage, killing 14 suspected Maoists gruesomely. Rahul Gandhi's government is criticized for its slow reaction to the crisis, and despite their announcement that they are working quickly to end the Naxalite threat, Gandhi's approval ratings drop below 50% for the first time. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden gives birth to her second child, a girl, whom her parents name Renata Madeleine Desiree Marie. January 15th, 2015: Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski is appointed as Commissioner of Baseball after Bud Selig retires from his position at the end of his contract after the MLB 2014 season. January 17th, 2015: Ukrainian Presidential Election; Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko returns to her former post in a rematch of 2010, defeating incumbent Viktor Yanukovych by a margin of 47.7-46.1 percent. The pro-Russian Party of Regions cries electoral fraud in the aftermath of the election, leading to civil unrest between West and East. Russian President Vladimir Putin calls for Tymoshenko to allow for a recount, “in the name of stability and unity in the Ukraine.” January 20th, 2015: In one of his first actions as baseball commissioner, Dave Dombrowski makes the All Star game once again count for nothing and has World Series home field advantage alternate by year. January 22nd, 2015: President Enrique Peña Nieto is shot and killed in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico whilst giving a speech condemning the violence plaguing the city. The assassin, Gerardo Ortiz is found to be part of the Sinaloa Cartel. January 23rd, 2015: After an Extraordinary Session of Congress is held, Secretary of the Interior Beatriz Paredes Rangel is elected Interim President to fulfill the remainder of Peña Nieto's term. January 27th, 2015: Mexican President Beatriz Paredes Rangel gives a nationwide televised speech where she formally states her grief over the late President Peña Nieto's death at the hands of the “barbarous cartels.” She outlines the intentions of her administration to conduct “Total War” (Sp. Guerra Total) on key drug havens throughout the country. January 28th, 2015: President Paredes Rangel declares a state of emergency throughout the states of Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo León, Baja California, Michoacán and Guerrero, stating that the violence in the country must be dealt with “by any means necessary.” January 30th, 2015: Elements of the Mexican military attack various known cartel havens throughout northern Mexico, killing hundreds of drug traffickers and cartel collaborators, and arresting thousands more by the end of the month. January 31st, 2015: While in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico on business, wealthy German tool producer, Guenter Schabacker is trapped in a small cantina while government forces attack drug cartel thugs. Thinking he is going to die, the young German offers a barmaid $1000 American dollars to have sex with him. The barmaid, Maria de la Cruz, a sufferer of a disease of the kidneys called interstitial nephritis, is desperate for cash. Her husband, Jose Manuel de la Cruz, an alcoholic and diabetic desperately in need of treatment is dying in their small shack in a rough barrio of Monterrey. Maria de la Cruz agrees to Schabacker’s terms and uses the cash to move her husband back to their hometown of Galeana, in southern Nuevo Leon. She soon realizes she is pregnant but does not tell Manuel the truth about how she got the money. He believes he is the father of the baby and she obtained the money legitimately. They move into a small house next to a small Pentecostal Church. A few months after the birth of her son, Alejandro, Maria succumbs to the effects of kidney disease, dying in her husband‘s arms. In his grief, Manuel de la Cruz begins attending the Pentecostal Church next door and soon becomes a devout adherent and stops drinking alcohol. Although in poor health, he miraculously lives long enough to see Alejandro reach his 18th birthday on October 27th, 2033 but dies the next day of complications of severe diabetes. While working as a waiter in La Florida Hotel in Galeana early the next year, Alejandro meets an American genealogical researcher who is conducting DNA research on the de la Cruz family of Galeana. Along with several collateral male relatives on his father’s side, Alejandro agrees to participate in the DNA testing. When the results come back, he is stunned to find out the man he thought was his father was not. After the researcher entered his Y-DNA into a database with the Sorensen Molecular Genealogy Foundation, he is put in touch with a man with an exact match…Guenter Schabacker. The childless Guenter Schabacker is dying of cirrhosis of the liver. Young Alejandro de la Cruz flies to Duesseldorf where he finds out the circumstances of his birth. Guenter Schabacker dies within days but not before changing his will leaving his enormous fortune to the poor Mexican boy. This bequest will result in several important discoveries which will transform medicine and change the lives of millions for the better. February 1st, 2015: Realdon Robotics is established as one of the first companies with the realistic goal of creating a fully functioning robot capable of use by humans. It is founded by William G. Realdon. February 3rd, 2015: Formation of the Society Opposing Unholy Life (S.O.U.L.), a far-right Christian political group in response to recent advancements in gay rights, science, and rising discontent with the Romney administration on domestic, especially social, issues. February 4th, 2015: Former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer declares his intentions to run for the Democratic Presidential nomination. February 21, 2015: Archaeologists working at the Templo Mayor pyramid base near the National Palace in Mexico City confirm the discovery of the burial chambers of Aztec rulers, Huitzilihuiltl, Moctezuma I, Axayacatl, and Moctezuma II. The first three rulers cremains are recovered as is the intact skeleton of Moctezuma II. Forensic scientists confirm historical accounts that he was severely injured by having stones hurled at him with fractures to the skull and left femur. However, the cause of death for the unfortunate Aztec emperor was a cut throat, probably by Spaniards. March 9th, 2015: Former Governor of Virginia and DNC Chairman Tim Kaine announces his bid for the Democratic Nomination for President, in Richmond, the capitol of Virginia. Early polls give Kaine a slim to moderate lead over incumbent President Mitt Romney. March 11th, 2015: With the aid of American intelligence and military support, the Mexican military cracks down hard on la Familia Michoacana, managing to kill José de Jesús Méndez Vargas and capture large numbers of the cartel, including Servando Gómez Martínez and Dionicio Loya Plancarte. March 19th, 2015: Second Battle of Basra; Islamic fundamentalists led by Muqtada Al-Sadr launch a nationwide conflict of sectarian violence from Basra, Iraq. March 25th, 2015: In Iraq the Second Mahdi Army Revolt is crushed, much the same as the first. While many of the 20,000 MNF-I troops left in country acted in non-combat roles, facilitating much of the intelligence gathering, and logistical planning of higher level formations of the Iraqi Army and Iraqi National Police, host nation forces proved themselves surprisingly competent. When it came to operations at the brigade level and below the ability of Iraqi units to effectively engage enemy forces, and also to operate independent of MNF-I assistance, surprised a number of defense analysts, especially regional analysts in the Middle East. The end of the Second Mahdi Army Revolt is often cited as the true end of the Iraq War, being both the last time that MNF-I forces were involved in hostilities in Iraq, and the last time that sectarian violence or religious extremism constituted a substantial threat to the rule of law, or the democratic process, in Iraq. March 26th, 2015: Der Spiegel and The Economist magazines report human rights violations by XE contractors in Basra and Baghdad, including the deaths of c.250 people in one apartment building. Iraqi government officials demand the prosecution of all private contractors involved in the violence. Republican leaders led by Minority Leader Cantor refuse to allow “American men and women to be subject to theocratic ideals…” angering many of the nations in the region. April 1st, 2015: Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN-TV) shows footage of XE mercenaries brutally raping a 14yo girl suspected of carrying an improvised explosive device (IED). This further enrages the Muslim world to the presence of multinational troops. April 6th, 2015: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) announces his intention to run for the Democratic Nomination for President of the United States, to challenge incumbent President Mitt Romney. In his first campaign speech, given in New York City outside the Freedom Tower, Cuomo says he is running to,”stop the President from leading this country down the wrong track,” and uses the Romney Administration's stance on Gay Rights as an example. April 11th, 2015: Governor Sam Brownback (R-KS) makes rumblings about a possible primary challenge to President Romney while being interviewed on CNN's The Situation Room, reflecting discontent among the right toward Romney's handling of the economy and apathy on social issues. April 17th, 2015: After years of lobbying by the LDS Church, Kazakhstan allows LDS missionaries to operate within it's borders. This is hailed as a victory for religious freedom in an Islamic-majority country, and the Church soon announces the formation of the first LDS ward in Kazakhstan, composed mostly of the 75 ethnically Russian Mormons already in the country. May 7th, 2015: In the UK, a general election under the new alternate vote system, leads to a Conservative minority government. The Liberal Democrats were able to recover during the coalition, taking small credit for the economic recovery achieved between 2010 and 2015. In the Labour party, there are calls for Ed Miliband to step down, since most MPs hadn't voted for him during the leadership election in 2010. May 8th, 2015: David Cameron forms his first fully Conservative Cabinet with George Osborne being made Foreign Secretary, Michael Gove as Home Secretary replacing the retired Theresa May and Iain Duncan Smith as Chancellor of the Exchequer. In addition, William Hague continues on as Justice Secretary, a post he assumed in 2012 with Nick Herbert continuing as Defence Secretary and Theresa Villiers as Education Secretary. May 9th, 2015: Junior New Jersey Senator Cory Booker declines to run for president. As the campaign goes in it's pretty clear, however, that his camp is generating buzz for the vice presidential nod. May 10th, 2015: In a referendum, Japanese voters approve a constitutional amendment that turn the Self Defense Forces officially into a military. The second paragraph of Article 9, which forbade the maintenance of “land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential”, is replaced by a new Article 9-2 which permits a “defense force”, under control of the Prime Minister, which defends the nation and May participate in international activities. This new section uses the term “gun”. The United States welcomes the constitutional amendment, hoping that Japan could play a more significant role in combating the growing strength of China. However, China recalls its ambassador to Japan “for some urgent discussions regarding the new international political atmosphere”. May 11th, 2015: Philippa Middleton marries Prince Andrea of Monaco in Monte Carlo with the Prince and Princess of Wales in attendance. May 12th, 2015: An article in the New York Times draws attention to the Lulaist economic policies of Maria Corina, the President of Venezuela. Since her assumption of power, she has been moving Brazil away from Chavez's “Bolivarian socialism” and towards a more traditional model, encouraged by President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil. With the removal of Chavez and the increased activism of Brazil, Ecuador has also been moving towards a less radical position. May 17, 2015: Fossils of Amphicoelias fragillimus are once again unearthed in the Morrison Formation. They do confirm a vast length, but the estimate has to be reduced to 47-51 m and 88-104 metric tons. May 22nd, 2015: Castro Riots; S.O.U.L. members attract national controversy after protesting outside the Castro District in San Francisco, California, sparking clashes with members of the LGBT community. June 1st, 2015: Future Indian Prime Minister Surjaa Chakravorty is elected in a special election for the Bongaon seat in West Bengal. The previus MP, Gobinda Chandra Naskar, had died of a heart attack earlier in the year. Chakravorty wins as a member of the Trinamool Congress Party (a Bengali offshoot of the Congress Party). She is notable for her young age and personal charisma. Only 27, she was elected to the City Council of Bongaon after graduating from Jawarhalal Nehru University. June 7th, 2015: In Japan, the New Komeito withdraws from the ruling coalition, citing irrevocable differences with Prime Minister Shigeru Ishiba. Almost immediately, the New Komeito stages a no-confidence motion against Ishiba, but is defeated since the Hatoyama and Ozawa factions of the opposition Democratic Party votes against the motion. June 10th, 2015: In light of the successful lawsuit about it's financial records, the LDS Church divests itself of stock holdings in several companies, and announces that it will reform the administration of the church, giving more administrative power and money to local church units throughout the world. This move is seen as not only financially wise, but also a boon to advocates of LDS decentralization. June 11th, 2015: In Japan, 42 lower house MPs and 22 Councillors from the Hatoyama and Ozawa factions of the opposition Democratic Party form their own Liberal New Japan Alliance. June 12th, 2015: President Mitt Romney announces his intention to seek re-election, despite poor approval ratings and the threat of a potentially divisive primary challenge from the right. June 15th, 2015: Yvette Cooper resigns as Shadow Home Secretary and challenges Ed Miliband for the Leadership of the Labour Party, Ed Balls walks out as Shadow Chancellor in support of his wife causing a major upheaval in the Labour Party. July 2015: The existence of Pseudonovibos spiralis is proven. Naturally, “snake-eating cow” is a false designation, it is rather similar to the Gaur and Kouprey. July 1st, 2015: The Russian Federation and Belarus formally unite into a single entity known as the Federal Union of Russia and Belarus, more commonly known as the “Union State” and in reality almost completely run from Moscow. Russia's outward shift in foreign policy is capitalized by this move, and Western Europe is becoming increasingly worried with the Russian bear flexing its muscles once again. July 2nd, 2015: Britain's Ambassador in the US, David Miliband announces he has no interest in the matters in the Labour Party. 'Batman Beyond' is released in cinemas as the first entry in the film franchise since the hugely successful 'The Dark Knight Rises.' Inspired by the 1999-2001 animated series of the same name and resurrecting plans for such a film from 2001 that were abandoned in favour of Christopher Nolan's reboot, the concept was made use of to avoid unfavourable comparison between it and the still recent Nolan films and explore new ground. The film is set in 2044 and starts Kevin Conroy as an elderly Bruce Wayne, Stana Katic as Lady Cain, Nathan Filion as Derek Blight and newcomer Richard Herod as Terry McGinnis, the new Batman. The new film is met with critical and box office success and is praised for sitting well with the Nolan films by combining their neo-noir feel and gritty realism with subtle hard sci-fi undertones and for it's success in areas the preceding entries were sometimes felt lacking in. The soundtrack is also praised, being jointly composed by Hans Zimmer and Jesper Kyd. July 3rd, 2015: After months of unrest in response to the disputed presidential election, full-blown riots in the eastern parts of the Ukraine. Prime Minister Tymoshenko, leader of the pro-West incumbent government, asks for European Union intervention in the escalating conflict. However Vladimir Putin, seeking to maintain influence in the Ukraine in light of the conflict, ask the EU for a joint conference to sort out electoral irregularities. The EU, led by President Nicolas Sarkozy, declines the request and instead launches their own investigation into the allegations of electoral fraud. July 4th, 2015: The Mayor of New York announces that New York intends to reclaim the title of world's tallest building with the construction of the New York Tower. Designed to climb to 3,342 feet/1018m, the building will be located 9 blocks south of the Empire State Building. July 5th, 2015: Midterm Elections are held in Mexico. The PRI increases its presence in Congress by a slight margin, for the most part holding it's majority. Many within the PAN and PRD cry foul, claiming the PRI is up to it's old tricks of vote stacking and election theft, though international observers are quick to note President Paredes' decisive action against the Cartels and sympathy for President Peña Nieto's death as reasons for the PRI's excellent performance at the polls. Chamber of Deputies Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) - 267 National Action Party (PAN) - 112 Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) - 71 Ecologist Green Party of Mexico (PVEM) - 16 Labor Party (PT) - 10 Nueva Alianza (PNA) - 8 Convergence - 12 Independents - 4 July 6th, 2015: Pope Benedict XVI, born Joseph Ratzinger, dies at night after suffering a stroke. Fallowing his death, Catholics around the world mourn his death, and many make the pilgramage to the Vatican for his funeral, along with many of the worlds most famous political and religious leaders. July 11th, 2015: Former King Michael of Romania, after attending the official ceremonies of restoration for the kings of Montenegro and Serbia, dies at his villa in Switzerland. After his death, monarchism in Romania dwindles to almost nothing in spite of the restoration of several other Balkan monarchies. The King's grandson, Nicholas Medforth-Mills marries an American girl later in the year and settles in obscurity on the lower slopes of Mt. Hood near Portland, Oregon. July 14th, 2015: New Horizons begin its flyby of Pluto. July 29th, 2015: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) announces her intention to run for the office of United States President against President Romney. While labelled an underdog candidate against more well-known names such as her own state's Governor Cuomo, Gillibrand immediately gains a following of progressives and grassroots activists, who are enamored with her fiery populist rhetoric regarding the state of the country's economy. August 2nd, 2015: After recommendation by the European Commission, Ukraine becomes and official EU candidate. Moscow heavily criticizes it calling it an act of revenge for the creation of the Union State. August 4th, 2015: In Japan, the Liberal New Japan Alliance and the Lower Taxes Party merge to form the Social Credit Party, and joins the ruling coalition. Ichiro Ozawa is appointed Finance Minister. August 5th, 2015: President Romney's approval rating hits 36%, the lowest point in his administration thus far, after the Department of Labor released a report indicating the unemployment rate hit 12.7 percent for July 2015. August 10th, 2015: In Japan, outraged by the SCP-LDP coalition, 16 Your Party MPs and 7 LDP MPs cross the floor and join the opposition Democratic Party. August 17th, 2015: In the Papal conclave that fallows the Death of Pope Benedict XVI, the College of Cardinals votes to have Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa,Honduras, to serve as the Next Pope. He takes the name of Pope George, after Saint George, the legendary dragon slayer. In his first address to the world, Pope George promises to the people that his first priority will be to work to help the poor and the suffering. August 20th, 2015: In what would later be known as Jueves Sangriento (Bloody Thursday) a band of the Los Zetas Cartel massacre 10 children and injure 25 more playing in a school playground in Reynosa, Tamaulipas when inter-cartel disputes erupt in the streets with gunfire. August 22nd, 2015: Mexican Troops occupy Reynosa and as per Martial Law begin to detain anyone whom they deem May be part of a cartel. By the end of the day several thousand persons are detained, as well as the deaths of about 90 known members of the Los Zetas Cartel in intermittent fighting within the city. The firefights between the Cartel and the Mexican Army continue for several more days, extending to the cities of Matamoros, Nuevo Laredo and Piedras Negras, prompting a temporary closure of all entry points along the Texas-Mexico border. August 23rd, 2015: Chinese men start calling for “American mail-order brides” due to the shortage of available women in China. August 24th, 2015: Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas announces that he will challenge Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination, citing his “failed policies” and the need for a “true conservative” in the White House. Almost immediately, S.O.U.L. gains national prominence with its high-profile endorsement of Governor Brownback's presidential bid, calling him “the right candidate to restore moral values in America.” Over the past year, S.O.U.L. accumulated influence and omnipresence from the Evangelical movement, and was responsible for many protests across the nation. September 11th, 2015: India's Parliament, under the leadership of Prime Minister Rahul Gandhi, passes the Equality in Donation Act. This act prevents fertility clinics from informing customers of the caste of the donor. Oftentimes, customers will refuse to accept sperm except from donors of specific castes. Some fertility clinics even go so far as to refuse donations from members of certain castes, or segregate the sperm storage facilities. The Equality in Donation Act seeks to end those practices. In some parts of India, outrage ensues over the Equality in Donation Act. Furious crowds gather outside of many lawmakers' offices and fertility clinics, demanding their “right” to know the caste of a donor. While most doctors and middle-class Indians support the Gandhi government's law, many lower-class and high-caste upper-class Indians oppose it, believing that it is important for them not to sully the purity of their caste. September 18th, 2015: In response to severe public pressure, and pressure from some members of his coalition, Rahul Gandhi asks the Indian Parliament to repeal some parts of the Equality in Donation Act. While clinics will still be banned from refusing donations from low-caste donor, customers will regain the right to know what caste their donor was from. September 20th-October 20th, 2015: In India, a national debate ensues over sperm donation and caste. Six states, including Bihar, pass state laws which require all donors to state their caste and make it more expensive and difficult for low-caste donors to give sperm. Meanwhile, nine state governments, led by Kerala, go in the opposite direction and ban patients from asking about the caste of their donor. Over the upcoming years, these numbers will shift slowly in favor of the Keralese bloc. September 20th, 2015: The “Sarkozy Report”, as the EU investigation into Ukrainian election dispute is called, produces a study detailing large amounts of fraud in the pro-Russian eastern oblasts and a clear victory for the current pro-West government. Eastern Ukrainians react with outrage, covertly funded by Russia who seeked access to Ukrainian natural gas lines with the depleting supply of oil slowly becoming a major issue. September 24th, 2015: The Pittsburgh Pirates clinch the NL Central title with a 5-0 shutout of the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park. Fans storm the field in excitment, causing $250,000 in damage once all is said and done. September 22nd, 2015: The Ukrainian government declares martial law in several eastern oblasts to crack down on riots caused by Eastern Ukrainians covertly supported by Russia. September 24th, 2015: Pro-Russian MPs walk out of the Ukrainian Parliament in protest of the declaration of martial law. September 26th, 2015: Japanese Finance Minister Ichiro Ozawa dies suddenly of a heart attack. September 30th, 2015: Intense gunfights erupt in the west Mexican city of Los Mochis, Sinaloa between the Mexican Army and the Sinaloa Cartel. The region had already seen spurts of violence for several weeks as President Paredes increased the troop presence in the region. As a simultaneous gunfight erupted in the state capital Culiacán, President Paredes signs an Executive Order demanding Federal Troops to “kill on sight.” October 8th, 2015: Facebook acquires SchülerVZ and StudiVZ, who saw their membership numbers rapidly decreasing and filed for insolvency. October 17th, 2015: The IUPAC approves Uut and Uup to be discovered, both by Dubna JINR. This Institute puts forward Sacharowium for Uut and, surprisingly Putinium for Uup. October 19th-25th, 2015: Sacharowium is generally accepted, but there are worldwide rallies against calling Element 115 Putinium. However, the team responsible for the element's discovery won't cede the name. October 29th, 2015: Piers Morgan Tonight (CNN-TV) includes a guest appearance by former President Barack Obama, who responds to questions that he'll run again by saying that he would support whoever emerged as the Democratic candidate, but would rather help people on a closer scale than the national political scene allows. October 30th, 2015: In baseball, the Washington Nationals win the World Series in 6 games over the Los Angeles Angels. Nationals second baseman Stephen Lombardozzi wins the MVP award for hitting .488 with 7 runs scored, 3 steals, and a walk off home run in Game 2. November 2nd, 2015: Triplets are born to the Catherine, Princess of Wales, all girls. They are named Princesses Philippa, Elizabeth, and Diana. November 3rd, 2015: Mayor Leland Yee (D-CA) of San Francisco, California wins re-election, becoming a “rising star” within the Democratic Party. Yee wins much of the LGBT vote after condemning S.O.U.L., calling on SFPD to prosecute members on charges of harassment and hate crimes. November 3rd, 2015: The Economist reports that agriculture in northern Namibia has become much more profitable since the discovery of the Ohangwena II reservoir in 2012. Farmers have begun growing more water-intensive crops such as maize, sorghum, tobacco. They also grow wheat more intensively, causing a drop in food prices in Namibia. The cost-of-living has dropped more than 12%, as less food must be imported. November 11th, 2015: Talks of a South-American power bloc begin between Presidents Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, Danilo Astori of Uruguay and outgoing Cristina Kirchner of Argentina. November 12th, 2015: The governing Business Council of the ten-thousand-strong Northern Arapaho Nation of Fremont County, Wyoming receives an anonymous proposal signed Amicus Arapahoviae. The proposal suggests a new way of determining tribal membership based on DNA testing rather than the traditional blood quantum system. The elders of the tribe are intrigued and authorize funds from casino profits for a tribal project to identify Y lineages, mtdna lineages and distinctive autosomal lineages matched to thoroughly researched paper genealogies. When the project is finished three years later using the services of Houston-based DNA testing company Family Tree DNA, it is determined the entire tribe descends from 38 Native men (five of which were Athabaskan in origin), and 143 women. There are twelve European-derived Y lineages and four African Y lineages. As the families with these lineages had been members of the tribe for over a century, no move was made to unenroll them and their lineages were adopted as official lineages along with the actual Native lineages. November 15th, 2015: Meghan McCain declares her intention to run for Congress as a Republican in Arizona's 6th congressional district in 2016, coinciding with her father John McCain's retirement from the Senate. November 15th, 2015: In Hong Kong, the pro-establishment camp wins 401 out of 417 seats in the district council elections due to massive electoral fraud and unfair campaign benefits. Out of all 417 directly elected seats, the DAB and FTU jointly wins 209, followed by 51 of the NPP, 18 for the Liberal Party, 11 of the Civic Force, 8 for the Economic Synergy, 7 for the NWSC  and 94 other pro-establishment candidates. Among the 16 pan-democrats that survive, the Democratic Party wins 6 constituencies (Upper Tai Wo Hau, Lower Tai Wo Hau, Lai King, Siu Chi, King Fung and Sun King), the CDH wins 3 (Kin Shin, Yee Fu and Pokfulam), the ADPL wins 2 (Lai Chi Kok South and Kadoorie  - the biggest upset of the night), as well as 5 others (winning Choi Kin, Nam On, Hennessy, Ching On and Kowloon Bay). November 17th, 2015: Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky announces that he will challenge Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination, citing his “failed policies” and the need for a “true conservative” in the White House. November 18th, 2015: S.O.U.L. gains national prominence with its high-profile endorsement of Senator Rand Paul's presidential bid, calling him “the right candidate to restore moral values in America.” Over the past year, S.O.U.L. accumulated influence and omnipresence from the Evangelical movement, and was responsible for many protests across the nation. November 20th, 2015: The Chicago Fire win the Major League Soccer Cup over D.C. United, 3-1. November 24th, 2015: Mariano Rajoy steps down as Prime Minister of Spain and chooses his vice-president, Soraya Saez de Santamaría as his successor as leader of the People’s Party. Despite losses, the People’s Party retains the absolute majority. Soraya Saez de Santamarái becomes the first Spanish female prime minister. The internal crisis in the PSOE continues over the basis of federalism weakening the positions of the PSOE and strengthening the position of centrist UPyD and communist United Left. December 18th, 2015: Proposition 9 is added to the 2016 ballot in California. If passed, the measure would repeal the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in the state, effectively overturning the controversial Proposition 8. December 19th, 2015: S.O.U.L. condemns Proposition 9 as “an attack on the moral fabric of the nation, and an attack on God's will.” The group begins to organize a political campaign in opposition to the “Yes on 9” effort. December 28th, 2015: Amnesty International releases a report detailing Mexico's apparent degradation of human rights as half the country remains under Martial law and the year 2015 being seen as the bloodiest on record. December 29th, 2015: Vice President Bobby Jindal announces that he will not be on President Romney's re-election ticket, claiming that he needs to “spend time with his family”. When questioned by supporters more, he declares that he intends to return to Louisiana to help the affected there.