Top 10 News Stories from 2022

A brief overview of the most impactful news stories from this year

Another year has passed and with the new year coming, it’s a nice time to take a step back and reflect on all the hectic news and events that have happened in the past 365 days. 


  1. Russia/Ukraine War

On February 24, President of Russia Vladimir Putin declared that Russian forces were conducting a “special military operation” in the country of Ukraine to liberate the people of the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk from a quote on quote ‘Nazi government.’ But this was no small operation, it was a full scale invasion of the country as minutes later rockets began hitting major Ukrainian cities including Kyiv and Russian troops and tanks began pouring into the country from Belarus in the North, Russia in the east, and Crimea from the South. This led to millions of people fleeing their homes in search of safety in other eastern european countries, sparking a humanitarian crisis. The invasion has also led to thousands of innocent people dying and leaving more injured. Luckily, due to the help from NATO and the United States lending military equipment, Ukraine has been pushing back Russia slowly and Ukrainian forces have gained much of the land lost that was taken by Russian forces back in February. 


2.  Protests Break Out Across Iran

Recent protests have broken out across Iran following Mahsa Amini’s death on September 16. The 22-year-old was arrested for not wearing her hijab properly, in addition to wearing skinny jeans. Her family spoke out and said that Amini died from being beaten and struck several times in the head. However, police and government forces have denied the statements given by the family and claimed that Amini passed away from an underlying disease. In response to Amini’s death, demonstrations and protests have united almost everyone in Iran from every background, age, and ethnicity. In major Iranian cities, women have danced as they burn their hijabs and have taken to cutting their hair. Additionally, strikes have occurred in school settings and shops. Likewise, on November 21, during the World Cup in Qatar, Iran’s football team refused to sing their national anthem and fans instead recited sayings against the regime. The protests have ensued violent responses from Iranian officials. Security forces have imprisoned athletes, lawyers, celebrities, and journalists. As of this month, at least 458 people have been killed, and more than 18,000 people have been detained. 


The hijab became mandatory in 1983, and was followed by a string of protesting. However, in 2021, when Ebrahim Raisi took on his presidency, he intensified rules surrounding women’s dressing. These protests have unified the Iranian people, and continue to rage on.


3. Roe v Wade

This year, women’s rights were challenged when some government officials and citizens advocated for abortion rights to be taken away in all capacities. This challenges Roe v Wade, a law that has been in place for decades and has been very helpful in allowing women to have rights over their bodies. Government officials were adamant about taking away women’s right to have an abortion whenever and limiting it to only serious cases, such as the death of the mother, rape, or incest. Some even wanted it to be taken away entirely regardless of the situation of the mother. Many protests, peaceful and violent, broke out and eventually led to 17 states deciding to ban or restrict abortions.


4. Queen Elizabeth’s Death

On September 8 2022, the world was left in shock as it was revealed that Queen Elizabeth II had passed away at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. Elizabeth had ruled over Great Britain for over 70 years from the 6th of February 1952 to her death making her the second longest reigning monarch in the history of mankind behind King Louis XIV who ruled for over 72 years. With the world in shock and Great Britain’s people devastated, her son Charles III would take over as King of the United Kingdom. The queen’s body was taken to Westminster Hall and was made open to the public to pay their respects to her from September 14 to September 19. On  September 19, the day of her funeral all businesses in the UK were shut including the stock market and parliament. Thousands of people lined the streets as the queen’s body was taken to Windsor Castle where she was buried alongside her husband Prince Phillip. 


5. Changes on Marijuana

Marijuana has been a very controversial topic since it became a widely known and used substance. Some people believe it shouldn’t be used at all and banned, while others think its medical and recreational uses are harmless. One of the most common reasons why people are jailed is drug possession charges. On October 6, Biden made a decision to pardon thousands of people who had been charged with possessing or using marijuana at the federal level. This was a shock and relief to many and is seen as the beginning of the process to decriminalize the usage of marijuana.


6. Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Ian’s life began on September 23 and wouldn’t fully dissipate until October 2. The hurricane would make its first landfall on September 27 as a category 3 hurricane in the western part of Cuba causing extensive damage to the provinces of Pinar del Rio and Mayabeque. After this it would swing towards the Gulf of Mexico and regain strength. A day later it would make landfall on the Western coast of Florida as a strong category 4 hurricane causing massive damage. This hurricane would become the 5th worst hurricane to ever hit the United States causing over $50 billion dollars + and would leave over 157 dead with most deaths being from Florida.


7. San Francisco To Hold off Deploying Police Robots

On November 29, San Francisco officials approved the use of deploying killer police robots that are able to use lethal force in severe situations. The board voted 8-3 to approve the proposition which would allow for authorities to utilize robots that have the ability to kill when the lives of police officers or innocent bystanders are at risk. However, this notion sparked a protest outside City Hall.


Those who are in favor of deploying the robots argue their usefulness amidst dangerous situations so that they can prevent the loss of innocent lives and that they can be used as a last resort. Interestingly, the robots are remote-controlled by a human operator. 


San Francisco officials voted again on December 6 after receiving backlash against the policy. The board voted again, this time to remove the text relating to robots using lethal force. The people of San Francisco rejected this notion and do not want killer police robots in the city.


8. Earth’s Population Hitting the All-Time High

On November 15, the UN announced that the world has officially hit 8 billion. While it is difficult to count how many people are actually alive on this earth, it’s a rough estimate. It is cool that the population reached such a high for the first time, it is guessed that the population will continue to increase, which is concerning considering how we already struggle with population growth issues and overpopulation. This means that we will have a larger environmental impact because of how much fuel we will be consuming. Public expenditures will also grow significantly to fit the needs of the new population regarding school, public health, water, and employment.


9. The Oscars Slap

The 2022 Oscars will not be forgotten quickly. On March 27, comedian Chris Rock held the Oscars, otherwise known as the Academy Awards. This ceremony awards significant figures within the entertainment industry across the world and is presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Rock hosted for the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Rock was in the process of presenting the Best Documentary award, when he then made a joke comparing Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith’s wife, to GI Jane, a movie character who has a shaved head. Pinkett Smith shared the previous year that she shaved her head amidst her battle with alopecia, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss. Following the joke, Will Smith walked onto the stage and slapped Rock across the face, Smith then left the stage to return to his seat and shouted profanities towards Rock. After the altercation, Smith apologizes during his acceptance speech, while not directly apologizing to Rock. Likewise, Smith has resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and was also banned from attending Academy-related events for a decade.


10. Buffalo Snowfall

To kick off winter, a snowstorm hit western New York hard and ended up leaving behind 80 inches of snow. This lake-effect snowstorm was no joke, the dense snow was a serious issue to many. All roads were shut down and it took a while for everything to return to normalcy. It debilitated the neighborhood for a while, but after the plow trucks came and the snow began, the people were back on their feet. Less than 48 hours after the historic snowfall, western New York was back in business.